The BackShop Journal

A Web Magazine of Arts, Culture and Orthodox Christian Spirituality

  • Elizabeth Fiodorovna: Life as a "Road Full of Light"

    "... My dear children, thank God, you have received communion: as one soul, you all stood before the Saviour. I believe that the Saviour was on this Earth with you all, and during the Last Judgment this prayer will again be before God, like your mercy toward each other and toward me. Oh, how you are...
  • The Joy of All Who Sorrow in Mikhnovo, Lithuania

    Today, October 6, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the icon of the Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow. The wonderworking icon was glorified in the year 1688. Euphymia, the sister of Patriarch Joachim (1674-1690), lived in Moscow and suffered from an incurable illness for a long time. One morn...
  • St. Petka, the Wondrous Healer and Serbian Patron Saint

    Centuries are passing, and the story of the saint continues to inspire the hearts of the faithful, strengthening the faith, taking us back, ever again, to its very essence. All those who received her help tell the same story about a woman in a black cloak. The miraculous visions of St. Petka (St. Pa...
  • Gogol' and Optina

    Today, October 24 (according to the new calendar), the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the Synaxis of the Elders of Optina, one of the most renowned monasteries in Russia. On the occasion of this feast day, we present an excerpt from Orlando Figes' book Natasha's Dance (New York: Picador, 20...
  • I Was Born Dead

    October 9 marked the 90th anniversary since the birth of Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and Ladoga, John Snychev. This is a chapter from a book by Aleksei Solonitsyn, Russian Orthodox writer, describing a few episodes from Metropolitan John's childhood and youth. The entire book is based on personal...
Featured Article
Russian Avant-Garde, the "Black Square" and Primordial Forms
One of the most impressive and influential phenomena in the intellectual, spiritual and artistic upheaval in Russia around the time of the Revolution was the Russian avant-garde in visual arts. Two of its most prominent representatives were Kazimir Malevich (1878-1935) and Wassily Kandinsky (1866-19...
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