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Academic Periodical

The Quarterly Journal of St. Philaret’s Institute

Issue 11 (summer 2014)

The present issue of “The Light of Christ Enlightens All” Academic periodical of St Philaret’s Christian Orthodox Institute comprises articles was elaborated by SFI’s Department of Missiology, Catechetics and Homiletics. Traditionally, it brings together under one cover recent works of both lecturers and students. The current issues comprises articles on the theory and practice of catechesis as well as on the history and practice of mission.



Academic periodical of St Philaret’s Christian Orthodox Institute. Iss. 11. 2014. 136 p.

Table of Contents


Rev. Georgy Kochetkov, Magister (PhD) of Theology
Personal and Interpersonal Christian Anthropology. General Introduction
pp. 11–24
The article outlines some ideas that may be useful for a catechist assisting modern adults and sufficiently prepared catechumens with exploring relevant anthropological issues at the mystagogical stage of catechesis. The author attempts to summarise key anthropological views of the Holy Fathers, modern theologians and thinkers. This is particularly valuable considering that the Christian tradition does not have an anthropological doctrine or even a unified anthropological system. The approach presented in the article is different from all others in that it embraces both theoretical research and practical skills resulting from more than 30 years of catechetical experience.
Keywords: man, anthropology, christology, cataphatic theology, apophatic theology, individuality, face, personality, sobornost.
Vladimir Yakuntsev
Problem of Superstitious Beliefs Among Parishioners and Ways of Dispelling Them in the Process of Catechesis. Reflections of a Catechist Based on Practical Experience
pp. 25–36
The author analyses his long-term personal experience of providing catechetical instruction to the baptised and defines its main and most complex problem, i. e. superstitious beliefs among modern christened people. The article confirms that catechesis of previously baptised people requires the catechist to have a special focus not merely on firmly establishing the Orthodox faith but on standing against specific superstitions. The article examines the nature of superstitions and the distinction between superstitions and heresies. The focus is on the most common superstitious belief that sacraments are efficacious ex opere operato. This superstition encourages a particular kind of pietism characterised by a false hope of salvation. The holders of this superstitious belief have been nicknamed ‘zahozhane’ (‘drop-in Christians’). The author briefly reviews ways of overcoming the power of superstitions through revival of comprehensive patristic catechetical instruction for people prior to their baptism.
Keywords: catechesis, tradition, superstition, heresy, drop-in Christians.
Alexandra Budanova
The Consistency Principle As Realised in the Early Church Catechism
pp. 37–62
The author attempts to argue the integrated nature of the catechetical tradition by viewing it in light of the consistency principle. The article provides definitions of the principle and arguments in support of its significance and relevance based on writings by the Church Fathers such as St Irenaeus of Lyons, St Hyppolytus of Rome, St Cyril of Jerusalem, St John Chrysostom, St Ambrose of Milan and St Augustine, as well as by the Doctors of the Church such as Tertullian, Origen and Clement of Alexandria. Further, the article reviews application of the principal in theory and practice of catechesis.
Keywords: consistency principle, catechesis, catechisms, catechetical instruction, Church Fathers, Doctors of the Church.
Andrey Melnikov
Premarital Catechesis in the Context of Modern Church Pastoral Mission
pp. 63–72
The article focuses on the high priority aspect of the church pastoral mission, i. e. preparation of newly-weds for holy Matrimony. It examines prerequisites and reasons behind the high demand for this type of involvement of the Russian Orthodox Church with the society. The article analyses church guidelines for working with families in parishes. It also provides examples of premarital catechesis as practiced by parishes in some Russian Orthodox Church dioceses.
Keywords: family, Matrimony, preparation for marriage.


Dmitry Sidorov
Education of Ethnic Minorities as a Missionary Activity Illustrated by Writings and Practical Experience of Nikolay Ivanovich Ilminsky
pp. 75–89
The article reviews and analyses Nikolay Ivanovich Ilminsky’s educational missionary activities involving the indigenous population of Kazan. The mission was unique in that it was realised through education. Ilminsky applied new educational approaches and methods when working with local ethnic minorities; most importantly, instruction was offered in their native language and training was provided for those of them who wished to become teachers. Ilminsky also developed the framework for the Kryashen language based on the Cyrillic script instead of the traditional Arabic. Towards the end of the XIX century, Ilminsky pioneered and helped establish a whole network of ethnic minority schools as well as prominent higher education institutions training teachers for ethnic minority schools and priests for non-Russian parishes.
Keywords: mission, education, Kryashens, non-Russians, Kazan Kryashen Tatar school, of St Gury Brotherhood. 
Marina Anisimova
Distinctive Aspects of Missionary Message in Writings and Life of Archimandrite Spyridon (Kislyakov) during His Prison Ministry (1901–1905)
pp. 90–100
The study focuses on Archimandrite Spyridon (Kislyakov), the widely known early XX century Russian missionary. The paper reviews the forms and methods of Archimandrite Spyridon’s evangelical activities during his prison ministry (1901–1905). This period is of particular interest because Archimandrite Spyridon not only delivered sermons at prisons of the Nerchinsk forced labour camp but also wrote them down. The objective of the study is to establish distinctive features of the prison ministry in the context of the early XX century before the revolution,
to review the main missionary goals and objectives of the prison ministry and to analyse the homiletic legacy resulting from Archimandrite Spyridon’s prison ministry at the Nerchinsk forced labour camp.
Keywords: mission, prison, prison system, Spyridon (Kislyakov), convict, sermon, missionary.
Igor Vlasenko
Antimission in the Russian Orthodox Church in the late XIX – early XX century (1887–1918) 
pp. 101–109
The dynamic evolution of schism and sectarinism in the XVII century prompted the Russian Orthodox Church to embark upon antimission. This was due to a number of reasons including indiginous religiousity coupled with ignorance and serious issues in clergy’s life and ministry. The church and the government fought schism mainly by administrative and police action. This type of antimission was inefficient and generally encouraged a plethora of new schismatic groups. The outcome was that, by 1905, circa 20 million people were members of religious
organisations and Old Beliver unions.
Keywords: antimission, schism, sects, Old Believers, Strigolniki, Baptists, repressions.
Olga Podkolzina
Distinctive Aspects of W. F. Marcinkowsky’s Missionary Message Delivered to Children and Youth in Early XX Century
pp. 110–123
The article analyses the missionary message delivered to children and youth by the distinguished and idiosyncratic early XX century preacher Wladimir Filimonovich Marcinkowsky (1884–1972). The paper briefly outlines the historical and church context of Marcinkowsky’s sermons and establishes the motivation for addressing his message to young people. The author attempts to identify the main subjects of his missionary message and to analyse the tools Marcinkowsky used in order to achieve his main objective, i.e. directing his young listeners towards Christ.
Keywords: mission, homily, children, youth, students’ Christian groups.
Maria Lavrenova
The Impact of the Russian Orthodox Church Local Council Decisions in 1917–1918 on Missionary Activities Across Parishes in the Tver Deanery of the Tver Diocese in 1991–2011
pp. 124–134 
The article analyses missionary activities of the Tver Deanery based on diocesan annual reports. The activities are evaluated according to the criteria established by the Local Council in 1917–1918. It becomes evident that the Tver Deanery’s missionary activities in their current state are inconsistent with these criteria. The assessment is based on the years 1991–2011. Since then the overall situation has changed somewhat.
Keywords: mission, parish, 1917–1918 Local Council, antisectarian activity, Tver Diocese.
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