The present issue comprises articles on church history.
SFI ACADEMIC PERIODICAL “THE LIGHT OF CHRIST ENLIGHTENS ALL”. ISSUE 13
Academic periodical of St Philaret's Christian Orthodox Institute. Iss. 13. 2015. 152 p.
On the Centenary of the 1917–1918 Local Church Council
Theology education reform proposals at the turn of the XX century based on the analysis of “Diocesan Bishops on Church Reform”
The author of the article makes an attempt at systematising proposals for reforming college- and university-level theology education. “Diocesan Bishops on Church Reform” was published in 1906 in St Petersburg, ahead of the reform discussion at the 1917–1918 Local Council. When the Bolsheviks came to power, theology schools faced an uncertain future, meaning that theology education entered the Soviet era unreformed. Following the 1994 Bishops’ Council, the Russian Orthodox Church reopened the discussion on the subject of reforming theology education. “Diocesan Bishops on Church Reform” is a valuable source, as it reflects the full range of reform programmes existing at the time.
Keywords: Diocesan Bishops on Church Reform, theology education reform, theology school regulations, 1917–1918 Local Council.
The issue of defining the “parish” concept as discussed prior to and during the 1917–1918 Local Council
The article analyses the search for the scope of the “parish” concept as part of the discussions prior to and during the 1917–1918 Local Council. The debators considered this a search for a way of expressing the spirit of sobornost. For instance, in the beginning of the XX century, a parish could also be called “domestic church”, “community”, “establishment”, “fundamental group unit of the church society”, “patronage” and “brotherhood”. The most heated discussion unfolded between those who attempted to define the parish using the concept “domestic church” (meaning a congregation of believers) and “God-ascertained establishment”, where the parishioners and the clergy were considered secondary to the parish church. The outcome of the discussions prior to and during the 1917–1918 Local Council was a favoured idea, namely a model where a parish community was associated with a parish church.
Keywords: parish, community, patronage, brotherhood, παροικία, sobornost, parish “models”, discussion, Pre-Council Committee, 1917–1918 Local Council.
Spiritual Movements, Unions and Brotherhoods
Nikolay Nikolaevitch Neplyuev’s Idea of Creating a Pan-Russian Brotherhood
The article outlines the concept of the Pan-Russian Brotherhood that the renowned early XX century Russian Christian luminary Nikolay Nikolaevich Neplyuev (1851–1908) promoted in his writings and when speaking to the public. The Brotherhood’s main objective would be to consolidate and channel any healthy social effort in Russia towards fostering unity and creativity in the context of stronger revolutionary sentiments. However, the project was never carried out. The article’s author considers the distinctive characteristics N. N. Neplyuev attributed to the Pan-Russian Brotherhood and gives an account of the attempts he made at its foundation.
Keywords: Nikolay Neplyuev, Pan-Russian Brotherhood, Orthodox Christianity, penance.
“Sparks of Humble Martyrdom”: on the History of the 1920–1930s Moscow Church Circles
The article focuses on two significant Moscow church circles that brought together believers (mostly intellectuals) of the 1920 –1930s. At the time when the church was being persecuted by the state, those circles produced a whole host of confessors, who were part of the Maroseika community and the circle of believing intellectuals gathered around the Holy Trinity St Sergius Lavra. The latest research has revealed that the two spiritual groups were closely associated with each other and formed one tighly-knit circle of people sharing a spiritual connection. It appears that the historical magnitude of Frs Alexei and Sergius Mechev for the XX century Russian Orthodox Church is yet to be fully appreciated and requires further in-depth study.
Keywords: profession of faith, community, arrest, Maroseika, the Holy Trinity St Sergius Lavra.
Russian Student Cristian Movement Conferences as а Manifestation of Orthodox Church Sobornost
The article presents the history of RSCM as an example of sobornost revival in the early XX century Orthodox Church. The First RSCM conference in Prerov defined the framework for all RSCM activities and further conferences. General and local RSCM conferences were marked with openly shared church fellowship and unity between laymen and the clergy. This unity was built up gradually through common effort and manifested itself in several ways: in personal fellowship between priests, professors and young RSCM members, through lectures and seminars, which revealed the depths of Orthodox spirituality, and in the Orthodox Liturgy as the focal point of sobornost. Celebrating communion at the end of these conferenсe-councils was their highest spiritual point.
Keywords: Russian Student Cristian Movement, Prerov conference, liturgical revival, spiritual education, sobornost.
Repressions of the Russian Student Christian Movement in Estonia in 1940–1941
The Soviet repressions against Orthodox members of the Russian Student Christian Movement in Estonia in 1940–1941 are the subject of the article. The main phases of the repressions against the clergy and laity are illustrated by the actual life stories of three Movement members. The main body of research is based on files from the Estonian State Archive. The article is published as part of the series of articles and documentaries that tell the life stories of RSCM members in the XX century Baltic States. The series reopens the debate on the mechanism of Soviet repressions against Orthodox believers.
Keywords: Soviet repressions, RSCM, Estonia, Orthodox Church.
The Notions of Personhood and Community in the Pastoral Practices of Bishop Makariy (Opotsky)
The article considers the correlation between the notions of personhood and community in the writings and pastoral practices of Bishop Makariy (Opotsky), who founded a number of Orthodox brotherhoods across Russia at different times between 1908 and 1941. The research was made possible by the publication of Bishop Makariy’s addresses to the 1914 Diocesan Missionary Conference and by having access to one of his spiritual daughters’ personal archive where she stored his numerous talks and sermons. In them, he had processed the notions of both
personhood and community.
Keywords: personhood, community, brotherhood, unity, church.
Protopresbyter Vitaly Borovoy’s Church Ministry in the Context of the 1930–1950s Historical Events
Protopresbyter Vitaly Borovoy is known as an “academician of church experience”. He was a symbolic figure in the history of the XX century church and is remembered as a theologian, academic, seasoned diplomat, spiritual director, preacher and teacher. The article deals with the main areas of Protopresb. Vitaly Borovoy’s ministry in the first 30 years of his church life and service (1929–1959). This period is considered to be of particular interest as the time when Fr Vitaly’s core beliefs and values were formed and his views on the church and the civil society took shape. Those years were equally formative for him as a spiritual director, teacher, church academic and diplomat.
Keywords: education, ministry, church, tradition, sermon, pastoral ministry, theology, unity.
Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) of Leningrad and Novgorod’s Contribution to the Initiative by the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) to Establish Dialogue with Non-Orthodox Churches
The article explores the work of Nikodim (Rotov), Metropolitan of Leningrad and Novgorod, who grew up in the Soviet Union only to become the most influential church leader of his time. He was appointed Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations in July 1960, during one of the hardest stretches in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate). At the age of the antireligious campaign for the abolition of the church and all church institutions, strict control by the Soviet state did not prevent Metropolitan Nikodim from establishing and fostering relationships with the Roman Catholic Church and numerous protestant churches. He was also able to facilitate the consilidation of the Russian Church’s position in the USSR.
Keywords: dialogue with non-Orthodox churches, Soviet state control, external relations, the Roman Catholic Church, protestant churches.
Orthodox parishes in the XIX century Polish Kingdom (Case study: Radom Governorate)
The article analyses activities of the Orthodox parishes located in the Radom Governorate of the Polish Kingdom in the XIX – beginning of the XX. The article outlines a hypothesis explaining why Orthodox churches were built in areas populated exclusively by Roman Catholic Poles and Jews. Parish activities were examined in their various aspects: what churches were built, when and why they were built, what priests served in parishes, what they did and what cemeteries existed at the parishes.
Keywords: Poland, parishes, priests, Radom Governorate, XIX century.