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The Quarterly Journal of St. Philaret’s Institute

ISSN: 2658-7599 (print)
2713-3141 (online)

“Free labor” in the experience of creating the “Orthodox Work” of mother Maria (Skobtsova)

Lidia Kroshkina, Cand. Sci (Cultural Studies), Associate Professor of the Department of History and Theory of Culture, Russian State University of Humanities
pp. 99–115
DOI: 10.25803/26587599_2023_46_99
The article reveals the concept of labor expressed in theological, philosophical and literary works of mother Maria (Skobtsova), embodied in the experience of the “Orthodox Work” association she founded (1935). The methodology of the article is based on philological and theological approaches, comparative and contextual analysis of the religious and philosophical articles of Mother Maria of the 1930s and some works of art (Psalm “Praise to Labor”, mystery “Anna”). Labor as a heavenly blessing or curse corresponds to the biblical understanding. Labor as a burden is one of the frequent uses in the works of Mother Maria. She pays special attention to understanding labor as an ascetic exercise, noting that it leads to deliverance from the yoke of sin and passions, but has a significant drawback — it incloses a person on himself and his own self-salvation. Ascetic work does not have the actual Christian content, it is equally effective in the efforts of the direction opposite to Christianity, for example, among revolutionaries. Mother Maria considers that specifically Christian labor is work based on the revelation of the commandment about love, which has the qualities of internal freedom and conciliar relations. The nun calls such work “free labor”.
Keywords: work, ascetic feat, free labor, mother Maria (Skobtsova), association “Orthodox Work”
For citation: Kroshkina L. V. (2023). “‘Free labor’ in the experience of creating the ‘Orthodox Work’ of mother Maria (Skobtsova)”. The Quarterly Journal of St. Philaret’s Institute, iss. 46, pp. 99–115. https://doi.org/10.25803/26587599_2023_46_99.

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