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Academic Periodical

The Quarterly Journal of St. Philaret’s Institute

Issue 24 (autumn 2017)



Academic periodical of St Philaret's Christian Orthodox Institute. Iss. 24. 2017. 184 p.


In memory of Archpriest Nikolay Afanasiev

David Gzgzyan, Ph. D. in Philology, Head of Theology and Liturgical Studies Department, SFI (Russia, Moscow)

The Significance and Prospects of the Ecclesiological Theory of Archpriest Nikolay Afanasiev

pp. 9–23
The article considers the value of the ecclesiological conception of Archpriest Nikolay Afanasiev in relation to the contemporary theological context. The author points out the non-use of the academic and practical potential of eucharistic ecclesiology. Generally, it has not been assimilated by today’s theology, since there is still no consistent research on the importance and prospects of Fr Nikolay Afanasiev’s conception. At the same time, an attempt is made to demonstrate the constructive potentialities, theological systematisation and the use of eucharistic ecclesiology in church practice.
Keywords: eucharistic ecclesiology, church gathering, charismatic community, reception, church norm, “power of love”.
Viktor Alexandrov, Ph. D. in Medieval Studies, Independent scholar (Hungary, Budapest)

Bishop and Priest

pp. 24–45
The article outlines the correlation between the ministries of bishop and presbyter in the ancient church. The author highlights the emergence of the two separate ministries from the original single ministry of proestotes. He draws attention to Fr Nikolay Afanasiev’s opinion that historically the holders of the two ministries received the same gifts of grace. According to his hypothesis, even nowadays the difference between bishop and priest is not charismatic but rather a matter of ecclesiastical discipline. Some primary consequences of this conclusion for the present-day church are also pointed out.
Keywords: bishop, presbyter, priest, proestos, parish, Afanasiev, ecclesiology

Liturgical Studies and Sacramentology

Zoya Dashevskaya, Dean of the School of Theology, SFI (Moscow)
Yulia Shtonda, Postgraduate Student, Voronezh State University (Voronezh) 

The Emergence and Development of Christian Funeral Rites in the Byzantine Empire in the X–XII Centuries

pp. 46–60
The article analyses the structure of the Byzantine funeral rites in the X–XII centuries and explores the thematic heterogeneity of their earliest elements, namely prayers, biblical readings, and hymnography. The exploration of the funeral rites from the X–XII centuries allows to identify which of their earliest elements were omitted from liturgical practices over time. The authors study the prayers corresponding to the categories of the deceased, as well as the lectionary of the funeral rites within the specified period.
Keywords: liturgics, euchologion, hymnography, rite, funerals.
Olga Yaroshevskaya, Ph. D. in Medicine, Associate Professor, Hospital Pediatrics Department, Russian National Research Medical University (RNRMU) (Moscow)
On Baptising “Weird-Looking Newborns”: Issues Related to Children with Severe Pathology according to the Priest’s Service Book by Metropolitan Peter (Mogila) and the Current Church Practice
pp. 61–71
The article analyses the explanatory notes “On Infant Baptism” and “On Baptising Weird-Looking Newborns” in the Priest’s Service Book by Metropolitan Peter (Mogila). On the one hand, these arguments clearly indicate the meaning of baptism has been distorted from the original understanding and perceived as a magical action to secure a favorable fate for a non-viable baby in the afterlife. On the other hand, the question arises with no decisive answer yet: how can the church bear witness to the human dignity of children with severe malformations.
Keywords: baptismal rite, Metropolitan Peter (Mogila), infant baptism, severe malformations.

Mission and Catechesis

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

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.
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

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.

Religious Philosophy

Alexander Medvedev, Ph. D. in Philology, Associate Professor, Tyumen State University (Tyumen)
Mother Maria (Skobtsova) and the Religious-Philosophical Renaissance of the Early XX Century: a Dialogue with V.V. Rozanov
pp. 101–123
The article considers the dialogue between Mother Maria and V.V. Rozanov, the foremost representative of the new religious consciousness of the early XX century. Mother Maria’s polemic with Rozanov is explored within a broad historical and cultural context (Gogol, Dostoevsky, Leontyev, Merezhkovsky, Berdyayev). The author highlights the key issues of the discussion, such as the correlation of Christianity and the world, Christian asceticism (church nihilism, monophysitically denying the world) and humanism (“pink Christianity”), and, consequently, the question of the church’ social ministry. Rozanov and Mother Maria appear as successors of the Zosimovian tradition of Christian humanism – philanthropic Christianity, open to the world and oriented towards serving it.
Keywords: Mother Maria (Skobtsova), Rozanov, Dostoevsky, Leontyev, Christian asceticism, Christian humanism, social ministry of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Lidia Kroshkina, Senior Lecturer, SFI (Moscow)

Mother Maria’s “New Soul” in Her Life and Work

pp. 124–135
The article summarises the results from research on the concepts “new” and “newness” in the theological, hagiographic, publicistic, poetic, and artistic legacy of Mother Maria (Skobtsova), as well as in her life and church ministry. The core question of the article is about the newness of the righteous martyr’s life and work, of her response to the challenges of her time. The author analyses Mother Maria’s most significant writings within the context of the continuity of Russian religious thought. The idea of implementing sobornost and projecting it over all the spheres of Christians’ life is the key to comprehending the newness in Mother Maria’s life and work.
Keywords: newness, Church, “Orthodox Action”, sobornost, implementation, shared life.

Interdisciplinary Research

Kyrill Aleksin, Lecturer, St Tikhon’s Orthodox University for the Humanities (Moscow)

Elusive Priest: Transformation of the Russian Orthodox Church’ Normative Discourse on Presbyter Ministry

pp. 136–169
The article addresses one of the major issues of Orthodox pastoral education, namely the ways of how the image of presbyter ministry is being formed. Based on official texts constituting the normative discourse, the author traces the transformation of the “official” image of priest in terms of his functions and consequently points at today’s transition from the traditional position of priest to that of church diaconal or missional specialist.
Keywords: priest, pastoral action, practical theology, pastoral theology, normative discourse, image of priest, Russian Orthodox Church.

Reviews and Abstracts

Yulia Balakshina, Doctor of Philology, Associate Professor, Academic Secretary, St Philaret’s Institute (Moscow)

Book review: St. Petersburg Martyrologue: On the 100th Anniversary of the Beginning of the Persecution against Believers in God in Russia

pp. 170–175
Elena-Alina Patrakova, Secretary of SFI’s Department of Philosophy and Humanities (Moscow)
Conference Review: «L’uomo alla prova del male: Ottimismi moderni e interrogazione credente. Human Being Tested by Evil: Today’s Optimism and Interrogation on Faith» (Milan, 21–22 February 2017)
pp. 176–178
Xenia Tsvetkova, Student, SFI (Moscow)
Conference Review: «Vom Letzten in Vorletzten. Zentrale Themen Reformatorischen Theologie bei Dietrich Bonhoeffer. On the “Ultimate“ in the “Penultimate”. Major Themes of the Reformation Theology in Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Work» (Berlin, 7–10 September 2017)
pp. 179–181
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