Sergiy Radonezhsky. Russian Path to Solidarity

Vladimir Vladimirovich Milkov

Abstract


The article analyzes the ideological and religious originality of Sergiy Radonezhsky and the impact of his activity on social and political life of Russia at the end of the 14th century. Radonezhsky’s involvement in monastery reform, as well as his role in the introduction of the cult of Trinity, a novelty cult for Russia, are scrutinized in detail. The paper shows that these measures were in fact carried out consciously by the Trinity father superior who had in mind the consolidation of the Russian nation in anticipation of the upcoming events to overthrow the foreign subjugation. The two main periods of Radonezhsky’s church and public service are explored in the article: 1) Sergiy’s participation in social and political life as a representative of the “national” church party and 2) his acceptance of spiritual leadership amidst the difficulties of the Church crisis caused by the struggle for the vacant chair of the primate after the death of Metropolitan Alexius. Also mentioned are the arguments that allow ergiy to be hailed as the spiritual leader of the nation on the eve of the Battle of Kulikovo. It is concluded that Sergiy’s contemporaries deservedly distinguished him as a significant figure of the epoch of change, and the skepticism present in some historiographical works lacks solid foundation. It was Sergiy Radonezhsky who most audibly expressed the aspirations of the Russian spirit, when destruction, savagery and shock caused by foreign enthrallment, were replaced by the gathering of forces, marching hand in hand with the processes of cenralization.


Keywords


Ancient Rus, Sergiy Radonezhsky, Battle of Kulikovo, monastery reform, Trinity cult

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15826/qr.2014.3.061

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