Dr. Roy Robson has been selected by Northern Illinois University (NIU) Press to serve as editor for a new series on Orthodox Christianity, and has been contracted by Cambridge University Press to author a portion of a new encyclopedia, titled A Short History of Christianity in Twentieth-Century Russia.
Trained in the history of Europe and Russia, Dr. Robson has written widely on religion and modern Russia and has spoken at conferences in America and Europe on topics pertaining to the history and modern times of Russia.
While NIU Press has a long-standing tradition of publishing books about the Russian Orthodox faith, this series, titled Orthodox Christian Studies, will offer a global view of Orthodox Christianity—from East-West relations to studies of the faith in Churches around the world.
In his role as series editor, the University’s professor of history has been charged with compiling an editorial board, finding and vetting suitable authors and book ideas, and developing the direction and strategy of the series. Additionally, Dr. Robson anticipates authoring one or two books in the series. If he does, one book will be based on a lecture he presented in March 2008 on the art of Pimen Sofronov, the most influential iconographer of the Russian emigration.
“As you look at issues like the relationship between Georgia and Russia, and the problems in Kosovo, they all have a religious component to them,” said Dr. Robson. “There is so much tied up in religious identity and you see this happening again and again across Eastern Europe, historically throughout the 20th century, and certainly now. This series is not only a history series, it’s also contemporary, theological, and sociological.”
In addition to his work with NIU Press, Cambridge University Press, the oldest printer and publisher in the world, recently asked Dr. Robson to write a single volume history of Russian Christianity in the twentieth century. The planned publication date for the encyclopedia is 2011.
“Though Christianity experienced some of its most important challenges in 20th century Russia, there is no single book that synthesizes the political, social, ideological, and theological issues of this important subject,” said Dr. Robson. “This volume will weave together strands of new scholarship from Russia and the West to produce a nuanced, yet wide-ranging synthesis of the Christian experience in Russia during this tumultuous period.”
A faculty member since 1997, Dr. Robson most recently wrote Solovki: The Story of Russia Told Through its Most Remarkable Islands (Yale University Press, 2004). His work has received positive reviews from the New Yorker, The Times (London), the Times Literary Supplement, and numerous other publications.