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Academic Periodical

The Quarterly Journal of St. Philaret’s Institute

Missiology, Catechesis, Homiletics

Hegumen Serapion (Mitko), Ph. D. in Philosophy, First Deputy Chairman of the Synodal Mission Department of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow)
The conceptual apparatus of modern Orthodox Missiology
Issue №30, pp. 224–235
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2019.30.34635
The content of modern Orthodox Missiology is largely determined by its conceptual apparatus. Despite the fact that the development of Orthodox Missiology covers a relatively short period in the modern history of the Russian Orthodox Church, the process of forming missiological terminology is at a stage that allows it to become the subject of scientific research. At the moment, more than 50 concepts are regularly used in missiological discourse. This is evidence of the level of development achieved and speaks of the creative nature of the development of missiology as an independent section of Orthodox systematic theology. At the same time, even a preliminary acquaintance with the conceptual apparatus of modern Orthodox missiology reveals a number of problems discussed in this article.
Keywords: Missiology, New Testament mission concepts, history of mission terminology, system of mission terminology, terms of the mission actor, terms of the addressee of the mission, intentional terms of method and content, modern mission terminology.
Hegumen Serapion (Mitko), Ph. D. in Philosophy, First Deputy Chairman of the Synodal Mission Department of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow)

Orthodox Mission among Indigenous Small Peoples: History and Modernity

Issue №24, pp. 72–80
The mission of the Russian Orthodox Church among the indigenous small peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East was historically carried out in the context of solving the accompanying logistics, information, linguistic, apologetic, cultural and anthropological problems. The current situation is characterised by a significant transformation of these problems and the need to rethink the mission’s goals and objectives. The evangelisation of peoples living within the pastoral responsibility of the Moscow Patriarchate has always been an important task and a determining factor in the formation of its canonical territory. The present-day canonical area of the Russian Orthodox Church is constituted primarily by missionaries whose activities always preceded the creation of dioceses.
Keywords: Orthodoxy, missiology, mission, missionary work, history of concepts, missionary service among the indigenous minorities of the North, Siberia and the Far East.
Natalia Adamenko
The Change of the Attitude to Death as One of the Criteria of One’s Commitment to the Church
Issue №1, pp. 143–164
Anna Alieva
Image of Christianity in Perception of Contemporary Russians (in Connection to Aims of Christian Mission in Russia)
Issue №6, pp. 142–155
The article describes main features of the image of Christianity in perception of contemporary Russians in comparison to the authentic (early and patristic) Christianity. Main difficulties and problems concerning the mission connected to the existing stereotype of Christianity perception are indicated. The author expresses some suggestions on how to resist negative influence of this image on introduction to the genuine Christianity.
Keywords: image of Christianity, faith, God, Christ, mission, church, perception of Russians, Christianity, paganism, superstition, national identity.
Marina Anisimova
Distinctive Aspects of Missionary Message in Writings and Life of Archimandrite Spyridon (Kislyakov) during His Prison Ministry (1901–1905)
Issue №11, 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.
Ekaterina Bim
Internal Mission by St Nicholas the Wonderworker Brotherhood in Vyatka in the late XIX and early XX Century
Issue №15, pp. 9–36
The article reviews and analyses the missionary and educational work carried out by St Nicholas the Wonderworker Brotherhood in Vyatka, founded by Archpriest Stefan Kashmensky in 1882. The Brotherhood was engaged in educating the Old Believers population of the Vyatka diocese and supported a spiritual school in Vyatka for training missionaries from among peasants. Its graduates became teachers-missionaries in children’s primary schools in villages populated by Old Believers. As brotherhood teachers got closer to students, their parents and school environment, reconciliation between Orthodox and Old Believers took place gradually. In some cases, Old Believers even converted back to the Orthodox Church.
Keywords: mission, education, combating the schism, St Nicholas the Wonderworker Brotherhood in Vyatka, Vyatka missionary school, Old Believers, Kashmensky, brotherhood teachers.
Anastasia-Amalia Borisenko, († 2006)
Main Stages of Catechesis for Normal Catechumens: Major and Minor Aspects
Issue №1, pp. 126–142 
Alexandra Budanova
The Consistency Principle As Realised in the Early Church Catechism
Issue №11, 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.
Olga Cherenkova
The Polemic about the Attitude to Heretics in Russian Church in the First Third of the XVI Century
Issue №5, pp. 97–109 
In the history of the Russian Orthodox church the first third of the XVI century was marked by the sharp arguments between two theological-practical tenors. One of them was represented by Vassian Patrikeev and the elders (startsy) from over the Volga, the other by Iosif Volotskii and the Metropolitan of Moscow Daniil. Guiding by the recent analytical investigations the author reconstructs a part of the arguments, the polemic about the church attitude to heretics that brought the attention of the church to the responsibility of pastors (including bishops and the Metropolitan) for the heretics’ conversation, their torments and death, for the sufferings of the common Christians. As the result of Iosif followers’ victory and the forced closure of the polemic, the raised problem was not solved. At the same time the polemic displayed that the way of the solution was bringing the practice of church life in correspondence with its evangelic norms.
Keywords: polemic, heretic, death penalty, Abbot Iosif of the Volokolamsk Monastery (Iosif Volotsky), Vassian Patrikeev, Metropolitan Daniil, kormchaia = the book of Canons.
Zoya Dashevskaya
Overview of Activity of the Fraternity Sts Peter, Alexis, Iona and Philip, Metropolitans of Moscow (1909–1917)
Issue №5, pp. 131–150 
The article analyses activity of Moscow interparish Fraternity Sts Peter, Alexis, Iona and Philip, Metropolitans of Moscow. It was created at the end of 1909 and existed until 1917–1918. The Fraternity differed from many other parish fraternities by its aims, membership and forms of activity. It united people of traditional piety who craved “revival of the origins of catholicity (sobornost) on the basis of a living church relationship between a bishop, clergy and laymen”. The focus of attention for the Fraternity was vital problems of church life: recovery of sobornost, involvement of laymen into divine service and church charity. Members of the Fraternity were actively involved into preparations of the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church. The most enthusiastic summoned up church forces to fight against persecutions of the atheistic regime.
Keywords: Fraternity, F. D. Samarin, A. D. Samarin, sobornost, laymen, parish, divine service, Council of 1917–1918.
Zoya Dashevskaya
Paradigms of Pre-Catechesis in the Pre-Nicene Period and Their Relevance to the Modern Pre-Catechetical Practices of the Orthodox Church
Issue №1, pp. 74–87
Zoya Dashevskaya
Paradigm of Precatechesis of People with Anomalies and Peculiarities in Mental and Physical Health (Severely Ill, Mentally Handicapped, or Goners): Practice of the Early Church and Present-Day Experience
Issue №6, pp.  107–120
The article examines the paradigm of precatechesis and main characteristics of the precatechesis process in cases of severely ill or dying people and precatechumens with anomalies in mental health. Enchurching of such people requires church experience and pastoral delicacy of a catechist. Reference to the tradition of the early Church, particularly to liturgical canonic artifacts, testimonies of writers apologists and teachers of the Church, compared to present-day Christian Catholic (universal) practice may become utterly useful during precatechisis in special cases.
Keywords: catechesis, catechumenate, «special» catechumens, illness, mental and physical ailments, healing, precatechesis.
Maria Dikareva, Research and Methodology Specialist, SFI (Moscow)
Alexander Kopirovsky, Ph. D. in Education, Professor, SFI (Moscow)

Baptismal Sponsorship in Early Church and Ways of Using this Experience in Modern Catechetical Practice

Issue №24, pp. 81–100
The paper is focused on the meaning of the word “sponsor” according to early Christian historical sources. The author describes the baptismal sponsorship experience in the early church as well as the possible ways of applying it in modern catechetical practice by the example of catechesis in the Transfiguration Brotherhood.
Keywords: baptismal sponsor; godparent; witness; catechesis; catechumens; early church; Transfiguration Brotherhood.
Evgenia  Parfenova
Preaching of Repentance as an Important Part of Ecclesial Mission in Contemporary Protestant Churches in Russia
Issue №15, pp. 84–96
The article covers the problems related to modern missionary practices of Protestant churches in the Russian Federation (1990s – 2010s). Preaching of repentance is the core of their evangelisation (missionary) work. Curren repentance practices in Protestant churches are outlined on the basis of interviews ith pastors. The author also analyses the interrelation between these practices and evangelisation.
Keywords: mission, missionary work, evangelisation, repentance, preaching, preparation for baptism, Protestant churches.
Dmitry Gasak
Pre-Catechesis in the Ancient Church and in the Theory and Practice of the Transfiguration Fellowship of Minor Orthodox Brotherhoods
Issue №1, pp. 88–95
Karina Gizdatova, B.A. in Theology, St Philaret’s Institute (Moscow)

“Missionary presence” of Charles de Foucault

Issue №23, pp. 39–57
The article describes the missionary work of Charles de Foucault, the French Catholic monk and priest who lived in the second half of XIX – early XX century. In Charles de Foucault’s practice one can see not only traditional forms of mission of the time but also a special form of bearing witness, which later became known as “missionary presence”, the presence of Christ among non-believers. Charles de Foucault could let Christ be present give himself as well as through the Holy Gifts of the Eucharist and through the neighbour, commanded to be loved. Charles de Foucault’s major dream was the birth of brotherhoods which would spread the message of Christ among non-believers. His dream came true later, but not in his lifetime.
Keywords: mission, Foucault, missionary presence, Africa, Tuareg people, brotherhood.
David Gzgzyan, PhD in Philology
Aims and Conditions of Catechumenate in the Patristic Tradition and their Possible Application in Modern Church Practice
Issue №6, pp. 29–50 
The article presents main principles of the patristic tradition of catechumenate and their possible application in modern Church practice. Catechetical learning is designed to facilitate full inclusion into the church modus vivendi, into the life of the new people of God. It necessarily means core change of priorities and acquisition of skills of living in this otherness. That is why Catechumenate must be estimated not as a historical temporal practice, but as a universal means of Church reception of its new members. In the modern conditions of existence of church communities all encompassing nature of purpose and aims of catechetical instruction determines that the preference is given to the long-term and elaborately structured catechumenate practice.
Keywords: catechesis, catechumenate, stages, listening, enlightening, examination of faith, training catechists.
Igor Vlasenko
Antimission in the Russian Orthodox Church in the late XIX – early XX century (1887–1918) 
Issue №11, 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.
Joanna-Yana Kalninia
Problems of a Homilist Preparation for Preaching
Issue №6, pp. 121–141 
The article examines process of a homilist preparation for preaching as for the ministry of word. The process comprises several stages: formation of the personality of the future preacher, calling for the ministry, acquisition of special knowledge. Problems of preparation directly for the delivery of a sermon are touched upon separately. Of additional interest is analysis of two autonomous types of sermon: written and oral (improvisation) and peculiarities of preparation for each of them. The author comes to the conclusion that recommendations for preparation for preaching in different ages of Christian history to a large extent coincide. It indicates that this particular ministry is rooted in the tradition of the original Church, i. e. in the ministry of Christ and His disciples.
Keywords: sermon, homilist, didactics, prophet, improvisation.
Natalia Kartasheva, Ph.D. in Culturology, Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture Lomonosov Moscow State University
The Issue of Preserving the Ethnic Diversity of Siberian Indigenous Peoples in the Works of Orthodox Missionaries Dionysius (Khitrov) and Veniamin (Blagonravov)
Issue №39, pp. 123–147
DOI: 10.25803/26587599_2021_39_123
This article analyses the ethnocultural aspects of the Russian Orthodox Mission in Eastern Siberia based on texts by the bishop Dionysius (Khitrov) and Archbishop Veniamin (Blagonravov). It looks at the problem of preserving ethnic diversity for the native peoples of Siberia in the context of the personal worldview and missionary methods of prominent Orthodox Church leaders in the second half of the 19th century. The article emphasizes the significance of the ethnocultural issue for the domestic policy in the Russian Empire during the post-reform period, and the existence of different strategies for attaining to national unity, including the idea of religious integration through the spread of Orthodox Christianity. The aim of the study is to identify the varying views of the Siberian mission leaders regarding the preservation of ethnocultural identity for Christianized peoples. In accordance with the aim of the study, the article characterizes the historical context of the phenomenon, outlines the constructivist approach to the definition of the ethnic identity adopted by modern anthropology, examines the texts produced by two leading members of the Orthodox Mission in Siberia, and conducts a comparative analysis of their attitudes towards the preservation of ethnic identity among the newly baptized. As a result of this research, the article outlines modern methodological approaches to the study of the ethnocultural aspect of the Russian Orthodox Mission; the article reveals a considerable divergence in prominent mission members’ views on the preservation of the ethnic diversity for indigenous peoples, and draws conclusions regarding the variability of ethnocultural strategies in the missionary practices of the Russian Orthodox Church in the second half of the 19th century.
Keywords: theology, Orthodox mission, ethnic identity, christianization, indigenous peoples of Siberia, missionary texts, russification
Dmitry Kashtanov
Missionary Work in the Yekaterinburg Diocese in the late XIX and early XX century (on the basis of the Yekaterinburg Diocesan Bulletin, 1886–1917)
Issue №15, pp. 37–54
On the basis of the Yekaterinburg Diocesan Bulletin (1886–1917), this article deals with the missionary work of the Yekaterinburg diocese focused primarily on internal mission. In the XIX century two types kinds of mission emerged in the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) – external mission (to non-Christians and Pagans) and internal mission (to former Orthodox believers who fell into Old Belief and sectarianism as well as to Orthodox themselves). Throughout the Yekaterinburg diocese, external mission was addressed to Vogul Pagans and Muslims (Tatars and Bashkirs). The missionary work of the ROC in the Yekaterinburg diocese was carried out within domestic policy implemented through decisions of the Holy Synod, a body of church and state authority.
Keywords: Yekaterinburg diocese, internal mission, external mission, Yekaterinburg Diocesan Bulletin, St Simeon Verkhotursky Brotherhood, state missionary policy.
Fr Georgy Kochetkov, Ph.D. in Theology, Editor in Chief, The Quarterly Journal of St. Philaret’s Institute
“Real catechesis yields free souls”: Chief editor’s foreword
Issue №39, pp. 9–11
Rev. Georgy Kochetkov, Magister (PhD) of Theology
Personal and Interpersonal Christian Anthropology. General Introduction
Issue №11, 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.
Georgy Kochetkov, Priest, MA (PhD) in Theology
Educational Mission. A Note in relation to the Preparation of the Concept of the Missionary Activities of the ROC
Issue №1, pp. 9–15
Dmitry Korobkin
Vladimir Solovyev’s Mission
Issue №1, pp. 61–73 
Viktor Kott
The History of Translations of Orthodox Liturgical Texts into Russian in XVII–XX centuries: Spiritual and Educational Aspect
Issue №1, pp. 22–29
Lidia Kroshkina, Senior lecturer, St Philaret’s Institute (Moscow)

The Resolution of the 1917–1918 Local Council “On Church Preaching”: Historical Context and Crucial Tasks

Issue №23, pp. 91–100
This article analyses one of the resolutions of the 1917–1918 Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, entitled “On Church Preaching”, focusing on its origins and related debates. The author also addresses the question of how the issues raised in the conciliar document were discussed before the Council and solved in the years since. The article is based on various publications on church preaching dated back from the late XIX – early XX centuries. Of particular interest are the Resolution’s paragraph concerning the establishment of missionary brotherhoods and the consideration of how this initiative was further implemented.
Keywords: sermon, church preaching, the Holy Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, pastoral ministry, missionary brotherhoods.
Anna Ksandopulo
«New Course» (1943–1953) in Relations between the State and the Church: the Case of Tula Diocese
Issue №5, pp. 151–174
The article reviews milestone events in the life of Tula diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church in the context of new relations between the state and the church (so-called «New Course») during the period from 1943 to 1953. The author tries to analyze and comprehend regional aspect of the «New Course» compared to the events which were happening in the top echelon of power. The research is based on documents from the local archives, many of which have been introduced into scientific use for the first time. These materials help to better understand mechanisms behind the processes the Soviet machine tried to manipulate the Russian Orthodox Church, and how the church, overcoming compromises, was getting out of the state of crisis after unprecedented persecutions of the 1920s–1930s.
Keywords: church-state relations, «New Course», Authorized Representative for the Russian Orthodox Church affairs, anti religion campaign, Tula diocese, opening of churches, revival of church structure.
Boris Kuvshinsky
Orthodoxy in Japan: Aspects of the missionary work of St Nicholas of Japan
Issue №1, pp. 50–60
Larisa Musina
The Structure of Catechesis in the Ancient Church according to the Text of Didache
Issue №15, pp. 108–118
In the article, Didache is considered as a source on the early practice of catechesis in the church in the I – II centuries. According to Didache, the basic elements of catechesis were the instruction addressed to catechumens, based on “the teaching of the two ways” known in the ancient church, and baptism itself. The consistent and stage-based process of teaching Christian faith and life emerged later as the Patristic system of catechesis.
Keywords: Didache, catechesis, stages of catechesis, “the teaching of the two ways”.
Lidia  Kroshkina
Problems of Style in Contemporary Church Preaching
Issue №15, pp. 121–131
The article dwells on the issue of style in today’s preaching to faithful members of the church. The author makes an attempt to finds answers to the following pressing questions. What kind of language should be used in contemporary church preaching? Should one opt for an elevated style using words and phrases borrowed from Church Slavonic or, on the contrary, for a more up-to-date speech with neologisms and loan words to be quite clear to every modern person? What kind of language is needed for preaching Christianity in the age of postmodernism and of the didactic and homiletic crisis in the church? What examples should contemporary preachers refer to?
Keywords: church preaching, style, language, homiletics, preacher.
Valeria Loginova
The Russian Spiritual Mission in China in the Second Half of the XIX Century 
Issue №19, pp. 61–83
The article deals with the missionary activities of the Russian Spiritual Mission in China, a country with a specific culture, in the second half of the XIX century. The author describes a six-year experience of the XIV Spiritual Mission led by Archimandrite Gury (Karpov) (1858–1864) and the attempts by the posterior missions to continue these efforts until 1900 when the mission was crushed by the Boxer Rebellion and then revived in the early XX century. Particular attention is paid to analysing the role of the missionary’s personality in relation to the success of mission. 
Keywords: Russian Spiritual Mission, Beijing Mission, missionary work in China, catechesis, Albazinians, Archimandrite Gury (Karpov), Hieromonk Isaiah (Polikin). 
Fr Andrew Lossky, Doctor of Theology, Professor of Liturgical Studies, St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute (Paris)
The Word of God: Catechesis and the Sacraments
Issue №39, pp. 48–62
DOI: 10.25803/26587599_2021_39_48
This article reveals and substantiates the direct link between the sacraments and catechesis. The author examines the evidence from the Holy Scriptures, as well as patristic and liturgical sources, and shows with examples that baptism, chrismation and participation in the Eucharist are preceded by a person’s acceptance of the Word of God. We find evidence of this in the Acts of the Apostles, the Didache, the Apologies of St. Justin the Philosopher, Origen homilies, etc. The author compares in detail the two descriptions of the baptismal and Sunday liturgies in the First Apologia of St. Justin the Philosopher (2nd century), from which it is clear that catechesis preceding baptism serves the same purpose as the biblical readings at the Liturgy of the Word before the Eucharist. The early Christian sources note the complementarity of the perception of the Word of God and the perception of the eucharistic substances, as well as the impossibility of considering them to be self-sufficient and independent of each other. Origen and St. John Chrysostom consider the conscious perception of Christian teaching and the communion of the eucharistic Mysteries as a double and inseparable form of communion with God. The catechisms of St. John Chrysostom and St. Cyril of Jerusalem (4th century) emphasize that the homily should contain relevant teaching for the life of the catechumens, and not simply be a moment for theoretical reflection. The catechetical word is addressed to people who want to make certain commitments as they enter the Church, and this word changes them from the inside out and converts them. On the other hand, the Word of God is deeply liturgical and cannot be studied in isolation from the service of worship in the church.
Keywords: theology, liturgics, catechetics, sacraments, baptismal liturgy, catechisms, Christian Initiation
Maria Dikareva, Specialist in Research and Methodology, St Philaret’s Institute (Moscow)
Requirements for Becoming a Catechumen: Experience the Transfiguration Brotherhood in the Context the Catechetical Practice of Ancient Church
Issue №39, pp. 81–104
DOI: 10.25803/26587599_2021_39_81
This article is devoted to identifying the basic requirements for future catechumens by taking the Transfiguration Brotherhood and the ancient church as examples, and using their sample experience to analyze conditions under which these requirements can be met. A comparison of ancient and modern traditions quickly identifies a core set of requirements which should be aspired to as normative, as well as revealing a dynamic of change in requirements over time. Minimum requirements for entry into the catechumenate generally include trust in God and the Church, faith in God as Creator and Father and a willingness to obey Jesus Christ, who was sent by Him, as the only true Teacher. In addition, the person should not currently be subject to the sins of murder/suicide (e. g. alcoholism, self-harm through the use of narcotics), idolatry (magic, esoteric teaching, healing, etc.), adultery or fornication, or should show the readiness to deal with his/her problem in the near term. He or she should also possess a sincere and selfless desire to become a Christian, i. e., to change his life in accordance with Christian doctrine. Over the course of catechetical history, however, requirements have changed, as have the external conditions of Christian life. Requirements for catechumens developed the most together with the development of catechesis and the practice of sponsorship in the 3rd century, and then disappeared in the 4th century, largely because of the impossibility of carrying out initial interviews with all those desirous of becoming catechumens. In terms of conditions for the restoration of early Christian norms for entering the catechumenate, we might point to the lengthened period for bearing witness and to the development of the practice of sponsorship, particularly in the experience of the Transfiguration Brotherhood. The novelty of this research lies in its analysis of modern practice within the Russian Orthodox Church (e. g., in the Transfiguration Brotherhood, which has existed since 1971).
Keywords: theology, catechetics, catechization, sponsorship, becoming a catechumen, Transfiguration Brotherhood, requirements for catechumens
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
Issue №11, 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.
Andrey Melnikov
Premarital Catechesis in the Context of Modern Church Pastoral Mission
Issue №11, 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.
Kirill Mozgov, Senior Lecturer, SFI; Head of SFI Publishing unit (Moscow)
The Significance of Liturgical Language for Engaging Church People in Worship
Issue №27, pp. 105–118
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2018.27.18480
The multifaceted objective of meaningful participation of people in church prayer is considered in this article in relation to the used language. In the history of the Russian Orthodox Church, the issue of liturgical language was addressed in different ways. Despite the serious debates and suggestions at the 1917–1918 Great Moscow Council, this problem remains quite pressing today. In order to better approach and to evaluate existing solutions, it is recommended to refer not only to the history of the Russian Orthodox Church but also to the experience of other Slavic churches in the XX century that introduced their national languages in worship.
Keywords: participation in worship, divine service in national languages, Church Slavonic language, liturgical translations, history of liturgical translations.
Kirill Mozgov, Senior Lecturer, Chief Publisher, SFI (Moscow)
Basic Principles of Catechization (based on sources of the 2nd – 5th centuries)
Issue №35, pp. 88–115
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2020.35.3.004
The article defines and substantiates the universal principles of catechization that are not bound to external conditions, but correspond to the main task of introducing people into the Church. This makes it possible to apply them to the catechumenal practice of any period in Church history. Although there is no single continuous catechumenal tradition and during the existence of active catechumenal practice in Church history (the II–V centuries) one can see a significant difference both in the form of catechism and in its content, the analysis of the whole set of ancient catechumenal practices shows that they have certain features in common. This suggests that the catechetical tradition of the Church is consistent with certain principles. There has always been the task of introducing people into the Church. On the one hand, the questions of instructing in faith recurred in the situation of missions to non-Christian peoples, especially in the case of adult baptism. On the other hand, the reference to early catechetical practices in the XX century stems from the solution of the vital needs of the time that arise from the ignorance of formally baptized people. Therefore it seems necessary to trace and analyze the basic principles of catechism, starting from the ancient Church, in order to define the boundaries of concepts and to be able to rely on these principles both in history and in modern times. As such universal principles of catechization, the paper highlights the Church, the unity of faith, prayer and life, as well as the staged approach to catechization.
Keywords: catechization, catechumenate, principles of catechization; churchliness; unity of faith, prayer and life; staged approach.
Natalya Myznikova, Independent scholar (Moscow)
Preaching in Russia in the second half of the nineteenth century (based on the materials of the journal “Guide for Rural Pastors”)
Issue №35, pp. 148–166
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2020.35.3.007
The article is devoted to the analysis of materials about church sermon, published in the journal “Guide for Rural Pastors” (weekly publication at the Kiev Theological Seminary; 1860–1917) in the second half of the nineteenth century. Consideration is given to the issue of reviving preaching among the parish clergy in the post-reform period, as well as the problem of the quality of preaching activities of the rural clergy. The article presents the opinions of the authors of the journal in these areas, as well as the controversy that arose in the periodical press around the publications. It is noted that the authors of the “Guide” recognized teaching as one of the main elements of pastoral ministry, which was not typical of the Russian Orthodox Church at that time. The development of preaching was one of the main tasks of the journal. Almost all publications on homiletics published at that time were reflected in its pages. However, the position of its authors, who declared the revival of the sermon, but at the same time correlated its current situation not with the New Testament or Early Christian norm, but with the pre-reform time, did not agree with the opinion of the authors of other church and secular publications that stated a deep crisis of teaching. The quality of individual publications on this topic and the sermons published in the journal were repeatedly criticized by other publications.
Keywords: sermon, church preaching, pastoral ministry, homiletics, church publicity, “Guide for Rural Pastors”.
Natalia  Chernyshyova
The Evolution of the Activity of St. Gury of Kazan Brotherhood (in the late XIX and early XX Century)
Issue №15, pp. 55–83
The present article is focused on the missionary and educational activities of St Gury Brotherhood founded in 1867 in Kazan. The author also analyses the contribution of N. I. Ilminsky to the Brotherhood’s work and the negative changes in it after his death. The Brotherhood was engaged in educating non-Russian population in Kazan and neighbouring dioceses through opening primary missionary schools in languages of minor nationalities, translating and publishing books, training teachers and priests from among indigenous dwellers, assuming responsibility for churches and orthodox worship for baptized non-Russian people in their native languages, etc.
Keywords: mission, education, minor nationalities, St Gury of Kazan Brotherhood, N. I. Ilminsky.
Konstantin Obozny, PhD in History
Issues of Pre-Catechesis in the Missionary Practice of the Russian Diaspora in 1920-1930s
Issue №1, pp. 114–125
Olesya Sidorova, Postgraduate student, Ss. Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute of Post-Graduate Studies, Assistance Manager, SFI Publishing office (Moscow)
Testimony to the Enlightened about the Church in Preaching on the Creed (examples from mid-fourth and early-fifth century catechetical homilies)
Issue №39, pp. 63–80
DOI: 10.25803/26587599_2021_39_63
This article analyses the early Christian experience of interpreting the ninth article of the Creed in the catechetical practice of the mid-fourth and early fifth centuries (based on the example of the catechetical homilies of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. John Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia, St. Ambrosius Mediolanensis and St. Augustine of Hippo). Analysis of these sources reveals the conventional structure of the conversation with the enlightened about the Church, including a definition, description of its main properties and the interpretation of meaningful images. This sequence is found in its entirety in St. Cyril of Jerusalem and Theodore of Mopsuestia, and in part in most catechetical sources of the period. The Church is defined as the gathering of the faithful before God, with an emphasis on the Church as God’s people, rather than the place where they meet (building, etc.). A study of the interpretation of the properties of the Church in conversations on the Creed has not revealed any general order, occurs with varying degrees of detail, and sometimes focusing only on individual properties. Catholicity is described more than other properties, both in the sense of “generality” and “universality” and in the sense of “truthfulness” and “orthodoxy”. Testimony to the enlightened about the Church is supplemented by the disclosure of common Christian images — the Body of Christ, the Bride and the Mother. The fact that these pastors interpret these images while presenting the Creed reveals their kerygmatic (rather than dogmatic or sacramental) teaching of spiritual rebirth in baptism and the resurrection from the dead. The eucharistic dimension of the church gathering, characteristic of the sacramental homilies, is not found in the interpretation of the Creed.
Keywords: theology, catechetics , patristics, testimony about the Church, catechetical homilies, catechesis, the Creed, properties of the Church, images of the Church
Olga Yaroshevskaya
Directions of Christian Prebaptismal Catechesis in the I Century in correlation with the Second Stage of Catechesis in the Patristic Age (according to New Testament sources)
Issue №15, pp. 99–107
New Testament sources provide only indirect evidence of prebaptismal catechesis, allowing however to highlight the fundamental points of apostolic preaching addressed both to Jews and to Gentiles, which could have been the basis of initial, yet oral, catechisms. Apostolic preaching was focused on the resurrection of Jesus and on the call to respond to this preaching, that is, on the call to penance and faith in Jesus; on the promise of forgiveness, salvation and the gift of the Spirit for those who have answered this call. Since the start of missionary preaching to Gentiles, profession of faith in the one God who does not dwell in temples made by hand, the Creator of the world and of man “from one blood”, became a distinct part of the creed. The theology of the Apostolic Age is characterized by such distinctive features as the simplicity of doctrinal formulations, the absence of theological abstractions and the indissoluble connection between preaching and responding to it, that is, baptism.
Keywords: catechesis, catechism, baptism, Apostolic Age, preaching, New Testament.
Olga Orlova
The Characteristics of the Missionary Work of the Archbishop of Kazan and Sviiazh Vladimir (Petrov)
Issue №6, pp. 88–106 
This article uses the writings of the missionary and religious enlightener Archbishop of Kazan and Sviiazh Vladimir (Petrov) (1828–1897) to provide an overview of his missionary activities. In the process it examines the related practical questions he was concerned with, including the preparation and organization of the mission; the theoretical ideal of the missionary and the missionary lifestyle; the fundamental characteristics of the missionarized population.
Keywords: Altai mission, history of the missionary activity of the Russian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Vladimir (Petrov), translation of the liturgy, foreigners peoples, missionary, Synodal period.
Olga Philippova
Analysis of “Responses of the Diocesan Bishops on the Issue of Church Reform” (1905–1906) in relation to Parish Development and Improvements
Issue №5, pp. 110–130 
The article presents an overview of opinions of bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church at the turn of the XIX–XX century on reasons of parish decline. Special attention is attributed to the question of parish reform and tendencies which influenced the discussions and elaboration of the Parish Regulation of the Local Council in 1917–1918. The attempts of the bishops to define “parish” and their proposals on the revival of parish life are of great interest. In the article general overview of the document under scrutiny and brief characteristics of the clergy at the beginning of the XX century is given.
Keywords: bishop, parish, brotherhood, reform, catholicity, pre-Council discussion of 1906, Council of 1917–1918.
Olga Podkolzina
Distinctive Aspects of W. F. Marcinkowsky’s Missionary Message Delivered to Children and Youth in Early XX Century
Issue №11, 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.
Margarita Shilkina, PhD in Philosophy
Missionary Ministry of the Laity
Issue №6, pp. 51–65 
The article provides theological grounding for the role of the laity in the mission of the Orthodox Church. The main forms and principles of the laymen participation in missionary ministry are also analysed. The article identifies problems of their preparation for the mission and its different levels such as personal testimony, ministry of revived missionary parishes, missionary activity of Orthodox communities and brotherhoods, spiritual movements, missionary societies and other organizations. Principles of the present-day Orthodox mission, its basic challenges and forms are also examined in the article.
Keywords: Church, Orthodox mission, laity, community, brotherhood, missionary society.
Dmitry Sidorov
Education of Ethnic Minorities as a Missionary Activity Illustrated by Writings and Practical Experience of Nikolay Ivanovich Ilminsky
Issue №11, 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. 
Olesya Sidorova, Assistance Manager, SFI Publishing unit (Moscow)
Testimony to the catechumens of faith in the Church (on the example of early Christian sources from the 2nd to the 5th centuries)
Issue №35, pp. 116–136
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2020.35.3.005
The article is devoted to the understudied issue of the testimony to the catechumens of faith in the Church. On the example of early Christian sources from the 2nd to the 5th centuries, a comparison is made of the usage of three definitions in catechistic and non-catechistic texts: “Church is the body of Christ”, “Church is the assembly of believers” and “Church is the people gathered around the bishop”. As a result, a conclusion is drawn about the peculiarities of the testimony of the Church to the catechumens in comparison with faithful members of the Church. In catechetical texts there is a conscious selection of those definitions, which can be called primary for ecclesiological consciousness of the Ancient Church. Important for a number of ancient texts, the idea of the unity of the Church around the Bishop is not reflected in catechetical texts, while the definition of the Church as an Assembly of believers is already found at the earliest stages of the catechism. The revelation of the Eucharistic, mysterious aspects of the unity of the Church through the image of the Body of Christ in different catechetical practices was carried out in different ways. In Theodore of Mopsuestia’s “Catechetical Homilies” this sacramental aspect is one of the central, whereas Clement of Alexandria and St John Chrysostom reveal through the image of the Body of Christ, first and foremost, the ethical commandment of love for brothers – members of the same Body.
Keywords: Church, the Body of Christ, Assembly of believers, catechetical homilies, sacraments.
Olga Slyozkina
Problems of the Synod Internal Mission Missionaries’ Activities (According to “Missionary Review” Magazine Materials of 1896–1916)
Issue №5, pp. 66–94
The article presents a short review of the Russian internal mission’ s problems according to materials of “Missionary Review” magazine of 1896–1916. The magazine was an official periodical of the Synod internal mission, which was established in the first half of the XIX century to fight schism and sectarianism. Special interviews where “objects of the mission” were often summoned with police force became the main form of missionary activity. After the Toleration Act of 1905, the Internal mission in part switched to enlightenment of formal Orthodox Christians. The analysis of problems and mistakes of the internal mission in the XIX – early XX century may be helpful in making today’s mission more fruitful.
Keywords: missionary review, missionary, internal mission, anti-sectarian, magazine, polemic-apologetic magazine, internal mission magazine, Skvortsov Vladimir Mikhailovich.
Irina Soldatova
Main Principles of the Mission of Altai Missionaries of the Second Half of the XIX – Early XX Century
Issue №6, pp. 67–87 
The author outlines main principles of the mission, suggested by the outstanding Russian Orthodox missionary of the XIX century Archimandrite Makary (Glukharev) (1792–1847). Practically applying these principles he developed, complemented and elaborated them. Analysis of various source materials (letters, missionary and travel notes, accounts, etc.) made it possible to demonstrate continuity, evolution and implementation of the principles in the ministry of Altai missionaries-disciples of Venerable Makary.
Keywords: mission, Altai, Makary (Glukharev), principles of the mission, missionary brigades (“druzhina”).
Svetlana Sonina
Pre-Catechesis: Major Tasks and Ways of Realization
Issue №1, pp. 96–113
Fr Alistair Stewart, Ph.D., University of Birmingham, Team Vicar of Upton-cum-Chalvey (Slough, England)
Issue №39, pp. 32–47
DOI: 10.25803/26587599_2021_39_32
The principal concern of New Testament scholars in turning to the paraenesis found in Romans 12–13 is the question of whether this reflects knowledge of the Jesus-tradition on the part of St. Paul. This article suggests that hunting for Pauline parallels in synoptic material, and asking whether these indicate direct knowledge of Jesus’s teaching on St. Paul’s part, is to miss the point that regardless of its origin, this material is transmitted through catechesis. The parallels with synoptic material are inexact, but the paraenesis of Romans 12–13 is set within a baptismal frame. As such, it provides no information of St. Paul’s knowledge of Jesus traditions, but rather it indicates the nature of catechesis in the earliest Christian communities. Moreover, the number of parallels in the paraenesis of Romans 12–13 and in the two ways chapters of the Didache (1–5) — which are demonstrably catechetical in purpose — is striking, though there are further parallels with the catechetical tradition elsewhere (such as Pliny’s report of Christian activities and in the Elchesite baptismal ritual). This leads to the further observation that this catechesis is shaped in a specifically Jewish context; Paul is thus employing a recognizably Jewish form of catechesis in the paraenesis of Romans 12–13, in order to commend his teaching to an audience which is primarily Jewish.
Keywords: theology, catechetics, biblical studies, paraenesis, Romans, catechesis, Didache, two ways tradition, Baptismal renunciation, Doctrina apostolorum
Pavel Strokov, Deacon
Metropolitan Platon (Levshin) of Moscow and His Catechism of 1757–1758
Issue №1, pp. 31–41
Natalia Titova
Church and World: “Orthodoxy in relation to Modernity” in the works of Archimandrite Theodore (Bukharyov)
Issue №1, pp. 42–49 
Fr Daniil Yakovov, Lecturer, Belgorod Orthodox Theological Seminary (with a missionary focus) (Belgorod)
On the problem of missionary reception of religious images of Samoyed peoples in the mission of the Russian Orthodox Church at the present stage
Issue №35, pp. 137–147
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2020.35.3.006
Missionary activity among the indigenous and small peoples of the North is inextricably linked with the reception of the culture of the people to whom the mission is addressed. Many elements of pagan beliefs have become part of culture and have been identified with the traditional way of people’s life. In turn, the interaction of representatives of indigenous peoples with the settlers provoked a change in the pantheon of pagan gods and characters of folk epics, who became identified with Christian saints and biblical characters. The mission in this case should be based on interaction with prevailing national images that reflect Christian ideas and values. In the analysis of Samoyed culture, certain similarities were found between pagan gods-antagonists and the antithesis of the Christian God Almighty and the devil, known in Christian culture. The article discusses the influence of Pagan epic characters similar to Christian God on missionary activity. The hypothesis of this study was that the borrowing of national images could facilitate missionary activity among the indigenous peoples of the North, provide an appropriate cultural code to transmit the Divine Revelation to the peoples. 
However, as a result of the work done, it was found that when identifying characters of the pagan epic with Christian saints and God, there is a high probability of countertransference of the negative properties and qualities of the characters to the Christian images, which will have a negative impact on missionary activity in general. Studying and working with national images will effectively optimize missionary activity and avoid methodological errors in planning and building missionary activities in an ethnocultural context.
Keywords: Orthodox Christianity, missiology, mission, missionary work, concepts history, culture, ethnography, missionary field.
Vladimir Yakuntsev
On the Missionary Experience of the Transfiguration Fellowship of Minor Orthodox Brotherhoods
Issue №1, pp. 16–21
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
Issue №11, 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.
Larisa Yasonova
Actual Problems of the Orthodox Mission among Members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Religious Organization in Modern Russia  
Issue №19, pp. 84–100
The collapse of the Soviet Union led to a serious spiritual crisis among many Russians. Quite a few of them responded to the missionary activity of Western preachers including Jehovah’s Witnesses. Orthodox believers who were not properly established in their faith were among them. The Orthodox Church could not but respond to the proselytising activity of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization. In this article the author considers the current missionary work of the Russian Orthodox Church among members of this religious organization and identifies reasons behind the failure of the mission and ways to overcome the present crisis.  
Keywords: Jehovah’s witnesses, anti-sectarian struggle, proselytism, mission, dialogue. 
The Theological Basis, History and Current Practice of Church Mission and Catechesis. Interviews with Archpriest Alexander Sorokin, Fr Georgy Kochetkov, Fr Alexei Maximov, Dimitrios Keramidas
Issue №39, pp. 105–122
DOI: 10.25803/26587599_2021_39_105
These interviews discuss the relationship between practice and theoretical reflection on Church mission and catechization. The process of shaping the methodology and conceptual apparatus for mission and catechesis, as well as their study, is a fairly recent phenomenon within the Orthodox Church and therefore begs further development and scientific reflection. The interviews present the experience of catechists who have been involved in the churching of adults for several decades, as well as the reflections of researchers into the history and theory of missiology and catechetics as scholarly disciplines. Catechetics as a subject of study is related to the fundamental principles of catechesis, which it describes and reveals. Catechesis is closely related to liturgy because, on the one hand, liturgical texts and rites preserve the order of the early Christian practice of catechesis and, on the other hand, the modern practice of catechizing newcomers to the Church poses new tasks in terms of Liturgics. One example is the current need to liturgically denote the introduction of the “already baptized” but “not-yet-churched” into the church assembly. Missiology is now seen not as a description of the Church’s or her individual representatives’ missionary activity, but as a reflection on the fundamental principles of missio Dei, according to which the subject of missionary activity is a loving God Himself who desires salvation for His creation.
Keywords: theology, catechetics, missiology, catechization, missionary work, catechesis, baptism
SFI Publications on Missiology, Catechetics and Homiletics
Issue №1, pp. 165–167
From the Editor
Issue №11, pp. 6–8
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