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Academic Periodical

The Quarterly Journal of St. Philaret’s Institute

Issue 39 (summer 2021)

SFI Journal. Issue 39

SFI Journal. Issue 39

The Quarterly Journal of St. Philaret’s Institute. 2021. Iss. 39. 275 p.

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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
pp. 9–11


Fr Alistair Stewart, Ph.D., University of Birmingham, Team Vicar of Upton-cum-Chalvey (Slough, England)
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
Fr Andrew Lossky, Doctor of Theology, Professor of Liturgical Studies, St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute (Paris)
The Word of God: Catechesis and the Sacraments
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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


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)
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
Inna Yurganova, Doctor of Sciences (History), leading researcher at the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Institute for Humanitarian Research and North Indigenous Peoples Problems of the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow; Yakutsk); ORCID: 0000-0002-7751-8540
Travel Notes of the Priest of the Ugulyat Annunciation Church. Preparation of the text for publication, introductory article and comments by Inna Yurganova
pp. 148–169
DOI: 10.25803/26587599_2021_39_148
This study directs the reader’s attention to the publication of travel notes made by a Russian Priest in the Yakutsk Region at the end of the 19th c., which are published here for the first time. The document is considered in the context of the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church on the outskirts of the Russian empire. In far-reaching stretches of the empire, the Church acted as a unifying force in terms of the overall culture of the empire. Priests themselves were the conduit for Christian principles and, as such, became the initiators of intercultural dialogue. The document under consideration is a description of the trips that one priest undertook in Yakutia and the Tungusk region. Here we find evidence of the number of parishioners, the way in which locals related to Christian rites, and their degree of accedence to Orthodox Christianity. The notes bear witness to the presence of paganism in everyday life and to the cautious relationship of parishioners to Christian norms. The publication of these travel notes inaugurates the potential for furthering developing research into the activities of the Russian Orthodox Church on the periphery of the empire in historical retrospective vis-à-vis interaction with various ethnicities and cultures.
Keywords: theology, mission, Communication practices of the Russian Orthodox Church, missionary work, transient churches, Orthodoxy in Yakutia and Tungus, missionary travel notes, Christianization

Translations of primary sources

Lora Gerd, Doctor of History, Lead Researcher, General History Department of the St Petersburg Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences; Associate Professor, Department of Biblical Studies, Faculty of Philology of the St Petersburg University; Lecturer, St Petersburg Theological Academy
Kirill Mozgov, Senior Lecturer, Head of Publishing, St. Philaret’s Institute (Moscow)
Olesya Sidorova, Postgraduate student, Ss Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute of Post-Graduate Studies, Assistance Manager, SFI Publishing office (Moscow)
The Procatechesis, or Prologue to the Catechetical Lectures of our Holy Father Cyril, Archbishop of Jerusalem. Translation by Lora Gerd, foreword and comments by Kirill Mozgov, Olesya Sidorova
pp. 170–183
DOI: 10.25803/26587599_2021_39_170
The Catechetical and Mystagogic Lectures by St. Cyril of Jerusalem are one of the most important sources of 4th c. Christian catechetical tradition. These instructions became widely known and were translated into several languages as early as the 5th century; the oldest Slavonic manuscript dates from the 10th or 11th century. The first Russian translation was made in the first third of the 19th century at Yaroslavl Theological Seminary, and was shortly followed by another which appeared in 1855, in the Works by the Holy Fathers in Russian Translation series, published by the Moscow Theological Academy. These translations were repeatedly reprinted in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. This publication is a new Russian translation of the Procatechesis by St. Cyril of Jerusalem, and offers an further opportunity to bring this source into its own in the context of domestic catechesis and contemporary catechetical practice. The Procatechesis, or Prologue, was pronounced during the solemn recording of the names of the catechumens in the lists of the enlightened on the eve of Lent. Before the final stage of preparation for baptism, the catechumens were told what was ahead of them and what was needful for those who wished to truly undertake the catechetical process.
Keywords: theology, catechetics, catechetical lectures, catechesis, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, baptism, teaching the faith
Sofia Puchkova, Ph.D. researcher, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven (Belgium)
Theodore of Mopsuestia. Homily on the Lord’s Prayer (the eleventh homily in the series of the sixteen “Catechetical Homilies”). Translation, introductory article and comments by Sofya Puchkova
pp. 184–209
DOI: 10.25803/26587599_2021_39_184
This commented translation of Theodore of Mopsuestia’s Homily on the Lord’s Prayer, the eleventh homily in the series of the sixteen Catechetical Homilies, is the first Russian translation. The translator used the French edition of facsimile copy of the manuscript Mingana Syr. 561, which contains the Syriac version of Theodore’s Catechetical Homilies, whose Greek original did not survive. The translation tends to be as literal as possible, only by necessity adapting the syntax and some lexis. It is equipped with a brief theological commentary and the parallels were made between Theodore’s exegesis of the Lord’s prayer and that of John Chrysostom and Cyril of Jerusalem, from which the former has a greater similarity with Theodore’s. This means that both Theodore and John share the common, apparently, Antiochene, tradition of the exposition of the Lord’s prayer. Since Theodore’s homily presents his ethical teaching in form of the commentary on the Lord’s prayer, the present translation is the first attempt to fulfill the lacuna existing in the Russian scholarship of Theodorian legacy and to portray Theodore not only as an exegete and a theologian, but also as a pastor of the Church.
Keywords: theology, catechetics, Theodore of Mopsuestia, the Catechetical Homilies, the Homily on the Lord’s Prayer, John Chrysostom, disciplina arcani, sacrament of baptism

Church History

Archpriest Alexander Bertash, Ph.D. in Art History, Ph.D. in Theology, Rector of the Church of the Holy Royal Passion Bearers of the Russian Orthodox Church in Bremen and the parish of Holy Marter Vladimir of Moscow and St. Anastasia of Kiev in Bremerhaven, archivist of the Berlin-German Diocese, leading art critic of the “Liteynaya Tchast’–91” Architectural Bureau, member of the Russian Union of Architects (Bremen; St. Petersburg)
The Baltic Orthodox Brotherhood and its Role in the Organization of the Pyukhtitsa Women’s Commune
pp. 210–237
DOI: 10.25803/26587599_2021_39_210
This article, which is primarily based on new archival materials from the depositories of Tartu, St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Riga, is devoted to the previously little studied issue of the role of the Baltic Orthodox Brotherhood of Christ the Saviour and the Protection of the Mother of God (founded in 1882) in the organization of the Pyukhtitsa Women’s Commune of the Dormition (a monastery, since 1893). This monastery in eastern Estonia later became one of the most well-known in the Russian Orthodox Church. The specific activities of the Baltic Brotherhood, which was led by representatives of the capital’s elites, are considered in this article. The Brotherhood mainly built and equipped churches, monasteries and social institutions. Particular attention is paid to the activities of the Governor of Estonia, S. Shakhovsky, and his wife E. Shakhovskaya, who played a decisive role in the creation of the Ievven branch of the brotherhood (1887) and the Pyukhtitsa commune (1891) and their associated shelters, hospitals and educational institutions. The article notes the similarity between the goals and objectives (primarily social) of the Baltic brotherhoods (lay organizations) and women’s communes, in that both instances are cases of communities that occupied an intermediate position between the world and the monastery. For some time after 1917, the Ievven branch of the brotherhood played a significant role in the management of up to 13 of the monastery’s different charitable institution under the chairmanship of E. Shakhovskaya, having been transformed in 1919 into the Pyukhtitsa Guardian Brotherhood on the Mount of the Mother of God (Pyukhtitsa na bogoroditskoj gore popechiteljskoe bratstvo).
Keywords: Baltic Orthodox Brotherhood of Christ the Savior and the Protection of the Mother of God; Ievven branch of the Baltic Brotherhood; the spread of Ortho doxy in the Baltics in the second half of the 19th century; Pyukhtitsa Assumption Convent; church charity; the governor of Estonia, Prince S. Shakhovsky; Princess E. Shakhovskaya; Righteous St. John of Kronstadt; Abbess Varvara (Blokhin); Chairman of the Baltic Brotherhood, M. Galkin-Vrasky

The Theology of Culture: A Collection on the Occasion of the 200th Anniversary of Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky’s Birth

Tatiana Kasatkina, D.Sc. in Philology, Leading Researcher, Head of the “Dostoevsky and World Culture” Research Institute, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Head of the Research Committee for Dostoyevsky’s Artistic Heritage within the Scientific Council for the History of World Culture RAS, Editor-in-chief, “Dostoevsky and World Culture. Philological journal” (Moscow) ORCID: 0000-0002-0875-067X
Dostoevsky’s Theological Discourse Through Biblical and Liturgical Citations
С. 238–260
DOI: 10.25803/26587599_2021_39_238
In all his creative work, though particularly in his novels written after his time in exile at a labour camp, Dostoevsky creates very deep texts of the highest coherence. One of the causes, and his main aim, in writing this kind of text is his strategy of consciously “retreating” before the reader, with the goal of involving the reader into a non-judgmental space where ideas can be experienced as disengaged from the conscious ideological filters that shut off any reader’s change of encounter with a particular complex of ideas, which in Dostoevsky’s time as in ours, are primarily theological. In order to put his strategy of “retreat” into practice, the author places his “index finger, raised in passion” (a mark that Dostoevsky defines as a necessary quality of a good writer) in those areas that the reader would be able to discover only if he exerted specific effort, and readiness to strive toward images and in their depth, far beyond direct narrative. One of the most important fields for this kind of “placement” is quotation, particularly quotations of the Bible and Liturgical texts. The article demonstrates the presence of this strategy in Dostoevsky’s novels Humiliated and Insulted (also known in English as The Insulted and Humiliated) and The Brothers Karamazov, in which in diverse ways the writer tells the reader about a love that has gone astray, the sufferings it brings to those who follow it, and the means if returning love to its true path.
Keywords: Dostoevsky, theology, Biblical citation, Liturgical citation, authorial strategies, Humiliated and Insulted, The Insulted and Humiliated, The Brothers Karamazov

Reviews and Abstracts

Gleb Yastrebov, Senior Lecturer, St Philaret’s Institute (Moscow)
Book review: Tiwald M. The Sayings Source: A Commentary on Q. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer Verlag, 2020. 238 p.
pp. 261–267
DOI: 10.25803/26587599_2021_39_261
Ludmila Komissarova, Independent Scholar (Moscow)
“Old Russian Sects” of the 18th — 20th Centuries: New Data and New Approaches. Review of the thematic issue of the journal “State, Religion and Church in Russia and Worldwide”. 2020. N. 3 (38)
pp. 268–275
DOI: 10.25803/26587599_2021_39_268
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