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Ways of Russian Theology
STRUGGLE FOR THEOLOGY
The full significance of the Alexandrine eral for Russia's overall cultural development still remains to be discerned and evaluated. An agitated and pathetic moment, a period of powerfully constructive tensions, the Alexandrine years, with bold naivete, witnessed and experienced the first joys of creativity. Ivan Aksakov 2 successfully characterized this formative moment in Russia's development as one in which poetry suddenly seemed for a time an incontestable historical vocation; poetry "took on the appearance of a sacramental act." A peculiar vitality and independence, a "creative feeling and joy of artistic mastery" suffused all contemporary poetical work. Russia experienced an awakening of the heart.
However, one must immediately add that there was still no awakening of the mind. Imagination remained unbridled and untempered by mental struggle or intellectual asceticism. Thus, people of that generation easily and frequently fell under charms or into dreams or visions. Alexander's reign was generally an age of dreams; an epoch of musings and sighs, as well as a time of sights, insights, and visions. A disjunction of mind and heart, of thought and imagination, characterized the entire period. The age did not suffer so much from the lack of will as it did from an irresponsible heart. "An esthetic culture of the heart replaced moral precepts with delicate feelings," in Kliuchevskii's words. The great frailty and infirmity of pietism provided precisely this defect in the heart.
The Russian soul passed through the ordeal or seduction of pietism at the outset of the nineteenth century - the apogee of Russia's westernism. Catherine's reign seems absolutely primitive in comparison to the triumphant face of the Alexandrine era, when the soul completely gave itself over to Europe. In any event, such a development occurred no earlier than the appearance of Letters of a Russian Traveler (1791-1792).3 Rozanov 4 once aptly remarked that "in the Letters of a Russian Traveler, Russia's soul turned to the marvelous world of Western Europe, wept over it, loved it and comprehended it; whereas in the earlier years of the century, her soul gazed on that world with dulled eyes fixing on nothing."
But in immediately succeeding generations a "Slavophile" opposition, which was not so much a national-psychological opposition as a culturally creative one, began to take shape. The westernism of Alexander's reign, in a real sense, did not mean de-nationalization. On the contrary, this was a period of increased national feeling. However, at that moment the Russian soul took on a perfect resemblance to the Aeolian Harp.
Zhukovskii's with his ingenious diapson and sympathetic, creative ability at reincarnation, with his intense sensitivity and responsiveness, and with his free and immediate language, typifies the period. Yet Zhukovskii was and forever remained (in his lyrical meditations) a western man, a western dreamer, a German pietist always gazing, "like a poet, through the prism of the heart." Hence his astonishing ability for translating German: his German soul simply expressed itself in Russian.
Quite characteristically, this attack of dreaminess broke out under wartime conditions. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, nearly the whole of Europe had become a theater of military operations. Europe was transformed into an armed camp. It was a time of great historical turning points and divisions, of epoch-making storms and stresses. The beginning of the nineteenth century - the era of the Great Fatherland War 6 and Napoleon - witnessed a new migration of peoples: "the invasion of the Gauls accompanied by the twenty nations." Unrest highly charged the surrounding environment. Events acquired a feverish rhythm; the wildest fears and premonitions came to pass. Bewildered, the soul was torn between hopeful anticipation and eschatological impatience. Many believed that they lived in an ever-closing apocalyptical circle. "This is not the quiet dawn of Russia, but the stormy twilight of Europe," Metropolitan Filaret 7 once said.
For a generation of dreamers possessing such unreliable and quite easily aroused imaginations, the ordeal of those violent days proved to be a very harsh trial. Apocalyptical fear awoke and the feeling spread widely that some tangible and immanent Divine guidance had assumed and dissolved individual human wills within itself. The idea of Providence acquired a superstitious and magical reflection in the consciousness of that generation. Men no longer believed in their own abilities. Many experienced and interpreted the Great Fatherland War as an apocalyptical struggle: "A judgment of God on the icy fields." Napoleon's defeat was accounted a victory over the Beast.
Something majestic and almighty could be detected everywhere and in everything. I am almost certain Alexander and Kutuzov had gained the ability to see Him and that His wrathful countenance had shone even on Napoleon. (Vigel') 8
In the prevailing sentiment the spirit of dreamy withdrawal from and rejection of the "formal" or "external" in Christianity combined with the most unrestrained expectation of the visible approach of the Kingdom of God on earth. One must remember that Romanticism and the Enlightenment equally bear the mark of chiliasm. Romanticism's visionary utopianism is partially the heir to the eighteenth century belief in the imminent and immediate realization of ultimate ideals. Whether as an Age of Reason, a Kingdom of God, or as any number of designations, everyone expected a new Golden Age. The goddess Astrea 9 would return. Earthly Paradise once more would be revealed. "Then a genuine New Year shall descend upon the earth."
The psychological history of that age and generation can be understood only from the perspective of these awakened socio-apocalyptical expectations and in the context of all those contemporary and universally stunning events and acts. The history of that age displays a streak of theocratic utopianism.
ALEXANDER I; PRINCE A.N. GOLITSYN; THE COMING OF PIETISM
Emperor Alexander I may justly be termed the eponym of his age. He typified the epoch in his spiritual formation and style and in his tastes and inclinations. Alexander was reared in the influences of sentimental humanism. From there the step to the mystical religion of the heart was neither long nor difficult. At a very early age, Alexander became used to living in an atmosphere of dreams and expectations, in a peculiar intellectual mimicry, in aspirations and dreams for "the ideal." That pathetic oath sworn by the two monarchs over the grave of Frederick II occurred as early as 1804.10 In any event, Alexander entered the sphere of mystical enthusiasms long before "the flames of Moscow illumined his heart."
Speranskii, 11 writing from Perm, reminded the tsar about their conversations on mystical themes: conversations, which clearly reveal a "subject matter corresponding to the emperor's innermost feelings." However, an even stronger influence was exercised by Rodion Koshelev (1749-1827),12 an old Mason personally acquainted with Lavater, Saint-Martin, Eckartshausen, l3 and even more closely with Prince A. N. Golitsyn. l4 In 1812 Alexander composed a revealing memoir entitled On mystical literature [O misticheskoi literature] for his favorite sister, the Grand Duchess Catherine. He repeats, or reformulates, the advice and program of others, yet one instantly realizes that Alexander has fully assimilated that program, acclimated himself to its style, and that he had already formed definite tastes and preferences. He preferred St. Francis de Sales, 15 St. Teresa of Avila, 16 The Imitation of Christ, 17 and J. Tauler. 18
The Great Fatherland War served only as a catalyst for Alexander, resolving older tensions. He read the New Testament for the first time on the very eve of Napoleon's invasion. The Apocalypse most greatly affected him. Similarly the prophets attracted him most in the Old Testament. From that moment onward, Alexander became curious and credulous of every manner of interpretation and any interpreter of the enigmatic and symbolic Book of Revelation. Precisely such curiosity drew him to Jung-Stilling (J. H. Jung), 19 Baroness Krudener, 20 Pastor Empeitaz, 21 Oberlin, 22 the Moravian Brethern, the Quakers, and the Herrnhutters. 23 Later, two priests from Balta, Feodosii Levitskii and Fedor Lisevich (who considered themselves "two faithful witnesses" from Revelations) were summoned to the capital specifically in order to interpret the Apocalypse. 24 Apparently Alexander was prepared to listen to Archimandrite Fotii 25 because Fotii interpreted Revelations and prophesied and threatened in the name of the Apocalypse and all the prophets. In such historical circumstances, it was not strange to believe that the end was approaching.
Alexander neither loved nor sought power. But he acknowledged that he was the bearer of a sacred idea and revelled in that fact. This belief constituted the source of his moral and political obstinacy (rather than tenacity). Many of that generation detected in themselves a special sign of predestination. The Holy Alliance 26 was conceived and concluded in precisely such a mood. In a way similar to the theories of the Age of Enlightenment, this alliance presupposed a faith in an omnipotent and benevolent Lawgiver, who designed or established an ecumenical peace and a universal happiness. No one had to suggest this idea to Alexander; he discovered it for himself in those events, which seemed so cunningly devised. "The Redeemer Himself teaches the idea and the precepts which we have announced."
The Holy Alliance was conceived as a preparation for the Kingdom of a Thousand Years. As Golitsyn put it: "It will be apparent to anyone who wishes to see, that this act can only be understood as a preparation for that promised Kingdom of the Lord on earth even as it is in Heaven." The act of "Fraternal Christian Alliance" was signed "in the year of Grace 1815, the 14th/26th September," and the fact that the day coincided with the feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross 27 according to the Eastern Orthodox calendar is scarcely an accident. The Holy Synod ordered that the Act of Holy Alliance be displayed on walls and in every city and village church. And each year on the feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross the act was to be reannounced from the ambo, along with an accompanying manifesto, "so that each and every person might fulfill his vow of service to the one Lord and Savior, who speaks through the person of the Sovereign for the entire people." A special "combined ministry," a Ministry of Religious Affairs and Public Enlightenment, was established specifically in order to fulfill that vow. 28 According to Speranskii, it was "the greatest governmental act since the introduction of the Christian faith." Strictly speaking, this was to be a Ministry of Religio Utopian Propaganda. The combined ministry was founded "so that Christian piety would always serve as the basis for true enlightenment." In other words, this was a scheme to place religion at the head or center of culture as a whole: "a redemptive union of faith, knowledge and authority." The latter element of this synthesis is the characteristic one, for the idea was to use the power of "authority" to reconcile "faith" and "knowledge." To a significant degree the new ministry served as Prince A. N. Golitsyn's personal department. Perhaps personal regime would be more accurate. With the fall of Golitsyn, the combined ministry was abolished and its departments once more established on separate footings.
Prince A.N. Golitsyn (1773-1844) is perhaps the most characteristic man of that age. In any case, he was certainly its most sensitive and expressive representative. His ability to absorb impressions nearly constituted a sickness. He suffered from an outright mystical curiosity. A man of the Enlightenment no longer in his youth, Golitsyn suddenly experienced a turning of the heart. Yet the sensitivity of this newly converted heart combined with an insensitive and somewhat arid intellect. Prince Golitsyn's dreamy and authoritarian religious temperament rather unexpectedly grew into an organic unity. An aristocratic grandeur sharply pierced his sentimentalism. A man with a trusting and sensitive heart, Golitsyn could and wished to be a dictator, and actually became one for several years. His peculiar "dictatorship of the heart" proved very tiresome and intolerant. Fanaticism of the heart is especially prone to, and easily combined with, a sneering compassion.
Golitsyn converted to "universal Christianity," to a religion of tender imagination and experience of the heart. These were the only qualities in Christianity, which he prized. Hence his interest in sectarian "conversions" and "awakenings," which for him revealed the essence of religion stripped of all its useless trappings. He valued and understood only the symbolism, only the emotional-mysterious inspiration of ritual in "formal" worship and church life. Within that context Golitsyn was totally sincere and sensitive, for to the end of his days he was a man on a quest. The spirit of propaganda or proselytism is very characteristic of such forms of piety. As head of the combined ministry, Golitsyn discovered himself.
At the same time, the combined ministry represented a new link in the chain of Peter I's church reform, a new step toward the realization of that novel ecclesiastical-political regime established at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Still earlier, on the strength of the intimacy and favor bestowed upon him by the emperor, and as friend and "imperial confidant," Golitsyn, as Over Procurator, succeeded in becoming a sort of governor-general of the "Synodal Department." True, in individual cases he defended the church against state encroachments, as for example, when he rejected Speranskii's proposal to turn over to the secular authorities the right to grant divorces. With the establishment of the combined ministry, his earlier demonstrated success took on the full force of law. The Synod became formally integrated within the state administration for "religious affairs," as a special "division for the Greco-Russian confession." The manifesto establishing this new administration expresses the matter as follows:
Of course the affairs of the Most Holy Governing Synod will be attached to it (i.e., the ministry) in order that the Minister of Religious Affairs and Public Enlightenment will have exactly the same relationship to the Synod in these affairs as the Minister of Justice has to the Governing Senate, except, however, in judicial matters.
Fundamental to the design of the combined ministry, as well as to the entire conception of the Holy Alliance, is the religious leadership or supremacy of the "Prince," ruling and administering not only "by the grace of God," but also by Divine authority. As the "treatise" on the Holy Alliance phrased it, "thus confessing that the Christian world, of which they and their subjects form a part, has in reality no other Sovereign than Him to whom alone power truly belongs." The definition provided by Novosiltsev 29 in his "Statutory Charter" makes an interesting comparison: "As the Supreme head of the Orthodox Greco-Russian Church, the Sovereign is elevated to all the honors of the church hierarchy" (Article 20). Such a step forward went beyond Peter and Feofan. The Petrine State subordinated the church from without, and in the name of a secular cause, "the common good," extorted toleration for secularized life. During Alexander's reign, the state once again conceived itself to be holy and sacred, proclaiming religious leadership and imposing its own religious ideas. The Over Procurator seemingly "joined the clergy of the Church" as the "locum tenens for the external bishop" [mestobliustitel' vneshniago episkopa], as Filaret, the future metropolitan of Moscow, greeted Golitsyn on his appointment; or "the great chimera of universal Christianity," as Joseph de Maistre 30 sardonically put it.
The Emperor Alexander professed a mongrel form of Christianity, and pretentiously claimed the right to rule in the name of this "universal" religion. All confessions within the Russian Empire were urged to accommodate themselves to a particular place within the overall system. The combined ministry was to join, if not unite, all confessions or "churches" not only in a common task but with a single inspiration. In this regard, the very complex and highly symbolical plans for the cathedral of Christ the Savior drawn up by A.L. Witberg 31 are very instructive. "I did not wish to raise up an edifice to God, but rather a prayer." This cathedral was not to be merely an Orthodox one, but was also to embody and express "an all-embracing idea." As Witberg himself said: "Its very dedication to Christ proved that it belonged to the entirety of Christianity."
The combined ministry became a cruel and coercive regime. Religious mysticism was invested with the full force of law, with fully decisive sanctions against those who disagreed or who simply acted evasively. Simple lack of sympathy for the ideas of "inner Christianity" was considered a crime, and consequently an act of opposition to the views of the government. One article from a contemporary statute on censorship reads as follows: "Any act is condemned which, under the pretext of defending or justifying one of the Christian churches, reproaches another, thereby destroying the unity of love which binds all Christians together in one spirit in Christ." On the strength of such a statute, analysis of Protestant beliefs from the Orthodox point of view became impermissible. Such a prohibition had existed earlier under Peter and Biron.
The regime of the Holy Alliance signified the ensemblement of conscience and spirit, and constituted the most pretentious form of statism: theocratic statism. Too frequently, the combined ministry proved to be a "Ministry of Obfuscation," as Karamzin dubbed it. And yet, an awakening occurred in this extremely confused and ambiguous historical setting. The state attempted to strengthen and augment the religious needs of the mass of the population. "The efforts of Prince Golitsyn," writes the historian Chistovich, 32 "were directed toward arousing the Russian people from the slumber and indifference which he seemed to find everywhere; awakening in them higher spiritual instincts; and through the distribution of religious books implanting in them the living stream of an inwardly comprehended Christianity." That same historian notes that "the period of unrestricted existence of the Bible Society marks the only time since the outset of the eighteenth century when secular society, applying itself to religious subjects with a lively and intense interest, gave first priority to the moral and spiritual development of the people." The message of "inner Christianity" did not pass away without a trace; it sented as a summons to moral and religious self-reliance. In any case, it acted as a dialectical counterweight to the enlightened secularism of the previous century. At that time a conscious effort had been made to force the clergy into the lower social classes and dissolve it in "the common sort of men." 33 Now the ideal arose of an educated and enlightened clergy occupying a place in higher society. The new regime's program allotted the bearers of religious ideas and inspiration a greater place or role in the entire system of state and national life. Discipline was the hallmark of Peter's reign education that of Catherine's; now creativity became the sign of the times.
Roman Catholic elements also existed in the prevailing mystical syncretism. In an important sense, Joseph de Maistre belongs to the history of Russian mysticism. As a youth he experienced freemasonry, and his outlook owes a good deal to Saint-Martin. During his years in Russia, he continued to believe that in non-Catholic countries freemasonry posed no danger for religion or for the state. However, the Bible Society, whose working operations he could observe firsthand in Russia, he considered quite dangerous. These impressions found a place in his theocratic synthesis. As G. Goyau 34 perceptively noted, when de Maistre wrote On the Pope, he had two countries in mind: France and Russia. De Maistre exercised a considerable influence in Russian aristocratic circles. 35
During the first years of the new century, the influence of the Jesuits could also be strongly felt. One need only recall the names of Abbes Nicole 36 and Rozaven. 37 For a short time, from 1811 to 1820, the Jesuits even managed to achieve the creation of a special educational district for their schools within the empire. Polotsk Academy served as its administrative center. To the south, Odessa became a hotbed of Roman proselytism and its College des Nobles raquo; , was soon reorganized as the lycee Richelieu with Nicole as director. However, by 1815 the Jesuits had been expelled from both capitals, and by 1820 they were dispatched beyond the empire's frontier. Their schools were either closed or reformed. However, such measures did not entirely eliminate Latin influence.
The Alexandrine era consisted of contradictions, ambiguities, and duplicities. Life and thought became divided. An open (if not free) social and religious debate arose for the first time. Such was the beginning of a new, stormy, and significant era.
THE REVIVAL OF RUSSIAN FREEMASONRY
A mystical intensity can be detected from the outset of the century. Masonic lodges revived and reopened. Publication of mystical books resumed, providing a renaissance in the Novikov tradition. 38 Men such as Lopukhin, E. Karneev, Koshelev, I. Turgenev and Labzin, 39 who had been formed in those earlier years, came forward to renew their activities.
The work of A. F. Labzin (1766-1825) most characterized the early years of the century. By 1800, while conference secretary for the Academy of Arts, he opened the St. Petersburg lodge "The Dying Sphinx," an exclusive and separate circle of Rosicrucians. For a time he had been an ardent follower of Schwartz, 40 and during Paul's reign he translated the history of the Maltese order from German 41 Labzin now tried to repeat the experience of Moscow in the 1780's, and actually did so in publishing. By 1803 he had revived the printing of translated mystical works, especially those of Jung-Stilling and Eckartshausen. Along with Boehme, Saint-Martin and (in part) Fenelon 42 served as authorities or "models." In 1806 Labzin undertook publication of Messenger of Zion [Sionskii hestnik]. The political climate of those years did not yet favor such publications, and Labzin was compelled to suspend his journal. Labzin indicates the models on which he fashioned his own journal: Pfenniger's Sammlung zu Einem Christlichen Magazin 43 and Ewald's Christliche Monatsschrift. 44
The real swing toward mystical literature occurred only after the Great Fatherland War in connection with the activities of the Bible Society. Only "by Imperial order" in 1817 was Messenger of Zion reopened. By that time there was a sufficient demand for such "mystical books." Judging by the statements and memoirs of contemporaries, many people possessed such books. Characteristically for that period, mysticism became a social movement and for a time enjoyed governmental support. A strong mystical type was created. Contemporary biographies usually contain a mystical period or episode.
Labzin's message was simple and typical: a mixture of quietism and pietism; above all, a message of "awakening" or "conversion." He called for introspection and reflection, concentrating full attention on the moment of "conversion:" The new teaching acknowledged as real the sole "dogma" of "conversion." Renunciation of proud Reason led to agnosticism (sometimes practically aphasia) in theology. All religious experience diffused into waves of captivating and oppressive enthusiasm. "In the Holy Scriptures we find absolutely no guidelines for the understanding of Divine matters." Reason, with its insights, is contrasted with Revelation; not so much a historical or written Revelation as an "inner" one (that is, a certain "enlightenment" or "illumination"). "Holy Scripture is a mute instructor, using signs to inform the living teacher who dwells in the heart." Dogmas, and even the sacraments, are less important than this life of the heart. In fact, one cannot please God with "opinions." "We do not find the Savior providing any explanations of dogmas, only practical axioms teaching us what to do and what to avoid." Thus, all confessional divisions stem from the pride of Reason. The true church is greater than these superficial divisions and consists of all true worshippers in the spirit, encompassing the entire human race. Such a truly ecumenical or "universal" Christianity becomes for Labzin a peculiar supratemporal or suprahistorical religion. Such a religion is one and the same for all peoples and all times. It is found in the book of Nature, in the Scriptures, among the Prophets, in the mysteries and myths, and in the Gospel. A single religion of the heart. Each man possesses a secret chronology of his own era from the day of his rebirth or conversion, from the day when Christ is born or begins to dwell in his heart.
A sharp distinction in steps or degrees characterizes all of this mysticism, as does the unrestrained and impetuous aspiration to seek or acquire "higher" degrees or initiations. Only the "lowest orders of men, those barely catechumens," could be satisfied with the pious rituals in the historical churches. Dream and reason strangely intertwine in a mysticism which contains a romantic simplification of all questions and an excessive transparency and lucidity. "His reason presented everything clearly and simply, basing everything on the laws of necessity and on the law which unites the visible and the invisible, the earthly and the heavenly. This, I thought, is a science of religion; a great and important discovery for me." 45
Opinions divide on Labzin. His polemical and resolute attacks on Voltarianism and all forms of freethinking attracted and reconciled many to him. Even Evgenii Bolkhovitinov 46 remarked that "he detected many, if not from the depraved life, at least from those depraved ideas which combat religion." Filaret admitted that Labzin had pure intentions. "He was a good man, with certain peculiarities in his religious views." Others render a much harsher and utterly implacable judgment. Innokentii Smirnov 47 regarded Labzin's translations as completely harmful and dangerous. Many were of a similar mind. Fotii saw in Labzin one of the chief instigators of heresy. In fact, Labzin's propaganda was extremely immodest, willful, and annoying. Intolerant, he had a pathos for conversion. Moreover, he achieved success. Apparently even clergymen (the archimandrites Feofil and Iov 48 have been named) joined his lodge. Witberg, too, became a member. Curiously enough, Kheraskov composed his famous hymn "How Glorious" 49 precisely for Labzin's lodge "The Dying Sphinx." The hymn is a typical example of the prevailing mystical and pietist poetry.
Mikhail Speranskii (1772-1834) is another representative of the mystical mood. Like Labzin, Speranskii was in essence a man of the preceding century. The optimist and rationalist of the Age of Enlightenment is strikingly evident in him. Speranskii surprised and even frightened his contemporaries by his extremely abstract manner. Forceful and bold in the realm of abstract constructions, schemes, and forms, he quickly tired and became lost in life, occasionally even failing to observe moral decorum. Not only did Speranskii never liberate himself from this innate rationalism, even through many years of reading mystical and ascetical books, but his thought grew still more arid, if more developed, in this ordeal of meditations. He achieved insensitivity, not impartiality. Speranskii derived his great strength as well as his weakness from this rationalism. He became an inimitable codifier and systemizer, and he could be a fearless reformer. But his thoughts lack vitality: they were frequently brilliant but even then they retained an icy chill. There is always something intolerably rhetorical in all his projects and speeches. His clarity and lucidity possessed an offensive quality, which explains why no one loved him and why he could hardly love anyone else. A highly directed and deliberate man, he had an excessive passion for symmetry and too great a faith in the omnipotence of statutes and forms. (Both Filaret and N.I. Turgenev 50 concur in this evaluation.) Despite the daring logic of his many proposals, Speranskii had no original ideas. He possessed a clear but superficial mind. His outlook lacked timbre and fibre; he had no living muscle. He even accepted suffering in a dream-like manner. Speranskii simply was not a man of thought. It is all the more characteristic that a man of that style and type could be attracted and drawn into a maelstrom of mysticism. Speranskii came from the clergy. He went through the usual curriculum of an ecclesiastical school, became a teacher and then a prefect in that same Aleksandr Nevskii Seminarys where he had studied. However, he developed an interest in theology at a later date. About 1804 he became acquainted with I. V. Lopukhin and began reading mystical books under Ms guidance. His reading during those years was largely comprised of "theosophical" books, including Boehme, Saint-Martin and Swedenborg. 52 Only later, when in exile in Perm and Velikopol'e, did he shift his interest to "mystical theology," that is, partly to quietism and partly to the church fathers. He even translated The Imitation of Christ. At the same time he studied Hebrew in order that he might read the Bible in that language. Still later, in Penza, he began learning German.
Speranskii makes the typical distinction or dichotomy of those years between "outer" and "inner." He possessed more than a mere indifference to history and sharply and maliciously described "historical" and "external" Christianity as "that disfigured Christianity adorned with all the colors of a sensual world." Once Speranskii wrote to his former schoolmate P. A. Slovtsov, that "to search the Holy Scriptures for our fruitless and empty historical truths and for a useless system provided by the logic of our five senses is to act the child and amuse ourselves with pointless scholarship and literature." Speranskii viewed the Bible as a book of parables and mysterious symbols; he considered it more a mythical or "theoretical" book than an historical one. Such an approach to the Bible generally characterized the prevailing mysticism and pietism. Speranskii's visionary paternalism, his juggling of abstract schemes, and even his lack of images are surprising. Curiously, he maintained a reserved attitude toward Jung-Stilling and all apocalyptical literature. There was too much that was apocalyptical in life and history to suit him.
Speranskii was a Mason, adhering to Fessler's "scientific" system rather than to Rosicrucianism. De Maistre, on insufficient grounds, considered Speranskii "an admirer of Kant." Fessler's invitation to Russia is a symptomatic episode. A prominently active Mason who had reformed German freemasonry on more rationalistic and critical lines, he was summoned by Speranskii to occupy a chair in the newly reformed St. Petersburg Theological Academy. Subsequently Speranskii emphasized that Fessler's invitation came "by special Imperial instruction." He was offered a chair of Hebrew, which Fessler had previously held in Lvov. 53 Upon Fessler's arrival, Speranskii discovered he possessed an outstanding knowledge of philosophy and entrusted him not only with the chair of Hebrew, but with that of philosophy (Speranskii considered himself the "patron" of that chair). Baron Korf, Speranskii's early and official biographer, guessed that there may have been ulterior motives for Fessler's appointment. 54 Since that time, the interesting comments by Gauenshil'd, who served for a time under Speranskii in the Commission on Laws, have become available. 55 Gauenshil'd tells of a Masonic lodge organized by Fessler in St. Petersburg in which Speranskii became a member. Meetings were held in Baron Rosenkampf's home. 56 "A proposal was made to found a central Masonic lodge with filial branches throughout the Russian empire, in which the ablest spiritual people of every station would be obliged to join. These spiritual brethren would be required to write articles on various humanitarian questions, deliver sermons, and so on. Their writings would then be submitted to the central lodge." Gauenshil'd recalls that at their first meeting Speranskii spoke of "reforming the Russian clergy." One may infer that Fessler had been brought to St. Petersburg and appointed to the Nevskii Academy for that purpose.
Fessler was a freethinker, not a mystic. He subscribed to the ideas of Lessing and Fichte, 57 and he suggested that the goal of a true Mason could be found in the creation of civic consciousness and in reeducating the citizenry for the coming age of Astrea. Moscow Rosicrucians greeted the news of Fessler's appointment with indignation and fear, for "he is a stealthy enemy who rejects the divinity of Jesus Christ and acknowledges him merely as a great man" 58 Fessler also met with hostility in St. Petersburg. However, prominent people joined his lodge, including S. S. Uvarov, 59 A. I. Turgenev, 60 a group of Carpatho- Russians from the Commission on Laws (Lodi, Balugianskii, and Orlai), 61 the court physician Stoffregen, the famous doctor E. E. Ellisen and the philanthropist Pomian Pezarovius, founder of the Russian Invalid and Alexander's Committee for the Wounded. 62
Fessler did not teach long at the academy. His Socinian cast of mind soon became apparent. The syllabi for his proposed course were found to be "obscure." Fessler was quickly transferred to the position of "corresponding member" of the Commission on Laws. Subsequently Speranskii, who had defended Fessler and his syllabi, and who until then had been the most active member of the Commission on Ecclesiastical Schools, stopped attending its meetings altogether and even asked permission to resign. These events occurred in 1810. The following year, Fessler was required to visit the Herrnhutters in the southern Volga region. In 1818 he returned once more to St. Petersburg in the capacity of Lutheran General Superintendent. By that time he was enjoying the favor of Prince Golitsyn. The whole episode well characterizes those troubled years. The complete confusion and ambiguity of religious views is so eloquently expressed.
REFORM OF THE ECCLESIASTICAL SCHOOLS, 1805-1814
Reform of the ecclesiastical schools began during the very first years of Alexander's reign. This reform formed a part of a general reconstruction of the entire educational system and the creation in 1802 of a new department or ministry of "public enlightenment." On 5 November 1804 a new statute for universities and other public schools was published and implemented. In 1805 Evgenii Bolkhovitinov (1767-1837), then vicar of Staraia Russa, drew up the first "sketch" for a new statute for the ecclesiastical schools. Reports which had been elicited about desired improvements were submitted to him, and he based his proposal on them. Only Metropolitan Platon of Moscow 63 opposed the idea of reform. However, none of the bishops consulted proposed more than specific corrections or changes within the framework of the existing order. Avgustin 'Vinogradskii, bishop of Dmitrov and vicar to the metropolitan of Moscow, provides the sole exception. He proposed that education be divided into distinct levels and that the academy be organized as a school exclusively for the "higher sciences" and not just theology. He also recommended that the Moscow Academy be transferred to the Holy Trinity Monastery.
Even Evgenii Bolkhovitinov made only moderate suggestions, proposing to refurbish the curriculum and reduce the sway of Latin in instruction by reserving it exclusively for theology and philosophy. "But these (subjects] should be taught from translations as we have always done." The administration of the Aleksandr Nevskii Academy voiced the same opinion. Evgenii's sketch embodies only a single interesting detail, although a somewhat old-fashioned one. He proposed that a special scholarly (or more accurately, scholarly-administrative) department or "learned society" be formed in each academy's district. These societies would have sufficiently diverse responsibilities and areas of competence such as "encouragement of theological scholarship," publication and censorship of books, supervision of subordinate ecclesiastical schools, and responsibility for textbooks. Evgenii's idea became a part of the subsequent statute. 64
Evgenii was and remained a man of the eighteenth century. His personal tastes gave him a secular outlook, and he did not conceal the fact that he took monastic vows in order to advance his career, describing (in correspondence with a friend, to be sure) his tonsure with almost profane levity: "Like spiders, the monks spun a black habit, is mantle, and cowl around me." Evgenii studied for a time in Moscow, where he had some connection with the Friendly Society of Learning. In any event, he preferred Shaden's 65 lectures to academy lessons. Theology had little interest for him; his subject was history, although he never became more than a compiler. According to Innokentii Borisov, 66 he had "a chronicler's mind." Pogodin 67 dubbed him "history's statistician." "Evgenii's great breadth of erudition is as astonishing as its capacity to stupefy the power of thought," said Filaret of Chernigov. 68 Evgenii lacked strong analytical abilities; his mind ventured no further than curiosity. As an antiquarian and bibliographer, he rendered many incontestable services, but not in the history of theology. It is not surprising that Evgenii later joined the ranks of those who favored the "return to the time of scholasticism. He disliked theology, and as metropolitan of Kiev, he did not encourage such interests by the students of the Kiev Academy. He considered it more worthwhile to divert the best talents into archival and bibliographical work. At one time he became attracted to modern literature and read Shaftesbury, Diderot, D'Alembert, and Rousseau. 69 He loved Racine and Voltaire's tragedies and enjoyed sentimental novels and tales. He even translated Pope. 70 Yet Evgenii always maintained a guarded hostility toward philosophy. For this reason, then, his "sketches" could not be sufficiently flexible or inventive. Evgenii took no part in the work on school reform.
On 29 November 1807, an imperial directive created a Committee for the Improvement of Ecclesiastical Schools. Metropolitan Amvrosii Podobedov, Feofilakt Rusanov (then bishop of Kaluga), Prince A. N. Golitsyn, Speranskii, and two archpriests, the tsar's confessor and the chief military chaplain, joined the committee. Speranskii played the dominant and decisive role, and in six months the committee had finished its work and received imperial confirmation of its plan entitled An outline of regulations for the creation of ecclesiastical schools. 71 On 26 June 1808, the committee was dissolved and a permanent Commission on Ecclesiastical Schools established with the same membership and as the supreme (alinost autonomous) and chief organ for the administration of the ecclesiastical schools. Speranskii's persistence can be felt in the committee's forced pace, while his influence is readily evident in the symmetry and precise geometry through- out the plan for the entire school network.
A system of levels was introduced and those levels were used as divisions in the individual educational institutions, a complete contrast to the old order. There were to be four such levels beginning at the bottom with parish schools, followed by district schools, diocesan seminaries, and then academies. Territorial considerations constituted one of the bases for these divisions. The system of consecutive levels formed a unity based on subordinate relationships. The entire school network was divided into districts, with an academy at the head or center of each, thereby freeing the local educational institution from the authority of the local bishop. The new plan closely approximated the general system of "public enlightenment" outlined in the statute of 1803-1804. Even more certain is the fact that the plan was modeled after Napoleon's reorganization of the Universite de France, which greatly suited Speranskii's taste. 72
The intention had been, above all, to establish an autonomously existing second and parallel system of schools. The chief argument was adduced from the specific aim of the ecclesiastical schools, for the "sort of enlightenment" should correspond to a school's particular goal. Church schools should prepare servants for the church, not for the state. In practice, the very fact of this long existent and highly developed church school network carried no less weight in these considerations, since the public school system still awaited reinstitution. One unexpected qualification had already been made in the original Outline: the seminaries were to prepare students not only for the priesthood, but, if possible, also for the medical-surgical academies.
The aim of clerical education is undoubtedly a sound and fundamental study of Religion. An understanding of a Religion which bases its dogma on Holy Scriptures and ancient traditions requires a knowledge of those same ancient sources as well as the disciplines directly related to them. Such disciplines include the study of classical languages, especially Greek and Latin; basic knowledge of Church Slavic and Slavono-Russian; an understanding of ancient history, particularly that of the Bible and the Church; and finally, the study of theology in all its branches. Hence, it is apparent that "erudition" proper is the chief aim of this religious education. That is the primary foundation on which the church schools must be built.
The higher levels of the old school were transformed into a separate middle school with the name of the seminary. The seminary curriculum comprised three two-year courses or "divisions": a lower division for literature, an intermediate one of philosophy, and an upper one for theology. History and mathematics supplemented the curriculum. A completely new academy was added to the entire older system. Under the new plan the academy became a complex institution containing, first, a higher school of education; second, a scholarly corporation or collegium with the task of organizing a special "conference" with participation by admirers and patrons of education from outside the academy; and third, an administrative center for the entire school district. 73 The higher school of education for the first time became a separate and autonomous educational unit.
With this division, the theological academies, no longer constrained in their development by their original obligation to provide elementary instruction in grammar and history, will engage in the broadest study of philosophy and theology as befits them, and devote themselves to an appropriately advanced theological education. An increase in the number of teachers accompanied the preparation of the new statute: six professors and twelve instructors, or baccalaureates, for each academy.
The committee had only prepared a plan for reform and established the basic principles and tasks. The newly formed commission had to devise a statute. Speranskii's actual participation in the work of the commission did not last long, and during that time he managed to formulate only one portion of the statute governing the academies, namely their administration and the organization of instruction. He very soon withdrew from the commission, and the task of completing and elaborating the academy statute fell upon an intelligent and influential man, Feofilakt Rusanov, 74 "who is not very dedicated to the office [of bishop]," as Platon described him. Feofilakt brought to the commission his own personal experience as well as a rather lax and even secular spirit. He was somewhat reminiscent of Evgenii, except that rhetoric and esthetics rather than history attracted him.
The academy statute was provisionally accepted and, in 1809, introduced experimentally at the St. Petersburg Academy. Only one academy was to be opened at a time. Speranskii had once remarked that "no matter how carefullv all relevant aspects of this matter are assembled and considered, experience alone can give them the seal of certainty." On the basis of the experience derived from the first graduating class at the St. Petersburg Academy (1809-1814) and the observations of its rector, Filaret, 75 the provisional statute received one more revision. Confirmed and published in 1814, it was introduced in a second academy, the Moscow Academy, which opened that same year. 76 The Kiev Academy opened only in 1819, while the opening of the Kazan' Academy was delayed until 1842. The short supply of teachers and professors provides the chief reason for this gradual creation of academic centers. Platon's prediction that enough people were not to be had came true. Rarely could those who taught in the pre-reform schools be used in the new academies, for they had to teach what they themselves had never studied, and suitable teachers were generally not to be found in Kiev and Kazan'.
Despite its defects and gaps, the new academy statute constituted an undoubted success. The entire system was now constructed on a genuine educational foundation, thereby displacing the eighteenth century ideology of state service. Education no longer aimed to communicate a specific amount of information or knowledge to the students and compel them to memorize or assimilate it.
A good method of teaching consists of revealing to the students their individual abilities and intellectual capacities. Therefore, extended explanations in which the professors strive more to exhibit their learning than to awaken the minds of their audience contradict this good method. Similarly, dictation of lessons during classtime also contradicts it.
Therefore, the new statute placed special emphasis on composition and on written exercises by the students generally at all levels of education. Moreover, a wide reading of sources beyond the textbooks was encouraged. In view of the lack of books and texts, this postulate often had to be abandoned, a fact which points out the worst and most general flaw in the new statute: its architects failed to take sufficient notice of the means available for realizing their ideals.
Very important was the fact that the dominance of Latin had been condemned in principle. "Although the introduction of Latin in the schools in certain respects had proved to be of great worth, its exclusive use was the reason why study of Russian and Greek, so necessary for our Church, little by little declined." Nevertheless, Latin remained the language of instruction and only a few dared to shift to Russian. They did so much later. Greek continued to be one subject among many. The "textbooks" by necessity remained in use for a long time, and not all newly compiled texts represented improvement. All the while, the new statute unhesitatingly required teachers and texts to "always keep abreast of the latest discoveries and achievements in each field of learning."
Other difficulties compounded these problems. Upon its opening under the new statute, the St. Petersburg Academy, in its first four years (1809-1814), provided living testimony about the abstract program designed by the reformers. "Only the special mercy of Providence enabled the first class of the academy to complete its work successfully," Filaret later remarked. He had been rector since 1812. He had the Fessler affair primarily in mind. Fessler (1756-1839) taught at the academy long enough to establish contacts and produce an impression, all the more so because he was an inspiring and able orator, who spoke "with a fiery tongue and with captivating inspiration," and because he introduced students to the mysteries of contemporary German philosophy and preached of "the blessed clairvoyance of that truth gained through the inner eye of the mind." In his later memoirs, Fessler enumerates G.P. Pavskii 77 (through his study of Hebrew) and Irodion Vetrinskii 78 among the circle of his student followers at the academy. "Fessler enthralled the students with his learning," recalls Filaret, "but it must be accounted an act of Providence that because of certain disputes and complications he was soon dismissed from the academy, for, as later investigation showed, he was a man of dangerous views."
Mystical currents or epidemics proved no less dangerous. A Latin captivity could be replaced by a German or even an English one, and now the sway of German philosophy and pietism threatened to displace scholasticism. At that time, and for a long time to come, German learning cast its shadow over Russian theology, to the detriment of many. Nonetheless, the reform of the ecclesiastical schools during those troubled years produced a genuine vitality in theology. A creative turmoil and awakening began. Any sickness was that of growth and life, not of death or degeneration, although the disease was real and of the most dangerous sort. Yet the steep, narrow path of Orthodox theology gradually could be discerned amidst the extreme mystical and philosophical enthusiasms on the one hand and the fears and suspicions of them on the other. Those years witnessed quarrels, clashes, and struggles - a struggle for theology - against those who disliked and feared it, against those who distrusted thought and creativity. Debate over the Russian Bible provides the opening act in that dramatic struggle.
THE RUSSIAN BIBLE SOCIETY
The second decade of the nineteenth century is the decade of the Bible Society. The Russian Bible Society served as a largely autonomous branch of the British and Foreign Bible Society, founded only in 1804. Agents of the British Society inspired and actively assisted the opening of the Russian branch, and the British design and ideology achieved complete acceptance. 79
The Russian Bible Society's statute received confirmation on 6 December 1812. Its first general meeting took place on 11 January 1813, with Prince Golitsyn, then Over Procurator of the Synod and later minister for the combined ministry, elected as president. In practice, the Russian Bible Society developed into a second, and less official, facet of the department of religious affairs and became the double of the combined ministry. Opened initially as the St. Petersburg Bible Society, its name was changed to the Russian Bible Society in September, 1814. At first the Society limited its work to the distribution of Bibles among foreigners and the non-Orthodox, "leaving inviolable the publication of the Holy Scriptures in Slavic for those who confess the Greco-Russian faith; [such publication] belongs particularly and exclusively to the department of the Holy Synod." But by 1814, the Society had taken upon itself the publication and distribution of the Slavic Bible, especially the New Testament. Bishops and other clergy, both Orthodox and non-Orthodox, were included in the Bible Society as vice presidents and directors simultaneously with the formation of the Society's advisory board, which had heretofore included only laymen. Even the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Stanislaw Siestrzencewicz-Bohusz joined. 80 At the beginning of 1816, the Society decided to publish a Russian Bible.
All Bible societies (in Russia as much as in Britain) saw as their task the "placing into wider use" of the Word of God, even in older or unfamiliar editions, so that each person might experience its redemptive power and thereby acquire an immediate knowledge of God "as Holy Scripture reveals Him." Such an aim combined with the strict rule that the sacred books be published "without notes or comments" in order to avoid any human, and therefore partial, interpretation, which might obscure the universal, manifoldly profound, inexhaustible, and infinite Word of God. Underlying such beliefs is the theory of "mute" signs and the "living Teacher, who abides in the heart." The Society of Friends, that is, the Quakers, constituted the most decisive influence in the formation of the Bible Society's ideology. During the early years, Russian and English proponents of Biblical work maintained intimate and active cooperation. The expeditions by British missionaries into the non-Christian regions of the empire are particularly noteworthy. An English mission traveled to the trans-Baikal region in order to convert the Buriats, while a Scottish missionary colony sent by the Edinburg Missionary Society settled in Karras on the Caucasian frontier.
The Society's activities expanded rapidly and met with considerable success, for a network of branch societies soon extended throughout the empire. Within a decade, the Bible had been published (or acquired) in forty-three languages and dialects, totaling 704, 831 copies. This achievement largely depended on state support and often on state initiative. In contrast to its British counterpart, the Russian Bible Society was not the work of society, nor did it enjoy either society's sympathy or support. Progress came through government support and directives: the "Good News" was frequently transmitted by decree. A zeal for the Word of God and a desire to enlighten those sitting in the shadow of death became manifest everywhere.
Governors began making speeches which perfectly resembled sermons; police commissioners, elected heads of municipalities, and heads of district police ably disseminated Holy Scriptures and reported on their efforts to the state administration in pious letters liberally punctuated with Biblical citations. The entire affair contained a good amount of noisy bureaucratic unctuousness and presented a deceptive bureaucratic facade (a new version of the "Potemkin village").81 For all practical purposes, the Bible Society became a special government "department" and perfected its own form of sticky, unpleasant bureaucratic-Biblical hypocrisy. However, these darker sides should not be exaggerated, for the constructive results of this Biblical work are no less evident and worthy.
A host of other "philanthropical" enterprises quickly became associated with the Bible Society. Although partially modelled on the English pattern, these charitable works were necessary and vital. The publishing activities of Princess S. S. Meshcherskaia 82 require special mention. She adapted or translated brochures and pamphlets for popular reading printed by the Religious Tract Society, founded in 1799.83 One can question how understandable or appropriate such brochures "composed by a certain devout lady" were for the "simple people" (although some original material did get published, including excerpts from St. Tikhon's writings and from the sermons of Metropolitan Mikhail Desnitskii). 84 But the cardinal importance of this enterprise can hardly be disputed. Much the same can be said for the schools established on the "Lancaster system." 85 Still more important was the creation of the Imperial Philanthropical Society and work among prisoners, such as that done by John Venning, a member of the London Prison Society, who had founded a similar society in St. Petersburg in 1819. 86
These phenomena all derived from a single impulse coming from England. This wave of Anglo-Saxon Nonconformity mingled with that of German pietism and older mystical freemasonry. Among the former Masonic leaders, Koshelev, Karneev, Labzin, and Lenivtsev now assiduously applied themselves to the work of the Bible Society. This group was represented in the Society's Moscow branch by Bantysh-Kamenskii, 87 that "lay monk and secular bishop" in Vigel's clever definition. His description perhaps even more fully applies to Prince Golitsyn, since Golitsyn considered himself to be a "secular bishop" and hence the more distinguished by that fact. In any case, Labzin's publishing activities harmonized with the work of the Bible Society and frequently his publications were distributed through the usual Bible Society channels, with the result that his books might be accepted readily and naturally as those of the Society itself. The fact that the head of the Postal Department also served as president of the Bible Society and as minister of the combined ministry, and that only a rare bureaucrat in the Postal Department did not belong to (or had not been at least enrolled in) a lodge or branch of the Bible Society, greatly aided the distribution of these books.
The publication of mystical books by prominent members of the Bible Society cast a fatal shadow on the Society's work on the Bible. There were sufficient grounds to regard the Bible Society as something more or other than what it claimed to be. Very many people with extreme views or with scarcely concealed hopes and intentions belonged to the Society, often in leading and responsible positions or roles. By statute and design the Bible Society was to embrace all confessions, so that all "confessions" might be represented in the Society as equally possessed by the sanctity of God's Word. In fact, the Bible Society became something like a new confession or sect (at least psychologically) with the peculiarly esoteric and exalted cast of mind of a "circle." Sturdza 88 somewhat justifiably called the Bible Society "exotic" and labeled it "the Anglo-Russian sect." Many of the prominent members of the Bible Society, notably its secretary V. M. Popov, 89 participated in Madame Tatarinova's circle or "spiritual alliance." 90 Very often religious toleration and the principle of equality of all confessions became metamorphosed as patronage for sectarians, especially for the Dukhobors and Molokans, but even for the Skoptsy. 91 Mystical books, particularly Jung-Stilling and Eckartshausen, found ready acceptance in this milieu. 92 In any case, "formal church life" was very often denounced with the expectation that such "worn out altar cloths" might be cut away, thereby revealing a true and inner Christianity. One can read Jung-Stilling on the "absurd and superstitious blindness of those who profess the Eastern Greek-Catholic confession, which must be driven out with the light of the Divine book."
One feature of this administrative intrusion into Biblical under takings could not fail to become irritating: government policies did not include open discussion about work on the Bible. Thus, the government had itself to blame if many people formed the impression that the government was preparing a supraconfessional revolution protected by administrative censorship and police sanctions, and that consent to such a revolution would be extorted and made compulsory. The stormy hostility with which the authorities greeted the rare attempts to voice criticism could only deepen suspicions. A typical affair is that involving Innokentii Smirnov (1784-1819), then archimandrite and rector of the St. Petersburg Seminary. Innokentii, who joined the Bible Society and became a director in 1815, served on the translation committee. (Even after his exile to Penza, Innokentii recommended to the Society that the Bible be translated into Moldavian).
A sincere and strong friendship bound him to the Princess Meshcherskaia. A man of warm piety and rigorous spirituality, he loved pilgrims and "fools for Christ's sake" [iurodivye] . The spirit of pretentious equality of all confessions which so greatly animated Labzin and Golitsyn served only to confuse Innokentii. Toward the end of 1818, Innokentii, in his capacity as ecclesiastical censor, approved for publication a book by Evstafii Stanevich, A Conversation on the Immortality of the Soul at the Grave of an Infant [Razgovor o bezsmertii dush nad grobom mladentsa] . A Greek by birth, Stanevich had been educated in Russia and become fully Russified. He also fanatically adhered to Shishkov 93 and belonged to Beseda [Gathering]. 94 At the same time, he admired Edward Young 95 and other English writers. As Sturdza noted, his book was an "ineffectual work, but harmless." The book's stinging criticism consisted in its frank condemnation of the ideas expressed in such works as Messenger of Zion and in the book's hints about the combined ministry's ulterior aims. Filaret later recalled that Stanevich's book "contained many remarks greatly offensive to the governing authorities and to the spirit of the times in general." Hence, Filaret cautioned Innokentii against permitting the book's publication. Innokentii ignored him and accepted Filaret's warning as a challenge.
Through an imperial directive hastily obtained by Golitsyn, Stanevich's book was banned and removed from circulation; within twenty-four hours the author was exiled from the capital. Curiously, not only did a second imperial directive free Stanevich from arrest in 1825, but that fact was mentioned in the second edition of his book. Despite Metropolitan Mikhail's 96 intercession, Innokentii was given an honorable exile from St. Petersburg at the first favorable moment. This was done without the knowledge of the Synod through Golitsyn's personal recommendation that Innokentii be appointed to the vacant diocese in Orenburg. Only with great difficulty could this appointment be redesignated to Penza. A few months later, Innokentii died from nervous strain and bitter anxiety. The points Golitsyn enumerates in his condemnation of Stanevich's book are most instructive. "To the discussion of the immortality of the soul is appended a defense of the Eastern Church, before anyone has attacked it, and if such an attack should occur, it is not for a private individual to take that defense upon himself. Lacking a correct understanding, the author does not sense that minds may become uneasy that the Church is in danger." Of course, Stanevich composed his book precisely in order to awaken such a fear. "He asks who is more correct", St. John Chrysostom or St. Augustine, and gives preference to Chrysostom only because he belongs to the Eastern Church, although hierarchs, frequently cite Augustine in their sermons and writings." Even more characteristic is the following: The author denigrates those books which the civil censors has approved; for example, the works of Dutoit, 97 specifically his Philosophie Chretienne, and he even expresses' the fear that the Philosophie divine might be published, when in fact it has been printed in Russian and at Your Majesty's expense.
And finally, "under the pretense of defending the outer church, he attacks the inner one, that is, he wishes to separate body and soul." Hence the conclusion that, "In a word, this book fully contradicts the principles which guide our Christian government in its civil and ecclesiastical parts." While affirming Golitsyn's petition, the Emperor expressed the hope "that henceforth the Commission on Ecclesiastical Schools will take measures to ensure that writings which seek to destroy the spirit of the inner teaching of Christianity will not by any means be passed by its censors."
It is important to note that uneasiness seized even people who wholly sympathized with the Bible Society's work and who shared in that work. Mikhail Desnitskii, then metropolitan of Novgorod, and a man of warm piety, mystical inclination, and a graduate of Novikov' s "seminary," is one such example. As a parish priest in Moscow, he gained prominence as a preacher for the common people, giving his greatest attention to questions of the inner life and calling upon men to leave the dispersion in Egypt for the "desert of inner solitude." He spoke with simplicity and warmth; he loved to preach. Golitsyn's dictatorial interference with church administration in the Synod disturbed him most deeply. Of course, he completely disapproved such hysterical sectarian exaltations as those to be found in the sermons of Lindel and Gossner, 98 the writings of the pietists, or even the "knavish sacraments at the Mikhailovskii palace," as Vigel' wittily termed those exultant performances of the Tatarinova circle which so fascinated Golitsyn. Metropolitan Mikhail died in 1820, weary and exhausted from his struggle with the "blind minister." Shortly before his death, Mikhail wrote a candid letter to the Emperor, warning him that the church was in danger and the subject of persecution. The Emperor received the letter at Laibach, when the metropolitan was no longer alive. Rumor spread that Golitsyn was the "murderer of the metropolitan." That such a man as Mikhail opposed Golitsyn and his regime is quite symptomatic. Filaret, formerly Mikhail's vicar, wrote that "the sense of desolation and abandonment he has left is great," and prayed "that the Lord might grant us a man with the spirit and strength of Elijah, for repentance and judgment must be preached with the love and patience of Christ; for there must be mercy and solace without hope for personal comfort."
Such anxieties about the violent and dictatorial nature of these "false" mystics served as a prelude to the actual "uprising" against the Bible Society and particularly against the Russian Bible. "But what more can be achieved? Have not the Bible societies already to a certain extent displaced the visible church? . . . Is it difficult to understand that the mixture of all Christian confessions in their meetings is but a model for that universal religion which they are devising?" Many people regarded this "united Bible stratum" as an anti-Church. The Bible Society greatly resembles "secret societies," and "it is just the same among Methodists and Illuminati 99 as it is in the freemason lodges." Archimandrite Fotii expressed this idea even more emphatically: "Enemies prepared to establish a peculiar Bible religion and make an amalgam of faiths, thereby reducing the Orthodox faith of Christ." He thought the "new" faith to be an outright fraud. In our time, many books express, and many societies and private individuals herald, some new form of religion, supposedly preordained for the last days. This new religion is preached in various forms: as a new light, a new doctrine, a coming of Christ in the Spirit, a reunification of the churches, a renewal in the form of the Thousand Year Reign of Christ; or else it is propagated as a new truth which is an apostasy from the Divine, Apostolic, Patristic and Orthodox faith. This new religion is the belief in the approach of the Antichrist, who foments revolutions, thirsts for bloodshed, and is filled with the spirit of Satan. The false prophets and apostles of this new religion are Jung-Stilling, Eckartshausen, Guyon, Boehme, Labzin, Gossner, Fessler, the Methodists, and the Herrhutters. All such frightened conjectures did not lack foundations. There were more than ample grounds for anxiety. In any case, the spiritual atmosphere was unhealthy. As it turned out, this partially justified "uprising" degenerated into a sordid court intrigue and the anxiety resulted in a fit of hysterics. All sense of proportion and judicious perspective was lost. In the ensuing polemic and struggle each side possessed only half of the truth and both sides shared the blame.
TRANSLATION OF THE RUSSIAN BIBLE
Formal discussion about a Russian translation of the Bible first began in 1816. As president of the Russian Bible Society, Golitsyn received a verbal directive from the Emperor "to propose to the Holy Synod His Majesty's sincere and precise wish that Russians be provided with the means to read God's word in their native language, which for them is more comprehensible than the Church Slavic now used for the publication of Holy Scripture." At the same time, this new translation would be published parallel with the Slavic text, as had been done earlier with the Epistle to the Romans, a translation made with the permision of the Synod. 100 "Of course it is understood that the use of the Slavic text must remain inviolate in Church services." The Russian translation would be only for personal use and home reading. Among other justifications for the contemporary Russian translation, Golitsyn referred to the letter of the Greek Patriarch Cyril VI, 101 which, similar circumstances, allowed the people to read the New Testament contemporary rather than ancient Greek. Cyril's letter had been printed in the minutes of the Russian Bible Society in 1814.
The Synod did not supervise or accept responsibility for the translation of the Bible. Perhaps higher authority suggested such course of action. Instead, the Commission on Ecclesiastical Schools was placed in charge and was also required to find reliable translators in the St. Petersburg Academy. The Russian Bible Society would publish the completed translation. Such a translation would enjoy the Emperor's protection. He had originated the idea, or at least it was attributed to him.
Not only does he approve the utmost haste in this work of salvation, but he inspires the work of the Society with the ardor of his own heart. He himself set aside the printing in an incomprehensible language which to date has barred many Russians from the Gospel of Jesus, and he opens this book for the very youngest among the people, for whom it has been closed, not through the Gospel's intent, but solely through the darkness of time.
Actually this "incomprehensible language" did not so much make the Bible less accessible for the people as for the upper class, especially the Emperor, who customarily read De Sacy's popular French translation of the New Testament. 102 He continued to do so even after the publication of a Russian version.
The Commission on Ecclesiastical Schools entrusted supervision of the translation to Archimandrite Filaret, 103 the rector of the St. Petersburg Academy. Filaret also had the authority to select translators at his own discretion. It was assumed that the translation would be done at the Academy. Filaret translated the Gospel of John; G. P. Pavskii 104 translated Matthew; while Archimandrite Polikarp (Gaitannikov), 105 rector of the St. Petersburg Seminary and soon afterward rector at the Moscow Academy, worked on Mark; and Archimandrite Moisei (Antipov-Platonov), 106 a former instructor at the St. Petersburg Academy but at that time rector of the seminary in Kiev (later rector of the Kiev Academy and then Exarch of Georgia) translated Luke. A special committee in the Bible Society examined and verified the work of the individual translators. The committee included Mikhail Desnitskii, later metropolitan of St. Petersburg, Seraphim Glagolevskii, also a future St. Petersburg metropolitan, l07 Filaret, Labzin, and V. M. Popov, director of a department in the "Dual Ministry" and secretary of the Bible Society. Popov, a member of Madame Tatarinova's circle the translator of Lindel and Gossner, and a man of extreme mystical views, ended his life as a "humble fanatic" (Vigel') in the Zilantov Monastery of Kazan'. Characteristically, the supervisory committee consisted of an unexpected medley of members.
Filaret established the guidelines for the translation, as the style of those guidelines readily attests. The translation was to be made from the Greek, which, as the original language, was given preference to Slavic, on the condition that Slavic words be retained or used in the translation "if they, rather than Russian, more closely approximate the Greek without producing obscurity or awkwardness in the text," or if the corresponding Russian words "do not conform to a pure literary language." Accuracy, then clarity, and finally literary purity constituted the priorities. Several stylistic directives are quite characteristic "The Holy Scripture derives its majesty from the power, not the glitter, of its words; consequently one should not adhere excessively to Slavic words and phrases only for the sake of their supposed impressiveness." Another remark is still more important: "The spirit of a passage must be painstakingly observed, so that conversation will be rendered in a colloquial style, narration in a narrative style, and so forth." These propositions appeared as foul heresy to the literary "archaists" and proved to be of decisive moment in that turbulent "uprising" or intrigue of the 1820's against the Russian Bible.
By 1819, the Russian translation of the Gospels had been completed and published. In 1820, the entire New Testament appeared. A Russian translation of the Old Testament began immediately, with the Psalter translated first and, in January, 1822, published separately (in Russian only without the Slavic text). Work on the Pentateuch began at the same time. l08 More translators were enlisted from they newly opened academies in Moscow and Kiev, as well as from several seminaries.
The thorny and complex question of the relationship between the Hebrew and the Greek texts immediately arose. How worthy and meritorious is the Septuagint? How significant are the Massoretic texts? These questions were intensified because every departure from the Septuagint in effect also meant a divergence from the Slavic Bible, which remained in liturgical use. Therefore, some imposing justifications or disclaimers were needed. At the outset, the question received a simple solution: the Hebrew (Massoretic) text would serve as the basic or "original" text. A special preface was written in order to pacify those unacquainted with ancient languages about the discrepancies with the Slavic Bible. Filaret wrote the preface and Metropolitan Mikhail, Metropolitan Seraphim, (then metropolitan of Moscow) and Filaret, now archbishop of Iaroslavl', signed it. Final correction of the translation was entrusted to Father Gerasim Pavskii. The printing had been completed in 1825, but due to changed circumstances, not only did the work fail to see the light of day, but it was confiscated and hastily burned. Biblical work was halted and the Bible Society was closed and banned. The disastrous outcome of the Biblical work requires explanation. A Russian translation of the Bible commanded widespread attention and sympathy; numerous paeans of praise, and many ardent, enflamed phrases were openly proclaimed or publicly composed. Not everyone meant what they said, and a great deal of pure sycophancy existed. Yet many spoke from the heart and with full conviction. Publication of the Russian Bible answered an undoubted need and alleviated the "hunger to hear the Word of God," as Filaret put it. One may recall that Tikhon Zadonskii also spoke plainly about the necessity for a Russian translation. 109 The Russian Bible Society version was not irreproachable, but the nature of its problems and shortcomings could be corrected only through public discussion and broad cooperation, not through fear, condemnation, or suspicion.
Strictly speaking, Prince Golitsyn, that "layman in heretical garb," not the Russian Bible, was the object of attack. The final "uprising" against the Bible Society and its work united disparate people who scarcely had anything in common either temperamentally or in style. Two men, Archimandrite Fotii and Admiral Shishkov, ll0 supplied the ideology for the entire anti-Bible intrigue. Actually, two ideologies were present. Archimandrite Fotii (Petr Spasskii, 1792-1838) typifies that troubled and giddy age with all its cankerous suspicion. Although a fanatical opponent of mystical and other diabolical intrigues, Fotii possessed the same psychology as his opponents and suffered from the same diseased ecstasy. In his autobiography, Fotii provides a most convincing and dreadful portrait of himself. A visionary and. devotee of ecstasy, he had nearly lost all sense of ecclesiastical-canonical reality. He is all the more pretentious for the utter lack of humility. His is the portrait of a conceited, insolent, and self-proclaimed charismatic, who presumptuously surrounds himself with an atmosphere of protective exaltation. A typical example of the seductive power of a false asceticism which becomes a terrible, blindly serpentine alley, Fotii existed in an emotional state, in a world of impressions and experiences. But he lacked perspective on religious life. Living in fear and apprehension, he dreaded and shrank from the public view. If he went on the offensive he did so from insurmountable fear. Herein lies the answer to the difficult question about Fotii's sincerity: he was not a vile hypocrite. His actions and accusations are consistent. He attacked the Bible Society in the genuine conviction that he was fighting with Beliar ("an archangelic struggle"). This personal conviction and sense of being a prophet who has been called or sent, the perception of an extraordinary mission or task, and a certain ecstatic egocentricity all characterize this type of fanatic. Fotii might be termed a man possessed rather than a hypocrite. In any case, the voice of the church's history and ancient traditions can scarcely be detected in Fotii's violent appeals and outbursts. He was too ignorant to do so, for he knew very little about patristic or even ascetical writings. He almost never refers to them. "I do not possess the [writings of the] Holy Fathers, I have and read only the Holy Bible." In this regard, Fotii did not depart from the custom of that "Biblical" age. Neither a rigorous defender nor guardian of the church's customs and traditions, Fotii loved to do everything to suit himself, which resulted in quarrels with the church authorities. Usually he argues on the basis of personal revelations and inspirations; on the basis of visions apparitions, and dreams. In short, Fotii was not so much superstitious as fanatical.
Fotii studied at the St. Petersburg Theological Academy "under the sharp eye of Archimandrite Filaret." But he did not graduate because of an illness which took the form of a paroxysm induced by fears and spiritual exhaustion. Fotii became confused and paralyzed by the mysticism then prevalent in society. Many at the academy read too deeply in the poisonous books of the liar and apostate Jung-Stilling.
Newly published writings, such as Stilling, Eckartshausen, and similar novelistic and freethinking books could be read at the academy. . .Quarrels broke out over the Thousand Year Reign of Christ on earth, eternal damnation, and other religious questions; some loved to deviate from the Holy Scriptures, others found mysteries everywhere. The academy library would not lend the works of the Holy Fathers, for no one gave permission or provided the example. German and other foreign commentators on the Holy Scriptures, who caused more harm than they did good, were recommended and passed around.
Fotii became utterly confused in such an environment. He also seems to have learned a good deal during the little more than a year he spent at the academy, although there is little likelihood that he learned and became trained "to discover mysteries everywhere." Nor did the academy infect him with a fashionable mania for interpreting the Apocalypse and divining the times through apocalyptical texts used as signs. Where Fotii's actual or imaginary enemies adduced the Kingdom of a Thousand Years from such texts, Fotii discerned the Antichrist. "The wood is already stacked and the fire is being kindled."
After leaving the academy, Fotii became a teacher at the Aleksandr Nevskii schools, where he was under the supervision of Rector Innokentii. 111 In 1817, Fotii accepted tonsure and was quickly appointed a teacher of religion in the second military academy. 112 While his field of vision expanded, Fotii continued to gather polemical materials, reading, rereading, and reviewing newly printed seditious books, "especially those either manifestly or secretly revolutionary and pernicious." His assortment and inventory of such books was rather diverse and disjointed and included books on English materialism, French pornography, freemasonry and magic, German philosophy, the sorcery of Boehme, Stilling, and similarly "satanic books," "revolutionary and evil" books, "wretched Masonic" books, the works of that "Masonic heretic" Fenelon and that "foul French woman " Guyon, and other works such as those "setting forth the teachings of the Methodists and the quietists, that is, of that Jacobinism and philosophy which hides behind the mask of Christianity." Fotii always remained mistrustful of the "newly educated" clergy: "not a single collaborator was found suitable; each was prepared to put the truth up for sale."
The Russian Bible made its appearance against this background. At first Fotii attacked actual Masons. As he put it, "At the risk of my life, I acted to counter Messenger of Zion [Sionskii Vestnik], Labzin, the Masonic lodges and heresies, trying to halt the spread of their schisms." Fotii was correct about many things, but he described all such defects with an hysterical intensity which could be more irritating than convincing. He possessed a peculiarly ecstatic suspiciousness which disfigured his accurate observations through the addition of imaginary and imperceivable traits. Metropolitan Mikhail appointed Innokentii to calm Fotii. But Innokentii only further aroused him with his own bitter remarks about the snares of the devil. Fotii later wrote a Life [Zhitie] of Innokentii after his own likeness or in keeping with his imagined ideal. In reality, Innokentii was more subtle and profound, although he lacked sufficient self control and patience.
Fotii soon came to be too obstreperous for the capital and was dispatched to Novgorod as abbot of the Derevianits Monastery, then Skovoroda Monastery, and finally the Iur'ev Monastery, where he served as archimandrite. While at the Iur'ev Monastery, Fotii formed a close friendship with Countess A.A. Orlova, 113 which proved to be the decisive event in his life. Through "Countess Anna," Fotii unexpectedly began his friendship with Prince Golitsyn during those same years. Their correspondence which has been preserved, possesses a warm and sincere character. 114 In his "autobiography," Fotii recalls his long and extensive conversations with Golitsyn at Countess Orlova's home. These talks sometimes lasted nine hours without interruption. Fotii emphasizes that Golitsyn passionately came to love him and was prepared to fulfill his every wish. Judging by Golitsyn's actual letters, Fotii did not exaggerate. He succeeded for a time in reconciling Golitsyn with Metropolitan Seraphim. Golitsyn saw in Fotii another St. John Chrysostom and a "youthful starets" [elder] . At the time, Fotii was barely thirty. Fotii did not conceal his own warm feelings: "You and I - the two of us - are like one body and soul, one mind and heart; we are one because Christ is in our midst."
The "uprising" broke out in 1824. As Filaret recalls, "The uprising against the Ministry of Religious Affairs and against the Bible Society and the translation of the Holy Scriptures had been organized by people guided by personal interests, who not only spread farfetched and exaggerated suspicions, but even produced fabrications and slanders, hoping to attract other, well-intentioned people to their cause." Arakcheev's115 role in this intrigue needs no elaboration. For him the intrigue was the denouement and the means for removing from authority and influence a powerful rival with personal ties to the Tsar.
The appearance of Gossner's book On the Gospel of Matthew [O Evangelii ot Matfeia] in Russian translation served as the occasion and the pretext for decisive action. The translation could only have been an excuse, for the book was indistinguishable from the multitude of such edifying and pietistic works then being published. Several times Fotii wrote frenzied letters to the Tsar, warning him of danger. He did so with the knowledge and conviction that he had been consecrated and sent to testify in defense of the beleaguered church and fatherland. An angel of the Lord had been sent to him on Palm Sunday. The angel, appearing before him during a dream, held in his hand a book with large letters inscribed on its cover: "this book has been composed for revolution and at this moment its intention is revolution." The book, it turned out, was A Summons to men to follow the inner inclination of the Spirit of Christ. 116 Fotii defines the basic idea of this cunning and impious pamphlet as "an appeal to apostasy from the faith of Christ and a summons to alter the civil order in all of its parts."
The only argument which might possibly undermine the combined ministry in the eyes of Alexander I was "revolution." Fotii candidly says that: "Such political activities and plots had much greater influence on him [Alexander] than did the welfare of the whole Church." Religiously, Alexander was no less radical than Golitsyn. Fotii testified that "residing in this city for one and a half months, I secretly observed Gossner and learned that he was preparing revolution in those minds which he had been brought here to teach. He has been so well protected that no one dares touch him; he was summoned here because none among our Orthodox clergy could be found capable of such schemes." Fotii's letters aroused the Tsar's interest precisely because of their hysterically apocalyptical character. Consequently, he wished to meet Fotii personally. He had earlier met with Metropolitan Seraphim. After his audience with Alexander, Fotii twice visited Golitsyn and at the second meeting cursed him to his face.
Fotii stands before the holy icons: a candle burns, the holy sacraments of Christ are before him, the Bible is open (at Jeremiah 23). The prince enters like a beast of prey (Jeremiah 5:6), extending his hand for the blessing. But Fotii gives him no blessing, speaking thus: in the book Mystery of the Cross [Tainstvo kresta], printed under thy supervision, it is written: the clergy are beasts; and I, Fotii, a member of the clergy, am a priest of God, so I do not want to bless thee, and anyway thou dost not need it. (He gave him Jeremiah 23 to read.) However, Prince Golitsyn refused to do so and fled, but Fotii shouted after Golitsyn through the door he left ajar: if thou dost not repent, thou shalt fall into Hell.
That is Fotii's version. In his Notes [Zapiski], Shishkov adds that: "Fotii shouted after him; `Anathema! Thou shalt be damned.' That same day, a rescript was issued exiling Gossner from the country and ordering that the Russian translation of his book be burned at the hand of the public executioner. Furthermore, the translators and censors were to be placed under arrest. Fotii greatly feared the Tsar's wrath for his daring anathema, but he continued to send his appeals to the court, including one outlining a "plan for the destruction of Russia" as well as "directives for the immediate destruction of this plan in a quiet and felicitous manner." The question of the Bible Society was posed most forcefully. "The Bible Society must be eliminated on the pretext that since the Bible has already been printed, it is now no longer needed." The Ministry of Religious Affairs was to be abolished, and its present dignitary deprived of two other posts. Koshelev 117 should be removed, Gossner expelled, Fessler 118 banished into exile, and the Methodists driven out, or at least their leaders. Once again Fotii invoked divine inspiration: "Divine Providence does not now reveal that anything more should be done. I have proclaimed God's commandment; its fulfillment depends on Thee. Precisely twelve years have elapsed from 1812 to 1824. God conquered the visible Napoleon who invaded Russia. Through Thy person let Him conquer the spiritual Napoleon:' During the ensuing days, Fotii sent the Tsar several more of his alarming "missives." "A great, fearful, and illegal mystery is at work, which I am revealing to thee, O thou powerful one with the strength and spirit of God." The goal was achieved and on 15 May 1824, Golitsyn was dismissed, the combined ministry abolished, and the former departmental divisions reestablished. Nevertheless, Golitsyn did not fall into disfavor or lose his personal influence, even after Alexander's death.
The aged Admiral Shishkov, "the half-dead Shishkov dug up from oblivion," was appointed minister of a separate Ministry of Education. Although Shishkov did not become Minister of Religious Affairs, inertia perpetuated the politics of the combined ministry only in reverse, for he persistently interfered with Synodal affairs. Shishkov had no very precise religious views. He was a moderate free-thinker of the eighteenth century, who limited his rationalism out of national-political considerations. Even close friends who were well disposed toward him testified that Shishkov held "views closely approximating, if they did not actually coincide with, Socinianism." 119 Fotii referred to him rather evasively: "He defended the Orthodox Church to the extent that he possessed any knowledge." Fotii knew perfectly well such "knowledge" was rather meager and related more to the church's role in a state which had called upon it to be a pillar and a bulwark against rebellion and revolution. However, Shishkov had his own firm opinions about Biblical translation. The very idea of translating the Bible seemed to him the foulest of heresies, although above all a "literary heresy," in Sverbeev's 120 clever phrase. For Shishkov denied the very existence of a Russian language. "As though it was something distinct," he would say perplexedly. "Our Slavic and Russian language is one and the same, differentiated only into higher language and common speech." This was Shishkov's basic religious-philological thesis. Literary or colloquial Russian in his view and understanding is "only the dialect of The common people" within a Slavic- Russian language. "What is the Russian language divorced from Slavic? A dream, a riddle!. . . .Is it not odd to affirm the existence of a language which does not contain a single word?" The lexicon is one and the same for both styles of dialects. "By Slavic we mean nothing else than that language which is higher than colloquial and which, consequently, can only be learned by reading; it is the lofty, learned literary language."
In the final analysis, Shishkov distinguished between the two languages: the "language of faith" and the "language of passions " or to put it another way, the "language of the church" and the "language of the theater." Biblical translation appeared to him to be a "transposition" of the Word of God from the lofty and dignified dialect to that low-styled language of the passions and the theater. He believed that such a step was being taken in order to deliberately belittle the Bible, hence his constant fuss over "the observance of Orthodoxy in literary style." He also considered the translation hastily made; "thrown to a few students at the Academy with instructions to do it as quickly as possible." The Russian translation's departure from Church Slavic cast a shadow on a text which had become familiar and hallowed by church usage and thereby undermined confidence in it. "The pride of some monk [Filaret?] or learned braggart says: thus it is in Hebrew. Well, who will convince me that he knows the full force of such a little known language, written so long ago?" Quite frequently Shishkov speaks as if Slavic was the original language of Holy Scripture. "How dare they alter words considered to come from the mouth of God?"
Shishkov was not alone in these religious-philological reflections. Curiously enough, for similar reasons, Speranskii also completely opposed a Russian translation of the Bible. The language of the "common people" seemed to him less expressive and precise. Would it not be better to teach everyone Slavic? Speranskii advised his daughter to use the English translation, not the Russian, when she encountered difficult passages. Many others shared this opinion. 121
Shishkov detected a particularly sinister scheme in the publication of the Pentateuch "separately from the Prophets." Whereas in fact, the Pentateuch represented the first volume of a complete Russian Bible and had been planned for publication prior to the succeeding volumes in order to speed the work. Shishkov suspected that this separate publication had been conceived and executed in order to push the common people into the arms of the Molokane heresy or simply into Judaism. Might not someone understand the Mosaic law literally, particularly the observance of the Sabbath? . . . .Should not a qualification be added that all this can be explained figuratively and as shadows of the past? With the support of Metropolitan Seraphim, Shishkov succeeded in having the Russian Pentateuch burned at the brick factory of the Aleksandr Nevskii Monastery. Subsequently, Filaret of Kiev 122 could not recall this destruction of the Holy Scriptures without a terrible shudder.
Shishkov saw no need to distribute the Bible among laymen and the people generally. "Will not this imaginary need, by demeaning the significance of the Holy Scriptures, result in nothing other than heresies or schisms?" Would not the dignity of the Bible be lowered by having it in the home? "What can come of this? . . . .A vast sum will be expended in order that the Gospel, heretofore regarded with solemnity might suffer the loss of its importance, be sullied, ripped apart, thrown under benches, or serve as wrapping paper for household goods, and have no more ability to act on the human mind than on the human heart." Shishkov writes still more emphatically that "this reading of the sacred books aims to destroy the true faith, disrupt the fatherland and produce strife and rebellion." He believed that the Bible Society and revolution were synonyms.
Quite consistently, Shishkov also objected to translation of the Bible into other languages such as Tatar or Turkish, for who could vouch for the fidelity of the translation? Shishkov also feared commentaries on the Bible. Who will explain the Scriptures once they are so widely distributed and so easily accessible?
Without qualified interpreters and preachers, what will be the effect when large numbers of Bibles and separate books of the Bible have been disseminated? Amidst such an unchecked (and one might say universal) deluge of books of the Holy Scriptures, where will room be found for the Apostolic teachings, practices, and customs of the Church? In a word, for everything which heretofore has served as a bulwark of Orthodoxy? . . . All of these things will be dragged down, crushed, and trampled under foot.
Similarly, Shishkov viewed the publication of the Catechism [Katekhizis] as a dire plot. Why print so many copies, if not to spread an impure-faith? (A total of 18,000 copies had been printed.) Once again the Russian language more than anything else frightened Shishkov. "It is unseemly in religious books to have such prayers as `I believe in One God' and the Pater Noster transposed into the common dialect." The Catechism contained scriptural texts in Russian.
The catechism composed by Filaret (a task originally entrusted to Metropolitan Mikhail) had been issued in 1823 with the approval of the Holy Synod and by imperial directive. "At the request of the Minister of Education," accompanied by the use of the Emperor's name, the Catechism was removed from sale at the end of 1824. Filaret immediately lodged a protest against its removal and openly raised the question about Orthodoxy. "If the Orthodoxy of the Catechism, so solemnly confirmed by the Holy Synod, is in doubt, then will not the Orthodoxy of the Holy Synod itself be called into question?" In reply, Metropolitan Seraphim insisted that the question of Orthodoxy had not been raised and that there was no doubt or dispute on that point. The Catechism had been suspended solely because of the language of the Biblical texts and of the "prayers." Seraphim, with some disingenuousness, went on to say. You may ask why the Russian language should not have a place in the catechism, especially in its abbreviated form intended for young children entirely unfamiliar with Slavic and therefore incapable of understanding the truths of the faith expounded for them in that language, when it, that is, Russian, has been retained in the sacred books of the New Testament and in the Psalms. To this and many other questions which might be asked in this connection, I cannot give you any satisfactory answer. I hope that time will explain to us that which now seems clouded. In my opinion, that time will soon come . . .
Seraphim's answer could signify that he either had not personally or actively participated in the new course of events, or that this apparent inconsistency could be quickly overcome by extending the ban to include both the Russian translation of the New Testament and the Bible Society. In any case, Seraphim simply lied when he denied that the Catechism's Orthodoxy had been questioned. Fotii emphatically and publicly pronounced it heretical, compared it with "canal water," and unfavorably contrasted the Catechism with the older Orthodox Confession of Peter Mogila. 123 The Catechism was subjected to examination, if not officially, then at least officiously. Apparently Archpriest I.S. Kochetov (1790-1854), a candidate for a higher degree, who had graduated with the first class of the reformed St. Petersburg Academy, and at that time a religion teacher at the Tsarskoe Selo lycee, had been entrusted with the review. His evaluation, quickly arrived at, did not favor the catechism. Kochetov took more interest in questions of language than of theology. As a philologist, he served as a member of the Russian Academy, beginning in 1828. Later he achieved full membership. 124
Metropolitan Evgenii, 125 who recently had been summoned to attend the meetings of the Holy Synod, maintained a very critical attitude toward the Catechism. Filaret's successor at Tver' and Iaroslavl', Simeon Krylov-Platonov, 126 contemptuously dubbed the Catechism "a miserable pamphlet," containing unheard of teaching and "insufferable insolence." In any event, a revised edition of the Catechism was recirculated only after careful re-examination of all Biblical texts and citations, including their "presentation in Slavic rather than in the Russian dialect." Even the language of exposition was deliberately adapted or made more nearly approximate to Slavic. However, only insignificant changes in content were made at that time.
Shishkov obtained Emperor Alexander's permission to forbid translations of the Bible as well as to close the Bible Society. He was able to supply some arguments himself, and others were suggested to him by such zealots as M. Magnitskii 127 and A.A. Pavlov 128 (who worked in the office of the Over Procurator of the Holy Synod). Fotii described Pavlov as that "brave warrior of 1824." Metropolitan Seraphim acted as one with Shishkov. However, Seraphim acted on suggestion. A timid man, he lacked "sufficient clarity of mind" to distinguish responsibly enthusiasm and suspicions amidst the cross-currents of rumors and fears. Left to himself, Seraphim would have insisted only on the dismissal of the "blind minister." All further reasons were suggested or even imposed on him. At one time Seraphim had studied in Novikov's "seminary," and he had been an active member of the Bible Society, both as archbishop of Minsk and later as metropolitan of Moscow. He often delivered speeches filled with pathos in the meetings of the Moscow Bible Society. However, his sentiments were changed when he transferred to St. Petersburg. He immediately broke with Golitsyn. Following Golitsyn's removal from office, Metropolitan Seraphim, as president of the Bible Society, began to importune Emperor Alexander about abolishing and closing down all Bible societies and transferring all their affairs, property, and translation projects to the Holy Synod.
Such demands were not quickly realized, coming as they did only during the next reign under the fresh impact of the Decembrist revolt, l29 the responsibility for which Shishkov convincingly blamed on the "mystics." However, the rescript of 12 April 1826 closing the Bible Society contained an important qualification: "I sanction the continued sale at the established price for those who desire them the books of the Holy Scriptures which have already been printed by the Bible Society in Slavic, Russian, and in other languages spoken by inhabitants of the Empire." Even Nicholas I 130 was not fully prepared to follow Shishkov. In practice, however, the publications of the Bible Society were taken from circulation and only the committees concerned for prisons continued to supply the Russian translation of the New Testament to exiles and prisoners from their stocks.
Curiously enough, in 1828, Prince K.K. Liven, the former superintendent in Dorpat and a prominent and influential figure in the former Bible Society, replaced Shishkov as Minister of Education. Later, in 1832, he became the head of the revived German Bible Society. Prince Liven belonged to the Moravian Brethren. "Sometimes an official sent from somewhere with an important dispatch would discover him in the reception hall in front of the lectern, loudly singing the Psalms. Turning to the official, he would listen to him, but without answering, continue his liturgy" (Vigel'). Of course, Liven was a German and a Protestant; and it was the German Bible Society, which was restored. Yet as Minister of Education, he was called upon to administer to the whole empire. In any case, by that time, "the views of the government" had changed once again.
RETURN TO SCHOLASTICISM
The "uprising" of 1824 was directed not only against the Bible Society, but against the whole "new order." Filaret of Moscow correctly defined the purpose of the "uprising" as "a return to the time of scholasticism." Yet, the chief defender of the new order during these years turned out to be none other than Filaret. Filaret (1782-1867) had a long life, literally from the annexation of the Crimea to the "Great Reforms." But he was a man of the Alexandrine age. He was born in sleepy, oblivious Kolomna and studied in a pre-reform seminary where students were taught in Latin from Latin books. However, at the Holy Trinity monastery seminary, where he finished his studies and became a teacher, the spirit of Protestant scholasticism was mitigated and moderated by the winnowing of that churchly pietism so typically exemplified in Metropolitan Platon Levshin. 131
Archimandrite Evgraf (Muzalevskii-Platonov), the rector, taught from Protestant texts. Filaret recalled that "Evgraf would assign selected passages to be copied from Hollatius."132 Lessons consisted of translating and commenting on these dictated passages. "Those doctrines which Orthodox and Protestants have in common, such as the Holy Trinity, Redemption, and so on were studied systematically, but others, for example, the doctrine of the Church, were not read at all. Evgraf did not receive a systematic education, although he recognized the necessity for studying the church fathers and he studied them." Evgraf typifies a generation in transition. He loved mystical interpretations of the Bible and would become quite transported by such explanations. "The Kingdom of God is contained not in the word, but in strength." He attempted a transition to Russian language instruction. Subsequently he served as rector of the reformed St. Petersburg Theological Academy, but he died soon after his appointment.
Filaret did not judge him too harshly when he said that: "An inexperienced teacher instructed us in theology, but he did so with great application." Filaret's personal recollections of the "pre-reform" seminary were wholly negative. "What was there to admire?" Filaret himself acquired a brilliant command of classical languages and a sound preparation in stylistics and philology from such a school. As a consequence he knew ancient languages better than modern ones and never studied German at all. For the rest, he could thank his personal talents and dedication to hard work. Thus, in an important sense, there was some basis for his fond description of himself as a self-educated man.
In 1809 the newly tonsured hierodeacon Filaret was summoned from the quiet refuge of a Holy Trinity Monastery bathed in the spirit of pious reverie to St. Petersburg "for inspection" and for service in the newly reformed ecclesiastical schools. For Filaret the startling contrast and the sudden transfer gave St. Petersburg a strange appearance: "The course of affairs is entirely incomprehensible to me," he admitted in a letter to his father. He could recall those first impressions of St. Petersburg for the rest of his life. The Synod greeted him with the advice to read "Swedenborg's Miracles" [Shvedenborgovy chudesa] and learn French. He was taken to court to view the fireworks and attend a masquerade party in order to meet Prince Golitsyn, the Over Procurator of the Holy Synod, quite literally "amidst the noise of the ball."
Then a short man, his breast adorned with stars and medals, entered the room and began threading his way through the hall. He was wearing a three-cornered hat and some sort of silk cape over an embroidered uniform. Then he ascended to the balcony where the clergy were decorously seated. He mingled politely with the members of the Synod, nodding to them, shaking their hands, briefly murmuring a word or two first to one, then to another. No one seemed surprised either at his attire or his familiarity. This was Filaret's first masquerade ball, and he had never before seen a domino. "At the time I was an object of amusement in the Synod " Filaret recalled, "and I have remained a fool." Filaret received a cool welcome in St. Petersburg, and he was not immediately permitted to teach at the academy. But by early 1812 he had become the academy rector and an archimandrite, with the task of supervising the Iur'ev Monastery in Novgorod. He advanced primarily through his ardor, his distinguished "preaching of the Word of God " and his "edifying and eloquent homilies on the truths of faith." Filaret had already attracted attention as a stylist and a preacher while at the Holy Trinity Monastery. He truly did have a gift and feeling for words.
Platon and Anastasii Bratanovskii l33 among Russian preachers influenced him. In St. Petersburg he became acquainted with seventeenth century French sermonists, especially Massillon, Bourdaloue, and most of all, Fenelon. 134 But the influence of the eastern fathers, Chrysostom and Gregory the Theologian, whom Filaret always particularly loved and valued, is quite pronounced. Filaret chose contemporary themes for his sermons. He spoke about the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit, the mystery of the Cross, "a voice crying in the wilderness"-the favorite topics of pietism and quietism. He frequently preached in Prince Golitsyn's chapel, even on weekdays. Grigorii (Postnikov), 135 a former student and friend, commented rather unfavorably on these early sermons. He wrote to Filaret, frankly saying that these sermons displayed "a studied concern for wordplay, ingenuity, and circumlocution, which could truly vex a heart seeking the unalloyed and edifying truth." In fact, during those first years, Filaret spoke with an overly intense and ornamental style. Later he became calmer and more cautious, but his language always remained complex and his phrases were always arranged as if in counterpoint. Such features do not diminish the expressiveness of his sermons. Even Herzen l36 admitted Filaret possessed a rare control over language. "He masterfully commanded the Russian language, skillfully interweaving it with Church Slavic." This "mastery" of language provides the principal reason for his powerful style: he writes with the living word, a word which seems to be thinking, an inspired and vocal pondering. Filaret always preached the Gospel and never tried to achieve mere rhetorical effect. Precisely during those early St. Petersburg years, he produced his original and exemplary sermons on Good Friday (in 1813, and especially in 1816). Filaret's scholarly and pedagogical duties during those years display a still greater intensity. A burdensome and severe ordeal awaited him. "I had to teach what I had never been taught." In the short time from 1810 to 1817, he had to prepare himself and construct practically an entire course in theology in all of its branches, including exegetical theology, canon law, and church antiquities. It was not surprising that he complained of extreme exhaustion. Nor is it surprising that these first attempts did not always succeed or represent complete originality. They often produced diverse and overly fresh impressions. "Influences" would be too strong a word. Filaret's first books, An Outline of Church-Biblical History [Nachertanie tserkovnobibleiskoi istorii, 1816] and Notes on the Book of Genesis [Zapiski na knigu Bytiia, 1816], were modelled on Buddeus. 137 He also borrowed Buddeus's scholarly apparatus. Such borrowing was simply unavoidable given his deadline and the haste of the work. The students had to be given textbooks and other manuals in order to take the examinations.
Filaret was an inspiring and brilliant professor. He spoke distinctly with an incisive, lofty, and intelligent manner; but [he spoke] more to the intellect than to the heart. He freely expounded Holy Scriptures, as if the words simply flowed from his mouth. The students became so taken by him, that when the time came for him to stop teaching, a great desire always remained to go on listening without regard for food or drink. He produced a powerful impression through his lessons. Those lessons seemed truly pleasing and perfect to everyone. During class, he appeared as a wise and eloquent speaker and a skillful writer. Everything indicated he devoted much time to scholarship.
This is Archimandrite Fotii's own assessment. He adds that Filaret strongly advocated monasticism "and was very compassionate." Fotii had an opportunity to experience that compassion during his difficult and troubled year at the academy. As Sturdza noted, at that time Filaret was "agitated by the promptings of many quite diverse influences." Along with everyone else, he read Jung-Stilling, Eckartshausen, Fenelon, and Guyon, as well as Kerner's The Seer of Prevorst. 138 Traces of such reading unquestionably remained an indelible part of his spiritual and intellectual make-up. Filaret could find a common language not only with Golitsyn, but also with Labzin and even with itinerant Quakers. Every dimension of religious life interested him and attracted him. However, for all such interests, Filaret stayed squarely within the church and inwardly remained untouched by this mystical awakening. Because he was always so impressionable, Filaret inclined toward suspicion: he noted everything and probed and reflected deeply on each detail, a discomforting habit for those around him. But he preferred a certain reserve, while subduing and disciplining himself above all others. Even Fotii, who in his memoirs reproached Filaret for many things and strongly disliked him, admitted that, while a student "living under the sharp eye of Archimandrite Filaret," he "never noticed, or could have noticed, even the slightest blemish on the teaching about the church, either in classes at the academy or in private." Fotii furiously attacks Filaret for only one thing: his excessive patience and extreme taciturnity.
Innokentii Smirnov advised Fotii to pay Filaret frequent visits, where he might learn what silence means. Such a trait actually was one of Filaret's characteristics. He appeared secretive and evasive. In is memoirs, Sturdza writes that there was "something enigmatic" in his entire being. Completely open only before God, and not before men-at least not indiscriminately-"Filaret never allowed himself moments of unguarded confidences." With partial justification, he might be accused of excessive timidity and caution, for he did not wish to risk challenging powerful authority. ("We two archimandrites of the Iur'ev and Pustynsk monasteries will not save the Church, if it contains some defect," Filaret told Innokentii.) But Filaret's caution had another dimension. He had no faith in the utility or reliability of harshly restrictive measures, and he was in no hurry to meddle or pass judgment. Always able to distinguish the error from the person making it, he looked benevolently on every sincere impulse of the soul. Even in the yearnings of the mystics he sensed a true religious thirst, a spiritual restlessness which stumbled along errant paths, only because "the rightful path had been poorly constructed." Thus, for polemical purposes, prohibitions alone would not be sufficient. Above all, education was needed. For that constructive and creative struggle with error which Filaret wished to wage, one must teach, reason, and refrain from impatient quarrels.
Behind the facade of mystical seductions, Filaret could recognize a vital need for religion, a thirst for religious instruction and enlightenment: hence his enthusiastic participation in the work of the Bible Society. The work attracted him, for he believed that the church should expend its energies on translation of the Bible, "so that the bread might not be taken from the children." He firmly believed in the power of renewal found in the Word of God, and forever linked his name with and his selflessly dedicated life to, the translation of the Russian Bible. His labor on behalf of the Bible is difficult to value at its true worth. For him personally the work meant great personal trials and humiliations. At the height of the "uprising" against the Bible in St. Petersburg, Filaret, in Moscow, replied that "such a desire to read the Bible, is already a sign of moral improvement." If some prefer to live on roots rather than pure bread, the Bible cannot be held responsible. To the anticipated question: "Why this innovation in a matter so ancient and unneedful of change as Christianity and the Bible?" Filaret replied, Why this innovation? What is new? Dogmas? Precepts living? But the Bible Society preaches none of these things but instead places into the hands of those who desire it a book from which the truths of the Church always have been drawn, and from which Orthodox dogmas and also the pure precepts for living continue to be derived. The Society is a new one? Yet it introduces nothing new into Christianity or produces the slightest alteration in the Church . . . .`Why this innovation of foreign origin?' they continue. In reply to that question, one might point out for our worthy compatriots many things and ask a similar question: `Why are they not only of foreign origin, but even entirely foreign'? . . .
As one contemporary put it, "some of the most devout people held the unfortunate belief that people would go mad from reading this sacred book." For a time students in the military schools were officially forbidden to read the Bible, ostensibly as a precautionary measure, for two cadets had already become addled. Many others "regarded it as a book only for use in church and suited solely to priests." From fear of mystical errors and excesses, people suddenly began to shun the writings of Macarius of Egypt and Isaac the Syrian, whose "wise prayer of the heart has been destroyed and derided as a pestilence and a ruination."
Somewhat later Filaret had to prove that it was permissible to write new commentaries on St. Paul's epistles, despite the fact that Chrysostom had long ago provided explanations. "Smoke consumes one's eyes, arid they say `the light of the sun consumes them.' Choking from the smoke, they gasp, `how poisonous is the water from the spring of life.' "
Such a spirit of timid theological endeavor always disturbed Filaret, wherever and whenever it appeared. "Human nature contains a strange ambivalence and contradictory tendencies," he. once said. On the one hand exists a sense of need for the Divine and a desire for communion with God; on the other hand, there is a mysterious disinclination to occupy oneself with Divine matters and an impulse to avoid any discourse with God. . . .The first of these tendencies belongs to man's original nature, while the other derives from a nature blemished by sin.
Possession and preservation of faith are not sufficient: "perhaps you have doubts you actually possess faith, or how you possess it. . . ." Filaret continues. As long as your faith resides in the Word of God and in the Creed, then your faith belongs to God, His prophets, Apostles, and Fathers of the Church and not to you. When you hold your faith in your thoughts and memory, then you begin to acquire it as your own; but I still fear for your acquisition [of it], because the living faith in your thoughts is, perhaps, still only a token of that treasure you have yet to receive, that is the living power of faith.
In other words, faith, in the fullness of its dogmatic content, must become the vital principle or focus in life. Each person must not merely remember the content of that faith, but acquire it with the labor of the mind and with the entirety of the soul. Filaret was not afraid to awaken thought, although he knew temptations could only be overcome and conquered by the creative act and not by frightened concealment. Subsequently he wrote: "The necessity to do battle with enemies and with teachings contrary to dogma is quite a sufficient task. What purpose is served by combatting options which are not inimical to any dogmatic truth?" Filaret always emphasized the necessity to engage in theology as the single and immutable foundation for a complete religious life. "Christianity is not being a fool for Christ's sake [iurodstvo], nor is it ignorance, but it is the wisdom of God." Hence no Christian dares halt at the beginning or remain only at an elementary stage. Christianity is a path or a way. Filaret constantly recalls that "[we] should consider no wisdom, even that which is secret and hidden, to be alien and unrelated to us, but with humility we should direct our minds toward contemplation of God." Christian personality is shaped only through such reasoning and understanding; only in this manner is the "perfect man of God" shaped, and formed. Filaret's favorite aphorism, "theology reasons," is a commandment "to reason" given to everyone and not to the few. He considered overly detailed textbooks harmful, and for quite characteristic reasons. "A student having before him a large textbook, that he cannot absorb even that which had been prepared for him Consequently, the possibility of constructing something for himself seems impossible. Thus the mind is not stirred to activity and the memory retains the words rather than the ideas from the pages of book." What is actually needed is to arouse and exercise the "mind's ability to function," and not simply to develop the memory. Herein lies the solution or explanation for the fervor with which Filaret all of his life fought on behalf of the Russian language, both for the Bible and for theological instruction. He wished, and strove to make theology accessible to everyone, and for that reason he seemed terrible and dangerous to his opponents. General accessibility is just what they did not want. "Translation of the New Testament into the simple dialect left a permanent and indelible stain upon him," wrote Fotii.
It was necessary to wage war on two fronts in order to achieve the use of Russian in school instruction. First, one had to combat the civil authorities (and during Nicholas I's reign all "thought" was regarded as the embryo of revolution). The so-called Committee of 6 December (1826-1830) 139 completely opposed the proposal for instruction in Russian, arguing that the necessary addition of new Russian language textbook editions for dogmatic and hermeneutical theology might attract the attention of unenlightened people to questions about faith: "Providing an opportunity for unfounded explanations and conjectures." Second, one had to debate with the represeritatives of the old learning about the use of Latin in theological instruction. Very many such representatives still survived. After Golitsyn's departure, Metropolitan Evgenii of Kiev 140 had been summoned to the Synod. He was entrusted with a new construction of the ecclesiastical schools, "for the establishment of ecclesiastical schools on the firm and steadfast foundation of Orthodoxy," as Metropolitan Seraphim wrote. Fotii recommended Evgenii and openly counterposed him to Filaret as "wiser than Filaret and at the same time an Orthodox and great man and a pillar of the Church: ' (Fotii gave Evgenii a solemn greeting.) However, once in St. Petersburg, Evgenii became too preoccupied with his personal and archeological interests to be able to devote much attention to the large questions of church politics. Nevertheless, a reactionary spirit could be felt quite strongly among the new membership of the Commission on Ecclesiastical Schools. Filaret of Moscow did not attend the sessions of the Synod during those troubled years (if one does not count the brief session of the Synod in Moscow at Nicholas's coronation). He occupied himself with the affairs of his diocese, and only in 1827 did he return to St. Petersburg. During the first weeks after his arrival, he was called upon to discuss the question of church reform. Someone had presented the emperor with a proposal for fundamental reforms aimed at "saddling the Church with a kind of Protestant consistory composed of clergy and laymen," in Filaret's understanding of the proposal's intent. Apparently General Merder, 141 Nicholas's former tutor, had transmitted the proposal. Filaret believed the author to be A. A. Pavlov, the cohort of Fotii and Shishkov during the "uprising" of 1824. The Synod struggled to compose a reply to the substance of the proposal. Filaret also presented a personal note, which was submitted by the Synod as the opinion of one of its members. The Emperor wrote the word "just" [spravedlivo] on this report, in which Filaret had once again raised the question of Biblical translation. But Filaret's suggestion could make no further progress in view of Metropolitan Seraphim's unqualified opposition. Filaret did not insist. "I do not wish to produce a schism in the Church."
In the next few years, Filaret had one other opportunity to set forth in detail his views on the question of church schools. Once again the opportunity came in connection with those same proposals for reform. He roundly condemned the scholastic schools, and still more emphatically castigated the belated attempts to return to such superannuated models. Before the reform several ecclesiastical schools were distinguished by a knowledge of Latin. . . .As a result, priest knew Latin pagan authors well, but hardly knew religious and Church writers. They could speak and write in Latin better than in Russian. With their exquisite phrases in a dead language, they were more able to shine in a circle of scholars than illuminate the people with the living knowledge of truth. Only dogmatic theology was taught, and then in the school manner. The result was a dry, cold knowledge, a lack of a sufficiently practical capacity to inform, a forced tone, fruitless teaching, and an inability to speak to the people about the truths which seem so familiar in the schools. Since the reforms of the church schools in 1814, instruction in practical theology [deiatel'noe bogoslovie] has been introduced, thereby making the study of theology closer to the demands of life. . . .The Russian language was permitted in teaching theology. Knowledge of Latin became weaker, but at the same time the school terminology began to give way to a purer and cleaner exposition of truth. The extension of true knowledge was strengthened and its communication to the people made easier. . .
Filaret emphasized that: "Theological understanding, crushed by the great weight of school terminology taught in Latin, did not freely act on the mind during the period of study, and after study only with the greatest difficulty was it transposed into Russian for communication to the people." He then criticized the latest directives from the Commission on Ecclesiastical Schools. True, he agreed, not all teachers constructed their courses successfully, but should teaching from "one's own lectures" be totally prohibited for that reason? Must Latin once again become compulsory and Feofilakt's theology textbook, l42 "copied from Buddeus's Lutheran theology," be assigned once again? Filaret once more adduced an argument based on effectiveness. "Return to Latin scholasticism from instruction in a comprehensible native language cannot facilitate the improvement of education. It is surprising that a time which is being praised for its zeal for Orthodoxy should prefer a return to Latin."
Another Filaret, the archbishop of Riazan' and later metropolitan of Kiev, responded to this determined note. Without quarrelling directly with Filaret of Moscow, he insisted upon preserving Latin for various reasons: as a defensive measure for scholarship, but more importantly as a precaution, so that errors and heresies refuted in dogmatic theology would not gain public attention through Russian books. Nevertheless, he did agree with certain points, and proposed that catechisms, particularly the Orthodox Confession, be published for popular use in Russian and Church Slavic. He also admitted that practical theology could best be taught in Russian. Finally, he thought it desirable to organize the translation of patristic writings into Russian from Greek and Latin. Filaret of Moscow had to give way. The final report did not include a proposal for theological instruction in Russian.
I proposed that theology be taught in Russian at the seminaries in order that its study and its transmission to the people might be made easier and so that those who are distrustful will not ask why we conceal the Holy Gospel in a non-Orthodox language. I stated that it is strange and crippling to give sway to Latin in the Greek Church and that Feofan Prokopovich, by doing so, had disfigured our learning, contrary to the general opinion of the Russian hierarchy at that time, and contrary to the example of all Eastern antiquity; but I had to be silent, in order to end those disagreements which could impede our work.
However, Filaret did achieve one thing: a special point was added to the Synodal resolution; "in order that instruction conducted in the ecclesiastical schools might be more fruitfully directed toward the goal of popular education in faith and morality by means of an educated clergy, to that end capable people should be encouraged to prepare theology textbooks which expound truths in a precise way, unobscured by scholastic subtleties, and which modify [theology] to suit the circumstances of the Eastern Greco-Russian Church."
The dispute over the language of instruction was decided with out preliminary debate. Despite the prohibition, in a short time Russian became the language of the schools everywhere. Filaret had already lectured in Russian at the St. Petersburg Academy, as did his successor Grigorii (Postnikov). Kirill (Bogoslovskii-Platonov) 143 did so in Moscow. Both Grigorii and Kirill were graduates in the first class at the St. Petersburg Academy. Moisei, the rector at the Kiev Academy, l44 had already taught in Russian. Meletii (L.eontovich), 145 and later Innokentii, followed his example. Gradually Latin fell by the wayside in the seminaries so that by the 1840's scarcely any school still taught, theology in Latin. Nevertheless, the transition to Russian still did not signify a genuine liberation from the captivity or slavery of scholasticism. In the 1840's Russian theology had to suffer still another relapse of Latin scholasticism. Once again the initiative belonged to the vising Over Procurator.
METROPOLITAN FILARET OF MOSCOW
Filaret wrote very little. The circumstances of his life were unfavorable to writing. Only in his youth could he give himself to scholarship without too much interference. But he was compelled to work hastily. These years were actually more devoted to study than to independent creativity. Soon called to serve in the upper hierarchy, Filaret thereafter had neither the freedom nor the leisure to systematically investigate and study theology. And in his mature years, Filaret was able to be a theologian only as a preacher. In fact, his Sermons and Addresses [Slova i rechi] remains his principal theological legacy. Filaret never constructed a theological system. His sermons are only fragments, but they contain an inner wholeness and unity. It is not a unity of system, it is a unity of conception. These fragments reveal a living theological experience tormented and tempered in an ordeal of prayer and vigil. Filaret of Moscow was the first person in the history of modern Russian theology for whom theology once more became the aim of life, the essential step toward spiritual progress and construction. He was not merely a theologian, he lived theology. From the ambo or his episcopal seat in the cathedral, he firmly and judiciously taught the lessons of faith. Filaret was a disciplined speaker. He never simply spoke, but always read or followed a written text, an oratorical requirement from his school days.
As a theologian and teacher he was above all a Biblicist. His sermons dwelled most frequently on the Word of God. He did not consult Holy Scriptures for proofs: he proceeded from the sacred texts. In Bukharev's 146 apt phrase, for Filaret Biblical texts "were the thoughts of the Living and All-wise God emanating from his unknowableness for our understanding." His thoughts lived in the Biblical element. He pondered aloud while sifting the nuances of a Biblical image or story. Filaret, notes Bukharev, never allowed his theology to become a "legal investigation governed by a dogmatic code of laws," as was usually the case before Filaret's time and as too often recurred during the epoch of the "return to the time of scholasticism."
During his first few years of teaching, Filaret worked out a general plan for a course in theology, A Survey of Theology [Obozrenie bogoslovskikh nauk, 1814]. It was a very characteristic plan, for it was a course in Biblical theology. In Filaret's view, the aim of a theological system was to "link in their proper order" the individual facts and truths of Revelation. A "system" of theology was something fully dependent and derivative. History came before system, for Revelation was given in history and events.
The formalism of the "old Protestant" theological school in which Filaret was raised and educated exercised a strong influence on him, especially in his younger days. He did not at once formally break with the Russian tradition of Prokopovich. A great deal in his definitions and manner of expression was suggested by, or he simply copied from, Protestant books. He refers to such books in his Survey; hence the incompleteness and scholastic imprecision of Filaret's early formulations. He had the habit of referring to Holy Scriptures as "the sole pure and sufficient source of teaching about faith" and added that "to grant the unwritten Word of God equal weight with the written, not only in the functioning of the Church, but in its dogmas is to subject oneself to the danger of destroying God's commandment for the sake of human tradition: ' This was said, of course, in the heat of polemics. But it does seem that if he did not deny it, then Filaret minimized the importance of Tradition in the Church. He shared and reproduced the Protestant idea of the so-called "self-sufficiency" of Holy Scripture. In his early work, An exposition of the differences between the Eastern and Western Churches in the teaching of faith [Izlozhenie raznostei mezhdu Postochnoi i Zapadnoi tserkvi v uchenii very] written in 1811 for the Empress Elizabeth Alekseevna and even in the early editions of the Catechism, Filaret says very little about Tradition or traditions. And in the final redaction of the Catechism during the 1830's, the questions and answers about Tradition were added at the prompting of others.
Yet this was more a fault of the peculiar language of the period than an actual mistake or error. In any case, Filaret never looked upon Scripture abstractly or in isolation. The Bible is given to and is maintained in the Church. The Church gives it to the faithful for reading and guidance. Scripture is written Tradition, and as such it is a witness to the living knowledge and understanding of the Church. Scripture is the record of Tradition, not ordinary traditions of human recollection, but Holy Tradition. To put it another way, it is the sacred memory embodied in writing "for the uninterrupted and uniform preservation of Divine Words."
Scripture, as Filaret explained it, is "only the continuation of Tradition and Tradition's unalterably constructed form." When he spoke of Scripture as the "sole and sufficient" source of teaching about faith, he did not have in mind a book with leather covers, but the Word of God which lives in the Church, and awakens in each living soul that which the Church acknowledges and teaches. Scripture is Tradition. Furthermore, true and holy Tradition is not "simply the visible and verbal tradition of the teachings, canons, ceremonies, and rituals, but it is also the invisible and actual instruction by grace and sanctification." It is the unity of the Holy Spirit, the communion of the sacraments. And for Filaret the main thing was not historical memory, but the uninterrupted flow of Grace. Therefore, only in the Church is authentic tradition possible. Only in the Church does the Grace of the Holy Spirit pour forth revealed truth in an unbroken stream and admonish with it.
Filaret's intense Biblicism was intimately and deeply bound up with his conception of the Church. This was a return to the patristic style and habit in theology. At the same time Filaret emphasized that modern philological studies must provide a precise definition for the "formal meaning" of Scripture. Scripture is the Word of God, not merely the word about God spoken or recorded at one time. It is the efficacious word acting eternally through the ages. It is a certain Divine mystery, the unalterable appearance of grace and power. "Light is concealed in every trace of God's Word, and wisdom is heard in every sound." And Filaret added, "the authenticity of Holy Scripture extends beyond the limits of our reason." It is a kind of Divine treasury: the unceasing, creative, life-giving Word. And the Church is that holy treasury in which this word is preserved. It is a special construction of the Spirit of God.
Authentic and undoubted, Holy Tradition is the indisputable "source" of faith. But the question remains, how does one recognize and discern this "undoubted" tradition? How is the tradition of faith distinguished from the traditions of the schools? It was precisely this question which constantly occupied Filaret's attention. He was reluctant to discuss appeals to tradition, not what constituted Tradition. He protested against the scholastic custom and habit of establishing or proving doctrinal propositions with a simple selection of texts or authoritative testimony. He emphasized that it was impossible to equate any non-Biblical testimony with that of the Bible, and the realm of direct Divine inspiration is precisely described by the boundary of canon. "Is it possible to define precisely that moment when a church writer becomes a saint and is no longer simply a writer subject to the usual human weaknesses?" Filaret did not place limits on the educational authority of the Church. He only limited the authority of the schools.
Historical tradition, in any case, is subject to confirmation, and Filaret had a lively sense of history. It was this sense, which separated him from later scholastics with their logical pedantry and from the mystics such as Speranskii, Labzin, and Skovoroda earlier for whom the Bible became an allegory or a symbol. For Filaret the Bible was always and above all a book of history. It begins with a description of the creation of heaven and earth and concludes with the appearance of a new heaven and earth, "the entire history of the existing world ", Filaret remarked. And this history of the world is the history of God's covenant with man. It is also the history of the Church which begins even earlier. "The history of the Church begins simultaneously with the history of the world. The creation of the world in itself may be seen as a kind of preparation for the creation of the Church because the purpose for which the kingdom of nature was made resides in the kingdom of grace." The world was created for the sake of man, and with the creation of man came the original Church, founded in the very image and likeness of God. Man was introduced into the world of nature as a priest and a prophet, so that the light of Grace would reach out through him to all the created world. In freedom, man was called upon to answer this creative love, "and then the Son of God would reside in men and reign openly and triumphantly throughout the world. Heavenly light and power would pour down ceaselessly on earth until at last the earth was no longer distinct from heaven."
The heavenly Covenant with God was abrogated by the Fall; the original Church was destroyed. Man stifled within himself the eternal life-giving attention of Divine glory, and he likewise blocked the flow of grace to all the world. In the fallen world, however, creative Divine purpose continued to operate. It acts as a promise and a calling. And the created world (submerged beneath the abyss of Divine infinity and hovering above the abyss of personal non-being) preserves the Word of God.
All history is the journey of God toward man and the journey of man toward God. This holy pulse of time and history especially can be felt in the Old Testament. That was a time of messianic expectations and preparations. Mankind awaits and expects the promised Savior, and God equally expects the exercise of human freedom and love. For that reason there is a tension in time: "the created world moves in definite cycles by necessity and cannot be hurried." The Old Testament was a time of prefigurations and premonitions; a time of multiple and multiform Epiphanies, and at the same time it was a returning of the chosen among men to an encounter with the approaching God. "The common ground of Epiphany, especially in its human dimension, is the Incarnation of the Son of God, for the root and foundation of His holy humanity is found in men from the time of the very first progenitors." In this sense, the Old Testament is a genealogy of the Savior.
The image of the Mother of God is sharply and clearly etched in Filaret's theological consciousness. And the Day of Annunciation was for him the most glorious day of all. With the Annunciation in Nazareth the Old Testament ends and the New Testament begins. The tension of expectation is dissolved. Human freedom responds in the Mother of God. "She unreservedly entrusted herself to the desire of the King of Kings, and the marriage of the Divine with mankind was consummated." And in the Birth of Christ the Church, destroyed forever by the disobedience of the earthly Adam, is recreated indestructibly and forever. The Kingdom of Grace is revealed and the Kingdom of Glory is already slightly visible.
In Filaret's view, the Church is the Body of Christ, "the unity of one life" in Him. It is not the union of all under one authority, even under the royal authority of Christ. Moreover, the Church is a continuing Pentecost: a unity in the Spirit of Christ. The sanctifying stream of grace as an unquenchable fount flows to the very threshold of the coming Kingdom of Glory. "When the mysterious body of the last Adam, composed and constituted by Him through the mutual linking of the members by the appropriate actions of each of them, grows in its composition and is perfectly and finally created, then, upheld by His Head, infused with the Holy Spirit, the image of God triumphantly appears in all its members and the great Sabbath of God and man ensues." The circle of time is closed. The Lord Pantocrator is enthroned and the marriage of the Lamb begins.
In his theological speculations Filaret always proceeded from the facts of Revelation and moved among them. He never departed from history in order hurriedly to ascend to "the exalted heights of contemplation" by means of abstract theology. He had no love for "cold philosophy" and was guided in theology not so much by logical conclusions as by historical phenomena. He was always conscious of the Divine Mysteries in their historical manifestations and actions. And all history is revealed before him as a single great unfolding of Divine Love and Divine Glory in the created world. The theme of his theology was always the Covenant of God and man, in all the complexity and multiform character of its historical fate.
Filaret's "system" was not constructed under "influences" and "impressions," for its inner structure is patristic (compare it especially with Gregory of Nyssa). He dwelled with particular attention on two themes: first, the mystery of the Cross, the mystery of Redemption. And second, the description of the life of Grace, the life in the Spirit Christ revealed to the faithful. Christ is the mysterious First Priest who is offered and who brings the offering. He is the Lamb of God and the Great Hierarch (see the Epistle to the Hebrews). It was the Cross of Golgotha he saw in the Gospels. It was the passion of the Savior he saw in the God-man. "The fate of the world is suspended from His cross, the life of the world lies in His grave. The Cross illuminates the weeping land of life; the sun of blessed immortality streams forth from His grave." The mystery of the Cross is the mystery of Divine Love. "Thus in the spiritual realm of mystery, along the entire dimensions of the Cross of Christ, contemplation is overwhelmed in the limitless love of God." On Good Friday Filaret once preached on the passage "And God so loved the world." He urged that the ultimate meaning of the Cross be grasped. "Behold! . . . There is nothing except the holy and blessed Love of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit toward a sinful and despairing mankind. The Love of the Father in the act of crucifying; the Love of the Son who is crucified; the Love of the Spirit which triumphs by the power of the Cross."
Filaret was completely free of any sentimental or moralistic misinterpretations of the love of the Cross. On the contrary, he emphasized that the Cross of Christ is rooted in the inscrutableness of Divine benevolence. The mystery of the Cross begins in eternity "in the sanctuary of the Tri-hypostatic Godhead which is inaccessible to the created world. Thus, Christ is spoken of in Scriptures as the Lamb of God, forewarned or even crucified from the time of the world's creation. "The death of Christ is the center of created being. The Cross of Jesus, built by the animosity of the Jews and the bloodthirstiness of the pagans, is the earthly image and shadow of this heavenly Cross of love." In his sermons, especially on days recalling the Passion, Filaret ascended to the heights of lyrical prayer; a trembling of the heart can be heard in these addresses. His sermons are impossible to paraphrase; it is only possible to reread and repeat them. We find no integrated system in Filaret, for he always spoke "on occasion." We do find something greater: a unity of living experience, a depth of intellectual conception, "a mysterious visitation of the Spirit." And this is the clue or explanation for his influence on theology. He had practically no direct disciples, nor did he create a school; he created something more important: a spiritual movement. Filaret was always reserved in his theological judgments and he urged others to exercise the same responsible caution. This unremitting sense of responsibility, in which pastoral and theological motives were intertwined, was always at work on him and gave him a stern countenance. It was rightly said that "he was a bishop from morning to night and from night to morning." This was a source of his caution. But he had another motive as well, an instinctive need to justify his every conclusion. It is precisely this need which explains all of his reservations. "Each theological thought must be accepted only in the measure of its strength." Filaret always opposed the transformation of private opinions into required ones which might restrict rather than guide perceptive and searching thought. That is why he was such an unpleasant and impatient censor and editor. His report on Innokentii's Passion Week [Strastnaia Sed initsa] is characteristic: "I wish that calm reason might accompany the labor of a lively and powerful imagination and cleanse this book." Filaret did not reject "imagination," but he subjected it to strict verification, and not so much verification by reason as by the testimony of Revelation.
Not much may be expected by relying on one's own philosophical reasoning for those subjects not found in life on earth. It is more fitting to follow Divine Revelation and the explanations of it given by people who have prayed, labored, cleansed their inner and outer lives more than we. The image of God is more apparent and the sight is clearer in those whose spirits here on earth border more closely on heaven than our own.
Obviously, Filaret was not so preoccupied with authority as with inner reliability.
Filaret appeared too pliable or excessively timid to others in direct proportion to his own demands and caution. Some accused Filaret of "Jacobinism in theology" 147 because he always demanded "proofs" and very cautiously distinguished between "opinion" and "definition." "The people did not love him and called him a Mason" (Herzen). Others considered him a dark reactionary and (strangely enough) preferred Count Pratasov 148 (this applies not only to Nikanor Brovkovich l49 but also to Rostislavov). 150 Still others were confused because Filaret would not condemn the Latin faith as heresy or even as a schism, but instead he argued that it was only an "opinion" and not a ruling of the Church. In particular he tried to guard against exaggeration: "Placing the Papal Church on the same level as the Armenian Church is cruel and useless." He seemed too cautious when he argued that the Eastern Church "does not possess an autocratic interpreter of its teachings who might give the weight of dogma to his explanations." It seemed that he left too much to the "individual judgment and conscience" of the faithful, even though it was "assisted by the teachers of the Church and was under the guidance of the Word of God."
Some could not find adequate words to describe Filaret's oppressive tyrannical character. In this connection, the hostile autobiographical "notes" of the historian S. M. Solov'ev 151 were especially typical. In Solov'ev's description, Filaret was a sort of evil genius, who smothered the least inkling of creativity and independence in his subordinates. Solov'ev insisted that Filaret destroyed any creative spirit in the Moscow Theological Academy. Something must be said about this later. Here it is enough to note that Solov'ev's calumny can be countered by considerable contrary evidence. One example, which is supplied by a person whom it is difficult to suspect of partiality toward Filaret, must be enough. This was the statement of G. Z. Eliseev, the famous radical and editor of Notes of the Fatherland [Zapiski otechestva] .152 He was a student in the Moscow Academy at the beginning of the 1840's and then a baccalaureate and professor in Kazan'. In Eliseev's estimation, there was too much freedom and an exceptional environment of heartfelt warmth, softness, and camaraderie at the Moscow Academy.
Solov'ev was shortsighted and partial in his judgments. He was not able, nor did he wish, to find any redeeming qualities in those who did not agree with him. He was particularly irritated by people of a "restless mind," who offended his cozy night-Hegelian worldview. Filaret was not the only one whom Solov'ev condemned in this fashion. He found only harsh and foul words for Khomiakov. 153 But Solov'ev was unfair to Filaret even as an historian. He could not and would not understand that Filaret's outward severity sprang from grief and anxiety. "This man has a hot head and a cold heart." This characterization is a deceptive half truth. It is true that Filaret's mind was fervent and hot, and restless thoughts left a deep impress on his withered face. But it is simply nonsense and a lie that Filaret's heart was cold. It flowed sensitively and impressionistically. And it burned in an uncanny and terrible anxiety. His obvious achievements and obvious integrity could conceal this grief and anxiety, this inner suffering, only from a shortsighted observer. Filaret's difficult and courageous silence hardly concealed or quieted his uneasiness about what was happening in Russia. "It seems that we no longer live even in the suburbs of Babylon, but in Babylon itself," he declared one day.
Khomiakov once noted that Filaret was compelled to travel by "devious routes" in order not to provide a pretext for being attacked. "Submission required detours, while his exactness perhaps made it less likely that they would be on the watch and inflict an unexpected blow," wrote another contemporary. Filaret once wrote to Grigorii [Postnikov] : "It is a great misfortune if those against whom they seek an opportunity to attack provide that opportunity. . . ."
Filaret did not like easy and safe paths, for he did not believe that easy paths could lead to truth - the narrow path could hardly turn out to be an easy one. "I fear only that joy on earth which thinks it has nothing to fear. . . ."
THEOLOGY IN THE REFORMED ECCLESIASTICAL SCHOOLS
Filaret was one of the most influential and prominent representatives of the new "theology of the heart" taught in the reformed ecclesiastical schools. The aim of this instruction was "the education of the inner man," by imparting a living and well-founded personal conviction in the saving truths of faith. "The inner education of youths for an active Christianity will be the sole aim of these schools." (Ukaz of 30 August 1814.) One might recall Neander's 154 aphorism which was so popular in those days: pectus est quod facit theologum, "the heart makes the theologian.'' However, in the Russian schools this theology of the "heart" was not the only current. We can detect and distinguish two divergent tendencies from the outset. One was the "theology of the heart." The other it was usual at that time to call "neologism," a moral-rationalistic school of Christian interpretation Neologism was introduced by Ignatius Fessler l55 in the St. Petersburg Theological Academy.
In 1819, Filaret was replaced as rector by Grigorii Postnikov a student of the first graduating class at the new academy. (Subsequently he became metropolitan of Novgorod; he died in 1860.) Grigorii was a continuator, follower, admirer, and even friend of Filaret of Moscow. Although he was a man of very alert and clear thought, he possessed no inner animation. He had none of Filaret's restless searching mind, nor did any of that dizzying panorama, before which Filaret was so accustomed to live, ever unfold before him. One never feels a tension even in Grigorii's sermons. Everything was limpid, his voice was even and calm. He disliked dogmatic themes and preferred action. His moralism was very measured and annoying, although it is impossible not to feel his great moral strength. "Simplicity, dignity, and truthfulness," reports Fotii, who did not like him. Grigorii's character was reflected in his language. There are no rhetorical devices, no ornamentation, only a certain heaviness, coarseness, and plainness. Grigorii, especially in his later years, did not like to write "for the people." Still, one always senses the influence of those often read and reread English instructional books and brochures from the beginning of the century. His thought was formed and disciplined in the reading of foreign authors, especially English ones, and it seems that at one time Grigorii studied English with the students.
He was a great bibliophile and stimulated reading among the students. He regularly offered the students money for translations, in order to compel them to read. As a teacher and lecturer, Grigorii was very popular and well liked. He taught in Russian, and in his lectures he investigated Holy Scriptures in Russian translation, not Slavonic. In general he was a zealous defender of the Bible in Russian until the end of his days. He gave preference in the Old Testament to "Hebrew truth," underscoring the fact that it was hardly possible to construct with precision an exact translation of the Septuagint from its varied renderings. But he approached the Massoretic punctuation critically and with reserve.
In 1822, Grigorii ,published several chapters of his theology course. They were examined, approved, and, of course, corrected by Filaret. There is very little that is original in them. But what was important was the very lively voice and manner of the author. Much later Grigorii wrote his famous book against the schismatics or Old Believers, The truly ancient, truly Orthodox Church [Istinno-drevniaia i istinno-pravoslavnaia Tserkov', 1855] . Again, it contains very little that is new, yet the elevated, calm, benevolent tone is arresting. The author was truly attempting to persuade and convince. Tolerantly and cautiously, he tried to succeed "through the word of truth." Grigorii was a sincere defender of religious independence and a zealot for education. He possessed a genuine pastoral interest and persistence.
Metropohtan Grigorii's special service at the St. Petersburg
Theological Academy was the founding of a journal with the characteristic title Christian Reading [Khristianskoe Chtenie] . It began in 1821. 'The first aim of the journal was to provide instructional reading - Russian reading - for all bibliophiles and churchmen. The Biblical tendency was clearly indicated by the choice of epigraph; "built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets" (Ephesians 2:20). In any case, subsequently, during the "return to the time of scholasticism," this approach seemed pretentious and dangerous. Because it was a danger, it was replaced by another epigraph. After 1842, I Timothy 3:15 was used in its place: "you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth." Subsequently both epigraphs were combined.
In its first year, Christian Reading was reminiscent of the Messenger of Zion [Sionskii Vestnik] both in the selection and character of its articles. A special section was included as a "mystical chronicle."
In our Fatherland only very rarely do the beneficient actions of the Holy Spirit on men's hearts become known. Therefore all lovers of Christianity, especially people of the religious calling, are invited to report on these actions to the editors in order that they might be shared as manifestations of the glory of God.
News about spiritual signs and miracles was even taken from foreign publications. After 1825, however, the format of this journal became more cautious and more translations were provided from the Fathers. From the outset of publication, Christian Reading enjoyed an unexpected success, with 2,400 subscribers in the first faw years.
Kirill Bogoslovskii-Platonov 156 followed Grigorii's example at the Moscow Theological Academy. He taught in Russian, disliked modern philosophy, and read books in an ascetic spirit.
The quality of Gospel teaching consists in quieting hearts stricken with grief and fear of heavenly judgment; it consists in looking into the depths of one's spiritual condition. But how can one who has not experienced this love of the Cross, whose heart is not filled with that grief for God which leads to salvation, achieve or explain this power and soothing quality of the Gospel?
During Kirill's tenure as rector of the Moscow academy, each student was obliged to keep a personal journal of his activities and thoughts. Kirill was close to the disciples of the Moldavian Elders. 157 While archbishop of Podolia, he became interested in the Baltic priest Father Feodosii Levitskii, 158 arid in his reports portrayed him with complete sympathy and approval as a truly spiritual man. He climaxed his course at the academy with a treatise on the traditions of the Church.
At the Kievan academy the representatives of the new theology were Moisei Antipov-Platonov, who died in his office as Exarch of Georgia in 1834, and Meletii Leontovich, later archbishop of Kharkov (he died in 1840). 159 taught in Russian, and both belonged to the first graduating class of the St. Petersburg Academy. Several others among the brightest in this first class still must be mentioned. V. I. Kutnevich was sent at once as baccalaureate of philosophy to the Moscow Academy, where he immediately found a student and successor in Golubinskii. Kutnevich soon left the service of the academy and subsequently became the Grand Chaplain [ober sviashchennik] and a member of the Synod. He died in 1865. He expended great effort on translations from the Greek Fathers. Aleksei Malov (d. 1855), the archpriest of St. Isaac's Cathedral and priest in the Invalid Home (Invalidnyi dom], was praised as an outstanding and powerful preacher. He was a typical seeker of "spiritual" and "universal Christianity." During his meeting with William Palmer, l60 the latter was greatly confused by Aleksei's amorphous views on the structure and limits of the Church. In his day, Father Malov had been a participant in the "spiritual" gatherings of Madame Tatarinova, and, it seems, he was the confessor for several members of this circle. 161
Among the other early graduates of the St. Petersburg Academy, the most inspired exponent and preacher of these new moods was Makarii Glukharev (1792-1847), one of the most remarkable men of that era. While at the academy, Glukharev was completely under Filaret's influence. "He gave up his will to Rector Filaret, and did nothing or undertook nothing without his advice and blessing. Nearly every day he confessed his thoughts to him." The spiritual tie between teacher and student lasted his lifetime. Glukharev was exclusively impressionistic and introspective. It was difficult for him to work under ordinary conditions. At the academy he read many mystical books - Johann Arndt above all. 162 He adopted from such books the idea of a renaissance and renovation of the inner man who is illuminated by the Holy Spirit. Once he attended a gathering at Madame Tatarinova's apartment, but he ran away frightened. Upon finishing the academy, he went to Ekaterinoslavl as a teacher. There he became acquainted with the local bishop, Iov Potemkin, 163 who had been tonsured by the Moldavian Elders. Through Iov, he became close to two monks from Moldavia, Father Liverii and Father Kalinnik, under whose influence Glukharev decided to become a monk. During this phase of his life, he was entirely consumed by a restless searching. Soon he was transferred as rector to the Kostroma Seminary, but he suffered not only as an administrator, but also as a teacher. At the earliest opportunity Makarii quit and went to live first at the Monastery of the Caves and then at the Glinskii Monastery, which at that time was a center of a contemplative renaissance. He read a good deal there under the direction of the Elder [Starets] Filaret, l64 and translated St. Augustine's Confessions, the Ladder [of St. John Climacus], the discourses of St. Gregory the Great, and the declamatory sermons of St. Theodore the Studite. "The school of Christ is one of those bright points on the globe which may be reached only by placing oneself on the level of Christ's infancy." He translated St. Macarius as well as the works of Teresa of Spain from the French. He intended to translate Pascal. 165
Makarii always maintained an inquisitive and favorable attitude toward the beliefs of others. In Ekaterinoslavl' he prayed with the "Spiritual Children" (the Molokans), and found that the light of God's illumination glowed in their warm faith. The Quakers Grellet and Allen, while traveling in Russia in 1819, 166 visited Ekaterinoslavl' with a letter of introduction from Filaret, and found in him a mutual spiritual bond. Later in life, Makarii dreamed of constructing in Moscow a cathedral with three wings - for Orthodox, Catholics, and Protestants. Makarii did not remain long in monastic isolation before he began to thirst for some work. He found it in preaching among the Siberian tribes. He also found himself. Filaret of Moscow called him a "Romantic missionary," and, in fact, Makarii took to missionary work enthusiastically and with great animation. As a first step, he acquired two Tobolsk seminarians as assistants and composed a model instruction for the first missionary outpost:
We desire that all will be in common among us: money, food, clothes, books, and other things; such measures will aid our efforts toward one accord.
The mission worked under conditions of extreme hardship and poverty. The mission was a true apostolic labor for Makarii. He gave himself up to it with all the intensity of his soul. A less dedicated missionary might attest that "this flame did not burn for Christianity." Makarii's reply to such doubt was decisive: "Who in my position can judge the immaturity of these people for the universal faith in Jesus Christ? He shed His Immaculate Blood on the Cross and tasted death for the salvation of all men." . . . "There is no people whom the Lord would not know as His own, no depth of ignorance and darkness into which the Son of God, having bowed heaven down, would not descend, into which He Himself would not bend down." Makarii sets forth his general views in a special work: Thoughts on the means for a successful extension of the Christian faith among the Jews, Mohammedans, and pagans in the Russian Empire [Mysli o sposobakh k uspeshneishemu rasprostraneniia khristianskoi very mezhdu Evreiami, Magometanami, i iazychnikami v Rossiiskoi derzhave, 1839] . Makarii proposed to form a missionary center in Kazan', a special missionary-institute monastery, governed by a strict communal statute, yet including a sufficiently variegated educational program in both its general curriculum and theology. He wished to acquaint his colleagues with the system of Lancastrian schools, the fundamentals of medicine, and the basics of agriculture. Obviously contemplative dreaminess did not kill Makarii's sense of realism. The Altaic mission under his guidance is one of the most heroic and saintly episodes in our history.
A new idea was born during Makarii's apostolic labors, and it became an all-consuming passion. It was a plan to translate the Bible. As early as 1834, Makarii presented to the Synod through Metropolitan Filaret a note entitled On the necessity for the Russian Church of a translation of the entire Bible from the original texts into contemporary Russian language [O potrebnosti dlia Rossiiskoi tserkvi prelozheniia vsei Biblii s original nykh tektsov na sovremennyi russkii iazyk]. Filaret concealed this letter in order to protect the "Romantic missionary" from the wrath and punishment of the higher authorities who considered beneficial the translation of the Scriptures into the languages of half civilized and completely uncivilized peoples, but not into Russian.
Makarii neither heard nor understood the arguments. In 1837, he presented to the Commission on Ecclesiastical Schools the first part of his own translation, the Book of Job, along with a letter addressed to the Emperor. Again the matter remained without result. In 1839, Makarii presented the Emperor with a translation of the Book of Isaiah and a new letter. The following year he resubmitted the two books for examination and comparison with Pavskii's translation. the existence of which Makarii had not known earlier. At that point Makarii moved from arguments and persuasion to threats and dire prophecies. Earlier he had expounded on the necessity and usefulness of the Word of God in a living language. "The Russian people are worthy of possessing a complete Russian Bible." Makarii bemoaned the fact that "Russians remain indifferently without a complete Russian Bible, while at the same time they possess a full Russian translation of the Koran." He was convinced the time was ripe "to create from the purest, most valuable materials of the Russian language a literary cathedral of the Wisdom of God written with such simplicity, correctness, and exactness that it will be the most beautiful in the world, the true glory of our Orthodox Church before the peoples of all churches, and the joy of heaven."
Now Makarii grieved and threatened, "O, sorrow! The Royal Doors are shut through which the Evangelists one after another came to us from the sanctuary, and each with his Gospel blessed the Russian Church in the name of Jesus Christ. Now everything is concealed and dark. . . . We learn that all of the Pentateuch of Moses was already translated into pure Russian from the Hebrew and printed in abundant copies, and has lain for many years in some empty warehouse - that holy and awesome book of the Law of God, which lay in the ark of Noah's covenant, in the holy of holies, and which was read aloud before the Israelites, not excluding women, children, and strangers. Will the Word of God in the raiment of Slavonic letters cease to be God's Word if it is in Russian raiment?"
With simple naivete Makarii was touching on the sorest and most painful points. He even enumerated the signs of God's wrath: the flood of 1824, the uprising of 1825, the cholera of 1830, the fire in the Winter Palace. . . .167 This time he was given an answer. By an ukaz, the Synod explained to Makarii how egotistically and pretentiously he portrayed himself as a "self-appointed exegete of Divine Judgment," and .how audaciously "he has exceeded the limits of his calling and his duties." Therefore, he was commanded to undergo a "penance of prayer" at the residence of the bishop of Tomsk. Filaret of Chernigov 168 writes about this penance: "they compelled him to conduct the liturgy for six weeks in succession, but he understood this as God's mercy and was very well pleased with the penance." Undoubtedly, he misunderstood why in St. Petersburg daily conduct of the liturgy was considered a punishment for a priest. In Makarii's service record it was noted that "he carried through a forty day purification penance before presenting the government his thoughts and desires for a complete Russian Bible translated from the originals." Soon afterward Makarii requested his release from the mission. He was appointed superior of the Bolkhovskii Monastery in the Orlov province, where he was able to recover heart, although he stayed there only a short while. He did not cease translating.
He began to dream of going to the Holy Land, and settling, if possible, in the Bethlehem cave of Jerome l69 in order to finish and perfect his translation of the Old Testament. It was said that he planned to visit Leipzig on the way and arrange for printing. Not without difficulty did he receive permission for the journey. But on the very eve of his departure he fell ill and died.
Makarii was a man of saintly uprightness and purity. "An actual living Gospel," Archbishop Smaragd 170 said of him. He interwove the best traditions of contemplative monasticism, his own personal experience, and the Biblical lessons of the schools. Makarii was a man of great knowledge and an outstanding Hebraist. In his work on the Bible he usually followed most closely the work of Rosenmueller, 171 without, however, being captivated by the latter's skepticism. And at the same time he was a man of spiritual simplicity and transparent soul. "Makarii was a true servant of Christ God," Filaret of Moscow wrote after Makarii's death in 1847. "And of course it is remarkable that during a time of peace he prophesized that there would be sorrow for neglecting the extension of God's Word; that sorrow later came to pass."
The isolated position of the Moscow Theological Academy in its wooded retreat or, more accurately, backwater in the St. Sergius suburb at the Holy Trinity Lavra decisively contributed to the fact that in this academy the guiding moods of the new era took flesh. Of course the preparations and habits of Metropolitan Platon's time were conducive. In his memoirs, Rostislavov 172 accuses Filaret for attempting to transform the St. Petersburg Academy into a kind of "semihermitage." The Moscow Academy actually became such a "semi-hermitage," a kind of learned monastery "of the heart." A common style took shape there which is easy to distinguish in everything. For example, take the lists of books given to the students for rewards or encouragement: even in 1833 these were the French Bible in the translation of De Sacy, the works of Fenelon or Francis de Sales, or even John Mason. 173 Or take the themes for semester compositions: "On the yearning of creatures [tvari] "; "On the lack of differentiation of religious confessions; or is it possible to be saved in any faith?"; "On the inner and outer Church" (Themes for 1826). "On the conditions of the so-called spiritual dehydration, or on the periodic impoverishment of the spiritual man in beneficient consolations"; "Why there were more possessed people during the lifetime of Christ and the Apostles than either before or since" (Themes for 1832).
In Moral Theology for 1817-1818 a young baccalaureate recommended not only that the students read Macarius of Egypt and St. Augustine, but also Arndt, Thomas a Kempis, Hornbeck, and even the anonymous History of those regenerated [Istoriia vozrozhdennykh].174 He taught from Buddeus' textbooks. In 1820 and 1821, the students translated Joachim Lange's Mysterium Christi et christianismi. 175 Of course the most characteristic teacher of the period was Fedor Golubinskii, 176 a graduate of the first class after the reform of the schools. He was a typical representative of the epoch.
Among the representatives of the older generation who studied in the pre-reform schools but who belonged to this "theology of the heart" were Metropolitan Mikhail, Archimandrite Evgraf (Filaret's teacher), and Innokentii Smirnov. 177 Innokentii enters the history of Russian theology as the composer of An Outline of Church-Biblical History [Nachertaniia tserkovno-bibleiskoi istorii, 1816-1818]. The book was hastily written, and its author is not at fault if after his death it was forcibly retained in the schools as a textbook even until the 1860's when it was clearly out of date, inadequate, and unsuitable. (The posthumous editions were reworked by Archdeacon Kochetov.) 178 The History, compiled from Weismann, Spanheim, Baronius and the Magdeburg Centuries, l79 was very dry, factual, and formal. Surmounting the scholastic routine was not easy even for such a lively person as Innokentii. At the St. Petersburg Seminary, where he was rector, Innokentii taught in Latin (after his death, his notes on active theology [deiatel noe bogoslovie] based on his Latin outlines were published in Russian translation).
Such a combination of "piety of the heart" and scholastic "erudition" is found among many of this older generation. The best example was Filaret Amfiteatrov, subsequently the well-known metropolitan of Kiev (1779-1857).180 He was a man of warm piety, a large heart, and a true spiritual life; an upright and saintly man. But in his teaching he remained an uncompromising proponent of the scholastic past. He taught, but not for long, in the reformed schools, first in St. Petersburg and then in Moscow (as inspector and rector). He always taught in Latin. He was emphatically against teaching theology in Russian. He followed Irinei Fal'kovskii 181 in his lecture plan, and in his explanation of Scripture 'he was guided most of all by the exegesis of Vitringa. 182 His audience noted the thorough precision in his exposition, a "mathematical precision," and deft argumentation. But at the same time these were more like sermons than lectures in the strict sense, "something in the way of an announcement of good tidings."
Filaret was hostile to the "mystical" current. "During my professorate at the Moscow Academy there was a general trend toward mysticism and I, with all my might, combatted it." He was even less reconciled to philosophy. "Not only were philosophical formulas foreign to him, but so were the very names of Spinoza or Hegel." Even Filaret of Moscow, whom he dearly loved, seemed to him too learned and wise: did such a thing correspond to monastic vows and humility? In his early years Filaret Amfiteatrov participated in the Bible Society, and even in 1842 supported Filaret of Moscow and was compelled to leave the Synod at the same time. Still later he became much more cautious and began to protest sharply against the renewal of Russian Biblical translations.
There were many dedicated people in the ranks of the older generation. One example was the influential and well-known Muscovite Father Semen Sokolov. "He was famous in Moscow as a strict and instructive confessor, as a cautious guide for those confused by doubts and rumors in days of sorrow and temptation, and as a profound and spiritually impregnated mystic" as it was phrased by one of those whom he confessed (N.V. Sushkov in his notes on Filaret). He studied at the Holy Trinity Lavra seminary and was connected with the members of the "Society of Friends." He had a long life (1772-1860). For the education of his "spiritual children" he translated and published (in 1834) Thomas a Kempis' famous book with an appended instruction about how such books should be read. In later Years he loved to read and reread the Messenger of Zion [Sionskii Vestnlk], and he did not prohibit the reading of Eckartshausen. Such was the power of "Europeanization" in post-Petrine Russia that it was possible to return to the traditions of spiritual life only along a western route and by western example. Arndt was known earlier than the Philokalia. 183 And for many Arndt remained a long while their first love in illumination. True, very early the reading of the Greek Fathers, and the Father-ascetics in particular, were added. But only with the establishment of contemplative monasteries in Russia, with their living return to the Orthodox traditions of spiritual life, did the wave of western mystical enthusiasms begin to subside.
In the ecclesiastical schools the influence of the Alexandrine epoch was long and lasting. In those circumstances of theological "sensitivity" the characters of men such as Filaret Gumilevskii or A. V. Gorskii l84 might flow together. Only by reference to the spirit of the Alexandrine age is it possible to understand the tragic fate of Archimandrite Fedor Bukharev. . . , 185
THE MORAL-RATIONALISTIC SCHOOL
Another clearly defined and directly counter movement may be distinguished from the very outset in the reformed schools. Undoubtedly its best representative was Father Gerasim Pavskii (1787-1863), a graduate of the first class of the reformed St. Petersburg Academy, a remarkable Hebraist, a long time professor of Hebrew at the academy, and a doctor of theology at St. Petersburg University. He was also court chaplain, confessor, and tutor to the Tsarevich, the future Alexander II.186 Above all, Pavskii was a philologist - a man with a real philological gift and artistic flair. With all the ardor of scholarly passion he adored the Hebrew Bible. He studied Semitic philology prior to the printing of Gesenius' grammar, l87 and his intellectual outlook was formed under the influence of eighteenth century authorities. During his first years as a teacher at the academy, Pavskii composed and printed his own Hebrew grammar. However, the Hebrew and Chaldean dictionary of the Old Testament which he also compiled in those same years was not published.
Pavskii soon joined the Bible Society and was greatly enthusiastic about the translation. "It was not the language which was important for me," he later stated, "but rather the pure Holy Scriptures undistorted by commentaries. I wished to achieve a true exegesis of Holy Scripture by language alone. A true understanding of Hebrew leads to an understanding of theology." For the Bible Society he translated the Psalter (he wrote his own classroom text on the Psalms) and supervised the printing of the Pentateuch. Even after the Bible Society was closed he continued to translate: this work constituted his students' lessons at the academy. After Pavskii left the academy, the students lithographed his translation on their own initiative. It immediately enjoyed wide circulation in the ecclesiastical school milieu. The appearance of this "secret" translation aroused fears, especially among Synodal authorities. The translation was suppressed, the copies sought out and collected (this was in 1824).
There were grounds for such fears and accusations. Translation of the Bible could not long remain merely a literary exercise, and for Pavskii it was not such an exercise. Translation is always interpretanon. The lithographed translation was divided into sections with chapter headings and explanations, and with introductory and explanatory notes. In doing so, Pavskii most closely followed Rosenmueller. Pavskii left the impression that he accepted messianic prophecy in a very limited way and doubted the authenticity of various books and texts. There is no use to argue now: those were Pavskii's actual views, although he completely disavowed them under investigation. This liberal and critical approach to the Old Testament corresponded to his general religious outlook. Pavskii was neither a philosopher nor a thinker, but he had very definite religious-philosophical convictions. At the university he first lectured on "the history of the development of religious ideas in human society." Under Runich 188 this was replaced by the instruction in Church history in conformity with Innokentii's textbook. Pavskii recommended Draeseke's Glaube, Liebe und Hoffnung 189 as a hand-book for students. Subsequentiy, he wrote Christian teaching in a brief system [Khristianskoe uchenie v kratkoi sisteme].
Pavskii professed a highly personal and undefined religious moralistic idealism. Religion is the feeling by which man's spirit inwardly embraces and is blessed by the Invisible, Eternal, and Holy. The study of religion is designed only to awaken, enliven, and nourish this holy feeling, so that it might strengthen, enlighten, and enflame the inner man, and give of itself the strength, light, and life to the entire man, his complete understanding, his thoughts, desires and acts.
Thus, positive religion is simply a kind of transfer of this innate feeling into a very clever but inadequate rational element. Ritual and even dogmas are only an outer shell, only a "hint," and the dogmas of reason might even suppress or drown this immediate "holy feeling." In Pavskii's understanding, religion approaches morality. And Christ for him was barely more than the Teacher. Pavskii limited the "substance" of Christianity by the direct testimony of Scripture.
I thank God that the Church in which I was born and educated does not compel me to believe in something without proof. It permits me to delve into the pure and holy Word of God, and if it prescribes a thing it always indicates the basis for its prescription in the Word of God and the common voice of the enlightened teachers of the Church.
The Church embraces all confessions in so far as they contain the "true essence" of dogmas. Palmer was very surprised when he heard of it Pavskii was very open in his conversation with Palmer. The priest is in no way distinguishable from the pastor, and thus, for example, "succession" was unbroken among the Lutherans.
The Christian Church is merely the shadow of Christ's invisible and unobtainable kingdom. Among the Christian churches the one which most purely expresses the idea of Christ's kingdom is nearest to perfection. Each visible church must understand that it is only on the way to perfection complete perfection is still far distant in the invisible church, in the kingdom of heaven."
It should also be noted that Pavskii spoke with considerable heat against monasticism. "Church history has convinced me that monasticism is unclean and contrary to the law of nature. Consequently; it is contrary to the law of God." Pavskii was a prominent worker and one of the "directors" in the Bible Society, yet he was always hostile to what he called the "crooked roads" of mysticism. Peter Bartenev 190 rightly noted that Pavskii was "a spokesman for a vague, evasive, vascillating piety," and in this respect he was quite typical. Pavskii was completely suited to Zhukovskii and General Merder, 191 at whose suggestion Pavskii was invited to be the religion tutor to the Tsarevich (in 1835 he was compelled to leave this post under pressure primarily from Filaret, who found his theological views quite erroneous). This was the sharpest form of westernism not just in theology but in spiritual self awareness: a psychological inclusion in the German tradition. This was particularly true at the St. Petersburg Academy where true monastic life never exerted a necessary corrective. Pavskii was an outstanding philologist, and from the philological point of view his translation was very valuable. He was able to convey the very style and literary manner of the holy writers and the prosodic structure of the Biblical language. The translator's repertoire of Russian words was quite rich and fresh. Pavskii was also a gifted teacher, and imparted a good deal to his audience. However, he had few direct disciples. Only S.K. Sabinin (1789-1863), a priest with the diplomatic mission in Copenhagen and then in Weimar, did any independent work. By way of preparation Sabinin wrote on how to understand the meaning in "The Song of Songs." He then worked on the "Book of Isaiah." In Christian Reading he published a series of exegetical essays mostly dealing with the "Book of Prophets." After Pavskii's translation was suppressed, Sabinin turned to Scandinavian themes. He published a grammar of Icelandic. For him philological intersts were uppermost, just as they were for Pavskii.
In another way, Innokentii Borisov (1800-1855) also belonged to this same "German" current in Russian theology. He was a graduate of the first course at the Kievan Academy, inspector of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy, rector of the Kievan Academy, and finally archbishop of Kherson and Taurida. In his day, Innokentii was repeatedly suspected and accused of "neology." An "unofficial inquest" was made into his manner of thought. There were some grounds for one. Innokentii was interested in philosophy most of all. But he was not a thinker. He had a sharp and impressionistic mind, not a creative one. Nor was he a scholar. He was able to phrase questions in an enticing way, and lay bare inquiry at an unexpected point; he could seize his audience's or his reader's attention and transmit the answers of others with great verve and enthusiasm. Only a brilliant delivery masked the persistent lack of creative independence. But it was always delivery and not erudition. As Filaret of Moscow said about Innokentii: he lacks judgment, but he has too much imagination. In fact, Innokentii was an orator, and "eloquence" is the key to his influence and success both in the professor's chair and in the preacher's ambo.
In his theology lectures Innokentii was not independent, but lectured on dogmatics by adhering to the "system" of Dobmayer, 192 as did his theology teacher Archimandrite Moisei. At the time this "system" was used in the Austrian Catholic schools. This was all very characteristic of this "transitional" epoch - from the Enlightenment to Romanticism, from Lessing, Herder, and Kant to Schelling or even Baader. The fundamental and controlling concept of this "system" is the idea of the Kingdom of God humanistically explained as a "moral communion." The influence of the Enlightenment was ubiquitous and Christianity was depicted as a school of natural morality and blessedness [blazhenstvo]. Christology remained pale and ambiguous. All of these traits can be found in Innokentii. Characteristically, the theme of his senior thesis was "On the moral character of Jesus Christ." Innokentii's famous book The Last Days of Jesus Christ's Earthly Life [Poslednie dni zemnoi zhizni Iisusa Khrista, 1847] is only remarkable for its literary qualities. It was literature, not theology. Innokentii did not exceed the boundaries of rhetorical and sentimental humanism. In place of theology he always offered psychology; in place of history he offered rhetorics. Innokentii never sounded the true depths of spiritual life. He was eclectic. There were still many elements of the Enlightenment in his outlook, yet he was powerfully attracted by Alexandrine mysticism. In his lectures he often dwelled on the pietist tradition and with great sympathy referred to Fenelon, Guyon, Jung-Stilling, and Eckartshausen, "who had done so much that was useful." Innokentii often spoke on Schubert l93 themes: dreams and death. Of course he spoke about The Seer of Prevorst. l94 He skirted the cosmological motifs in theology. "All nature is a portrait of the Most High, perfect and complete." An echo of mystical natural philosophy can be detected in that statement.
Innokentii is still interesting to read. Naturally, it would be more interesting to hear him. Several passages in Bishop Innokentii's lectures were calculated solely for the effect they might have on the audience and not for their effect on paper; he was a cascading fireworks of talent which one can only view unsteadily from a distance, for, in approaching him in earnest, one receives the unpleasant smell of smoke rather than the pleasant impression of light playfulness. (P.V. Znamenskii) 195 Every attempt to imitate or follow Innokentii seemed false. He neither had, nor could have had, successors, although there were unsuccessful mimics. Innokentii had a real dramatic gift. Filaret of Kiev said it was "religious demagoguery." Innokentii was able to sway even such a "hardened spirit" as Rostislavov, as well as religious dreamers and seekers of speculative revelations. Innokentii's listeners saw a stern and impressive theological truth in him, dressed in a sparkling attire they never imagined, for they were so accustomed to a scholastic delivery. It was not so much the power of his thought but his "lively imagination" that was striking: "The power of the mind was released in a wealth of images." Innokentii's daring was largely irresponsible speculation and superficiality. "No matter how dear it was to the famous hierarch, the cast of his mind and the quality of his abilities did not and could not produce a new epoch in theology. Art, the fine art of the human word - that was his calling." This was written about Innokentii by Makarii Bulgakov l96 in a solemn obituary for the Proceedings [Otchety] of the Academy of Sciences. Makarii added: "One does not encounter Christian profundity and theological erudition." Strangely enough, Innokentii exaggeratedly praised Makarii's dogmatic theology and his belated effort to return to the scholastic manner with its oddly inert rational thought and lack of curiosity.
When in the 1840's the thought arose to replace Filaret's Catechism with another more ecclesiastical one (that is, a more Roman Catholic one), Innokentii was the first person to come to mind. His old teacher, Archdeacon Skvortsov, l97 put it to him this way: "If you are of a like mind with several of us, then what we need is not a broad knowledge of philosophy, we need only revealed theology [bogoslovie otkrovennoe]." In his younger days Innokentii had been reprimanded precisely because he discussed philosophical formulas rather than positive theology under the rubric of dogmatics. He entranced his audience with them. But he was only emotionally taken up with philosophy and was more interested in the polysemantic answers of the philosophers than he was agitated by their questions. Innokentii was an erudite and an orator. He was not an historian and his efforts at historical exposition were always weak. For several long years he prepared the publication of his Dogmatic Essays [Dogmaticheskii Sbornik] , as he called it, or A Monument of the Orthodox Faith [Pamiatnik very pravoslavnoi] . It was intended to be precisely a collection of essays - a collection of instructions in faith presented and explained in chronological order. But Innokentii did not touch upon the idea of living Tradition with all its manifold dimensions. The essays remained unpublished. Innokentii's undoubted service was founding the journal Sunday Reading [Voskresnoe Chtenie] at the Kiev Theological Academy in 1837. The journal was more didactic than scholarly.
As a preacher Innokentii most closely resembles Massillon. 198 He was connected in every way with western tradition. Patristic motifs are hardly detectable. Moreover, he reworked an entire series of Uniate acathisti under the domination of this sentimental spirit, of this play of pious imagination.
In this regard, Innokentii may be compared with his Kievan contemporary and colleague I. K. Amfiteatrov (1802-1848), in his day a very well-known professor of homiletics at the academy. His Lectures on Church Philology [Chteniia o tserkovnoi slovesnosti] appeared in 1847. Amfiteatrov turned from French models in sermonry to patristic ones. Yet the sentimental strain, practically a "holy melancholy," was very strong in him. It was a preference for sorrow and dreaminess ("the sun shone, but the light was sorrow to him . . .").
To a certain extent "westernism" was inescapable in the daily routine of the reformed ecclesiastical schools. Foreign books and texts were necessary for study. The first task of a teacher was to introduce the contemporary scholarly and pedagogical materials of the western theological schools into a Russian school idiom. With the gradual transition to Russian instruction, the question of composing or translating "textbooks" became much more pointed than it had been when Latin was the sole language of theological instruction and learning both in Russia and in the West. The Statute of 1814 encouraged teachers to compose their own notes or texts. During the "return to the time of scholasticism" such activities came under suspicion, and control and surveillance made them difficult. In those first decades of the nineteenth century, the students learned from foreign textbooks in translation, in the original, or sometimes in paraphrase. The first Russian books were no more than paraphrases. For Holy Scripture Metropolitan Amvrosii Podobedov's 199 Handbook for Reading Holy Scriptures [Rukovodstvo k chteniiu Sv. Pisaniia, Moscow, 1799], a paraphrase of a book by Hofmann, 200 was used, as was Rambach's Institutiones hermeneuticae sacrae. 201 Ioann Dobrozrakov, 202 at one time the rector of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy, composed his dissertation, Delineation hermeneuticae sacrae generalis (1828) on the basis of Rambach. It was also used as a "textbook." In "conceptual" theology, that is theoretical or dogmatic theology, all the books of the previous century were retained. Prokopovich was included, but most often it was Irinei Fal'kovskii and only rarely the Russian books of Platon, Makarii Petrovich, or now and then Tikhon Zadonskii's On True Christianity. New authorities appeared in the academies: Dobmayer in Kiev; 203 at the Moscow Academy rector Polikarp lectured from Libermann 204 and made use of the other new courses coming from Germany. Somewhat later Filaret Gumilevskii lectured from Klee 205 and Brenner, 206 "and not without reference to the opinions of German rationalism." At the same time the works of the Fathers were recommended, but in practice at the time attention was alinost wholly devoted to modern literature. Rector Polikarp had the habit of producing testimony from the Fathers of the Eastern Church, and the students in the upper classes would study these extracts. In moral or "active" theology, the usual textbook was Buddeus, usually as revised by Feofilakt. Sometimes Schubert's theology was used, translated from the Latin by the Kostroma Archpriest I. Arsen'ev 207 (1804) or also the text of Archdeacon I.S. Kochetov, Characteristics of an active study of faith [Cherty deiatel'nago ucheniia very] . This was a Russian reworking of Innokentii Smirnov's Latin lectures compiled according to Buddeus and Mosheim. Filaret Gumilevskii remarked that "the Latin notes of the rector were translated into Russian and that was all there was to it."
The basic textbook for pastoral theology was the useful but aged book by Parfenii Sopkovskii, bishop of Smolensk, A book on the duties of parish presbyters [Kniga o dolzhnostiakh presviterov prikhodskikh] 208 which some preferred to the translated Catholic text by Giftschutz. 209 In liturgics either the New Tablet [Novaia Skrizhal'] or a book by I.I. Dmitrevskii, An Historical and Mysterious explanation of the Divine Liturgy [Istoricheskoe i tainstvennoe obiasnenie Bozhestvennoi liturgii, 1804] 210 were most often used. It was usual to turn to foreign books on composition. "Besides Latin books, the most important books for writing a dissertation were those in German. Therefore, after entering the academy, the students devoted all their energies to learning German in order to read German books." This is stated by the historian of the Moscow Academy, and this situation lasted nearly the entire nineteenth century. Under such conditions, the sharpest impact of that confessional milieu in which the theological investigation and labor went forward in the West was absolutely inescapable. It was noted immediately. For many it meant timidity and wavering, sometimes even outright fear. Would it not be better to avoid this encounter completely, refuse contact with the traditions of western learning and science, and not sample the dubious foreign sources? In reality, the constant reading of foreign books was not harmless. However, the chief danger was not that theological thought must wrestle with difficult arguments or become sidetracked. Much more important was the possibility that the very soul would be bisected and cut off from firm moorings. Intimate comments in letters between friends or in diaries are especially instructive and illustrative in this connection. The friendly correspondence between Filaret Gumilevskii and A.V. Gorskii provides interesting examples. Equilibrium could only be restored through ascetic vigil and prayer.
The danger lay in the artificial character of the schools, which were not bound organically with life, with the actual life of the Church. Clerical youths lived for years in the artifical semi-isolation of the half Orthodox, half-Russian schools. Habits of abstract theorizing were cultivated; a self-styled dreamy intellectualism developed. The circumstances of the Alexandrine epoch and the beginnings of Romanticism greatly facilitated it . . .
However, no matter how difficult and dangerous this "western" stage was, it was inescapable. It had to be accepted as such and as a relative truth. For it is possible to save oneself from the dangers of thought only by creativity, not by prohibitions . . .
CHURCH AND STATE UNDER NICHOLAS I
The fall of the "Ministry of Religious Affairs" in 1824, the overthrow of that "Egyptian yoke," as Metropolitan Seraphim put it, did not alter the general character of Church-state relations. Fotii vainly hastened to announce that "in the glory of God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ alone is our minister," for a "secular man" still held power in the Church. Shishkov, even though not a minister of a "combined ministry," continued to interfere in the affairs of Synodal administration on the questions of the Catechism and Biblical translation. The process of converting Church administration into a "department" was actually speeded up under the Over ProcuratorS.D. Nechaev (1833-1836). 211 Without preliminary permission, without hesitating to decide matters automatically, without consulting the Synod and even altering Synodal decisions while closing off the path of retreat by imperial confirmation of his reports, the Over Procurator concentrated all Synodal affairs and relations in his hands. Nechaev, a Mason, was contemptuous of both the clergy and the hierarchy.
Suddenly, as if from nowhere, police reports began to appear against the hierarchs and members of the Holy Synod. These reports largely turned out to be lies. Our chancellery suspected that the Over Procurator assisted in these reports, in order to humiliate Church administration in Russia. Hierarchs and members of the Synod justified themselves as best they could. The Synod was greatly agitated, while the Over Procurator, giving the appearance of agitation and encouraging the dissatisfaction of the members, declared that the regime of police surveillance did more harm than good.
This is how Ismailov, a contemporary bureaucrat in the Synodal Chancellery, recounted these events in his "memoirs." Even Filaret of Moscow fell under suspicion. In an official report he was goaded into the incautious remark that "the right of the police to report rumors without the least responsibility for false information impedes the freedom of administration and disturbs, in word and deed, the tranquility of Russian subjects." This was an outright condemnation of the gendarme principle. During Nicholas' reign such remarks were not forgotten, even in the case of metropolitans. Once again during the cholera of 1830 Filaret appeared disloyal, when in his sermon he spoke too frequently about the sins of kings and about Divine punishments. Finally, it would seem at Filaret's insistence, the idea to appoint the Tsarevich, the future Alexander II, to a seat in the Synod in conformity with his inclusion in the Senate and other higher state bodies was rejected. With a surprising lack of delicacy, Filaret referred to the internal autonomy of the Church. Even to catch sight of Filaret became an unpleasantry for the Emperor Nicholas.
Filaret had his own theory about the state, a theory of the Holy Kingdom. He certainly did not conform to the official and officious doctrine of state sovereignty. "The Sovereign receives his entire legitimacy from the Church's anointment," that is, in the Church and through the Church. And only the Sovereign is anointed, not the state. Therefore the organs of state power possess no jurisdiction in Church affairs. Filaret's cast of mind was utterly foreign to the state bureaucrats of the Nicholaitan era. For them Filaret was a dangerous liberal. Sideline observers held the same opinion. "Filaret was very clever in humiliating the temporal power; in his sermons there was the light of that vague Christian socialism which beamed from Lacordaire 2l2 and other far-sighted Catholics." (This was Herzen's estimate in My Past and Thoughts [Byloe i dumy].)
Dissatisfaction with Nechaev reached such a pitch that the Tsar was asked to appoint a more workable Over Procurator. The assistant to the Over Procurator, A.N. Murav'ev, played a decisive part in this plan. Count N.A. Pratasov was appointed. He turned out to be even more powerful than Nechaev. He had a completely elaborated system of reform, and he possessed the ability to gather shrewd and able executors of his designs. Pratasov faithfully promoted the Nicholaitan establishment or regime in Church politics. State integration of Church administration was completed precisely in this period. Hence-forth the Church was known as the "Department of the Orthodox Confession." The clergy and the hierarchy were included. The office of Over Procurator was transformed by means of a "Synodal Command" from an organ of state surveillance and supervision into an organ of real power. This was entirely in harmony with the spirit of Peter's reform. In those same' years Speranskii was minting precise formulae in the Petrine spirit.
As a Christian sovereign the Emperor is the supreme defender and guardian of the dogmas of the ruling faith and observer of orthodoxy [pravoverie] and all good order in the Holy Church. In this sense, the Emperor, in the law of succession to the throne (April 5, 1797), is called the Head of the Church. The Autocratic power is implemented in Church administration by means of the Most Holy Governing Synod which it has established. (Fundamental Laws [Osnovnye zakony] , articles 42 and 43 of the 1832 edition.)
Pratasov looked upon Church affairs solely from the point of view of state interest as "the teaching to which our Fatherland has lent its moral authority." He built an Empire and put a church on it. Educated by a Jesuit governor, surrounded by assistants and advisors taken for the most part from the former Polotsk Uniate College, Pratasov was the epitome of a self styled and profane bureaucratic Latinism. The urge toward precise definitions was linked to the barracks-like and reactionary spirit of that epoch. Pratasov had no sympathy toward Rome. But Romanized books on theology and canon law corresponded to his own personal tastes. Not only did he wish to rule the Church administration, Pratasov wanted to reorganize and reconstruct it in harmony with the fundamental principles of an absolute confessional state. This design constitutes his historical significance. Prior to his appointment to the Synod, precisely during the period when the "University Statute" and the "Statute on School Districts" was revised in 1835, Pratasov was Uvarov's assistant in the Ministry of Education. 2l3 In that ministry a plan to reform the ecclesiastical schools had been prepared which fully conformed to the minister's anti-clerical and pedagogical views. Was not the very existence of a special ecclesiastical school network simply the manifestation of a dangerous class egoism, "an extraordinarily harmful vocational egoism?" Was not the entire Statute of 1814 antiquated? The Ministry sternly criticized the entire educational system based on fear. It underscored the insufficient and deficient texts as well as the failings of the entire educational program, especially the harm philosophy might do when applied to theology. Would it not reduce to myth that which is beyond human understanding? Parish and district [uezd] schools were to be combined and transferred to the Ministry of Education.
Once more Filaret defended the ecclesiastical schools and the class accused of harmful egoism. The question of transferring or eliminating the schools was dropped. Pratasov insisted on reforms, but the Commission on Ecclesiastical Schools was unwilling either to expand the question or contemplate reforms. It was satisfied to reexamine merely the textbooks and course plans submitted by the various seminaries.
Pratasov decided to circumvent the Commission and even the Synod. In 1839, on the strength of his own Imperial Report, the Commission was dissolved and replaced by a special Ecclesiastical-Educational Administration. Such a step was logical, since the Commission on Ecclesiastical Schools was organically linked with the previous school structure which was now to be substantially altered. Discussion centered precisely on the change of principles, ideals, and goals. The principle of social development and cultural growth placed at the foundation of all the educational measures of the Alexandrine period seemed dangerous, disintegrative, artificial, and useless to Pratasov. He wanted to turn back once more to the eighteenth century with its service professionalism. The former statute openly declared "learning" to be the special aim of these schools. This was exactly what Pratasov did not want. It was precisely this self-contained and "dead learning" which it was above all necessary to eliminate, particularly that "disreputable and godless science" philosophy. According to Pratasov's estimate, previously "in many respects the education of Russia's clerical youths rested on an arbitrary, non-Orthodox foundation which had something in common with various Protestant sects." This was an obvious rebuke of the Alexandrine period. The former statute explicitly proposed to "adhere directly to the latest discoveries and achievements." This meant that "non-Orthodox" and "arbitrary" study. Here Pratasov invoked the words of Chrysostom: "Good ignorance is better than poor knowledge. . . ." At any rate, what was needed was a scientific course and instruction suitable to the conditions of village life.
The students leave the seminaries to become village priests. They must know village life and be able to assist the peasant even in his daily affairs. Thus, what use is all this theology to a village priest? Why does he need philosophy, that science of freethinking, nonsense, egoism, and boasting? What are trigonometry, differentials, and integrals to him? It would be better to strengthen his knowledge of Catechetics, Church statutes, and singing. That is enough. Let the higher sciences remain in the academies.
This was how Archimandrite Nikodim Kazantsev, a former teacher at the Moscow Academy, interpreted Pratasov's instructions. Nikodim was at that time rector of Viatka Seminary and had been summoned by the Over Procurator in order to compose new statutes. 2l4 Pratasov and his intimate assistant, Karasevskii, 215 did all they could to inculcate this narrow principle of professionalism in Nikodim. "Every cadet among us knows his weapons and how to march; a sailor knows the name, place and strength of every last nail in the ship; an engineer gauges every conceivable crowbar, hook, and rope. But we clergy do not know our clerical business." By "clerical business" Pratasov understood not only the "statute" and "singing," but also the ability to speak "with the people." It was this pretentious "populism" which gave the projected reform its polemical character. Pratasov merely developed and applied the ideas of Kiselev. 216 Cadres of elementary teachers who could teach morality to the people must be created. The clergy was to be adapted to that end.
Judging by the first survey, it would seem that the village priest, having contact with people who are ready to accept in childish simplicity everything spoken by their pastor, has need not so much of a detailed and deep knowledge of science, as an ability to elucidate Christian truths and morality of the Gospels simply and clearly, phrasing those truths of the Gospel in such a way that they are suitable for the simple minds of the villagers and relating them to the circumstances of village life. . . .
Pratasov's entire design was nothing other than a "wager on simplicity" [stavka na oproshchenie] . In the "circumstances of village life" would it not be more useful to master daily and practical habits than acquire "a deep knowledge of science?" Would it not be better to know the rudiments of medicine and firmly understand the fundamental principles of agriculture? Should not these subjects be introduced and strengthened in the seminary programs at the expense of "cold learning?"
Pratasov proposed to strengthen the non-clerical class features throughout the school system and impart to all instruction "a direction consistent with the needs of village parishioners: ' Pratasov defined the aim of all ecclesiastical schools as "the education of worthy servitors of the altar and preachers of the Word of the Lord to the people." His proposals were decisively opposed in the Commission on Ecclesiastical Schools. Filaret submitted a point by point refntarion of them and asked how much these proposals were in harmony "with the spirit of Church law: ' Only during the summer absence of Filaret of Moscow and Filaret of Kiev was Pratasov able to push through the Commission a proposal for certain alterations in the textbooks and curriculum. The teacher of literature was reminded that "the direct aim of his work is to educate a person who can correctly, freely, expressively, and convincingly converse with the people about the truths of faith and morality." Therefore, secular rhetorics, poetics, and so on might be passed over quickly. "Higher criticism in history instruction is to be avoided, for as a weapon in the hands of a one-sided logician it threatens to destroy historical monuments" (that is, their veracity), just as "arbitrary systemization" was to be avoided where nations or personalities are depicted as bearers of "some sort of ideas fatal for them." Somewhat unexpectedly, a Latin program was proposed for philosophy: "Philosophy is accustomed to speak in Latin: ' Is not this preference for Latin more readily explained by the fear that to carry on a public discussion of philosophy in a readily understood language might be dangerous? Only the most general directions were given for teaching theology: let it be taught "so that the priest may easily adapt and apply it when he finds an opportunity to converse with a simple person born a Mohammedan or a pagan, or who has converted from Christianity." One need not resolve questions and doubts "which the innocent mind does not even suspect: ' Peter Mogila's Orthodox Confession [Pravoslavnoe ispovedanie] was to be placed at the foundation of this instruction, and "the details of theology are to be confirmed by reference to it." The Orthodox Confession was published in modern Russian by the Synod in that same year, 1838. In addition, a new subject was to be introduced in the seminary curriculum, the history of the Holy Fathers, for which it was still necessary to work out and compile a textbook.
At that time Pratasov was most concerned with the publication of reference texts which could be consulted as easily and unreservedly as if they were the teaching and injunction of the Church on every dimension of ecclesiastical life. In addition to Peter Mogila's Confession the Imperial and Patriarchal charters on the establishment of the Holy Synod, with an exposition of the Orthodox Confession of the Eastern Church [Tsarskaia i patriarshiia gramaty o uchrezhdenii Sviat. Sinoda, s izlozheniem Pravoslavnago ispovedaniia Postochno-Kafolicheskiia Tserkvi] was issued. 217 The translation and editorial work was undertaken by Filaret of Moscow, who introduced very important corrections in the text in an effort to eliminate Latinisms (e.g., the injunction to laymen against reading the Holy Scriptures and the term "transubstantiation" [presushchestvlenie] were eliminated). 218 Subsequently the Ecclesiastical-Educational Administration prescribed that copies of these "charters" be given to the students at the seminary when they attained the highest form, "so that upon finishing the school and leaving the seminary, they might keep this book for constant reference." The question of the Catechism was once more raised by Pratasov in connection with the publication of these "Books of Symbols." Pratasov, supported by Serbinovich, 219 the director of his chancellery, insisted on introducing new questions and answers on Tradition and predestination and omitting those about natural knowledge of God in visible nature. Filaret refused to include an exposition of the so-called "commandments of the Church" 220 in the Catechism, for he found them superfluous alongside God's Commandments. Instead, the commandments concerning the Beatitudes were included (as they had been in the Orthodox Confession). No substantial changes were made in the Catechism. The moment passed without incident. Filaret was satisfied with the new edition of his Catechism. After correction, together with its attendant additions, it was no longer merely a catechism, but a theological "system" in summation. "In as much as there is no book approved for theology, and our theologians do not always guide the word of truth correctly, I was moved to supplement the catechism." However, Pratasov and Serbinovich were soon dissatisfied. In the next few years the question was several times raised of composing a new catechism by a new author. In the 1850's the name Makarii was selected. 221
In 1839, the Book of Laws [Kniga pravil] was published to replace The Rudder [Kormchaia kniga]. 222 Only Church laws were included in it; civil legislation was omitted. Unlike what was done for civil legislation under Speranskii, Pratasov found it untimely to publish a "complete collection" of Church laws in view of the "unseemliness" (as he justified it) of many laws of the Petrine era and the entire preceding century. Their publication might be somewhat awkward and perhaps even injurious. The Complete Collection of ecclesiastical legislation in Russia since the establishment of the Holy Synod [Polnoe sobranie dukhovnykh ukazonenii v Rossii so vremeni uchrezhdeniia Sviat. Sinoda] already compiled by Professor A. Kunitsyn 223 was therefore left in manuscript, just as the extensive canonical code of Avgustin Sakharov, Bishop of Orenburg, 224, was found unsuitable. Even the Spiritual Regulation 225 was not republished during this era of republication. A Statute on ecclesiastical consistories [Ustav dukhovnykh konsistorii] was newly composed and introduced for temporary use in the same year, 1838, and its final text was confirmed and republished in 1841. For Pratasov's edifice, two pillars were intimately connected: on the one hand, utility, order and discipline, and on the other hand, professional qualification and strict delineation of the entire order by written rules or laws. Pratasov did not like monasticism, which was logical from the state's point of view. He preferred to raise "clerical youths" in a more practical and secular way. He preferred the uniform to the cassock, as Rostislavov very interestingly relates in his memoirs (especially in the chapter "On the reform of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy primarily on the model of the battalion of military cantons").
Only in 1840 were new course outlines for the seminaries finally worked out and approved. They were introduced in the Moscow and Kazan' districts in the fall of that year. For all of his stubbornness and persistence, Pratasov was forced to give way in a great deal. He had to be satisfied with a compromise. The new subjects which he wanted, "general medicine" and agriculture, were added to the seminary curriculum. But the general character of instruction femained unaltered. Only the Russian language was permitted for teaching all subjects, and Latin was treated as a separate discipline. Modern languages and Hebrew were electives. It was suggested that philosophy be confined to psychology and logic, while excluding other branches of metaphysics. These changes in instruction did not become "generalized." But the logical coherence and core of courses which so fruitfully distinguished the schools under the Alexandrine statute was lost. An interesting innovation was the "preparatory course for the priesthood" for those who had already finished. This course was a morepractical program, which included visits to city hospitals in order to learn simple methods of healing. No substantial changes were included in the academy course outlines. Only the distribution of courses according to class was altered. New courses and even new chairs were established: patristics, "a theological encyclopedia," pedagogy, Russian civil history, and so on. However, the most important thing - the spirit of the times - was altered.
Pratasov sought for the clerical robe new people who would be able to transcribe his designs into the more technical language of the Church and theology. After several attempts and failures, he found his man among the Moscow teachers: Afanasii Drozdov, then rector of the Kherson Seminary in Odessa. 226 "Count Pratasov found certain pet ideas in Archimandrite Afanasii and raised him upon his shoulders" (in the words of Metropolitan Filaret). He was transferred as rector to the St. Petersburg Academy.
Afanasii occupied no chair and taught no subjects at the academy. But he was entrusted with the supervision of all teachers, and he conveyed to them the correct ideas about their subjects. Moreover Afanasii was appointed to preside over a special committee on textbooks and course outlines. The entire blow was now concentrated on the educational program. The first theme around which debate swirled (both orally and in writing) was Holy Scripture. Afanasii was not content to distinguish two sources of knowledge about faith, Scripture and Tradition, as independent and separate subjects. He wished to diminish Scripture. One detects personal pain in the passion and irresponsibility with which Afanasii proved the insufficiency (actually the hopelessness) of Scripture. Afanasii frightened contemporaries with his arrogance. "It seems to me that the grace of the Spirit has recoiled from him, and he is often without peace and consolation in the Holy Spirit," remarked Evsevii Orlinskii (later archbishop of Mogilev), 227 who replaced him as rector. "In such circumstances he tortures himself and does not know what to do with himself. He catches on some haughty dream and then forgets it; he is carried away or puts on airs, and then once more behaves pitifully." The source of theological suspiciousness, not just caution, may be found in this inner uncertainty, or in his lack of firm faith. "Afanasii, yes, Afanasii alone and no one else preaches: `Mogila's Confession and The Rudder are all there is for me - and there is nothing else,' " wrote Filaret Gumilevskii to A.V. Gorskii. One might add: and not even the Fathers or the Bible. Afanasii wanted to steer himself away with The Rudder from all doubt. As Gorskii records from these same comments of Metropolitan Filaret, Afanasii "believed in the Church books even more than in the Word of God. You cannot be saved by the Word of God, only the Church books can save you . . . . " Afanasii was a convinced and consistent obscurantist, and his pessimistic obscurantism sprang from doubt and the lack of faith. Everything was in doubt. Nikanor of Kherson 228 sympathetically and with commiseration depicted Afanasii's sinister and tragic image. Afanasii was neither ignorant nor indifferent. He was a passionately inquisitive and curious man. "A sharp mind able to plunge to the depths of matters," said Nikanor. But it was a proud and spiteful mind. Afanasii did not read Russian books even in the later years of literary awakening. "Absolute rubbish, my dear boy." He read only foreign books, both old and modern. He was interested most of all in the Bible, and he was an excellent Hebraist. He was interested in the history of ancient religions, the epoch of early Christianity, and he reread all the Fathers to Photius. 229 He knew contemporary "German Christology" from Bauer to Strauss, 230 the natural sciences, and not just from books. He kept a herbarium and collected minerals. From such a surfeit of knowledge and interests he weakened and fell to doubting. He became frightened and doubted himself. As an older man he wrote voluminously, "he wrote enormous, thorough, and substantial investigations, which were of systematic importance." But he burned everything. "He wrote and burned." Yet something was saved from this destruction. The manuscript of the book The Believers in Christ and Christians [Khristovery i Khristiana] , on which Afanasii labored in his later years was preserved. The book is about the origins of Christianity. The chapter headings are very curious. The author distinguishes "the believers in Christ" from "Christianity without Christ" and before Jesus Christ. He studied the history, teachings, and tradition of this Christianity. He sought among the apologists for "organic remains" of it ("not that Christianity which takes its beginnings from Jesus Christ, but a different one which preceded it"). The Essenes, Therapeutae, and Philo are the links in the chain of facts he studied. 231 "The effort by writers among the believers in Christ to efface from the historical monuments all the evidence about Christians long in advance of the Christian faith" did not completely succeed. The "Gospel of Marcion" 232 occupied a prominent place in this process of transformation of Christianity into a "Catholic Christian belief."
In Nikanor's account, Afanasii was "subject to the most oppressive inner grief, and subjected by a sick mind, but not as one who is the product of simple insanity, rather his sickness flowed from a surplus of knowledge, from the impossibility of reconciling intellectual antinomies, from a temporary and passing turbulence, from the principles imbibed with his mother's milk which began to grow in his soul." This is that sinister "turbulence" of heartfelt beliefs; it is the grief of a heart which doubts everything, and Afanasii's reactionary anxiety grew in this quaking soil. "That man will burn people on a bonfire, he will hand over holy vessels for desecration, yet he will remain half convinced that he does so for the benefit of mankind," wrote Filaret Gumilevskii, condemning Afanasii's policies. The cooperation between Afanasii and Pratasov - that union of profound doubt and powerful presumption - could not last long. These two men agreed only on practical conclusions, not on premises. Within five years; Afanasii was sent to distant Saratov as bishop.
Afanasii began his career of reaction at the St. Petersburg Academy when he forbade Karpov 233 to lecture from his own notes, and compelled him to lecture strictly according to Winkler. 234 True, Karpov began to lecture "critically" according to Winkler, that is, unsparingly refuting him and then turning with a passion to the history of philosophy. During the first year of his administration at the academy, Afanasii presented his own textbook, A concise hermeneutic [Sokrashchenaia germenevtika], to the Holy Synod through the Academic Conference. In it, he set forth his theological principles. Filaret of Kiev absolutely refused either to discuss or review the book. Therefore Filaret of Moscow was asked to comment on it. Filaret gave a sharp and detailed reply. Afanasii was humiliated and upset by Filaret's response and wished to bring him to judgment before the Eastern Patriarchs. Filaret was profoundly worried and disturbed by the attempt to elevate Tradition so high that it would cast a shadow on Scripture, as though Scripture "does not serve as a model for general education" and does not contain "all of the dogmas." Afanasii was too clever in trying to show the insufficiency, incomprehensibility, contradictoriness, or ambiguities, and even intentional vagueness of Scriptural texts. "The Holy Spirit spoke Holy Scripture in order to illuminate, not obscure," Filaret objected. Afanasii considered the disagreements and different readings to be irreconcilable and hopeless. Filaret replied:
If the judgment of the Hermeneutic under examination were to be accepted, we would know for certain which word is the Word of God and which word is the word of man both in the Old and the New Testaments. It is terrible even to contemplate such a thing. Praise God that the view of this hermeneutic is false.
Would attacking the reliability of Scripture be "sufficiently cautious?" Would it not also put the reliability of Tradition under attack? "The obligation of fidelity before God and His Holy Word and His Holy Church compels one to testify here that a judgment of Holy Scripture based on excessive attention to incidental defects in it, without at the same time any indication of its true perfection, is not only inconsistent with divinely inspired Scripture, but it is also dangerous for Orthodoxy....
Not only Filaret responded so sharply and with such agitation. In 1845, Archpriest V. B. Bazhanov, 235 the Tsar's confessor, in his capacity as member of the Academic Conference, happened to read the student examinations. In one of them - the examination of Tarasii Seredinskii 236 - he encountered something, which perplexed him. Seredinskii placed the Gospels and the writings of the Fathers under the single rubric, the Word of God, with the distinction that the Gospels were called the written Word of God, while the works of important Church writers were the Word of God transmitted orally. Such modernism runs completely counter to the teachings of the Orthodox Church and touches on one of its important points. Bazhanov considered it his obligation to direct the Conference's attention to where the student Seredinskii might obtain such an incorrect understanding of the Word of God. Was the error his own or the fruit of outside prompting? Immediately Bazhanov was compelled to leave the membership of the Conference. Partisans of the "return to the time of scholasticism" attempted to remove the Bible even further than from this secondary position. They spoke persistently about completely forbidding laymen to read the Word of God in order to avoid false commentaries. "The thought of forbidding simple Christians to read the Holy Scriptures terrifies me," wrote the archbishop of Tver, Grigorii Postnikov, to Filaret of Moscow. "I cannot conceive from where such an opinion could come. Is it not a contrivance of Latinism's secret agents? Or is it an opinion bred by the increased freethinking of our age, so that later we might be laughed at as earlier were the clergy of the Western Church?" The question was raised about publishing the Slavonic text of the Bible on the model of the Vulgate ("exclusively self-sufficient") and sanctioning it for required and exclusive use in cathedral, school, and home.
It is easily imagined how untimely and misplaced Makarii Glukharev's repeated and indiscreet efforts to attract sympathy for a new Russian translation (and one from the Hebrew at that) must have appeared at that moment. Such reminders only increased suspicion and obduracy. The circulation of Professor G. P. Pavskii's Biblical translation, lithographed by the students at the St. Petersburg Theological Academy, aroused even greater excitement. The Pavskii affair began with an anonymous letter sent to the three metropolitans from the city of Vladimir. As was soon discovered, this letter was composed and sent by Hieromonk Agafangel Solov'ev, the inspector of the Moscow Academy. 237 Agafangel was certainly not an opponent of Russian Biblical translation. He was busy with translations of his own, and subsequently he published Russian translations of the Book of Job and the Book of Jesus son of Sirach (1860 and 1861). Hence he was alarmed by the surreptitious circulation of a translation sanctioned by the authority of a scholarly name, but which was inaccurate from the doctrinal and theological points of view. "And when the authority of his scholarship and the glory of his great knowledge threaten translation by wide circulation, then there is no propriety in silence and no salvation in toleration."
The author of the letter, produced samples of false commentary on the Prophets and noted an unwarranted but hardly unintentional coarseness in the translation. He sharply criticized the translation as a whole: "This is the work of a new Marcion, it is not the words of the living and true God, but the vile speech of the ancient serpent." However, the author concluded that a better translation was needed. There is no need to confiscate copies of the Russian translation. Such a measure might only arm a Christian against the authority of the Church. The circulation of this translation is not prompted by readers desiring to share the views of the translator, but by a commonly felt need for a translation . . .The Christian cannot be satisfied with an obscure and unreliable Slavonic translation which in many places conceals the truth from him. Since he has no other translation, he must from necessity go to muddy waters in order to quench his thirst. People who receive a secular education have not read the Slavonic translation for a long time, but turn to foreign translations. . . .
The letter was circulated at the end of 1841. The author naively did not consider who would investigate the matter and discuss his report and advice. With innocent carelessness he provoked the power of the opulent partisans of the "return to the time of scholasticism." He insisted on the publication of a Russian Bible. "Is it just that it is impossible to escape the chiding of superstitious people and those who stubbornly remain in the depths of ignorance? But in what way are those souls at fault who; seeking truth, are refused food for fear of disturbing the peace of superstition and ignorance?" Strangely, the author completely forgot that the metropolitan of St. Petersburg, the Over Procurator of the Holy Synod, and many others on the commanding heights of the Synod stood among the ranks of "those who stubbornly remain in the depths of ignorance."
Filaret of Moscow tried to prevent the report's circulation, but he was too late. Filaret of Kiev, upset by the erratic translation, had already put his copy of the anonymous letter in Pratasov's hands. At a preliminary hearing in the Synod, Filaret of Moscow expressed his decided conviction that a Russian translation of the Bible should be publicly resumed and issued under the authority of the Holy Synod. Pratasov suggested that he put his proposal in writing. Then, without recommending discussion of it in the Synod, Pratasov ordered that a categorical refutation of Filaret's opinion be composed in the name of the aged Metropolitan Seraphim (most likely Afanasii composed it). Pratasov submitted both opinions for imperial consideration, and without the slightest difficulty once more received imperial approval of Metropolitan Seraphim's intolerant and unyielding judgment. Nicholas I detested disputes and differences of opinion, especially in Church affairs, where everything should be decided in complete harmony and unanimity and be based "not on argument and explanations, but on the precise meaning of dogmas . . "
Strictly speaking, in his note Filaret took the same point of view as the author of the unfortunate report. More accurately, Agafangel, who studied and worked at the Moscow Theological Academy, expressed an idea, which had come from Filaret and was shared by everyone in the Holy Trinity Lavra Academy. He had merely acted carelessly. (Filaret. said of Agafangel, "The eccentric workings of his mind were unpredictable and incomprehensible to me.") Filaret underscored the fact that "suppression by itself is not very promising, when the love for knowledge, which spreads wider every day, hurls itself hungrily in every direction, and tears most strenuously along illegal paths where the legal ones are not sufficiently well built." Filaret proposed a series of positive measures: gradual publication of a series of commentaries and the books of the Bible, beginning with the Prophets of the Old Testament, in accordance with the Septuagint text, but taking into account "Hebrew truth," relying on the self-explanatoriness of the Old Testament in the New, and the clarifications of the Holy Fathers. Filaret did not envision learned commentaries ladened with the "weight of scholarship," but instructive explanations directed "toward the confirmation of faith and toward the guidance of life . . . . " Then Filaret proposed to make a new edition of the Slavonic Bible, jettisoning all unnecessarily ancillary articles and accounts of the text's accuracy included in the Elizabethan Bible, 238 but appending notes of clarification to the text in those places where they were demanded. This would provide an understanding of unfamiliar words or expressions, which might give rise to false interpretation. Most importantly, a brief survey of each chapter's content was to be included. The metro politan of Kiev fully agreed with these proposals. Filaret's note made no mention of a Russian translation. Yet even this modest suggestion seemed positively dangerous to Pratasov and Metropolitan Seraphim. "In the Orthodox Church the preservation and extension of the saving truths of faith is guaranteed by a class of pastors to whom, with this aim in view, the gift of teaching was imparted and who are eminently qualified for it in the ecclesiastical institutions." "If this translation is the fruit only of a love of knowledge, then the love of knowledge should be given another direction more in keeping with the purposes of the Church." Thus, the "love of knowledge" of believers toward the Word of God was declared superfluous and not corresponding to the "purposes of the Church:' But this was the least of the matter. Publication of the commentaries was also rejected. The commentaries of the Fathers, it is true, were acceptable and permissible, but juxtaposing the individual patristic commentaries was declared dangerous: "it might undermine the veneration the Orthodox nourish for the Holy Fathers and transform the subjects of faith into sources of arid research." Notes appended to the Bible only provide grounds for quarrels and disputes, thereby "implanting the thought in the mind that the Word of God needs human justification and that ordinary people might be judges in matters of faith:' The Pavskii investigation quickly produced an unsettling impression, for Pavskii was actually too free in his theological views. During the questioning, however, he preferred to disavow everything. For Pavskii the matter ended with a pastoral reprimand, his recantation, and enforced retirement.
Much more important was the uproar caused by the wide circulation of the lithographed translation. The translation was confiscated and those who possessed copies were sternly interrogated. Very few had the courage to openly refuse the return of their copies. Among that very small number was Professor M.I. Bogoslovskii 239 who taught at the Uchilishcha Pravovedeniia 240 and who subsequently published his Sacred History (Sviashchennaia istoriia] in two volumes. In his official statement he explained that the copy of the translation was his property, and that he was "required to read the Word of God." Others declared that they misplaced or even destroyed their copies. The net result of this inquest was the intimidation of the faculties in the Church schools, seminaries, and academies, and further disposed them to silence. Somewhat later Zhukovskii wrote to his confessor, Archpriest Bazarov, in Weimar, that: "In Germany self-exegesis produced a loss of faith. For us a dead faith proceeding from non-exegesis is nearly identical with loss of faith. A dead faith is worse than the' loss of faith. Lost faith is a raging, living enemy. It fights, but conviction can overcome and conquer it. Dead faith is a corpse. What can be done with a corpse?" Immediately after the Pavskii investigation, both Filarets left St. Petersburg and the Synod under such circumstances that they would not return again, although they retained their titles as members of the Synod. A.N. Murav'ev left the service of the Synod at the same time. In the next few years the membership was selected primarily from among the zealots of the "return to the time of scholasticism." During the shipment to Moscow of Filaret's trunks ("whose locks had been mutilated"), a "search had been made in order to discover if some heresy was not concealed in those chests," as Filaret said about the affair. In St. Petersburg during those years, "they thirsted for slander" against Filaret. He left for Moscow in great anxiety about the consequences for the Church.
Filaret Gumilevskii, in his letters to Gorskii at the time, very openly and clearly describes the tense situation in St. Petersburg. Only just promoted from among the rectors of the Moscow Academy and consecrated bishop of Riga, Filaret was compelled to remain several months in St. Petersburg at the end of 1841 until he could travel to Riga. He was in St. Petersburg throughout all the debates in the Pavskii affair. He was able to follow matters on each side, both through his metropolitan (whom he sincerely respected and resembled in several respects), and through the "shaved schismatics," as he cleverly dubbed the courtiers and bureaucrats under the Over Procurator's supervision. Pratasov and Serbinovich sought to use him for their ends, although, as he ironically put it, "they had long ago put him in the lists of intractable Lutherans." Filaret's general impression was gloomy: "a difficult time - a time which compels one to watch vigilantly each step." Were these not shadows rambling and swirling around? He spoke directly and openly about persecution. "Today they seek out our sins, so that they might draw administrative matters into their own hands because of them and make the Church into an arena for their egotistical careers." The Church besieged; such was Filaret's impression.
On the surface it seems as if they are fussing over matters of faith and Orthodoxy; but this could seem true only for a person unacquainted with or foreign to the words Orthodoxy and faith. In the language of their hearts it all means: our concern is politics, all other concerns are marginal . . . . How strange to live among such people. You are afraid and alarmed for your soul, lest the storms of intrigue blow it into the deadly abyss of worldly vanity. Today, tomorrow, at this moment, in the next hour, you ponder how to judge and even condemn intriguers who would exchange faith and sanctity for some ribboned decoration or often merely a smile from higher ups.
At the end of 1842, in his November 14th report to the throne, Pratasov summarized the results of the newly won battle, and outlined a program for further skirmishes. Pratasov bluntly charged the entire Church school system with errors and heresy; more precisely, with Protestantism. If up to this point schoolroom Protestantism had produced no irremediable misfortune, it was only because the graduates of these schools, while serving at the altar, in their parishes, in the rituals and under the laws of the Church - in the very life of the Church - encountered principles and an understanding utterly different from that of the schools. Under the influence of life, they abandoned such harmful ideas.
The author of the report traced the history of this heresy in the schools back to Feofan Prokopovich. He dwelled with particular detail on the events of the recent past when the Bible societies were active and had distributed books on theosophy and mysticism along with the Bible. Now, however, decisive measures had been taken against foreign interference, "so that the garden of religious knowledge will always be illumined by the beneficient light of Apostolic and Catholic teaching which saves the Orthodox East, along with our Fatherland, from all the deadly errors of the West." There was much that was true in this critique. Only the conclusion was false. For it was impossible to overcome western errors by simple supression. The Report [Zapiska] was most likely once again composed for Pratasov by Afanasii. In any case, Afanasii was of like mind. "While rector of the St. Petersburg Academy," Filaret of Moscow said, "Bishop Afanasii maintained that all Russian theologians before him were not Orthodox."
In keeping with Pratasov's design, a hasty edition of a new theological "system" was produced for immediate use as a "textbook" at the very least. At one time "they even demanded in the Emperor' s name" that Filaret of Moscow compile the textbook. He did not do so because of poor health. Pratasov then proposed that Filaret Gumilevskii should take up the task. Filaret found this suggestion "flattering; to one's ego, but not very flattering to the intelligence of anyone aware of the actual state of affairs." He declined. Only much later, in 1864 did Filaret fully rework and publish his course in dogmatic theology.
Makarii Bulgakov (1816-1882), then a young hieromonk and baccalaureate at the Kiev Academy was more compliant. He was summoned to St. Petersburg in 1842 to teach theology, replacing Afanasii who declined to teach it and preferred to concentrate on teaching others. Makarii had not previously studied theology, and he felt more affinity for, and interest in, historical themes. He wrote his school thesis on the history of the Kiev Academy, and in doing so he must have even become acquainted with old course and conspectus manuscripts on theology from the time of Catholic influence. Most likely this was the source of his own personal sympathy for Roman Catholic handbooks and systems. At the academy Makarii listened to the lectures on dogmatics given by Dimitrii Muretov (1806- 1883), 241 twice subsequently archbishop of Kherson and Taurida. But he did not learn scholastic ways from Dimitrii. We can judge Dimitrii's theology lectures by only a few fragments recorded in student memoirs. Dimitrii attracted, and irresistibly attracted, the truly meek and humble heart. But this "feeling of the heart" never descended to a rhetorical or sticky sentimentalism. His feeling of the heart resided in the spiritual element and soul. In his lectures he tried to link theological problematics with their spiritual sources and religious, experience. One always detects the constant curiosity of his searching mind. Dimitrii's outlook must now be reconstructed from his sermons. He loved to deliver sermons, especially ones on dogmatic themes. He spoke very simply, yet he was able to express religious conceptions precisely in simple, almost naive, words and reveal an inward perspective even in prosaic details (for example, read his sermon on time and eternity given New Year's Day). By his dogmatic inquisitiveness, the power and exhaustiveness of his reasoning, his gift of plastic definition, Dimitrii reminds one most of all of Filaret of Moscow. Moreover, Dimitrii had a charming simplicity and wonderful humility. Khomiakov highly valued Dimitrii whom he knew personally when Dimitrii was bishop of Tula.
In a real sense Dimitrii should be included in the Alexandrine current in Russian Church life. He was educated in those books and under those impressions. He shared a common taste or even passion for philosophy with Innokentii. Even as a theologian Dimitrii remained a philosopher. He began with the data of Revelation and the testimony of the Word of God, but immediately proceeded to a speculative discovery of the meaning and power of dogma. He was not an historian, although he supported the historical method in the exposition of dogma. He was never a westerner - his creative independent mind and his mystical realism saved him from that.
Dimitrii had no direct influence on Makarii, for whom philosophical investigation of dogma held no interest. Makarii states that immediately after he arrived in St. Petersburg, Afanasii subjected his knowledge of theology to a strict examination, "especially where it touched on points of Orthodoxy." He had to begin his lectures without any preparation two weeks after he arrived. And if that was not enough, he had to write them quickly "in order to turn them over to the printer" for publication. Obviously Makarii lectured according to Afanasii's program. Temporarily, while there was still no textbook, it was proposed that an assortment of extracts be used from the writings of St. Dimitrii of Rostov, arranged "by subject." 242 A section entitled "On Holy Faith and the Church in general" was placed at the beginning. Afanasii was fully satisfied with these extracts. As Metropolitan Filaret observed, Afanasii found "that theology need not be taught systematically, for it was sufficient to read the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Fathers." In 1844 Pratasov sent Filaret of Moscow the newly composed "surveys" [konspekty] on dogmatics at the St. Petersburg Academy for his examination and opinions. Filaret completely opposed the new arrangement of the various sections. He insisted that the best and most promising arrangement was provided or indicated by the Symbol of Faith. 243 ("The Ecumenical Symbol of Faith is nothing other than a brief system of theology.") Filaret also emphasized that "it is the system of the ecumenical Fathers" and not a later subtlety of the western school. "This is the system of Apostolic Tradition." "The arrangement of the Symbol is preserved even in the Orthodox Confession." It is hardly possible to expound with complete conviction the teaching about Christ's Church before the doctrine of Christ as God is investigated. If it is either promising or prudent to put forward so willfully the "mind of the Russian Orthodox Church," then must not some room for the "mind of the Roman Catholic Church" also be admitted? Filaret noted specific Latinizing innovations in the surveys sent to him (for example, the distinction between "form" and "matter" in the sacraments and other similar items).
In 1849 A Dogmatic Theology [Dogmaticheskoe bogoslovie] was published by Antonii Amfiteatrov (1815-1879), then archimandrite and rector of the Kiev Acaderny and later archbishop of Kazan'. This was a book in the old style. Antonii avoided philosophy and reasoning. He would have preferred to avoid every "free word." He wished to retain words already used in Scripture and exactly defined by the Church. Here one detects the direct influence of Filaret of Kiev, "under whose guidance" and at whose desire this "Dogmatic" was composed. Antonii was Filaret's relative.
Antonii was certainly never a scholar. The appointment of a man of his temperament as rector at the academy after Dimitrii and Innokentii was significant. Yet Antonii was not a scholastic either: He was more a preacher and a moral preceptor than a schoolman. He tried to arouse and strengthen faith in the minds and hearts of his audience by summoning them to spiritual contemplation and moral introspection. Antonii did not approve of Makarii's dogmatic theology when it was published: "it was composed on the Lutheran model!" Antonii was awarded a doctor's degree for his textbook. Pratasov wrote to him enthusiastically, "you have done us a great service. You have removed from us the stigma that until now Russia has never had a system of theology."
Meanwhile Makarii continued to lecture in St. Petersburg and publish his lectures chapter by chapter in Christian Reading. In 1847 his Introduction appeared as a separate book and in the following years he published the "system" in five volumes (1849-1853). Makarii's "Great Dogmatic" was subsequently republished many times. It was quickly translated into French and remained in use from that time onward. Impressions about the book are divided and were divided from the very outset. Without any doubt Makarii's dogmatic theology was significant, especially in historical perspective. Of course in gathering his material Makarii was not completely original, nor did he have to be independent. He could find a symphony of Biblical texts and a code of all the patristic citations he needed among western authors, particularly among the old Latin erudites. There was no need to research it all again. The important point is that for the first time such rich and strictly researched material was expounded in a commonly understood Russian style. From this standpoint Innokentii of Kherson's 244 enthusiastic appraisal for the Academy of Sciences of Makarii's newly published dogmatic theology is fully justifiable and understandable. The book "introduced theology into the realm of Russian literature." Only one point in this appraisal is incomprehensible: how could Innokentii declare Makarii's book "an independent and original work?" He could not even appear to be independent and original. He consciously went no further than a simple compilation of texts. Actually he did not suspect that it was necessary to forge the texts and evidence into living dogmatic conceptions, into a spiritual life. In this respect, Makarii did not even resemble Afanasii. Afanasii knew that there are questions for theological searching. He was alive to their reality, but he was afraid to ask such questions either for himself or for others. This is the source of Afanasii's tragedy and failure in life. But in no way was Makarii tragic. He remained indifferent to theological problematics. He was simply unreceptive. In his personal tastes Makarii was a "secular" man, completey immune to the "spiritual life." In the 1840's and 1850's he strengthened the Pratasov regime; in the 1870's he was a leader of the liberal reforms (see his famous proposal to reform the church courts in the Commission of 1873). 245 There was something bureaucratic in his writing style and exposition. His dogmatic theology lacked precisely a "sense of the Church." He dealt with texts, not with evidence or truths. Hence he had such a lifeless and uninspired style which carried no conviction. There are only answers without questions, but they cannot answer what they are not asked. Some might see this as a virtue. In his memorial address, Makarii's disciple Nikanor of Kherson (1824-1890) 246 spoke accurately on this score. Even St. John of Damascus and Peter Mogila had personal views and motives. Both Filaret and Innokentii made ingenious and unrepeatable flights. But not Makarii. His was a straight clear path, "a balanced labor." In other words, Makarii had no personal views. He was more objective than others, for he had no opinions of his own. His was an objectivity from indifference. Many were irritated by the inner indifference and soullessness in Makarii's books from the day they appeared. Khomiakov found Makarii's Introduction "admirably stupid." Filaret Gumilevskii reacted the same way: "A nonsensical morass," "there is neither logical order nor force in the arguments." One might repeat about Makarii's theological books what Giliarov-Platonov 247 wrote about Makarii's History: 248 "a workman-like construction with the trappings of scholarly apparatus . . . . " Giliarov-Platonov was emphatic. Makarii's History has all "the appearance of a history book, but it is not a history, only a book." Similarly Makarii's Dogmatic Theology possesses all the appearances of a book of theology, but it is only a book. "Not a history and not even a book, but merely a construction" (Giliarov-Platonov).
Makarii studied in Kiev when theological and philosophical pathos was powerfully alive at the academy. Yet it passed him by without a trace. Nor can one detect in Makarii the "Pecherskii piety" so apparent in Filaret of Kiev and Antonii Amfiteatrov. Makarii most clearly approximated the style of the Pratasov era, because he was a bureaucratic theologian. His Dogmatic Theology is a typical product of the Nicholaitan epoch. Besides the "great" dogmatic, Makarii also composed a "small" one for use in the schools. As he later said, this book "was kept out of sight by the late sage of Moscow," that is, by Metropolitan Filaret. Only after Filaret's death could this handbook be printed and introduced into the schools as a "textbook." Filaret had silently condemned Makarii. Makarii's contemporary and successor as rector at the St. Petersburg Academy, Ioann Sokolov, 249 reviewed Makarii's book much more critically. "The scholarly books of the author, about which we are speaking, with their thousands of citations contribute like nothing else in these critical times to the final stupefaction and stagnation of the religious beggars in our schools, precisely because they aid the omission of any worthwhile thought, fresh insight, sense of evidence, and inward drive." Makarii's book was outdated the day it first saw the light, and it remained unneeded and without a role to play in Russian theological consciousness, It could not satisfy those devoted to a spiritual life and raised in ascetic awareness or traditions. Makarii's theology was just as discordant with the Philokalia as it was with philosophy. Even Makarii's student and assistant at the St. Petersburg Academy, Nikanor Brovkovich, 250 could not lecture in the same style, and therefore was quickly removed from an academy position and became rector of the seminary at Riga. Makarii advised him to burn his lecture notes and outlines. Nikanor seemed dangerous for he was too greatly attracted by philosophy and in one section of his course he expounded in great detail "the proofs of God's existence." This permitted him to present openly and minutely the modern "critical" theories, particularly those of Kant, although he aimed to attack and refute them. It seems that in his lectures Nikanor touched very daringly on the most "ticklish questions," tore apart Strauss, Bruno Bauer, and Feuerbach. 251 However (and this was confirmed by Nikanor), Makarii had heard only of Kant. Nikanor's teaching style was very symptomatic. Temperamentally he was closer to Afanasii than to Makarii. He had a sarcastic and bilious character, which tortured him and others. All contradictions, he was a typical representative of a transitional epoch. Nikanor's designs were always conservative. In St. Petersburg in those years, when it was customary "to be frightened of Filaret," he disliked and feared Filaret of Moscow. Nikanor regarded Pratasov as a benefactor to theological awakening and scholarship. It appears that he gave "a needed shove to theological construction" in the academies and saved theology from a meddlesome censorship. Nevertheless, Nikanor's theological views were very close to those of Filaret.
Nikanor was a man of philosophical temperament. For many years he labored on this three volume system of philosophy, Positive Theology and Supernatural Revelation [Polozhitel naia filosofiia i sverkhestestvennoe otkrovenie, St. Petersburg]. His system did not succeed, for it is only an eclectic compilation in the spirit of the most diffuse "Platonism." But one detects a genuine intellectual inquisitiveness. It was no accident that Nikanor was preoccupied with apologetics (and with arguments against the positivists), for he required a speculative and critical "justification of faith: ' Nikanor had to pass through a difficult trial of doubt, through the darkness of wavering faith. Many things appeared differently in the judgment of "science" than from the standpoint of rigorist Orthodoxy. In the eyes of a person of such questions and weaknesses, the moribund bookishness of Makarii's dogmatics seemed needless and useless. Beneath a superficial similarity of formal method it is easy to discover deep differences between Nikanor and Makarii. The most scholastic of all Nikanor's books is his Survey of Roman Catholic teaching on the actual supremacy in the Church [Razbor rimskago ucheniia o vidimon glavenstve v tserkvi]. 252 It is an analysis of texts from the New Testament, patristic writings, and writings of historians of the first three centuries and is divided into sections, subsections, paragraphs, and individual points. Yet throughout the book the author's presence can be seen and felt shaping and pondering the arguments and citations. The reader's thoughts are caught up in the same vital process of proofs. Nikanor's exposition never descends to a mere recitation or becomes a lifeless "chain." Of course this was a question of scholarly temperament. Nikanor's mind was sharp and decisive. Both his theology and his sermons were very daring. In this connection the series of sermons on the Holy Covenant (given at the end of the 1870's) is very interesting, and in them Nikanor is very much reminiscent of Filaret. The original Covenant was concluded from eternity in the bosom of the Tri-hypostatic Godhead and not without bloodshed (see Hebrews, Chapters IX and X). The blood of the eternal Covenant flowed from eternity, the cup of limitless anger was quaffed, the very cry of the Cross echoed in eternity. Everything was completed "for the eternal God was accomplished in eternity." The events on earth are only a reflection. "In heaven and in eternity the actual creative redemptive and saving Covenant was accomplished." Before all time the Immaculate Virgin had been elevated to God's heavenly temple. "Before all ages she stood as intercessor between the world, men, the incarnate Son of God, and the Godhead . . ."
Ioann Sokolov (1818-1860) must be discussed together with Nikanor. (Ioann died as bishop of Smolensk.) Of a sternly moral nature and a sharp mind, he was "a remarkably well-educated but violent man." In the era of the Great Reforms, 253 he spoke with unexpected courage and directness about Christian justice, the renewal of life, and daily social injustice. "So as not to keep an indifferent silence amidst those crying about life's social needs, in order that they might hear us," he suggested to Shchapov the theme of his public address, The voice of the ancient Russian Church on improving the lives of unfree people [Golos drevnei russkoi tserkvi obulushchenii byta nesvobodnykh liudei]. 254 Ioann was a canonist above all else. His Essay for a course on Church jurisprudence [Opyt kursa tserkovnago zakonovedeniia,.2 volumes, 1851] remains his most important scholarly work. True, it is not a "system" of law, only a study of sources. Ioann simply never succeeded in constructing a "system." It was said that the manuscript for the systematic volumes was detained in censorship. This does not diminish the importance of his book. For the first time the ancient and fundamental canons of the Church were presented in Russian more in historical than in doctrinal fashion Ioann continued to write on canonical themes, and later resumed his Essay in separate articles. Among these articles, his famous tract "On the monasticism of bishops" deserves special attention. 255 It was written at the request of the Over Procurator Akhmatov 256 in connection with discussions on a possible episcopate of lower clergy (only unmarried clergy, but without monastic vows). 257 This was Ioann's most personal writing. It was striking and forceful, but not very convincing. Filaret of Moscow found Ioann's research unfounded and far-fetched. Ioann overextended and overapplied his thesis to the relevant evidence. He speaks of "monasticism" in an almost metaphorical, nonformal sense. In his eyes any renunciation of the world is monasticism. The obligingness of such monasticism is not difficult to demonstrate, but not just for bishops, which Ioann failed to notice. But his own idea becomes much clearer when he says, "A bishop should be above the world, not only in `official' teaching, so to speak, but in personal thoughts." One must deny the world not only with body and soul, but with the spirit and intellect as well. One must achieve spiritual and intellectual freedom, a spiritual virginity.
Ioann was a very daring teacher of theology. He used Makarii's text only for examinations and came to the lecture hall with this book in his hands. But his own lectures are completely unlike Makarii's, and were more like free flowing conversations with his audience. They were not calculated to communicate all the necessary information or knowledge, nor to be memorized, but merely to arouse minds and turn students toward study and reflection on the subject matter. As a professor, Ioann was almost an impressionist, and his sentiments were not always adequately restrained and precise. He was too unsparingly critical. He did not like "mysticism" and spoke sharply against external ceremony as important only for the half educated and undeveloped. Ioann's mind was too forceful and powerful. As one of his audience in Kazan' accurately defined his manner in his lectures, Ioann said all that "natural reason can say about subjects communicated to us by Revelation." These were actually more like lectures in Christian philosophy than dogmatics as such. Ioann wished to use reason to attain Revelation; he did not proceed from it. Only a few of his lectures were published after his death and some of these were from student notes which he had examined. These lectures focus on fresh expression and freedom of thought and are presented with remarkable clarity and simplicity. Some people criticized him for being too taken up with novel and elegant constructions and not being really sincere. One perceives in Ioann's philosophical orientation the influence of his alma mater. He was from the Moscow Theological Academy.
The most influential teacher of dogmatics at that time was Filaret Gumilevskii (1805-1866). He was a man of outstanding gifts, a restless mind, and an anxious heart. Filaret very ably combined philosophical analysis and historical demonstration in his lectures on dogmatics. Rather than rely on the weight of authority to capture the mind in submissive obedience to faith, he tried to guide reason toward a suitable degree of internal evidence, in order to demonstrate how a mystery of Revelation, although it cannot be approached on the principles of reason, does not contradict its theoretical and practical needs. On the contrary, it aids them. "It heals any infirmity of reason caused by sin." This constant effort to demonstrate dogma as a truth of reason was very characteristic of Filaret. At the same time dogma is demonstrated in history.
As a teacher Filaret produced a profound impression on his audience. He did so with an organic blending of intellectual curiosity and a faith of the heart. His own personal vitality always shined through and exemplified his theology. "Try it and see - such is the way to knowledge in the Christian religion." He was referring to the sacraments and prayer. Theology was not just a vocation for Filaret, he needed it. It gave his lectures life. As the historian of the Moscow Academy said of him: "He began his teaching career with new approaches, including criticism of sources, philosophical considerations, history of dogma, and polemical refutations of opinions born in the rationalism of the Protestant west. These were new subjects for his audience." A new era was beginning at the academy. Filaret was at once a Biblicist and Patrologist (in his lectures he reviewed at length the Messianic texts in Hebrew). Unfortunately, he was able to teach only for a short time. While still a very young man, he was called to serve as bishop. Later he resumed writing and published a good deal. On Filaret Gumilevskii's initiative the academy decided to publish the writings of the Holy Fathers in Russian translation. The Academic Conference focused on the task, and the journal of the academy was known simply as The supplement to the works of the Holy Fathers [Pribavienie k tvoreniiam sviatykh ottsev] Athanasius, the Cappadocians, and also Ephrem the Syrian, the great Fathers of the fourth century, 258 were given first place. Filaret's textbook on patristics Historical teaching on the Fathers of the Church [Istoricheskoe uchenie ob ottsakh tserkvi, 1859] was published only much later. Filaret always regarded the writings of the Fathers as the living testimony of the Church, but he cautioned against any unwarranted identification between "historical teaching about the Fathers" and teaching about Tradition. Otherwise all patristic opinions must either be accepted as worthy of being considered Church teaching (which would be impossible in view of their disagreements) or else the real facts about the Fathers must be distorted by jettisoning all those features of their lives and writings which make them appear "ordinary." Such an act would mean complete arbitrariness in practice. "The Fathers of the Church upheld Tradition where necessary, just as they respectfully described the acts of the Church and private persons. They meditated on the Word of God, the articles of faith, and the rules of life; they argued and debated, philosophized, and labored as philologists, but in so doing they sometimes erred."
These aims for patrology did not coincide with the purposes for which Pratasov introduced "historical-theological instruction on the Fathers of the Church" into the curricula of the seminaries and academies. Filaret did not just accidentally omit the word "theological" from the title of his book. "History must be undiluted. On that basis it might be possible to draw a theological conclusion and abstract the Tradition witnessed in the writings of the Fathers." Therefore his book remained in the Synod. Moreover, Filaret also spoke very harshly about Peter Mogila and his Confession.
Pratasov's calculation to reverse or alter the direction of Russian theology proved incorrect. By that time Russian theological tradition was already too vital and strong. The Over Procurator's self-conceived and partisan plan crumbled beneath the weight of this inner opposition. This is clearly demonstrated by comparing that program and its implementation. Makarii's dogmatic theology was (to a certain degree) an official and officious program. But it was greeted with great hostility. Even when it was accepted as a textbook for its rich raw material, the author's own methods were rarely accepted. The "Makarii method" triumphed under Pobedonostsev 259 in the 1880's, when inertia was proclaimed a principle in life (a principle "which modern myopicwriters unthinkingly confuse with ignorance and stupidity"). However, even then the "victory" was only ephemeral. Pratasov might succeed in driving Filaret of Moscow from St. Petersburg and ostensibly remove him from Synodal affairs. All the same he was compelled to ask Filaret's opinion on every important and substantive question and send him for examination the majority of his projects and proposals. Filaret preserved sufficient influence, so that by his disagreements the Over Procurator's more meddlesome undertakings were laid to rest. Pratasov did introduce his new order and spirit into the St. Petersburg Academy. The Moscow Academy remained unaltered and without those changes for the new which consumed Pratasov. Philosophy continued its former course as did the study of Scripture and Hebrew. And at the very time when the inquisition was being conducted throughout Russia over the lithograph of Pavskii's translation, Filaret officially proposed to the Moscow Academic Conference that with the approval of the Conference and the knowledge of the diocesan hierarch all instructors be required to present in polished form at least some of their lessons to be lithographed or printed for use in the academy. The proposal had no practical results. Yet it was indicative that at the very moment when the newly opened Ecclesiastical-Educational Administration was attempting to call a halt to the independent work of teachers by placing required "textbooks" in their hands, Filaret continued to adhere to the spirit of the Alexandrine statutes that it was far more necessary to awaken thought and self-motivation in the students than to bind them with previously prepared formulae and phrases.
In 1845 Filaret once more raised the question of translating the Bible and gave the Holy Synod his famous note On the dogmatic merit and conservative function of the Greek Septuagint commentators and the Slavonic translation of Holy Scripture. 260 The note was composed very succinctly and deliberately. Filaret of Kiev, Grigorii Postnikov, and Gavriil Gorodkovyi, then archbishop of Riazan' 261 preliminarily examined it. Filaret wished to prevent the misuse of various Biblical texts. First of all he insisted that it was essential to use both the Septuagint and the Slavonic translation in correlation for the Old Testament. One should not be accepted as "self authentic," that is, original, and used in isolation, although the Septuagint should be the starting point. Both texts deserved to be accorded "dogmatic merit." Filaret proposed that a new edition of the Slavonic Bible be issued more suited to personal use and including a statement about the content of each chapter and explanatory notes. Filaret said less than he wished in his "note" in order to obtain the agreement of his friends, particularly Filaret of Kiev. They were opposed to the Russian translation and were reserved toward the Hebrew text. One could hardly expect Filaret of Kiev would be convinced. It was better to achieve a minimum firmly acceptable to all. In the 1860's the heated quarrel over Biblical texts again burst into flame - a belated epilogue to the debates of the 1840's. When the translation of the Old Testament was renewed in Alexander II's reign, Filaret's note was accepted as the guideline.
Pratasov's captivity of Russian theology did not last long, although it was enervating. He could celebrate victory solely in the sphere of Church-state relations. The new central administrative structure expanded and consolidated the Empire's influence and direct powers in the affairs and life of the Church.
It is far from easy to give a general characterization of the ecclesiastical schools during the reigns of Alexander I and Nicholas I. The "pre-Reform" school has been described and redescribed in the harshest and somberist terms. The expose writers Pomialovskii, Rostislavov, and Nikitin all wrote about it. 262 The appraisal of such an incontestable "conservative" as V.I. Askochenskii 263 tallies exactly with their testimony. Askochenskii was also a "secular" judge. The rudeness of the "lowl bursak" confounded him, and he describes seminarians with aversion and cruelty as "crude cattle." Askochenskii's views hardly differed from those of Rostislavov. "A murderous character, a stunted mind, an empty heart, a preference for dire prophecies: these are the inheritance of youths who are entrapped in this inquisition of thought or any pure unfeigned feeling." Such was Askochenskii's cheerless conclusion. One must admit that there is a good deal of truth in such charges and condemnations. There were many serious defects. Moral coarseness was chief among them. It should be remembered that in those days the ecclesiastical schools were left in great poverty, disorder, and material insecurity. Even the professors at the academies lived in extremely tight circumstances and poverty. The percentage of graduates fell to nearly half. One frequently encounters remarkable entries in the class journals about absences "because running away was noted" or "for not possessing clothes." The Statute's high standards were often totally unfulfilled. After all, the statute required that not just memory, but understanding, be developed in the students. However, rote memorization remained the norm. Formalism, rhetorics, convention prevailed.
In the final analysis, such undoubted defects did not sap the creative vigor of those generations. The positive historical and cultural significance of the "pre-Reform" schools must be acknowledged and highly valued. For this school network served as the social basis for the entire development and expansion of Russian culture in the nineteenth century. Not until the 1840's did the secular schools very slowly gain strength. The Kazan' gymnasium and even the Kazan' University (as S.T. Aksakov 264 described them) were far behind the seminaries, not to mention the reformed academies. For decades in diverse fields the "seminarist" remained the sole engineer of the Russian enlightenment. In a fundamental sense, the history of Russian science and learning were tied to the ecclesiastical schools and the clerical class. An examination of the lists of Russian professors for any specialization reveals two categories: "seminarist" and "foreigner" (usually of German or Swedish origin; more rarely, Polish) along with an infrequent representative of the nobility or bureaucrat. Until only very recently the clear echoes and traces of this clerical education could be discerned in Russia's academic and literary psychology. It was a source of both strength and weakness - of creative curiosity and of careless maximalism. In this regard, the first half of the century was a decisive epoch. The generations educated at that time were the actors at midcentury and later, during those anxious decades of the "emancipation" and "impoverishment," when (with the arrival of the so-called raznochinets) 265 the social basis of the Russian enlightenment began to expand rapidly. Actually, the raznochinets, or one of "mixed rank," was usually a seminarist.
The first half of the century was also decisive in the history of both Russian theology and Russian philosophy. The abundant creative energy is simply staggering: a series of forceful and prominent personalities; a reverberating throng surrounding a leader; students and followers rallying behind a teacher. Such is normally the case in an era of significant themes. The question of Russian theology's existence was decided then, and it was answered with a creative "yes." We can trace the victories step by step. Unquestionably one outcome of this period of quarreling and brawling over the Bible was a more responsible attitude toward the Holy Scripture. A solid foundation for Russian Biblical scholarship and Biblical theology was laid precisely during this time. This was not a matter of simple erudition or merely of concern to a few. The Statute of 1814 required that all students read Scripture. Characteristically, the very aim of the ecclesiastical school was left deliberately vague: "the education of pious and enlightened servants of the Word of God." Special hours set aside for reading Scriptures were divided into reading "at a normal speed" and "deliberate" reading accompanied by explanations, so that "the chief passages for theological truth" (the so-called sedes doctrinae) could be noted and analyzed. Hermeneutics - theologia hermeneutica - was the foundation stone of all theology. Moreover, the students were expected to read the Bible "on their own." Such reading was linked with, and great attention given to, Biblical languages, not just Greek, but Hebrew. True, during the "return to the time of scholasticism," the study of Hebrew fell under suspicion. Was not this language of apostate Jews now a weapon of heresy and neology? Even Holy Scripture was read less frequently. Elementary instruction in catechisms suffered most, for one feared to read the Gospels to children. Nonetheless, a durable Biblical foundation was laid. The first positive outcome of this transitional period was a vital sense of Divine Revelation, or to put it another way, an intuitive sense of sacred history.
A second outcome was no less important. Contemporary theological tradition organically linked a philosophical perspective and the testimony of Revelation, that is, "philosophy" and "theology" were combined. This will be discussed in detail later.
Pratasov's "reform" actually strengthened the third outcome: the awakening of the historical sense - one of the most characteristic and distinctive traits of Russia's development in the nineteenth century. In part it was still the historicism of the eighteenth century, a sentimental survival of a bygone era, with its archeological curiosity about the past, its sense of ruin and desolation. Yet, the Statute of 1814 laid special stress on "that which is called philosophy of history," in order to arouse a dynamic response to life. Modern German philosophy greatly spurred it on. A religious interest in the past - a sense of Tradition - was awakened.
For all its shortcomings and infirmities, the ecclesiastical school was classical and humanitarian. It was the sole link uniting Russian culture and scholarship with the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It also provided a solid knowledge of classical languages (and to a lesser degree Hebrew). Greek met a sad fate in the public school. In 1826 it was deemed a superfluous luxury, although it remained in the program. In 1851 it was completely eliminated in all gymnasia except those in university towns, in cities with Greek settlements, and in the Dorpat school district. The hours for studying natural science had to be found somewhere. A great quarrel over Greek arose between Prince Shirinskii-Shikhmatov, 266 the Minister of Education, and the Assistant Minister, A.S. Norov, 267 although they shared a common clerical spirit. The minister feared that youths would slip their Christian moorings if they read pagan authors. Norov, however, was convinced that Greek "directs youths" minds to the exalted and the sublime," deflects them from reading harmful and useless books, and is the primary language of the Orthodox Eastern Church. In any case, the Fathers, from Clement of Rome to Chrysostom, were added to the curriculum. In 1871 Greek was revived in the gymnasia with greatly expanded hours of instruction. An explanatory note laid great stress on the fact that knowledge of Greek makes it possible to read the Gospels, the Fathers, and the liturgical canons in their original language, "which makes our school learning precious to the people." In reality, grammar was taught and the authors read were largely non-Christian.
One final outcome remains to be noted. Publication of theological books rapidly increased. Theology journals flourished; numerous individual works appeared, and not just textbooks and collections of sermons and addresses. The best productions of the schools, that is, master's dissertations. were normally published. One should remember that in general the schools, particularly the ecclesiastical schools, devoted special attention to the students' writing and literary style. The academies particularly tried to develop a writer's' gift and skill. Translation, for the most part in classical languages, but also in modern ones, was also drilled into the students. Thus, the ecclesiastical schools passed Russian thought through a philological and literary training, thereby facilitating the rapid growth of scholarly, theological journalism in the next period. In general by the 1860's, the Russian theologian was on the same level with his western counterpart. The entire journey was made in the first half of the century.