Menshchikov Igor

Struggle of orthodox clergy against drunkenness in Russian West-Siberian rural areas in the early 20th century

Menshchikov Igor (2018) "Struggle of orthodox clergy against drunkenness in Russian West-Siberian rural areas in the early 20th century ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2018, vol. 80, pp. 93-106 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII201880.93-106


This article studies the role of rural Orthodox clergy of West Siberia in the struggle against alcoholism. It also pays attention to the participation of the clergy in all-Russian anti-alcohol movement. Based on Russian and foreign sources, the article shows that alcoholisation level of Russian society was signifi cantly lower than in Western countries. Even so, the general public, including clerical, was concerned about the rate of alcohol consumption in industrial centres and in rural areas. Orthodox clergy came to play an active role in the struggle against the increase in alcoholism, particularly in rural areas. In West Siberia, the alcohol problem was not as pressing as in the European part of the Russian Empire; nevertheless, the local rural clergy became involved in the struggle against this social evil. Priests delivered sermons and homilies against alcoholism, participated in all-Russian anti-alcohol conventions, established sobriety societies, shared their expertise in church press. Parochial management designed and published methodological manuals for the rural clergy. It was published in form of conventional promises (“vows”), templates for homilies and sermons, programmes for holding sobriety feasts. Certain success that had been achieved by 1914 was halted by the beginning of the First World War.


anti-alcohol movement, alcoholism in Russia of the early 20th century, rural Orthodox clergy, West-Siberian rural areas, Russian peasantry, all-Russian anti-alcohol convention, Nicholas Buldygin, Tobolsk diocese, deviant behavior, sobriety societies


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Information about the author

Menshchikov Igor

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in History;
Academic Rank: Associate Professor;
Place of work: Kurgan State University; 135 Pushkina str., Kurgan 640020, Russian Federation;
Post: Associate Professor, Department of World History;
ORCID: 0000-0001-5037-9563;
Email: ygor@bk.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.