G.N. Ozerova, T.A. Andreyeva

Saint-Petersburg State University, department of cartography, SPb, Russia


Russian Orthodoxy is an extremely broad, deep and multi-faceted theme. Orthodoxy came to Russia in 988 (for almost one thousand years) and was the official state religion, defining the life of Russian society (from international relations to everyday family life). After 1917, Orthodoxy experienced a period of repression and persecution. In the last few decades, however, it has experienced a revival. Russian Orthodoxy now makes an important contribution to the moral and spiritual life of the nation and, as a result, the political and economic development of the state.

Although confessional cartography has its own history in Russia, the activities of the Orthodox Church has never been examined across the entire territory of the Russian Empire as a single process occurring in time and space. After 1917, confessional cartography was banished from the theory and practice of cartography. To this day, there are only a handful of Russian confessional maps. The worlds leading religious atlases provide little information on Russian Orthodoxy. Le Grands atlas Universalis (Paris, 1988) and Atlas of the Worlds Religions (Oxford, 1999) do not include any maps on the Russian Orthodox Church. Popular interest in the history and geography of the Russian Church is the reason for the decision to compile the Russian Orthodoxy: From Century to Century atlas at the St Petersburg State University Chair on Cartography .

Three main principles lie at the base of the atlass concept.

The first principle is to reflect the wide-ranging activities of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The second principle is to show each sphere of activities as a process occurring in time and space. This is intended to compensate for the major shortcomings of many works on historical research, in which events linked to the Russian Orthodox Church are only regarded in time, without looking at the geographical picture or the accompanying spatial regularities.

The third principle is the need to reflect all objects of research (for example, all monasteries, not just the most important ones) throughout the entire period of their existence.

The atlas is published in large format (29 x 41 cm). The first volume The History of the Upper Hierarchy and Diocesan Structure is now finished. Work is currently underway on the second volume Orthodox Monasteries.

The history of the Russian Orthodox Church can be approached from various points of view. In Volume I, it is presented through the activities of the premier hierarchies and the history of the churchs administrative set-up. Closely linked to the formation of the territory of the state, this covers the entire period of the existence of the Russian Orthodox Church. The main historical cross-sections given in the atlas are tied in with the history of the church and the state. The average time block is half a century.

Volume I contains seventy there is the map. The maps on the formation of the dioceses are supplemented by many thematic maps, analysing specific features of different periods in the life of the Church. For example, maps Tracing the life of Patriarch Nikon. The main places of imprisonment of Orthodox priests(191860) and a modern map The foreign establishments of the Moscow Patriarchate. The atlas is accompanied by informative texts and tables (around ten printers sheets).

The graphics have been created with the help of MicroStation (Bentley). The atlas can be published as a CD or an HTML page in the Internet.