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The Light of Christ Enlightens All
Issue 29 (winter 2019)
Table of contents
The nature of the church and its boundaries
Conference “Contemporary Orthodox Ecclesiology: The Nature of the Church and its Boundaries”
Deacon Vasily (Karl Christian) Felmy
Doctor of Theology, Professor in Ordinary, Department of the History and Theology of the Christian East, University of Erlangen (Erlangen)
The Validity of Sacraments in the Churches Separated from Orthodoxy
The article deals with the issue of recognising in the Orthodox churches the validity of the sacraments administered in the non-Orthodox churches and communities. Various local Orthodox traditions, including theological and other reasons of recognising some of non-Orthodox sacraments, are briefly reviewed. In the author’s opinion, the existing vast diversity of practices of recognising non-Orthodox sacraments requires greater harmonisation of theological, canonical, pastoral and other arguments, including situational ones, for elaborating a more unified and coherent position of Orthodoxy on this issue.
theology, ecclesiology, church sacraments, the validity of sacraments
Dean, School of Theology, SFI (Moscow)
Church Gathering Represented in Liturgical Actions, Prayers and Interpretations of the Eucharist
The article focuses on the theological and liturgical aspects of the reality described by the syntagm “church gathering”. It is expressed in the key points of the order of Eucharist, namely in liturgical prayers and actions as well as in liturgical interpretations. The author considers the so-called “soft points”, a term coined by Archimandrite Robert (Taft), as the most relevant ones for identifying the qualitative features of the liturgical gathering, which were subject at the same time to the greatest reduction.
church gathering, euchologion, anaphora, liturgy, liturgical actions
Vice-Rector for General Affairs, SFI (Moscow)
The Living Tradition of the Church in the Theological Legacy of Nikolay Aksakov
This article is an attempt to systematise the views of the prominent Russian ecclesiologist and canonist Nikolay Aksakov on the Tradition of the Church. Aksakov speaks of Tradition as the living and continuous self-consciousness of the Church – one and integral, identical throughout the ages. In his opinion, the task of theology is to identify the apostolic tradition of the Church among numerous ecclesiastical and human traditions. Aksakov’s scholarly work had the practical objective of achieving recognition that the life of the Church must be restored on the everlasting and unchanging canonical principles stemming from the apostolic tradition and bearing witness to the sobornal organization of the Church. Such restoration, according to Aksakov, could have taken place only by convening a Local Council, where the plenitude of the Orthodox Russian Church would have been reflected through the developed system of church representation.
Tradition of the Church, canon law, ecclesiology
Ph.D. in Philology, Head of Theology and Liturgical Studies Department, SFI (Moscow)
Church Statics and Dynamics (Generalizing the Ecclesiological Discourse)
Contrary to well-shaped theological fields ecclesiology still has to discover the ways to coordinate its possibilities of conceptualization with the described reality levels. Hence we suggest treating this branch of theological knowledge as a still developing discourse. This article presents an attempt to use a static/dynamic controversy as an organizing axis to the ecclesiological discourse.
ecclesiology, church, discourse, concept, statics, dynamics
Ministry and structure of the church
Conference “Contemporary Orthodox Ecclesiology: Ministry and Structure of the Church”. Interview with Bishop Irinei (Steenberg), Archpriest John Behr, Priest Georgy Kochetkov, D. S. Gasak, V. V. Aleksandrov, Priest Hyacinthe Destivelle
Doctor of History, Professor, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (St. Petersburg)
1917 in the History of the Petrograd Synodal Printing House
The article studies the situation in the Petrograd Synodal Printing House after the February revolution of 1917. To protect the workers’ rights, a committee of elders was formed in the printing house. Instead of the assigned functions of a labour union organization, the committee started establishing control over production and finances without any consent of the administration. This disorganised the production process and led to the breakdown of the financial and economic part. On the order of the Minister of Confessions A. V. Kartashev of 4 August 1917, the Commission on printing was formed. It suggested measures for managing the catastrophic situation in the Synodal printing house. However, these measures could have been implemented only if the general political situation in the country had changed.
Local Council, Holy Synod, Synodal Printing House, publishing, Commission on printing, Committee of elders, disorganization of production
Ph.D. in Education, Associate Professor, Professor SFI (Moscow)
Ways to Preserve the Spiritual Content in Russian Art Pedagogy in 1920–1930s
The article provides insight into the specifics of the content of Russian art pedagogy in 1920s–1930s, as exemplified in the theory and practice of teaching various subjects related to the introduction to art. It is shown how the ideological approach gained momentum in this area leading to such consequences as shortening the training time for art teachers and decreasing the number of specialised schools, and most importantly, simplifying the forms and content of artworks, which were analysed primarily in terms of their ‘usefulness’. Examples are given of how some psychologists and art teachers (first of all, L. S. Vygotsky and A. V. Bakushinsky) were able, at least in part, to keep their focus on the depth of the aesthetic content of artworks and on their individual perception. It is argued that the well-known theorist of Christian pedagogy V. V. Zenkovsky, though recognising the strength and positive significance of the aesthetic impact on students but opposing the religious and moral movements of the soul, underestimated the importance of beauty in bearing witness to spiritual values. It is concluded that within the Marxist conceptual approach it was the deepening of the aesthetic component in art pedagogy that turned out to be a form of preserving its spiritual content.
spiritual content of education, art pedagogy, artistic perception, experience, Orthodox pedagogy, Christian anthropology
On the 30th Anniversary of St Philaret’s Christian Orthodox Institute. Interview with Fr. Georgy Kochetkov, founder and rector of SFI
In remembrance of the colleague
Ph.D. in Philosophy, Independent researcher (Amsterdam)
A Word of a Grateful Reader. Contribution at the presentation of G. B. Gutner’s Book “The Basis and Motivation of Scientific Knowledge. Discourse on Wonderment”, 4 November 2018
Ph.D. in Philology, Associate Professor, Associate Professor, SFI (Moscow)
The Miracle of Reality. Reflecting on G. B. Gutner’s Book “The Basis and Motivation of Scientific Knowledge. Discourse on Wonderment”
The article deals with the philosophical context of G. B. Gutner’s book in relation to its central thesis of the non-utilitarian origin of scientific practice which reveals itself as wonderment. The latter is understood not as a psychological state but as perplexity caused by the complexity and the obscurity of an object that does not fit into models created by scholars. This perplexity is fraught with converting the tool of theory into the object of research. As shown in the article, this approach to the research practice is fundamentally contrary to the assertion of the primacy of practice over theory which determines the evaluation of scientific progress starting with the modern age until now. Gutner’s thought runs counter both to the position of the so-called new realists and that of radical constructivism reinforced by evolutionary epistemology. Hidden debates with Heidegger and Wittgenstein as well as the “images of wonder” which were revealed by such outstanding thinkers as Euclid, Plato, Kant, Descartes, Einstein, and Heisenberg are also highly original. The article concludes by considering another important aspect of G. B. Gutner’s book, his understanding of the specificity of religious practices, their irreducibility either to explanatory theories or instructive rituals. Although, in part for this reason, religious and research practices differ from each other, they share their relation to reality as a miracle which is revealed by virtue of existential balancing between belief in it and wonderment that it actually happens.
knowledge, realism, constructivism, reality, miracle, religion, G. B. Gutner
Reviews and Abstracts
Doctor of Philology, Academic Secretary, SFI; Associate Professor, Herzen University (Moscow; St. Petersburg)
Review of the conference “Russia between the Past and the Future: Guardians and Prodigies”. Moscow — Moscow Region, 6–8 November 2018.
Ph.D. in History, Head of the Department of Church History, SFI (Moscow; Pskov)
Book review: O. V. Borisova. Persecuted, but not Abandoned: The Diocese of Tashkent and Central Asia, 1943–1961. Moscow : SFI, 2019. 446 p.: ill.
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