For anyone wanting to understand an extraordinary and important episode in the modern history of Christianity, Tom Dykstra s excellent account, which is both meticulous and highly readable, should be an indispensable starting point It brings alive a passionate argument over the holiness of the Name of God which shook the Tsarist and Balkan world on the eve of the first world war Better than any other chronicler of the tragedy that came to a head in the main monastic stronghold of the Christian East, he combines a clear view of the theological stakes with a keen sense of the politics, both secular and ecclesiastical, which determined the outcome Dykstra also manages to situate the Imperial Russian quarrel over sacred names in the broader sweep of the history of monotheism Bruce Clark, Writer on religion and public policy, The Economist, economist