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The Russian Empire 1450-1801$
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Nancy Shields Kollmann

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280513

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280513.001.0001

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Varieties of Orthodoxy

Varieties of Orthodoxy

(p.244) 12 Varieties of Orthodoxy
The Russian Empire 1450-1801

Nancy Shields Kollmann

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Russian Orthodoxy as a spiritual system and how that system is embodied in the Church’s focus on contemplative prayer in the liturgy, in icons and in the interior decoration of Orthodox churches that depict a progression from the heavenly to worldly realms. It explores Russian Orthodoxy’s types of monasticism, reception of waves of hesychasm, cults of saints and the profound change that occurred in the church from the 1660s, exemplified by the “Old Belief” schism (whose political and doctrinal causes are examined) and the influx of reformed Orthodox practices and imagery from Ukraine at the Kremlin court, particularly influential on the elite. The chapter also explores women’s spirituality, the endurance of syncretism in religious practice in East Slavic society, and the form that witchcraft took in Russia. It concludes reflecting on Russian Orthodoxy’s relatively weak tradition of religious missionary work.

Keywords:   Orthodoxy, icons, confessionalization, folk belief, hesychasm, monasticism, witchcraft, saints, women, Old Belief

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