Patrick Michelson

Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies

Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of History

Sycamore Hall 333

Personal Website


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 2007

Research Interests

Professional Biography

I am an intellectual historian of modern Russian Orthodoxy and, more broadly, modern European Christianity. My research mainly explores the intersection of Christian theology, Russian public discourse, Orthodox identity, and the contest over what it means to be Russian and Orthodox. My first monograph, “Beyond the Monastery Walls” (2017), examines the ways in which asceticism became a concept used by Orthodox churchmen, theologians, and lay religious thinker to chart Russia's development toward (or deviation from) the kingdom of God, distinguish Russia from the "West," and construct national-confessional identities in the century leading up to the First World War. My co-edited volume, “Thinking Orthodox in Modern Russia” (2014), brought together scholars from a variety of disciplines to consider the ways in which Orthodox Christianity shaped modern Russian history and culture.

As a faculty member at Indiana University's Department of Religious Studies, I regularly teach courses related to the history of Russian Orthodoxy, modern European Christian thought, and the history of religious studies. I am also an affiliate member of IU's Department of History and the Russian and East European Institute.


Courses Recently Taught

Publication Highlights


Beyond the Monastery Walls: The Ascetic Revolution in Russian Orthodox Thought, 1814–1914 (University of Wisconsin Press, 2017).

  • See journal review in Ab Imperio.
  • Co-editor with Judith Deutsch Kornblatt, Thinking Orthodox in Modern Russia: Culture, History, Context (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2014).

    Selected articles

    “Freedom of Conscience in the Clerical Imagination of Russian Orthodox Thought, 1801–1865,” Religious Freedom in Modern Russia, (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018), 81-103.

    “Freedom of Conscience and the Limits of the Liberal Solovyov,” Solov’evskie isseldovaniia [Solovyov Studies] 41, no. 1 (2014), 25-46.

    Peer-review article: “Slavophile Religious Thought and the Dilemma of Russian Modernity, 1830–1860,” Modern Intellectual History 7:2 (2010), 239-67.

    Review article: Laura Engelstein, "Slavophile Empire: Imperial Russia’s Illiberal Path" Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2009), for The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review 38 (2011), 65-74.

    Translation: Sergei Horujy, “The Origins of Russian Philosophical Humanism: The Dispute between Slavophiles and Westernizers,” in G. M. Hamburg and Randall A. Poole, eds., The History of Russian Philosophy: Faith, Reason, and the Defense of Human Dignity, 1830–1930 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 27-51.



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