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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2021 year, number


L.V. Titova
Institute of History SB RAS, Novosibirsk, Russian Federation
Keywords: Russian Church, church reform, schism, works defending Old Rite, Old Believer journalism, compilations, martyrology


The Old Believers writers of the first generation of the church reform opponents created significant works to defense the Russian Church traditions. They presented evidentiary extracts from authoritative manuscripts and early printed books, testifying validity of the advocated attitude to innovations. New texts of compilatory nature appeared in the late XVII - early XVIII centuries based on these authoritative writings and representing a summary of the doctrine foundations. The content analysis of several compilations made it possible to indicate the purpose of referring to the essays written by the leaders of the Old Believer first generation. The paper shows that the compilers used the original text to borrow and briefly outline main arguments in favor of the defended viewpoint on the reformers innovations, which violated the Russian Orthodoxy traditions. However, the focus of attention was on the fragments from the works of the leaders opposing the church reform, which characterized the time being experienced as «the Antichrist kingdom. The compilations key topic was the statement about the «last times and a warning to powerful tormentors. The compilations authors were able to show the cruelty and inhumanity of the authorities, ecclesiastical and secular, the mass executions and persecutions of Old Believers for the «pious readers. Based on documentary material, the article shows the attitude and assessment of Old Believer journalism by secular and church authorities. They understood the danger and agitational significance of publicistic texts in defense of the «old faith, therefore reacted sharply to them, intensifying the persecution of the Old Believer doctrine spreading. The article concludes that the compiled texts of the late XVII and early XVIII centuries had a significant impact on forming a broad religious and social movement called the Old Believers by researchers.