Scott M. Kenworthy

Scott M.  Kenworthy
  • Miami University
  • Associate Professor
  • Residential Fellow (2013-2014)
  • "Patriarch Tikhon (Bellavin), the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Russian Revolution"

Scott Kenworthy is Associate Professor in the Department of Comparative Religion at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) and specializes in the history and thought of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, particularly in modern Russia. His research has focused on the revival of monasticism in nineteenth-century Russia as well as the fate of the Orthodox Church during the Russian Revolution.

His first monograph was The Heart of Russia: Trinity-Sergius, Monasticism and Society After 1825 (2010), which won the 2010 Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize of the American Society of Church History. He has published more than 25 articles and scholarly writings in journals such as Jahrbücher für Geschichte OsteuropasKritika, and Modern Greek Studies Yearbook.

His awards and honors include fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2014-2016), the Kennan Institute (Woodrow Wilson Center), the International Research and Exchanges Board, the Social Science Research Council, and the Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies at Miami University. He was a Fulbright Senior Scholar to Romania, where he taught in Faculties of Orthodox Theology at the University of Babes-Bolyai in Cluj-Napoca and the University of Bucharest (2003-05). He is currently the Vice President of the Association for the Study of Eastern Christian History and Culture as well as a member of the Council of the American Society of Church History and the Steering Committee for the Eastern Orthodox Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion.


  • Rethinking the Russian Orthodox Church and the Bolshevik Revolution

    Revolutionary Russia, 2019

    Scott M. Kenworthy

    This article argues that, since the majority of Russians in 1917 belonged to the Orthodox Church, it is impossible to gain a full picture of the experience of the Revolution without taking into account the fate of Orthodoxy during the Revolution. Nevertheless, there has been no serious reassessment of the Orthodox Church in 1917–18 in English, and as a result most English-language scholars tend to fall back on older scholarship that is still driven by an outdated paradigm that ultimately derives from Soviet propaganda. Key recent Russian work on the subject is discussed to suggest new ways of understanding events. The old paradigm interpreted the Bolsheviks as progressive secularizers and the Church as counter-revolutionary. This article suggests rather that, during the first year of the revolution, both the church and the new state were shifting their policies towards one another until, by the autumn of 1918, the architects of the regime’s policy towards the Church took a hard line against it.

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