Going by the Moon and the Stars: Stories of Two Russian Mennonite Women


151 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-88920-244-3
DDC 305.48'6897'0922




Alexandra Sosnowski is an assistant professor in the Department of
German and Slavic Studies at the University of Manitoba.


This is an eloquently written book about two Russian Mennonite women who
emigrated to Canada during World War II. The author uses a feminist
ethnographic approach to examine how the women, who grew up without
formal religious education and practice, have constructed their
religious lives. In theoretical terms, Klassen is concerned with how the
construction of identity occurs in relation to gender, political,
religious, family, class, and ethnic plots. As she defines it, religion
is “the process of living and remembering in terms of traditional
myths and family and personal history, connecting with and
differentiating from others—both humans and spirits—and
institutions, and acting out, through structured ritual or informal
daily life, fundamental values.”

An informative introduction explains the author’s methodology and the
genesis of this study; it also offers a brief history of Russian
Mennonites. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the
Mennonite culture and religion, and should appeal to both specialists
and general readers.


Klassen, Pamela E., “Going by the Moon and the Stars: Stories of Two Russian Mennonite Women,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 22, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/1985.