Skip to main content

BA (Hons) MPhil (Oxon)

DPhil candidate in Russian

Alfred Douglas Stone scholar, Balliol College


Doctoral Research

My thesis explores the movement for the renewal of the Russian Orthodox Church (also known as the renovationist movement), prompted by the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. I discuss complex proposals for democratisation of the Church and contested views on linguistic, liturgical, canonical and ecclesiastical reforms. I examine the increased politicisation of Orthodoxy, the greater emphasis of the reform movement on social engagement and economic issues. I focus on the works of its core leaders and explore how they implemented ideas of Christian socialism in their reform programme. My study closely examines the diverse societal response to the movement and the fierce ‘counter-reformation’ campaign launched by the mainstream Orthodox Church to win back the believers.

Research Interests

Russian Orthodox Church in the 20th century, early Soviet society and culture, Soviet literature, political theology.

Selected Publications

Review of "Believing in Russia - Religious Policy after Communism" by Geraldine Fagan, in Oxbridge Philokalic Review, 2014, Vol. 3, p. 82-87.

The Witness of Truth: Collected Studies in Memory of the Very Revd John Meyendorff, ed. by A. Levitskiy. Ekaterinburg, 2004. 476 p. [In Russian].



Oxford University's Vice-Chancellor's Award for Public Engagement with Research (2019).


Public Engagement

Programme researcher and contributor, 'A New Church for the Red State', radio documentary, BBC World Service (first broadcast 21 October 2017).


Podcast Producer, '1517'a podcast series of the University Church exploring the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation (available on Apple Podcasts).



'Questions of Genre in Russian Prose', BA papers VIII and XI, University of Oxford, Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages. 

'Politics in Russia and the Former Soviet Union', PPE Year 2 course, University of Oxford.

'History of the Soviet Union 1924–1941', Further Subject 30, University of Oxford, Faculty of History.