The present issue of SFI academic periodical comprises articles of church history, biblical studies as well as interdisciplinary researches, annotations and reviews.
SFI ACADEMIC PERIODICAL “THE LIGHT OF CHRIST ENLIGHTENS ALL”. ISSUE 25
The Light of Christ Enlightens All : Academic periodical of St. Philaret's Christian Orthodox Institute. Issue 25. Moscow : St. Philaret's Christian Orthodox Institute, 2018. 216 p.
History of the Russian Orthodox Church
From Attempts to Restrain the “parish revolution” — to the Mobilization of Parishioners. Parish Issue in the Russian Orthodox Church in 1917–1918
The article is devoted to the question of origins of the change of attitude of the church leadership to the problem of the rights and duties of parishioners, which took place between the spring of 1917 and the summer of 1918. The author shows that the “parish revolution” of spring – summer 1917, during which the parishioners took control over the church and parish property and aquired the right to appoint members of the clergy, was initially perceived as a destructive process. The church authorities sought to limit its consequences. However, in the situation of the turn of 1917–1918, with the burst of the mass persecution of clergy and believers by the Soviet regime, it was the laity and their associates that were perceived as a force capable of defending the Church. As a result, by the summer of 1918, the “parish revolution” and its consequences had been legalized. The Bolshevik leadership involuntarily contributed to this, since the Decree on the separation of the Church from the State left room for the legal activities of grassroots religious structures. Significant milestone in the adaptation of the church consciousness to a new reality were the decree of the Patriarch and the Synod of February 28, 1918, and a discussion at the Council of 1917–1918 about the parish property, held in April 1918. All these events created the conditions for the exuberant parish revival of the 1920s, part of which was the flourishing of fraternities, parish unions and other similar organizations.
Keywords: Revolution of 1917, Russian Orthodox Church, Orthodox parish, parish revolution, Church Council of 1917–1918, Decree on the separation of church from state and school from church, lay associations.
The Beginning of “Spiritual Spring” or an Ascent to Calvary? (the 1917 Problems in the Periodical Press of the Department Military Clergy)
The article considers the problems of church life in 1917 covered in the journals of the Military Clergy department. Chaplains were the most educated and progressive part of Russian clergy. Therefore, their opinion deserves particular attention. Alongside this, Protopresbyter G. Shavelsky, the head of military clergy, allowed other authors to remark on relevant topics. Among these authors were such outstanding people as Bishop Andrey (Uhtomsky), Saint Priests and martyrs Nikolay (Dobronravov) and John Artbolevsky, philosopher B. Zenkovsky and others. The authors of the journal analysed the reasons of decline of the church’ influence on people and offered the ways of solving the arisen problems. The special attention was paid to Moscow Council and the issue of restoring the Patriarchate institution.
Keywords: Orthodox Russian Church, Holy Synod, 1917–1918 Moscow Council, Russian Provisional Government, Patriarchate institution.
The Alexander Nevsky Brotherhood’s Martyrdom and Profession of Faith (according to archival records of the 1930s)
One of the most significant brotherhoods in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church was the Alexander Nevsky Brotherhood, which existed from 1918 to 1932 in St. Petersburg (Leningrad). Founded under the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, the Brotherhood brought together both the inhabitants of the monastery and the most devoted to the Church lay people of Russia’s “Northern Capital”. In the years of anti-religious persecution, the Brotherhood was the spiritual core of the diocese life. Its members were engaged into various activities such as worship, spiritual education, charity, theological research, etc. In 1932 the Unified State Political Department (OGPU) put an end to the Brotherhood. Nevertheless, most of its members showed courage and fortitude under investigation and in detention. The Alexander Nevsky Brotherhood left on the Russian Church history an imprint visible over the entire XX century. No other public church organization brought up so many bishops. Several of the Brotherhood members were canonised.
Keywords: Russian Orthodox Church, Alexander Nevsky Brotherhood, antichurch repression, martyrdom, profession of faith.
Specific Aspects of Celebrating Divine Services in the Alexander Nevsky Brotherhood
The article addresses the specific features of celebrating divine services in the Alexander Nevsky Brotherhood. The examination of the rites used in the Brotherhood in comparison with the Typicon makes it possible to identify the elements of worship practice, different from the established practice of celebrating divine services in the Russian Orthodox Church at the time when the Brotherhood was created. The correspondence of its members with their spiritual leaders was a key source for research. The analysis of these letters elucidated the peculiarities of prayer in the Brotherhood, including the practice of involving its members in daily cycle services and the Divine Liturgy.
Keywords: Alexander Nevsky Brotherhood, daily cycle services, liturgy, rite, Typicon, Studios Typicon.
Letter to the Deans from the Council of United Parishes of Moscow
“The Letter to the Deans” from the Council of United Parishes of Moscow is introduced for the first time into scientific use. The document provides new information on the activities of the Council, in particular, on its s trive to expand its activities over the deaneries of the Moscow province. The Council of United Parishes of Moscow, established on 30 January 1918, became a new form of administrating parish life on the basis of sobornost principle. The Council brought together representatives of the Moscow diocese clergy and laity, elected at parish and deanery meetings. Its major aims were to protect the Church from the Bolsheviks’ offense and to organise the church life under heavy circumstances. The document is kept in one of the 1919–1929 investigation dossiers at the Moscow provincial court and contains the investigator’s notes.
Keywords: Council of United Parishes, A. D. Samarin, church, state, administration, parish association, church life in Moscow, church life in Moscow Province, 1918.
On Translating Service Books into Russian
The published manuscript is an essay by Archpriest Georgy Ivakin-Trevogin (1903–1980), clergyman of the Tashkent diocese, on the need of translating liturgical texts into Russian. The author was the spiritual so'n of St. Alexey Mechev, confessor of faith and member of the community of Frs. Alexey and Sergius Mechevs. In his debate with the proponents of using exclusively Church Slavonic in the Russian Orthodox Church, Ivakin-Trevogin drew on his pastoral experience and the worship tradition in the Mechevs’ community, which sought to reveal the sense of common prayer and to involve each praying person in worship. The document is published for the first time.
Keywords: worship, liturgy, translation, Russian language, Church Slavonic language, prayer, Archpriest Georgy Ivakin-Trevogin.
N.N. Neplyuyev’s Letters to A.A. Shteven
This is the first publication of the letters from Nikolay Nikolayevich Neplyuyev, founder of two primary agricultural schools and the Holy Cross Labour Brotherhood in Vozdvizhensk, the Chernigov Governorate, to Alexandra Alexeyevna Shteven who opened more than 50 literacy schools in the Nizhny Novgorod Governorate. They both worked during the period of ‘public pedagogy’, as P. F. Kapterev put it, which began in Russia after the 1861 emancipation reform. N. N. Neplyuyev and A. A. Shteven were among the teachers who based their educational activities on Christian principles. The published letters date back to 1894–1896, a period when their educational work was in the process of formation. The publication is preceded by an introductory article on the specific features of A. A. Shteven’s and N. N. Neplyuyev’s teaching activities in the 1890s.
Keywords: Holy Cross Labour Brotherhood, Vozdvizhensk schools, N. N. Neplyuyev, Yablonsk school, A. A. Shteven, literacy schools, Christian pedagogy, S. A. Rachinsky, K. P. Pobedonostsev.
“Or Physicians Will Raise Up…”(Ps 87:11; Isa 26:14): a Septuagint Polemic against the Hellenistic Cult of Asclepius?
In the LXX version of Ps 87:11 and Isa 26:14a, Hebrew rǝphāʾim (“the spirits of the dead”) is translated as iatroi (“healers”), while yāqûmû (“will rise up”) as anastēsousin/anastēsōsin (“will raise up”). It looks like for the translators of the LXX the direct connection of rǝphāʾim with the otherworld was lost, since they never translate it as such. It seems they understood it in the context of Ps 87:11 and Isa 26:14 as rōphǝʾim (healers), and rendered the verb qûm in a different way. This article demonstrates that the reason for this rendering is connected with the controversy between the Jewish community in Alexandria and the pagan cult of Asclepius and the Hellenistic medical practices related to Asclepius, which flourished in this city.
Keywords: Bible, Septuagint, Psalms, Isaiah, Rephaim, physicians, Asclepius.
The Archbishop of Astrakhan and Caucasus Sylvester (Lebedinsky) as Biblical Scholar and Interpreter of Christ’s Parables
Defining the genre of parable as a form of refined figurative language, Archimandrite Silvester (Lebedinsky) perfectly kept up with the times. His depiction of the mythological plot in the brightly recognizable images had an effect of allegory, actively used by the aesthetic systems of baroque and early classicism. The context proposed by Archimandrite Sylvester was not a situational one but only a conversational one. However, the author himself used actively the parable language, borrowing his allegorical forms from the Gospels. He noted that the Savior’s parables were both impermeable and open to common people. Archimandrite Sylvester’s work is focused on moral theology based on the evangelical context.
Keywords: the Parables, Gospel, Sylvester (Lebedinsky), biblical studies,literary genre
Icon vs Spectacle: Tertullian and Russian Classical Literature (“On the Edge of the World” by N. S. Leskov)
In this work, the author studies the character of perception and the ways ofinheritance of the texts, ideas, verbal devices and religious intuitions of thetheologian of the early Christian epoch Tertullian by author of XIXth centuryN. S. Leskov and the reflection of them in the poetics of his story “At the Edge ofthe World”.
Keywords: Tertullian, Leskov, poetics, icon, painting, pictorial art of modernhistory, show, verbal icon, paradox, the image of Jesus Christ.
The Idea of the Tradition in G. K. Chesterton’s Works
The article discovers the significance of the idea of Tradition in philosophical and artistic works by the early twentieth century English writer G. K. Chesterton. The spiritual, ethical and social content of tradition is revealed within Chesterton’s conception. The connection of tradition with “common people’s” attitude to life is identified. The analysis of publicistic and philosophical essays and that of his novel “The Flying Inn” demonstrates the unity of thought and image in Chesterton’s works. It allows to identify the genre nature of his magnum opuses as that of “novels of ideas”.
Keywords: G. K. Chesterton, “Orthodoxy”, tradition, common man, everlastingman, Christianity, “The Flying Inn”, the wine, joy, freedom.
Book review: History of church brotherhoods in Russia
Review of the Conference "Orthodox Brotherhoods in the History of Russia: Towards the 100th Anniversary of the Appeal of Patriarch Tikhon on the Formation of Spiritual Unions"