Abstract

The Russian Old Believers is an outstanding phenomenon of Russian traditional culture, and in this respect is the subject of numerous studies. However, few studies explored the emigrant Old Believers — a unique example of traditional Russian culture adaptation to the conditions of a completely alien cultural space. Today the Old Believers in Alaska provide an example of adaptation of traditional spirituality, which is fundamental for the Old Believers, to the conditions of the world’s center of globalization, westernization, scientific and technological progress and post-industrialism. Old Believers’ experience of non-aggressive resistance to the world order which overwrites any ethnic, cultural and religious distinctions is extremely important in grasping contemporary Russian civilization. This essay is based on expedition to the Alaska’s Old Believers that explored their worldview, mentality and way of life.

Keywords: Old Believers, Orthodoxy, emigration, diaspora, Russia, USA, Alaska, traditionalism, secularization, adaptation, assimilation