The years Pereleshin spent in the service o f the Church have yielded sketches that are on the whole more substantial than those dealing with literary matters. The most interesting is an essay on Bishop John (Maksimovich) in which Pereleshin struggles with his highly ambivalent feelings about the man who was later canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. Acknowledging the b i s h o p ' s extraordinary asceti- cism and noting the occasions when he exhibited amazing flashes o f spiritual insight and grace, Pereleshin has nevertheless chosen to focus on aspects o f his personality that irritated or repelled him. This includes, in particular, what he considers Bishop J o h n ' s narrowmindedness, lack o f tact, and fanatical adherence to Church ritual. Other noteworthy pieces include a lively account o f a visit to a remote village of Cossack expatriates and the tragic story o f the death o f Archimandrite Nafanail o f the Beijing Mission, the facts surrounding which Pereleshin had helped to suppress. The other sketches are o f less significance, but one must note Pereleshin's persistent ten- dency to emphasize the human failings o f the individuals
Canadian-American Slavic Studies – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2001
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