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:
Also, if you haven’t yet, don’t forget to take the time to complete the survey mentioned in the previous post!