Background. Tragic consequences of the Russian revolution, civil war and another catastrophic events of the Russian history had come to an exile of millions Russian citizens. They have had many difficult trials in their emigration live. They were dissipated around the world and they disseminated there some elements of their multinational culture.
We made it our duty and our mission to rescue names of these people, praying and dreaming, suffering and loving, from oblivion in next generations. It is important to collect and conserve documents and memoirs on Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian emigration in different countries. The people is incomplete without one its member. "I would remember all persons by their names", as Russian poet Anna Akhmatova said in her poem “Requiem”.
The Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian emigration have influenced on the development of the worldwide culture. It was many representatives of the Russian intelligentsia - writers, poets, artists, musicians, therapists, teachers, researchers, technicians - between emigres from the Russian Empire. A concentration of cultural powers, exiled from Russia, was very high, and it wasn't definitely by chance. In conditions of Russian communist government and, first of all, of massive spiritual dictatorship Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian culture figures, in an extended sense, was deprived of the most important thing for their creativity - of spiritual freedom.
Being in exile, many representatives of the Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian emigre elite was keeping their contiguity with their fatherland and they was continuing their social activity for conservation and development of the culture of their further liberated country. This social activity became the goal of life for many Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian emigres in difficult conditions of exilement.
From another side, an exilement became an important stimulus for many Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian emigres for their spiritual renewal, it became their way to God and to the church. Although the Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian intelligentsia was generally away from the religion before the revolution, it was changed in conditions of exile. Finding itself in the emigration, very far from their traditional everyday life, many Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian culture figures felt spiritual transformation.
So the culture of the Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian emigration at large have became Christian culture.
We would research in this project biographical data of religious persons from the Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian emigration (including Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant ones). We would like to place importance on the activity of the Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian emigre people in the USA and on the influence of these people on the development of the worldwide, American and Russian culture.
Objectives. The main objective of the project is a development of biographical database of religious people from the Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian emigration. The research is limited now by Christians - Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant ones.
For researches of this problem it is important to carry on an academic investigation of some archival materials, books and periodicals, kept in libraries of the USA and Russia.
This work will promote development of historical, philosophical and culturological researches of the Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian emigration and cultural relations between American and Eastern Slavic people.
Methodology. Doctoral thesis "Cultural and religious activity of the Russian emigration", defended by the supervisor of the RARE Project Alexander Gurevich in 2005 at the Russian State University for the Humanities, and some materials on religious figures of the Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian emigration, partly published in the open access internet database on the Russian emigration (http://je.narod.ru) form the methodological basis of the project.
Our database on the Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian emigration, published in the Internet, includes now about 5000 biographic records. Some biographic records include detailed bibliographic information and links to the information sources (publications or archives). Data on about 1000 people are available in a special "Expectation List". In the total we suppose it will be about 10 000 biographic records in this database in next five years.
Our database includes only people that have attitude to Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian emigration and to the Christianity (Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Protestantism). We include there both very known and unknown people (we make a special point of the last ones). We created also a special additional index for the important religious figures, who didn’t have any Russian, Ukrainian or Byelorussian roots, but who was closely connected with the Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian emigration and who had a significant influence on its religious achievement and development.
We expect also to use this project for some investigations in archival and librarian domains, relating to this program and realized together by American and Russian researchers.
Significance. Our work is going to open some new prospects in the field of study of history of the Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian emigration and to remove many "white spots" in this area of science. The significance of this project for the U.S. and Russia consists, first of all, in revealing the social, cultural and spiritual contribution of Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian emigres, who became American citizens in public development of the world community. The realization of this project will make a contribution to the promoting of friendship and cooperation between the American and Russian peoples.
Evaluation and Dissemination. Results of the researches will be presented in the final report and in updating the described database. We are planning to write articles on this problem for some authoritative American and Russian religious and historical editions.
Results of this researches will be also published in the Internet in the open access on our elaborated site "Religious people of the Russian emigration" (http://je.narod.ru), where more than 100 users from Russia, USA, Canada, France, Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Australia, Poland, Austria, China and other countries visit everyday. The long-term statistics of this site demonstrates, that the users visit average 150-250 pages of the site per day.
Duration. The duration of the project is inlimited. Planned duration of the stage of our project is one year. In the case of successful accomplishment of this stage we expect the prolongation of the project.
Language. Results of the project will be presented in Russian. In case of special financial support some results may by translated into English and French.
Contributors. The research project is realized by RARE Project Media Group supervised by Dr. Alexander Gurevich (Moscow).
We would like to invite scholar and analitic information organizations and personal scholars from Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia and another countries for the mutual co-operation.
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