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Religion and Society in RussiaThe Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries$
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Paul Bushkovitch

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780195069464

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195069464.001.0001

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The Landholding Class and Its Religious World

The Landholding Class and Its Religious World

(p.32) 2 The Landholding Class and Its Religious World
Religion and Society in Russia

Paul Bushkovitch

Oxford University Press

The religious changes of the early sixteenth century, the decline of the authority of the monasteries, and the concomitant attempts to raise the power of the bishops affected the laity as well as the clergy, especially the elite of Russian society: the boyars and the lesser landholding class. The elite was more greatly affected because it had been more deeply involved in religious life than the townspeople or peasants: the monks came largely from the landholding class, mainly the lesser landholders but also some boyars. The evidence of the Domostroi suggests that the religious life of the lesser noble was essentially private, centered on the household and its observances, and local as well. The great boyar, by contrast, was a public man and his observances, especially after the midcentury, were public, part of the official religious life of the state.

Keywords:   Russian elite, landholding class, boyars, Domostroi

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