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Academic Periodical

The Quarterly Journal of St. Philaret’s Institute

ISSN: 2658-7599 (print)
2713-3141 (online)

Translations of the Anaphora Prayers of St John Chrysostom in the First Half of the 20th Century: A Theological Interpretation of the Liturgical Text

Zoya Dashevskaya, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Theology, senior lecturer SFI (Moscow)
pp. 26–57
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2020.36.4.001
This study proposes a theological analysis of early 20th century various liturgical translations of one the most highly used liturgical texts – the Anaphora of St John Chrysostom. The goal of this study is to reveal the theological particularities of the various translations; the author then proposes her own interpretation of specific elements within the text of the Eucharistic prayer. The study also attempts to illustrate various translators’ personal approaches to the text of the Anaphora when rendering it into Russian language. The author focuses on the translations of Fr Sergei Petrovsky, Fr Pyotr Polyakov, Fr Vasily Adamenko (later Hieromonk Theophan), and Bishop Makary (Opotsky), occasionally making reference also to other translations. 
The authors and compilers of the published translations were closely acquainted with the possibilities that translation into Russian language presented for their task of translating the text of the Anaphora, given that they were brought up and received their spiritual education in a prerevolutionary linguistic environment. The beginning of the 20th century saw the development 
of a tradition of research into the text of the Eucharistic prayers, as can be seen from looking at the curricula of courses in Liturgics being taught at Russia’s spiritual academies at that time, as well as reviewing Masters and Doctoral theses, written by graduates of these same academies. A theological basis for the given translations can therefore be assumed. Translations of liturgical texts, for instance A Collection of Ancient Liturgies (Sobranije drevnikh liturgij), were produced within the framework of dedicated academic research, thanks to which interested readers had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with ancient liturgical practice. 
Thanks to A Collection of Ancient Liturgies and other liturgical studies undertaken at the spiritual schools, there arises a translation initiative which proposed the integration of academic research and pastoral practice. The authors of these translations hoped not only to educate by making the practice of church liturgy more accessible to the participants with their translations, but aspired even to enable lay people to participate more actively and thoughtfully in worship. At the 
same time, the fact that some of the translations appear in a form intended for use by clergy when serving liturgy, shows that it was possible for clergy to make use of such texts. The conclusions of this study show that the authors of the translations not only translated the original Greek of the Anaphora into Russian, but made use of theological interpretation when doing so, thereby proposing clarification and interpretation within the framework of the translations themselves.
Keywords: Russian Orthodox Church, liturgical translations, Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, anaphora, Fr Sergij Petrovsky, Fr Pyotr Polyakov, Hieromonk Theophan (Adamenko), Bishop Makary (Opotsky).

Last Issue2024. Volume 16. Issue 1 (49)

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