The first Russian Orthodox title in the distinguished Classics of Western Spirituality series, and the first Orthodox title in some time, The Pilgrim's Tale is one of the most widely read and important examples of Russian spiritual literature. The history of the text of the Pilgrim's Tales is typical Russian spiritual literature of the 18th and 19th centuries, which originates in the literature of medieval Rus' and continues its traditions. In this essentially medieval literary tradition, texts were not only transcribed or, at a later date, reissuedl they were also redacted, supplemented, abbrebiated, and used in the composition of new works. One of the typical figures of this literature was that of the pilgrim or wayfarer, journeying toward Jerusalem. The description of a pilgrimage was one of the typical genres, and pilgrimage itself was one of the characteristic phenomena of the Russian Orthodox tradition. Generally speaking, the mystic whose life is dedicated to searching for God is compared with the wayfarer or pilgrim, and the spiritual life is compared with a journey or pilgrimage.
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