Activity of the Siberian Orthodox Clergy in Solving Social Issues during the Post-reform Period
The article considers social, particularly medical, activity of Russian Orthodox Church in Siberia in the late 19th century. In post-reform time the government and church looked for ways to increase parish clergy’s gravitas. To make clergy take part in solving social problems (especially in the development of education and health care in rural areas) was one of the ways. Rural priests often had no proper knowledge to treat their churchgoers. But part of them (missionaries in particular) provided their churchgoers with medical care. The synod demanded to redouble attention to the development of monastic charities, hospitals and schools. The government considered clergy as back-up in the development of national health care either. Priests gave recommendations concerning hygiene and medicine (e.g. drug treatment and treatment performing advice). Monasteries had more facilities to provide people with medical assistance. Medical and educational activity of parish clergy was in-demand and really helpful. During the first decades of the post-reform period, however, the Siberian Orthodox clergy did not fully realize this potential in solving social issues due to lack of necessary conditions.