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The Way of Martha and the Way of Mary

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Stephen Graham
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This book was written in Russia and in Egypt during 1914 and 1915. In 1913 I was in America and wrote my study of American ideals in contrast to Russian ideals. I returned to Russia in January 1914 eager to look at the East afresh and compare it with the West. In setting out for Russia the fundamental idea in my mind was that of Russia as a religious country where one found refuge from materialism and worldly cares, and I hoped to find stories and pictures of life with which to clothe the beautiful idea of the sanctuary. The book I was going to write I always called in my mind the sanctuary book, and my notion was to make a book that should also be a sanctuary itself a book in which the reader could find sacred refuge. Much has intervened. My quest resolved itself first of all into a seeking for what I call the Russian idea, then into a study of Russian Christianity. My new volume is necessarily one of seeking and finding, a making of discoveries. One chapter led me on to another, and the scope of my study increased till it took in the whole question of what Eastern Christianity is and how it is in contrast to Western Christianity. Athwart this peaceful work came the typhoon of the Great War, and my hand was claimed by the great new friendship between England and Russia, the friendship of brothers in arms. It was fitting to seize the opportunity to make that friendship wider and deeper by describing and interpreting the Russian people to larger audiences. But I carried the purpose of this book with me, and much of what is written here was first put into words on public platforms in the winter of 1914 — 15. Finally, as a culmination to this personal work, on the roth April 1915 I gave a lecture at the Royal Institution on The Russian Idea, and therein collected together and summarised all that I had said during the winter. That evening I read almost all that is vital in Part I. Of this book.

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