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Developments within Russian Orthodoxy in Past and Present (1/2)

Session Chair: Vasilios Makrides | Monday, August 24, 3:30-5:30 p.m. | Venue

Svetlana Ryazanova

Perm Krai: traditions and innovations in development of Orthodoxy

Research is bearing on the persistent features of the Orthodoxy in the Russian province during the pre-revolutionary, Soviet and Post-Soviet period. The main research question has two parts: first, is it legitimate to speak about an orthodox Renaissance in the Russian province since 1990, and second, are there any peculiar features which are steadily reproduced in the local Orthodoxy during the last century. In the analysis of an orthodox community and of the clergy, a number of factors is considered: the peripheral situation of the region and the multiethnic composition of the population, the influence of the atheistic propaganda and of the secular education, the co-existence of the traditional religions and the new ones. Two groups are considered, ordinary believers and the clergy. The features of an orthodox community are characterized by evidence from archival documents, a supervision of the liturgy during 2014, the carried-out questioning and two focus groups. The orthodox priesthood of region is characterized by evidence from archival documents, the content analysis of the regional press and sites, some interviews.

James White

‘Neither Fish Nor Foul, Neither This Nor That.’ The Strange Story of Russia’s Forgotten Uniates (Edinoverie), 1800-1918

In 1800, the Russian Church and state tried to resolve the century-old problem of the Old Believer schism by founding a uniate movement known as Edinoverie. This allowed the former schismatics to keep their old rites: in return they had to recognize the legitimacy of the Church and subordinate themselves to the authority of the Holy Synod. The paper will follow the development of Edinoverie from its foundation to the reforms of the Church Council of 1917-18. It will adopt a long-term perspective to analyse the structural forces that shaped the fate of Edinoverie: on the one hand, the acceptance of ritual plurality within the Church and, on the other, a requirement to utilize one distinctive rite as a way to strictly delineate Russian Orthodoxy from Old Belief. This was further confused by state policies that swung incoherently between toleration and repression of the schism. The result was that Edinoverie occupied a space outside the Orthodox confession for much of its existence, despite its rejection of Old Belief. This in turn generated an identity crisis among leading edinovertsy in the late nineteenth century, pushing some to form ambitious projects of Edinoverie autonomy and the redefinition of the union with the Church. Using concepts derived from the historiography surrounding Reformation Europe and anthropological ritual theory, the paper will show that Russia’s forgotten uniates can be used to tell the interesting story of a state church confronting religious heterodoxy in the face of a modernizing state and nation.

Maija Grizane

Russian Orthodoxy, Old Belief and Yedinoverie: coexistence and competition in the Eastern Latvia at the end of the 19th century

Historically Latvia was under the influence of the Western Christianity, however since the middle of the 17 century its Eastern territories started to be occupied by the Eastern Christians, among which Russian Old Believers, who tried to escape from the restrictions of the official religious policy in the Russian Empire, and Russian Orthodox Believers, who propagated the state religion on the territories, that became a part of the Russian Empire. The two religions competed with each other to prove their right for existence in new areas, but in different positions: the Old Belief had to survive and Orthodoxy had to spread its influence. Yedinoverie was an attempt to unify Orthodoxy and the Old Belief, so to control the last one. This paper analyses the ways of adaptation of the Eastern Christian confessions and their transformation on the territory of the Eastern Latvia.

Mykola Yatsiuk

The Institutionalization of the Determining Indices of the Inner Church Crisis in the Ukranian Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in the 1920s

The history of the state - church relationship in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1920-30ss of the XXth century is marked by presence of system crisis phenomena inside the church and orthodox community environment. These phenomena were provoked by a real and uncovered war of the Stalin totalitarian regime against the Orthodox Church. The totalitarian political regime formed in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1920-30ss was characterized by the communist party power monopoly in all the spheres of life including the religious environment. The totalitarian state absorbed the believer and neglected the rights of the individual. In such a state there was no place for the Orthodox Church. 20-30ss marked the period of mass liquidation of religion in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The main aim of the anti-religion policy of the communist power was a full deprivation of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine of any influence on the society. There are main spheres of the Orthodox Church activities which have been traditional for many centuries of the church domination in Ukrainian land. Inner church crisis of 1920-30ss had clearly outlined political reasons.


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