Bishop Gilbert Burnet. The Spiritual Regulation (Dukhovnyi reglament), commissioned from Feofan late in 1718 and published on 25 January 1721, argued that a collegial regime suited Russian circumstances better than the patriarchate, since a patriarch risked being mistaken for 'a kind of second sovereign, equal to or even greater than the autocrat himself'. At its first meeting on 14 February, Peter's new spiritual college was renamed the Most Holy Governing Synod (Sviateishii Pravitel'svuiushchii sinod), a title designed to echo the former patriarch's spiritual aura and the juridical authority of the senate. Unconvinced, the new body's 'archbishop president', Stefan (Iavorskii), was among the first to question its canonical legitimacy by seeking in vain to retain liturgical references to the eastern patriarchs to whom the Russian Church had nominally owed allegiance since Adrian's death.6
Divided in its leadership, institutionally embryonic, and no better equipped to implement its policies at local level than the secular power, the synod took time to establish its authority. The influence of the lay over-procurator, an office created in 1722, fluctuated according to the ability of the incumbent. Not until the 1740s were punitive measures against 'superstition'7 reshaped into a positive campaign of popular religious instruction, and it was only then that the synod began to tighten its grip on diocesan administration on the basis of increasingly standardised bureaucratic procedures.8 Mid-century achievements offered a new generation of bishops a platform for development in the reign of Catherine II (1762-96). As in the secular sphere, provincial progress remained haphazard, and the energy required to improve clerical performance was sometimes so fierce that charges of episcopal despotism seem hard to deny.9 Yet prelates such as Platon (Levshin) and Gavriil (Petrov), who initially impressed the empress as preachers, partly shared her commitment to enlightened reform and were willing to express it in similarly rational terms.10 Platon's brief period in active charge of the diocese ofMoscowinthe late-i770s
6 V Zhivov, Iz tserkovnoi istorii vremen Petra Velikago (Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozre-nie, 2004), comments on an extensive historiography including J. Cracraft, The church reform of Peter the Great (London: Macmillan, 1971).
7 A. I. Lavrov, Koldovstvo i religiia v Rossii 1700-1740 gg. (Moscow: Drevlekhranilishche, 2000), esp. 347-75; E. B. Smilianskaia, Volshebniki, bogokhul'niki, eretiki: narodnaia reli-gioznost'i 'dukhovnaia prestupleniia' v Rossii XVIII veka (Moscow: Indrik, 2003).
8 G. L. Freeze, 'Institutionalizing piety: the church and popular religion, 1750-1850', in ImperialRussia: new histories for the empire, ed. J. Burbank and D. L. Ransel (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998), 211-20.
9 See, for example, Samuil (Mislavskii)'s intemperate letters to the bursar of Rostov's episcopal palace, 1777-79, in A. I. Videneeva, Rostovskiiarkhiereiskiidomisistemaeparkhial'nogo upravleniiav Rossii XVIII veka (Moscow: Nauka, 2004), 270-341.
10 V M. Zhivov, Iazyk i kul'turav Rossii XVIII veka (Moscow: Iazyki russkoi kul'tury, 1996),
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