St. Makarii of Glukharev: A Quick Reminder that Alaska was not in a Vacuum

Over at Frontier Orthodoxy I have put up a post on St. Makarii of Glukharev.  He was not an American saint.  Nor did he ever come to America.   I mention him here, though, as a reminder that the missionary work to Alaska did not occur in a vacuum.  It was part of a larger missionary enterprise within the Russian Empire itself.  This is a point that is sometimes forgotten, I think, in a haste to be anachronistic and see Alaska as the intended beginnings of converting all North Americans.  Later, of course, Alaska does become part of the United States of America as a territory.  Three years after that, the headquarters is moved to San Francisco, as recommended initially by St. Innocent when he learned of the sale of Alaska.  St. Innocent had a progressive vision, but Alaska initially is best understood not as a fulfilling of that later vision but as a further example of the missionary efforts undertaken in the nineteenth century within the Russian Empire.

For those who may be interested in learning about St. Makarii, you may read here:

http://frontierorthodoxy.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/st-makarii-glukharev/

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