The book examines the wide panorama of Russian theological reflection found in a variety of sources—ecclesiastical books, sermons, literature, poetry, theater, historical treatises, scholarly works, and free translations of theology books. It presents not only the reflections of authors who remained in the framework of the official Orthodox theology, but also dissenters, primarily Old Believers and masons, who often sought to infuse Orthodox Christianity with a more personal approach.
Adam Drozdek is associate professor at Duquesne University.
Introduction: Imperial Religious Policies and Imperial Spirituality
Part I: Ecclesiastical Theology
Chapter 1: Stefan Iavorskii
Chapter 2: Feofan Prokopovich
Chapter 3: Grigorii Konisskii
Chapter 4: Tikhon Zadonskii
Chapter 5: Metropolitan Platon
Chapter 6: Ivan Kandorskii
Chapter 7: Biblical Commentaries
Chapter 8: Preaching
Chapter 9: Old Believers vs. Orthodoxy
Part II: Theological Reflection of Non-Ecclesiastics
Chapter 10: Two Books and Physico-Theology
Chapter 11: God and His Attributes
Chapter 12: The Soul and Proofs its Immortality
Chapter 13: Memento Mori
Chapter 14: God in History
Chapter 15: Masons, the Universalist Wing
Chapter 16: Masons, the Revivalist Wing
Conclusion: Theological Balance of the Age
It is usually believed that Russian religious thought started in the first half of the nineteenth century. As a rule, both admirers and critics of this thought assume that the previous centuries were something like the Dark Ages of Russian religious culture. Adam Drozdek’s book casts a new light on the crucial period when traditional Orthodox culture was forced to meet European Enlightenment. Drozdek carefully describes various theological reactions to modernization, reveals the influences of Western thought, and explains the striking forms of Orthodox political theology. The book provides a much-needed survey of Russian religious imagination, which shaped the context of the subsequent original religious thought.