Info

(edinoverie), permitting Old Believers to retain their own ritual provided they acknowledged the authority of the church, might draw them back into the fold. But by i8i8 Filaret (Drozdov) was among those bishops who feared that the Old Believers had instead profited from a long period of relative quiescence to build in number and strength to the point where they threatened to 'seduce' Orthodox into the schism.i5

Filaret was the leading representative of a new current of thought that sought to strengthen the church by recovering its apostolic roots and recasting its teachings in a distinctively Russian mode/6 It had taken almost sixty years to bring about a critical approach to western learning. First to feel the pinch in the i76os were the Ukrainian bishops, whose 'shameful' influence was blamed by Sumarokov for the 'incorrect and provincial dialect' allegedly adopted by the clergy as a whole.i7 Yet the Russian Metropolitan Platon still required Orthodox schools to teach in Latin as a way of preserving the church's scholarly respectability in the west: the vernacular was introduced only gradually after i8o8. Not until i820 was it typical for Evgenii (Bolkhovitinov) to condemn Feofilakt (Gorskii)'s theology, published in Latin in Leipzig in i784, for 'disgracing not only himself but the whole Russian Church in front of foreigners' because 'whole pages of it were copied from Lutheran theologians!!!'L8 Antipathy towards foreign learning was matched by growing hostility towards the fashionable mysticism that blurred denominational distinctions under the umbrella of universal Christianity in the reign of Alexander I (i8oi-25): the symbol of Prince A. N. Golitsyn's cosmopolitan approach to religion, the Russian Bible Society founded in i8i3, was abolished nine years later. By then, foreign influences had come under unprecedented Orthodox pressure. Banished from St Petersburg and Moscow in i8i5, the Jesuits were forbidden the empire in i82o; freemasonry was suppressed along with other secret societies in i822; later in the decade, British missions in Siberia attracted hostile surveillance

15 Though precise numbers are impossible to calculate, the sixfold increase recorded by the synod between i764 and i825 was probably an underestimate: Freeze, 'The rechris-tianization of Russia', 248, n. i36. See also, P. Pera, 'Despotismo illuminato e dissenso religioso: I vecchi credenti nell'eta di Caterina II', Rivista Storica Italiana 97 (i985), 50i-6i7; G. L. Freeze, 'The rechristianization of Russia: the church and popular religion, i750-i850', Studia Slavica Finlandensia 7 (i99o), i07-8.

16 R. L. Nichols, 'Orthodoxy and Russia's Enlightenment', in Russian Orthodoxy under the old regime, ed. R. L. Nichols and T. G. Stavrou (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, i978), 83-4.

17 A. P Sumarokov, 'O pravopisanie', in Polnoe sobranie vsekh sochinenii, second edition (Moscow: Universitetskaia tipografiia, i787), x, 24.

18 I. K. Grot (ed.), 'Perepiska Evgeniia s grafom D. I. Khvostovym', in Sbornik statei chitan-nykh v otdelenii russkago iazyka i slovesnosti Imperatorskoi Akademii Nauk (St Petersburg: Tipografiia imperatorskoi akademii nauk, i868), v: i, i87, 20 May i820.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
The Health Zen

The Health Zen

There's no magic bullet that will make you slim down without trying. No particular diet that lets you eat a big amount of food and drop pounds quickly. No ab-machine or exercise bike that you see at three fifteen in the morning on an infomercial is truly going to make that much difference to you.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment