Olga Orlova, vice-dean, Faculty of theology, Lecturer, St. Philaret’s Institute, Moscow
The article deals with the influence of Orthodoxy on cultural and everyday life changes of the autochthonous population of the Altai, in particular, to what extent these changes were directly affected by the Christian worldview or helped to assimilate the Christian teaching and norms of Christian morality. The article is the analysis of the Altai spiritual mission reports of the missionaries, starting with the activity of St. Makariy (Glukharev), their memoirs and diaries. It is based on the findings of contemporary researchers studying the missionary activity of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Synodal period. Highlighted are the cultural and everyday changes in the life of the Altaians conditioned not only by the task of their education and incorporation into the Russian state, but also by the missionaries’ efforts to Christianize these peoples. Such changes include the creation of the Altaic script, introduction of regular labour and housekeeping skills, keeping the home clean, using basic hygiene rules, turning to modern medicine, changing marital behaviour and attitudes towards women, participating in charity and the material needs of the mission. The conclusion is drawn that the Altai missionaries did not seek to unify the lifestyle and russify the local population, but sought to impart spiritual and cultural skills to them, resulting from the development of Christian culture and formed the foundation for the Christian faith to take root in their lives.
Keywords: history, mission, missionary activity of the Russian Orthodox Church, synodal mission, archimandrite Makariy (Glukharev), Altai spiritual mission, Christianization, autochthonous population, cultural and everyday life