Special issue based on the Proceedings of the Conference “Orthodox Brotherhoods in Pre-Revolutionary Russia: Priorities in their Activities”
31 january – 1 february 2017
SFI ACADEMIC PERIODICAL “THE LIGHT OF CHRIST ENLIGHTENS ALL”. ISSUE 21
The Light of Christ Enlightens All : Academic periodical of St. Philaret's Christian Orthodox Institute. Issue 21. Moscow : St. Philaret's Christian Orthodox Institute, 2017. 200 p.
Problems of Exploring the Phenomenon of “Brotherhood” in Contemporary Historical Studies
The author focuses on to what extent the actual historical studies cover the activities of Orthodox brotherhoods that arose in the Russian Empire since the second half of the XIX century. The article highlights the controversial and understudied issues in the given field of historical studies. The promising areas for further re- search are also outlined.
Keywords: historiography, history of brotherhoods, Orthodox brotherhoods, church history, West-Russian brotherhood, brotherhoods in the Russian Empire.
Discussion on Brotherhoods in the Russian Press in 1860 s
The article considers the course of the discussions on the possibility of reviving Orthodox brotherhoods in Russia, launched on the pages of ecclesiastical and secular newspapers and magazines in 1860 s. The author analyses the articles in the periodicals “Dukh Khristianina” (“The Spirit of the Christian”), “Kiyevskiye Eparkhialniye Vedomosti” (“Kiev Diocesan Journal”), “Den`” (“The Day”) as well as the publications by M.O.Koyalovich, N.S.Leskov, Archpriest Theophanes Lebedintsev, Priest Alexander Gumilevsky. The author highlights the major points of discussion in the first post-reform years, such as the history of brotherhoods in the South-Western Russia, the prospects of reviving brotherhoods within the Synodal system, brotherhoods as church unions and public organisations.
Keywords: Orthodox brotherhoods, the post-reform period, church press, secular press, Leskov, Koyalovich, Lebedintsev.
Nikolay Neplyuyev’s Views in the Context of Neo-Slavophilism in the Second Half of the XIX — the Early XX Century
The article concerns Nikolay Neplyuyev’s (1851–1908) project of the Labour Brotherhood in the context of the Neo-Slavophiles’ history in the second half of the XIX — the early XX century. Neplyuyev, a Christian socialist, aimed at solving the pressing socioeconomic, religious and ethical issues of the time. This implied a radical reorganisation of the social, economic and spiritual structure of the society. Neplyuyev called the path towards his social ideal a “peaceful progress” or a “peaceful upheaval”. These notions could be regarded as a counterpart of the Tolstoyan idea of nonviolent revolution emerged in the early XX century.
Keywords: Neo-Slavophilism, communitarian movement, peaceful revolution, Nikolay Neplyuyev (1851–1908), The Holy Cross Labour Brotherhood, Christian socialism.
Major Directions in the Orthodox Brotherhoods' Activities
“The Secret Friends of God”: Some Notes on the International and Ecumenical Aspects of the Activity of Brotherhoods in Pre-Revolutionary Russia
The history of the Russian Student Christian movement (RSСM), a large non- governmental Christian organization in the emigration after the revolution, is well-known. There was still an interesting pre-revolutionary period when, for example, the movement contacted with S.N. Bulgakov. RSСM leaders strived to involve into cooperation Orthodox students, professors and priests. The heads of the movement paid special attention to those professors who had the most authority with students. Those who were ready to cooperate with RSCM, were called by its leader Baron Paul Nikolay as “secret friends of God”.
Keywords: Russian Student Christian Movement, Christianity, Russian religious revival, ecumenism, brotherhoods, the Secret Friends of God, Paul Nikolay, John Mott.
Pre-Revolutionary Sobriety Societies and Brotherhoods in Russia. Three Paradoxes
The article describes the arising of sobriety societies in Russia aimed at helping their members overcome alcohol addiction. The author analyses the causes of this phenomenon and the specific features that make these societies different from the associations which called themselves brotherhoods. At that time there were both minor brotherhoods with members providing personal support for each other and thousands of associations engaged in various social activities. The author draws attention to the paradoxes associated with the arising of sobriety societies, with the change of their status as well as with the consequences of their functioning as church-state institutions in the context of the state anti-alcohol policy.
Keywords: sobriety societies, sobriety brotherhoods, buy-out system, church parish.
Minor Orthodox Brotherhoods in Arkhangelsk Governorate in the Late 1890 s — Mid 1910 s as an Example of Social Ministry of the Church
The article focuses on the one of the understudied episodes in the history of the Arkhangelsk and Kholmogory diocese, namely on the activities of the Orthodox parish brotherhoods, which existed at the turn of the XX century. Through parish brotherhoods, some Orthodox clergymen and the most devoted lay people met the challenges of the modernization age. Facing the stratification of society, rapid urbanization of the predominantly agricultural Russian North, propaganda led by radical political parties, social diseases such as alcoholism and moral decadency, the best members of the church were willing to help their neighbours both spiritually, through prayer and exhortations, and financially. Thus, parish and sobriety brotherhoods were born in the Russian North: in Arkhangelsk and provincial cities (Kholmogory) as well as in large villages such as Ust-Tsilma, Izhma, Kekhta etc.
Keywords: parish brotherhoods, Orthodoxy in the Russian North.
Orthodox Brotherhoods in Various Regions of the Russian Empire
Ss. Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood in Ostroh, Founded by A. D. Bludova, as an Example of an Orthodox Brotherhood in Russia in the Second Half of the XIX Century
The article focuses on the activities of the Ss. Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood, founded by Countess A.D. Bludova in 1865 in Ostroh. It existed until its extermination in 1933 by the Soviet authorities. On the one hand, this brotherhood was quite typical among other Orthodox brotherhoods of the 1860s, widely engaged into education, charity and arranging the church life. On the other hand, it was an example of the fellowship of people united by the Orthodox faith and selflessly devoted to serving the Russian Orthodox Church.
Keywords: Orthodox church brotherhood, Ss. Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood in Ostroh, Countess A. D. Bludova, Count Bludov’s school for girls.
The Orthodox Brotherhoods’ Activities in the Vologda Diocese in the Late XIX — Early XX Century
The article analyses the Orthodox brotherhoods’ activities in the Vologda diocese in the late XIX — early XX century. The author suggests their classification through identifying diocesan, parish brotherhoods and those under theological schools. The brotherhoods’ composition, management body and financial resources are described as well as the four main areas of their activities: religious and educational work, mission, charity, and church life arrangement. When assessing the brotherhoods’activities, the author points out their strong dependence on the state authorities and the lack of freedom. However, it has to be admitted that the brotherhoods contributed to the study of the Old Belief, to the development of the Orthodox culture, education and charity in the diocese.
Keywords: Orthodox brotherhoods, Vologda diocese, parish brotherhoods, diocesan brotherhoods, religious organisations, missionary work, church charity.
The Holy Protection Orthodox Brotherhood in Erzhepol, Polotsk and Vitebsk Diocese, in the Early XX Century
The article describes the parish brotherhood in Erzhepol, Polotsk and Vitebsk Diocese. Priest Kirill Zaits, a local parish rector and founder of the brotherhood, encountered the problem that in the 1860 s most of his parishioners had previously converted from Catholicism to Orthodoxy without proper catechesis. This caused both the local peasants’ formalistic attitude towards the church life and their large-scale reconversion from Orthodoxy to Catholicism. To cope with the crisis, in 1900 the priest opened a parish school for girls. Later on, in 1903, with the bishop’s blessing he founded a parish brotherhood, aimed primarily at supporting the parish school and its students. From the outset, the Erzhepol parish brotherhood engaged into educational, enlightening and charitable work, not restricting itself by the denominational criterion but assisting people of all religions in the neighbourhood. Since priest Kirill Zaits was appointed as diocesan missionary in 1911 and moved to Vitebsk, the brotherhood gradually faded away.
Keywords: Erzhepol Orthodox Brotherhood, Polotsk and Vitebsk Diocese, parish school for girls, priest Kirill Zaits, Catholicism propaganda.
Major Objectives and Priorities for the Study of Orthodox Brotherhoods
The roundtable participants at the conference “Orthodox Brotherhoods in Pre- Revolutionary Russia: Priorities in their Activities” discussed the issues of the typology, boundaries, ecclesiological grounds, and criteria for defining Orthodox brotherhoods. The debate focused on the historical, geographical, social and cultural conditions for the arising of brotherhoods. In particular, the participants addressed the question of why in some regions the brotherhoods were more active than in others. Another discussion point was the role the brotherhoods played in forming the Russian society. The relevant areas of research and the introduction of some new sources on the history of brotherhoods into academic discourse were also discussed.
Keywords: Orthodox brotherhoods, typology of brotherhoods, sobornost, communautarism, community, ego-documents, “The Regulation on Orthodox Brotherhoods”, church-state project.