Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the religious landscape in Russia has undergone a marked transformation: re-sacralization has seen a revival of historic shrines and procession routes, the creation of new sacred places and practices, and the institutional church management of pilgrimage. This has sparked debate about the characteristics of contemporary Russian belief and religiosity, as well as the relation between the sacred and secular.
Orthodox Pilgrimage in Contemporary Russia is a systematic attempt to consider the mixture of piety, politics, and history at work in the revival of post-Soviet Orthodox Christian pilgrimage. Stella Rock contributes to our understanding of this phenomenon by analyzing concepts of authenticity, invented tradition, and sacredness; the relationships between travel and place, heritage, and identity; and the role of institutions in the development of pilgrimage practices. Most importantly, she attempts to understand why and how there has been such a notable revival, taking a bottom-up approach which focuses on pilgrims' perceptions and articulated motivations, while setting these in broader ecclesiastical, political, and historical contexts.