Ways of Russian Theology



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Uniatism.


The Unia was less an act of religious choice than cultural and political self-determination. Neither reasons of faith nor of doctrine were fundamental to the secession of the bishops. The early Uniates were quite sincere in contending that “they did not change the faith.” They felt they were only transferring jurisdictions and seem really to have believed that the “Latin faith” and the “Greek faith” were identical. This aspect received considerable stress in their pamphlet literature, for example, in the Unia, or A Selection of Principal Articles [Unia, albo vyklad predneishikh ar"tikulov], published anonymously, but reputedly the work of Hypatius Pociej, 141 or in Harmony, or the Concordance of the Most Holy Church of Rome. 142 Many were equally convinced that under “Roman obedience” they could still be Orthodox. Greek Uniates, too, felt this way and made the most striking attempts to argue the case. In particular this was so for Peter Arcudius (1562-1633) in his De concordia Ecclesiae occidentalis in septem sacramentorum administratione libri septem (Paris, 1619). 143 Even more notable was Leo Allatius (1586-1669) in his De Ecclesiae occidentalis atque orientalis parpetua consensione libri tres (Coloniae, 1648). 144 Such a notion led to the stipulation in the final agreement that the Uniate Church was not to be merged with the Roman Catholic Church but would retain its own hierarchical independence and ritual. It was a clause acceptable even to a man like Ostrozhskii. He ended an opponent of the Unia, not because he perceived it to be a betrayal of faith, but because he knew the action was taken in an unlawful manner and therefore could have neither authority nor relevance for the whole Church.

Those who first turned to Uniatism seem to have been tempted by “undisturbed peace” under Roman obedience, which by implication meant the protection of Polish law. They also hoped to liberate themselves from the authority of the patriarch of Constantinople, long under the control of the Infidel Turk. Others of the early Uniates were more drawn to the splendors of western civilization and wished to partake in its riches. And there was a certain disenchantment with the East. One of the founders of the Unia, Hypatius Pociej, who became the second Uniate metropolitan, declared in a letter to the Patriarch of Alexandria Meletius Pigas: “You cannot be sure of attaining eternal life by heading for the Greek shore. . . . The Greeks distort the Gospel. They malign and betray the Patristic heritage. Saintliness is debased, and everything has come apart or fallen into discord in the Turkish captivity. . . . Calvin sits in Alexandria, instead of Athanasius, Luther in Constantinople, and Zwingli in Jerusalem” (Presumably Pociej was referring to Cyril Lucaris and to Pigas himself, both of whom had Protestant leanings). 145 And so Pociej chose Rome. No longer was the “wellspring of truth” [studenets pravdy] in the East, only in the West could a pure faith and a stable order be found.

As early as 1577, Peter Skarga 146 had pointed not to doctrinal differences but to the “Greek apostasy” and to the “backwardness of Slavic culture.” “With the Slavonic tongue one cannot be a scholar. It has neither grammar nor rhetoric, nor can it be given any. Because of this language the Orthodox have no schools beyond the elementary which teach reading and writing. Hence their general ignorance and confusion.” His judgment is harsh and wrong, though the narrowmindedness it expresses is fairly typical of the time. However true it may be that the Polish language was still not mature enough to serve as a vehicle of learning, the same cannot be said of Church Slavonic. Skarga was unaware of the difference, or he chose to ignore it. As he assessed the situation, the only remedy for the ignorance of the Slavs was the adoption of Latin culture. His attack did not go unanswered. Orthodox defenders such as Zakharii Kopystenskii would reply that the Slavonic tongue is kin to the language and culture of Greece, “and therefore, it is a safer and surer thing to make translations from the Greek and to write philosophy and theology in Slavonic than it is to use Latin, which is an impoverished tongue, too inadequate and too insufficient for lofty and involved theological matters.” 147 Kopystenskii exaggerates as much as Skarga, only with the obverse. But the distinction they point to is a valid one.

From the outset, then, Uniatism was posed and perceived as a question of cultural determination. For Unia implied, regardless of all assurances or guarantees that the rites and customs of the East would be preserved, an inclusion or integration into western culture, or as the Germans say, a western Kulturraum. To state it badly, Unia meant religio-cultural westernization. It could only be resisted and overcome by steadfast allegiance to the Greek tradition. This was fully comprehended by those who toward the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth centuries rose to the defense of the Orthodox Church. It is enough to mention the eloquent vindication made by Gerasim Smotritskii in his Key to the Kingdom Of Heaven [Kliuch tsarstva nebesnago, 1584], and by Zakharii Kopystenskii in his Palinodiia several decades later. Their concern was also shared by the founders of the brotherhood school in Kiev:

We have founded by the grace of God this school for Orthodox children, and have provided it at great sacrifice with teachers of the Slavono-Russian and Helleno-Greek languages, as well as of other subjects, in order that they not drink from the alien spring, and, having imbibed the fatal poison of the schism of the West, be inclined to join forces with the dark and dismal Romans.

The only cultural concession of the Orthodox loyalists was the supplementation of Church Slavonic with the local vernacular, the russkii dialekt. With the passage of time this dialect came into increasing literary use because the common people understood it much better than Church Slavonic. It also came into occasional use in the spoken liturgy, or so it seems from the Lenten Triodion, which was printed in Kiev in 1627.148 Thus, as the Unia and its inherent westernization spread, a concerted effort arose in Poland to defend Orthodoxy. The issue now at hand was whether, confronted by this expanding western Kulturraum, a Slavono-Hellenic school and culture could survive. In the 1620's it was already an urgent issue; in the 1630's it became a burning one.




Metropolitan Peter Mogila of Kiev.


In the person of Peter Mogila (1596-1647) there is something enigmatic and strange. Was he a sincere champion of Orthodoxy or a manipulative hierarch of genius? It is hard to judge. Whatever the case, that he played a decisive role in the life of the West Russian Church, and, indirectly, in the later life of the whole Russian Church is indisputable. He was the most able and powerful Church leader in Poland and Lithuania in the whole of the seventeenth century. And it is appropriate that an entire era in the history of the West Russian Church bears his name: the Mogila epoch. Son of a hospodar of Moldavia [woevodich zemel' moldavskikh], 149 Mogila seems to have had from birth an appetite and talent for power. Even on the throne of the Kievan metropolia he proved more a sovereign than a pastor. Educated in the West, or, more exactly, in Poland and in a Polish fashion, Peter Mogila became in taste and habit a sophisticated and lifelong westerner. Apparently he studied at the celebrated Academy of Zamosc, founded in 1594 by Jan Zamoyski, the Grand Chancellor of Poland, 150 and seems later to have spent a short while in Holland. Upon the death of his father, Ieremia Mogila, he was taken as the ward of Chancellor Stanislaw Zolkiewski 151 and afterwards of Hetman Chodkiewicz. 152 In general while a youth Mogila, through family and friends, was closely linked to Polish aristocratic society. And in the future the sympathy and succor of Polish magnates would assure his vocational success.

In 1627, at just thirty years of age, Peter Mogila was elected archimandrite of the Monastery of the Caves. He probably aspired to this when he took monastic vows and first entered the monastery. Certainly when the post became vacant his candidacy was promoted by the Polish government. Once head of the monastery, Mogila set his own course, which sharply contrasted with that of his predecessor. This was most evident in the field of education. At the monastery Mogila decided to launch a Latin-Polish school, inevitably if not intentionally opposed to and in competition with Kiev's Slavono-Hellenic brotherhood school. His decision created great tension bordering on a riot in the city. In the words of a contemporary, Gavriil Dometskoi, 153 “There was great indignation among the uneducated monks and Cossacks: 'Why, as we were gaining salvation, do you start up this Polish and Latin school, never before in existence?' Only with great difficulty were they dissuaded from beating Peter Mogila and his teaching staff to death.” 154 But Mogila was no man to be frightened. He emerged unscathed and soon after triumphed. The brotherhood had no choice but to accept him as “an elder brother, a protector and patron of this holy brotherhood, the monastery, and the schools.” Pressing his advantage, Mogila first took over the administration of the brotherhood school and then combined it with his own school at the monastery to form a “collegium” on the Latin-Polish pattern. This new institution was housed in the Brotherhood monastery. Its curriculum and organization were modeled on the lines of Jesuit schools in the country, and all new teachers were recruited from graduates of Polish schools. Isaia Trofimovich Kozlovskii, the first rector of the Kievan collegium, 155 and Silvestr Kossov, the first prefect, received their education in Vilna, at the Jesuit college in Lublin, and at the Zamosc Academy. It seems that for a while they also studied at the Imperial Academy of Vienna. In the same manner, and at the same time he was engaged in organizing the new school at Kiev, Mogila set about to form a school in Vinnitsa. 156 There is reason to believe that Mogila had plans for spreading across the region a network of Latin-Polish schools for the Orthodox, as well as for creating something like a monastic teaching order, all under the Kiev collegium. 157

Mogila was an avid and resolute westernizer. His aim was to forge the heterogeneous peoples of the western regions into a single religious psychology and inspiration, into a common culture. Attending all his plans and endeavors, mostly but the symptom of a clash between two opposed religious cultural orientations (Latin-Polish and Helleno-Slavonic), was an intense, if submerged struggle. Mogila was not alone in his projects. His numerous allies included the whole of the younger generation, which, having passed through Polish schools, had come to regard the Latin West rather than the Slavonic-Hellenic East as its spiritual home. In a sense, this was natural and logical. Silvestr Kossov was eloquent and direct on the issue. We need Latin, he would say, so that no one can call us “stupid Rus” [glupaia Rus']. To study Greek is reasonable, if one studies it in Greece, not in Poland. Here no one can succeed without Latin — in court, at meetings, or anywhere for that matter. There is no need to remind us of Greek. We honor it. But Graeca ad chorum, Latina ad forum. Kossov's argument has logic. But the root of the matter was deeper. At one level it was a linguistic problem, but at a more profound level it was an issue of cultural setting and tradition.

For those opposed to the pressures by Mogila's followers for a Latin education there were good reasons for the suspicion that this was Uniatism. Were not the Orthodox partisans of a Latin orientation time and again in conference or negotiation with active Uniates, anticipating a compromise to which both sides could wholeheartedly adhere? Did they not more than once discuss a proposal to join all Orthodox believers in the region, Uniates and non-Uniates alike, under the authority of a special West Russian patriarch, simultaneously in communion with Rome and Constantinople? And was not Mogila himself always promoted for this august office by the Uniate side of the talks? This was, of course, hardly without his knowledge. Rutskii, the Uniate metropolitan, did not doubt for a moment that Mogila was “inclined to the Unia.” It is certainly significant that Mogila never voiced doctrinal objections to Rome. In dogma, he was privately, so to speak, already at one with the Holy See. He was quite ready to accept what he found in Roman books as traditional and “Orthodox.” That is why in theology and in worship Mogila could freely adopt Latin material. The problem for him, the only problem, was jurisdiction. And in the solution of this problem his outlook and temperament dictated that practical concerns would be decisive: ecclesiastical and political “tranquility” [uspokoenie], “prosperity” [blagosostoianie], “good order” [blagoustroistvo]. For in the practical realm everything is relative. Things can be arranged and agreed upon. The task is one for ecclesiastical tacticians.

An early and revealing episode in Mogila's career was his friendship with one of the new bishops, Meletii Smotritskii, consecrated by Patriarch Theophanes precisely at the time of his “eastern peregrinations.” Smotritskii was a learned man. Because of his Slavic grammar, published in Vilna in 1619, he occupies a place in the history of general culture. It was a remarkable achievement for its time. It can even be argued that Smotritskii was — to borrow Joseph Dobrovskii's 158 phrase “princeps Grammaticorum Slavicorum.” When he wrote this text, he was still of a Greek orientation. In it he sought to apply the rules of Greek grammar to the Slavonic tongue. 159 As an ecclesiastic, too, Smotritskii began in the Slavonic-Hellenic camp where he was a vigorous opponent of the Unia. It is enough to point to his Lamentation [Threnos] written in 1610, which describes the sufferings of the oppressed and persecuted Orthodox flock with a skillful combination of passion and rigor. It is likely that this and similar writings led to his selection in 1620 as bishop of Polotsk. Here he ran into difficulties. First there was conflict with Iosafat Kuntsevich, Uniate bishop of Polotsk; 160 then he was troubled by doctrinal disagreements among Orthodox polemists as well as abuses in the activity of the brotherhoods. Doubts arose, so Smotritskii decided on a trip to the Near East. At Kiev, on his way to Constantinople, he visited the metropolitan and received encouragement and blessing in his plan to ask the patriarch to cancel the “stauropegia” of the brotherhoods. Smotritskii succeeded in doing so, but the rest of his eastern journey proved a disappointment. This was especially so of his meeting with Cyril Lucaris, whose Catechism Smotritskii read while in Constantinople and who not only failed to calm his doubts but heightened them all the more. By the end of his journey Smotritskii had decided to seek some rapproachment with the Uniates. Back in Kiev he shared certain of these ideas with Mogila and Metropolitan Iov, 161 who were apparently sympathetic. After all, negotiations between the Orthodox and the Uniates, in which both seem somehow to have been involved, had been in progress since the Uniate proposal in 1623 for a joint conference to seek out agreement. Somewhat later, with apparent confidence, Smotritskii sent to Mogila and the metropolitan the manuscript of his Apology [Apologia peregrynacyi do krajdw wschodnich (Derman, 1628)]. It contained a full and vigorous presentation of his new views, and provoked no opposition. By this time, it seems since 1627, Smotritskii had gone over to the Unia, though secretly, in order, as he put it, that “pallio schismatis latens,” he might better promote the Uniate cause among the Orthodox. However, his clandestine labors did not escape the attention of Isaia Kopinskii, bishop of Peremyshl and future metropolitan. 162

In the spring of 1628 Smotritskii formulated a six point memorandum, wherein, after noting the differences between Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy, he insisted that they were not of sufficient magnitude or of such a character as to justify division, and submitted this to a conference of Orthodox bishops at Grodko, in Volynia. Once again, it seems, no open objection to his views was voiced. Hence a joint meeting with the Uniates was scheduled for the autumn of 1629. However, well before, at a plenary council of Orthodox bishops and clergy in August 1628, opponents of Smotritskii's ideas stepped forth in force. He was compelled to recant his Apology, which was condemned as heretical and then publicly burned. Within weeks, however, Smotritskii had, by means of a protestation, withdrawn his disavowal, and by means of various pamphlets embarked on a polemical exchange with his accusers. Leading the opposition were members of the older Orthodox generation, among whom suspicions arose about Mogila and the metropolitan, since neither had called for a recantation or condemned its withdraw. They could hardly have done so. Smotritskii's increasing empathy with the Unia had been of interest to Mogila for some time, and there were reasons for Smotritskii to suspect that his Unia plans would have the sympathy and cooperation not only of Mogila but of the metropolitan as well. What disagreement there was between Mogila and Smotritskii was not about ends but means. And the entire episode was all the more confused by an external pressure, referred to in Uniate literature as “the fear of the Cossacks.”

Peter Mogila's election as metropolitan of Kiev also transpired under peculiar circumstances. With the death of King Sigismund III, the Orthodox, in April, 1632, seized the occasion of the election of a new king to wrest from the Polish electoral Diet certain “points of pacification for the Greek religion” [Punkty uspokoeniia religii grecheskoi], among them legalization of the Orthodox Church. As expected, the consent of King-elect Wladyslaw IV rapidly followed. Despite a subsequent whittling down of the “points of 1632,” in practice, the victory remained. Though its phrasing was patently ambiguous, of particular importance was the right of the Orthodox to fill their vacated sees, including that of Kiev. In fact the sees had all been occupied since 1620 through the consecrations performed without announcement or publicity by Patriarch Theophanes. The consecrations were done at night in an unlighted sanctuary, as if by stealth, so as not to cause any disturbance. These consecrations, of course, had never received official recognition, but the Polish State seems to have come to terms with the fait accompli, if only because it could hardly avoid dealing with the new bishops. Now in 1632, with the new legal concession, it would be reasonable to expect that what was de facto would be made de jure. But nothing of this sort occurred. The Orthodox themselves, strangely enough, made no attempt to take advantage of the new law by applying for royal confirmation of their active hierarchy. It was decided instead that all the old bishops should retire and their bishoprics be turned over to new elects. This was not done because the episcopal occupants were in any way considered to be “illegal,” that is, in office without the confirmation of the Crown, nor because the Church judged them to be of questionable merit. Indeed, they could be credited with having restored both order and canonical prestige to the Church in a time of real and present danger. It was simply that, although the old bishops may have played a preponderant role in the protracted struggle with the state in order to obtain recognition, the victory itself was the work of younger figures, partisans of a new and opposing ecclesiastical-political orientation, who had little interest in strengthening the hierarchical authority of their antagonists by a formal legalization. Consequently, what on the basis of the “points of 1632” had been touted as a “restitution” of the Orthodox hierarchy, was in reality an annulment of the existing hierarchy, established years earlier by Patriarch Theophanes. New bishops were now hastily and uncanonically chosen by the Orthodox delegates to the Diet rather than by local diocesan conventions and immediately confirmed by the King. It was in this way that Peter Mogila, aristocrat and Polonophile, was elected metropolitan of Kiev.

Mogila did not expect a peaceful reception in Kiev in his new capacity, even though he had many sympathizers there. Kiev already had a metropolitan, Isaia Kopinskii, consecrated in 1620 in Peremyshl by Theophanes and then translated to Kiev in 1631 at the death of Iov Boretskii. What is more, Kopinskii had already clashed with Mogila over the establishment of a Latin collegium in Kiev as well as in connection with the Smotritskii affair. This is why Mogila's consecration took place not in the city of his new see as was the rule and custom, but in Lvov, at the hands of Ieremia Tisarovskii, the local bishop, 163 two bishops of Theophanes' consecration, and an emigre Greek bishop. These clashes also explain why he sought patriarchal confirmation from Cyril Lucaris, who was once again on the ecumenical throne. Mogila received this and more. He was also bestowed with the title “Exarch of the Throne of the Holy Apostolic See of Constantinople.” Fortified now with a consecration of double authority, and in the dual role of lawful metropolitan and patriarchal exarch, Mogila returned to Kiev. Even so, he was not able to avoid a grievous struggle with his “demoted” predecessor and finally had to resort to the secular authorities to secure Kopinskii's forcible removal. 164 Nor did this once and for all solve the conflict. The clash between Mogila and Kopinskii was not simply a competition for position or power. It was a collision of deep-rooted convictions about the fundamental problem of ecclesiastical orientation, in both its political and cultural dimensions.

Isaia Kopinskii was a man of simple and strong faith, somewhat on the order of Ivan Vishenskii. 165 Immersed as he was in the traditions of eastern theology and ascetics, he viewed “external wisdom” with skepticism and even antagonism.

The reasoning of this world is one thing, the reasoning of the spirit another. All the saints studied the spiritual reasoning coming from the Holy Spirit, and like the sun, they have illuminated the world. But now one acquires his power of reasoning not from the Holy Spirit, but from Aristotle, Plato, Cicero, and other pagan philosophers. And therefore, people are utterly blinded by falsehood and seduced from right understanding. The saints learned of Christ's commandments and of his works in the spirit. But these people learn mere words and speech, and therefore all their wisdom is on their tongues and darkness and gloom abide in their souls.



Kopinskii said this of the Latins, but it could have been even more easily directed at Mogila and the Orthodox of the new orientation. Kopinskii's Spiritual Alphabet, subtitled Ladder for the Spiritual Life in God [Alfavit dukhovnyi. Lestnitsa dukhovnago po Boze zhitel 'stva] offers a significant and symptomatic contrast to Mogila's Orthodox Confession [Pravoslavnoe Ispovedanie].166 Their antithesis of outlook and spirit is the main source for the struggle for power between the two men. Of course there was also a difference of political orientation: Isaia Kopinskii looked to the Orthodox state of Muscovy, while Peter Mogila sought help from the Catholic Kingdom of Poland. In their clash the Polish state had no reason to support Kopinskii and every reason to patronize Mogila. Faced with vigorous protests from Rome, the Polish Roman Catholic hierarchy, and the Uniates, King Wladyslaw IV was obliged if only for raisons d'etat to hold to his commitment made in the Pacta conventa of 1632, although he did find it necessary to make certain concessions to the Uniates at the expense of the new rights of the Orthodox. Wladyslaw hoped, it seems, that over the course of time the western orientation of his new Orthodox leaders might mitigate Orthodox-Uniate tension and even promote the cause of Catholic unity in the realm. It should be noted that within a few years a plan of a “universal union” [universal naia unia] did come forth, and at the center of negotiations there stood Orthodox of the new orientation, most notably Peter Mogila as well as Prince Afanasii Puzina who in the elections of 1632 had been chosen bishop of Lutsk. 167 Once ensconced as metropolitan, Mogila set out with new zeal to implement his ecclesiastical and cultural designs. His best results came in the field of education, especially (since he was most gifted as an organizer) in consolidating and extending the school system he began when abbot of the Monastery of the Caves. Of great importance also was his publication work, in particular his compilation of the Orthodox Confession and resumption of the printing of liturgical materials. Most critical for the future were Mogila's efforts to revise and reform the liturgies. First there was the Lithos [Rock], published in 1644 under the pseudonym of Evsevii Pimen. It was intended as a defense of the Eastern rite and Orthodox liturgy against the attacks of Kassian Sakovich, who had gone over to Latinism, 168 but much if not most of the large body of liturgical material in the Lithos came from Latin sources. In 1646 there appeared the famous Evkhologion or Trebnik [Prayer Book].169 This consisted of a comprehensive collection of rites, offices, and occasional prayers, accompanied by “prefaces” and “explanatory rubrics,” which were accompanied by explanatory articles usually taken “z lacinskiey agendy,” that is, from the Roman Ritual of Pope Paul V. 170 Many of the rites in the Trebnik had been reshaped, usually by replacing traditional prayers with prayers translated from the Latin. There has been no comprehensive study of Mogila's Trebnik, but those portions which have been analyzed betray an unmistakable dependency on the Latin sources, and from time to time a deliberate deviation from the Greek pattern (e.g., in the forms for the dedication and consecration of churches, in the blessing of bells, in the rite of “viaticum,” 171 in the ordo commendationis ad animae . . .). 172 No doubt some of the changes were inconsequential. What cannot be dismissed, however, is the close attention given to Latin rites and regulations and the open disregard of the Greek tradition. Moreover, a number of the rites and offices printed in the Trebnik were totally innovative for Orthodox liturgies. Finally, some of the changes introduced by Mogila bore theological implications of importance, as for example, the shift from the declarative to the imperative form of absolution in the sacrament of Penance. Indeed, as a whole the theology of the sacraments articulated in Mogila's liturgical “prefaces” was decidedly western. What resulted from the Trebnik, then, was a radical and thorough “Latinization” of the Eastern rite. This did not escape the notice of contemporaries, especially the Uniates, but also the Orthodox of Moscow, who regarded books of “Lithuanian print,” including the Kiev editions of Mogila, with suspicion and apprehension. Ironically, because of the liturgical work of Mogila and his co-laborers, the Orthodox in Poland experienced a “Latinization of rites” earlier than did the Uniates. In fairness it should be noted that Mogila was not the first of the Orthodox in Kiev to borrow from Latin liturgical sources. Iov Boretskii took steps in this direction, as for example, in the Lenten rite of “Passias.” 173 Nor was Mogila the originator of that process of cultural absorption of Latin liturgical ideas and motifs. Others preceded him. Still in this trend toward the “Latinization” of the liturgy Mogila stands well to the fore because he promoted it on a larger scale and more systematically than anyone else.

To interpret the reign of Peter Mogila with precision is difficult. It has been argued that Mogila sought to create an “occidental Orthodoxy,” and thereby to disentangle Orthodoxy from its “obsolete” oriental setting. The notion is plausible. But however Mogila's motives are interpreted, his legacy is an ambiguous one. On the one hand, he was a great man who accomplished a great deal. And in his own way he was even devout. Under his guidance and rule the Orthodox Church in West Russia emerged from that state of disorientation and disorganization wherein it had languished ever since the catastrophe at Brest. On the other hand, the Church he led out of this ordeal was not the same. Change ran deep. There was a new and alien spirit, the Latin spirit in everything. Thus, Mogila's legacy also includes a drastic “Romanization” of the Orthodox Church. He brought Orthodoxy to what might be called a Latin “pseudomorphosis.” True, he found the Church in ruins and had to rebuild, but he built a foreign edifice on the ruins. He founded a Roman Catholic school in the Church, and for generations the Orthodox clergy was raised in a Roman Catholic spirit and taught theology in Latin. He “Romanized” the liturgies and thereby “Latinized” the mentality and psychology, the very soul of the Orthodox people. Mogila's “internal toxin,” so to speak, was far more dangerous than the Unia. The Unia could be resisted, and had been resisted, especially when there were efforts to enforce it. But Mogila's “crypto-Romanism” entered silently and imperceptibly, with almost no resistance. It has of course often been said that Mogila's “accretions” were only external, involving form not substance. This ignores the truth that form shapes substance, and if an unsuitable form does not distort substance, it prevents its natural growth. This is the meaning of “pseudomorphosis.” Assuming a Roman garb was an alien act for orthodoxy. And the paradoxical character of the whole situation was only increased when, along with the steady “Latinization” of the inner life of the Church, its canonical autonomy was steadfastly maintained.

While striving to keep the Orthodox Church in Poland independent, Mogila and his confreres of the new orientation kept to their plans for a “universal union.” As early as 1636, a joint conference was sought between Uniates and Orthodox to consider a proposal for an autonomous West Russian patriarchate. Rome was even assured that the scheme would attract many Orthodox, including perhaps the metropolitan. But for some reason the conference never materialized. Yet another project was advanced in 1643, this time in a special memorandum submitted by Peter Mogila. It is known to us only in the paraphrase of Ingoli, secretary to the Office of Propaganda. 174 Mogila's memorandum apparently consisted of a lengthy discussion of the divergences between the two churches, the conditions he believed necessary for reunion, and an outline of the means to achieve them. Mogila did not see any insurmountable differences of doctrine. Filioque and per filium varied only in the phrasing. What divergence there was on purgatory was even less consequential, since the Orthodox did in some form acknowledge it. In ritual, too, agreement on all points was readily possible. The only serious difficulty was papal supremacy. Even if this were to be accepted by the Orthodox, Mogila stipulated, the eastern churches must still be allowed the principle of autocephalous patriarchates. It appears Mogila was willing to limit the “reunion” to Poland: he did not mention Muscovy, or the Greeks bound in Turkish captivity. Nor did he seek a merger: l'unione e non l'unite. For even under the supremacy of the pope the Orthodox were to retain their constitution. The metropolitan was still to be elected by the bishops, and although it would be expected that he take an oath of allegiance to the pope, his election would not require papal confirmation. In the event that the ecumenical patriarchate should unite with Rome, its jurisdiction in Poland was to be restored. The last section of Mogila's memorandum set out the means by which the new plan of union should be examined and deliberated. First it should be submitted to local and provincial diets for their discussion. Next, a conference ought to be arranged between the Uniates and the Orthodox, without, however, any reference to a perspective union. The findings obtained at these preliminary meetings should then be submitted to the general Diet of the realm. However elaborate, as with the project of 1636, nothing came of Mogila's reunion memorandum of 1643. And a few years later he died (1647).

Peter Mogila's attitude to the problems of the Roman Catholic Church was clear and simple. He did not see any real difference between Orthodoxy and Rome. He was convinced of the importance of canonical independence, but perceived no threat from inner “Latinization.” Indeed, he welcomed it and promoted it in some respect for the very sake of securing the Church's external independence. Since Mogila sought to accomplish this within an undivided “universe of culture,” the paradox was only further heightened. Under such conditions, Orthodoxy lost its inner independence us well as its measuring rod of self-examination. Without thought or scrutiny, as if by habit, western criteria of evaluation were adopted. At the same time links with the traditions and methods of the East were broken. But was not the cost too high? Could the Orthodox in Poland truly afford to isolate themselves from Constantinople and Moscow? Was not the scope of vision impractically narrow? Did not the rupture with the eastern part result in the grafting on of an alien and, artificial tradition which would inevitably block the path of creative development? It would be unfair to place all blame for this on Mogila. The process of “Latinization” began long before he came on the scene. He was less the pioneer of a new path than an articulator of his time. Yet Peter Mogila contributed more than any other, as organizer, educator, liturgical reformer, and inspirer of the Orthodox Confession, to the entrenchment of “crypto-Romanism” in the life of the West Russian Church. From here it was transported to Moscow in the seventeenth century by Kievan scholars and in the eighteenth century by bishops of western origin and training.




The Orthodox Confession.


The Orthodox Confession is the most significant and expressive document of the Mogila era. Its importance is not limited to the history of the West Russian Church, since it became a confession of faith for the Eastern Church (though only after a struggle, and its authoritative character is still open to question). Who the author or the editor of the Confession really was remains uncertain. It is usually attributed to Peter Mogila or Isaia Kozlovskii. 175 More than likely it was a collective work, with Mogila and various members of his circle sharing in the composition. The exact purpose of the Confession also remains unclear. Originally conceived as a “catechism,” and often called one, it seems to have been intended as a clarification of the Orthodox faith in relation to the Protestants. In fact, it is now widely assumed that Mogila's Confession was prepared as a rejoinder to the Confession of Cyril Lucaris, which appeared in 1633 and whose pro-Calvinist leanings stirred disquiet and confusion in the whole Orthodox world. In 1638 — after certain collusion and pressure from Kome — both Lucaris and his Confession were condemned by a synod in Constantinople. 176 These events may explain why when Mogila's Confession came out the Greek Church was drawn to it and, after editing by Syrigos, 177 conferred on it the Church's authority.

The first public appearance of the Orthodox Confession came in 1640, when Peter Mogila submitted it to a Church council in Kiev for discussion and endorsement. Its original title, Exposition of the Faith of the Orthodox Church in Little Russia, indicates the limited scope intended for the document. Primarily aimed at theologians and those who were concerned with theology, the Confession was composed in Latin. The council in Kiev criticized the draft at a number of points. Divergent views were voiced about the origin of the soul and its destiny after death, particularly in regard to purgatory and “an earthly paradise.” 178 Here Mogila had argued for creationism 179 as well as for the existence of purgatory. The council in Kiev also engaged in an extended discussion as to when the actual metastasis of the elements occurs in the Eucharistic liturgy. Before it concluded, the council introduced certain amendments into the Confession. The document was again subjected to open discussion in 1642 at what has been referred to as a council, but what was in fact a conference in Iasi, convened, so it seems, on the initiative of Mogila's friend, the Moldavian prince, Basil, surnamed Lupul, the Wolf. 180 In attendance were two representatives of the ecumenical patriarchate, both sent from Constantinople with the title of exarch, Meletios Syrigos, one of the most remarkable Greek theologians of the seventeenth century, and Porphyrius, metropolitan of Nicea, 181 as well as several Moldavian bishops, including Metropolitan Varlaam, 182 and three delegates from Kiev — Isaia Kozlovskii, Ignatii Oksenovich, 183 and Ioasaf Kononovich. 184 Meletios Syrigos took the leading role. Syrigos raised a number of objections to the Confession, and when translating it into Greek introduced various amendments. Most of his changes were actually stylistic. He chose, for example, to eliminate certain Scriptural quotations used in the draft. Mogila had followed the Latin Vulgate, which meant that some of his citations were either not in the Septuagint or were so differently phrased that to retain them would have made the Confession highly inappropriate for Orthodox believers.

Mogila was not satisfied with the Confession as amended by Syrigos. He decided not to print it, and in its place he published simultaneously in Kiev a Ukrainian Church Slavonic translation and a Polish version, the so-called Brief Catechism [Malyikatekhizis, 1645].185 Only a few of the changes proposed by Syrigos for the Confession were adopted in the Brief Catechism. Moreover, it was intended for a different audience, “for the instruction of young people,” [“dla cwiczenia Mlodzi”], which is why it was first composed in colloquial language. In 1649 Mogila's Brief Catechism was translated from the Ukrainian Church Slavonic into “Slavonic-Russian” and published in Moscow. In the meantime, the history of Syrigos' revised Greek version of the Orthodox Confession began a new chapter. In 1643 it was officially endorsed by the four eastern patriarchs. However, since the Greek Church showed little interest in publishing it, the first Greek edition appeared only in 1695. From this latter edition, a Slavonic-Russian translation was made and published in 1696 at the request of Metropolitan Varlaam Iasinskii of Kiev 186 with the blessing of Patriarch Adrian. 187 This was almost a half century after the Brief Catechism had been published in Moscow. 188

Mogila's Confession, in complete contrast to Lucaris' Protestant oriented Confession, was patently compiled from Latin sources. As the plan of the book betrays, its arrangement was also on the Latin pattern. It was divided according to the so-called “three theological virtues,” Faith, Hope, and Charity. Belief was elucidated through an interpretation of the Creed. Ethics were expounded by means of commentaries on the Lord's Prayer, the Beatitudes, and the Decalogue. Of course the compilers had more than one Latin paradigm before them. The most obvious source was the Catechismus Romanus,189 which first appeared in Greek translation in 1582. Others seem to have been the Opus Catechisticum, sive Summa doctrinae christianae of Peter Canisius, S.J., 190 the Compendium doctrinae christianae (Dillingen, 1560) by the Dominican Petrus de Soto,191 and the Disputationes de controversiis christianae fidei adversus hujus temporis haereticos (Rome, 1581-93) of Cardinal Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621). 192 To cite further Latin sources is unnecessary. The main point is that taken as a whole the Orthodox Confession is little more than a compilation or adaptation of Latin material, presented in a Latin style. Indeed, Mogila's Confession can justly be categorized as one of the many anti-Protestant expositions, which appeared through out Europe during the Counter Reformation or Baroque era. Certainly the Confession was more closely linked to the Roman Catholic literature of its day than to either traditional or contemporary spiritual life in the Eastern Church.

It is true that in Mogila's Confession key Roman doctrines, including the primacy of the pope, are repudiated. Nevertheless, much of the substance and the whole of the style remain Roman, and not even Syrigos' editing at Iasi could alter that fact. After all, as was customary for Greeks in the seventeenth century, Syrigos had gone to a Latin school. He attended Padua, where he became an adherent of Bellarmine, or, as his contemporaries said of him, “omnino Bellarminum spirare videtur.” This is not said to argue that the teaching of the Orthodox Confession was at certain points in error. It was not so much the doctrine, but the manner of presentation that was, so to speak, erroneous, particularly the choice of language and the tendency to employ any and all Roman weapons against the Protestants even when not consonant in full or in part with Orthodox presuppositions. And it is here that the chief danger of Mogila's Latin “pseudomorphosis” or “crypto-Romanism” surfaces. The impression is created that Orthodoxy is no more than a purified or refined version of Roman Catholicism. This view can be stated quite succinctly: “Let us omit or remove certain controversial issues, and the rest of the Roman theological system will be Orthodox.” Admittedly, in some ways this is true. But the theological corpus that is thereby obtained lacks or sorely reduces the native genius and the ethos of the eastern theological tradition. Mogila's “crypto-Romanism,” in spite of its general faithfulness to Orthodox forms, was for a long time to bar the way to any spontaneous and genuine theological development in the East.

It is instructive from this same point of view to compare the Orthodox Confession with the theological works of Silvestr Kossov, Mogila's follower and successor as metropolitan of Kiev. His Exegesis [Ekzegezis] published in 1635 sought to vindicate the new Latin schools which Mogila organized for the Orthodox. His Instruction, or Science of the Seven Sacraments [Didaskalia albo nauka o sedmi sakramentakh, 1637] was an attempt to answer the charges of Protestantism leveled against him by his Roman opponents. Kossov, it is important to note, chose to respond to these critics in the language of Latin theology. This is particularly evident in that portion of his book devoted to the sacraments, which closely follows the well-known treatise of Peter Arcudius. 193 Latin terminology abounds in his work: “transubstantiation” the distinction between “form” and “matter,” the “words of institution” as the “form” of the sacrament of the Eucharist, “contrition” as the “matter” of Penance, and others. Since liturgical practice organically follows liturgical theology, it became necessary for the Orthodox of the new orientation to make alterations in the rites. Peter Mogila's Trebnik permanently established a number of those changes, which had developed in practice as well. It also introduced certain new ones. For example, in the sacrament of Confession the formula for absolution was changed from the impersonal “your sins are forgiven you” [grekhi tvoi otpushchaiutsia] to the personal “and I, unworthy priest” [i az, nedostoinyiierei]. It is also at this time that the sacrament of anointing of the sick [euchelation] came to be interpreted as ultima unctio, and to be used as a form of viaticum, whereas previously the eastern tradition had always regarded it as a sacrament of healing. 194 With the next generation in Kiev, Latin influences on religious thought and practice were to intensify and expand in a more systematic manner.




The Kiev Academy.


During the lifetime of Peter Mogila, the Kiev collegium was still not a theological school. The charter, granted on March 18, 1635, by King Wladyslaw IV, made it a condition that teaching in the collegia should be limited to philosophy (“ut humaniora non ultra Dialecticam et Logicam doceant”). Only towards the end of the seventeenth century, with the introduction of a special “theological class” into the curriculum, was theology taught as a separate discipline. Some problems of theology, however, were treated in courses in philosophy. At the Kiev collegium the general plan of education was adopted from the Jesuit school system. This included the curriculum down to the level of even textbooks. The texts began with Alvarius grammar 195 and ended with Aristotle and Aquinas. Also similar to the Jesuit collegia and academies in Poland were the organization of school life, the teaching methods, and the discipline. The language of instruction was Latin, and of all other subjects offered Greek was given lowest priority. Thus in practically every respect the Kiev collegium represents a radical break with the traditions of earlier schools in West Russia. Though it does seem that the school furnished an adequate preparation for life in Poland, its students were hardly initiated into the heritage of the Orthodox East. Scholasticism was the focus of teaching. And it was not simply the ideas of individual scholastics that were expounded and assimilated, but the very spirit of scholasticism. Of course this was not the scholasticism of the Middle Ages. It was rather the neo-scholasticism or pseudo-scholasticism of the Council of Trent. 196 It was the Baroque theology of the Counter-Reformation Age. This does not mean that the intellectual horizon of a seventeenth century scholar in Kiev was narrow. His erudition could be quite extensive. Students of that era read a great deal. But usually their reading was in a limited sphere. The Baroque Age was, after all, an intellectually arid era, a period of self-contained erudition an epoch of imitation. In the life of the mind it was not a creative.

The middle of the seventeenth century was a difficult and troubled time for the Ukraine. “The Kiev collegium,” to quote Lazar Baranovich, 197 Archbishop of Chernigov, “shrank in stature, and became like a small Zacchaeus.” Not until the 1670's, under the rectorship of Varlaam Iasinskii (later metropolitan of Kiev) was the beleaguered and desolate school restored. During this troubled period it was not unusual, it was in fact almost customary, for students to go abroad to be trained. Varlaam himself had studied in Elbing and in Olomouc, and had done some work at the academy in Cracow. His colleagues in the Kiev collegium were educated either at the Jesuit Academy in Engelstadt or at the Greek College of St. Athanasius in Rome. Even after the collegium regained its strength, this custom did not entirely end. It is known that many of those who taught there at the end of the seventeenth arid the beginning of the eighteenth century had in their student days formally repudiated Orthodoxy and passed under “Roman obedience.” No doubt this was facilitated, even necessitated, by the requirement then in effect that admission to the Jesuit schools be conditional upon conversion to Rome, or at least acceptance of the Unia. Stefan Iavorskii, bishop and patriarchal locum tenens under Peter the Great, is a prominent example: 198 Hence the comment of a newly arrived Jesuit observer in Moscow generally about Russia and particularly about the Brotherhood Monastery in Kiev, where the collegium was located: “There are many Uniate monks, or monks who are close to the Unia, and even more who hold the highest opinion of us . . . In Kiev, there is an entire monastery made up of Uniates.” 199 His remark lends credence to a sharp attack on the Kiev scholars leveled by Dositheus, Patriarch of Jerusalem: 200

In that land, called the land of the Cossacks, there are many who have been taught by the Latins in Rome and in Poland, who thereafter have become abbots and archimandrites, and who in their monasteries publicly read unseemly sophistries and wear Jesuit rosaries around their neck . . . Let it be decreed that upon the death of these archimandrites and priests, no one who goes to a Popish place for study shall be appointed archimandrite, abbot, or bishop.

In later years Dositheus became especially alarmed at Stefan Iavorskii, then locum tenens of the patriarchal see of Moscow. He charged him with Latinism and demanded the immediate withdrawal of all Iavorskii's claims to the Moscow patriarchate. Dositheus, it should be noted, was equally strident with like-minded Greek candidates, declaring that “no Greek, nor anyone brought up in Latin and Polish lands and trained in their schools should be chosen patriarch of Moscow.” Because, he warned, “they are associated with the Latins and accept their various manners and dogmas.”

What the “manners” and “dogmas” are to which Dositheus refers can be ascertained by examining the lectures and lesson plans as well as others of the writings of various instructors at the Kiev collegium spanning the last half of the seventeenth century. Key examples will suffice. Ioanniki Goliatovskii (d. 1688), rector from 1658 to 1662, was a preacher, polemist, and prolific writer. He acknowledged quite openly that he adapted Latin sources to his purposes. In 1659, for a new edition of Key to Understanding [Kliuch razumeniia], one of his many sermon collections, he appended A Brief Guide for the Composition of Sermons [Nauka korotkaia albo sposobzlozhenia kazania]. For later editions he enlarged it. Like most of Goliatovskii's work, the Brief Guide is characterized by a decadent classicism. There is in his choice and elucidation of texts and subjects — weighted as they are with what he called “themes and narrations” — a forced and pompous rhetorical symbolism. Here is how he rendered advice: “read books about beasts, birds, reptiles, fish, trees, herbs, stones, and the various waters which are to be found in the seas, rivers, and springs, observe their nature, properties, and distinctive features, notice all this and use it in the speech which you wish to make.” Of course all public discourse in his day suffered from bizarre analogies and an overabundance of illustration. Even before the oratorical style of Kiev had reached this kind of extreme, Meletii Smotritskii ridiculed the habit Orthodox preachers had for imitating Latin-Polish homiletics. “One enters the pulpit with Ossorius, 201 another with Fabricius, 202 and a third with Skarga,” 203 he said, referring to the fashionable Polish preachers of the day. He could also have named Tomasz Mlodzianowski, 204 a sixteenth century preacher of wide acclaim, who was the most imitated and grotesque of all. None of this was really genuine preaching. It was much more an exercise in rhetorics quite suited to the prevailing taste. Still, even while engaged in such verbal excesses, Goliatovskii and others like him staunchly opposed Jesuit polemists, and at length refuted their views on papal authority, the Filioque, and various other issues. But Goliatovskii's cast of mind, as well as his theological and semantic style of argument, remained thoroughly Roman.

The tenor of strained artificiality is even stronger in the writings of Lazar Baranovich, who was rector at the Kiev collegium from 1650 to 1658 and then archbishop of Chernigov. 205 A brave opponent of Jesuit propaganda, he did not hesitate to take on subjects of the greatest controversy, as is evident in his New Measure of the Old Faith [Nowa miara starey Wiary, 1676]. But once again the manner of expression and the mode of thought are typical of Polish Baroque. Baranovich even wrote in Polish, filling his works with fables, “an abundance of witticisms and puns,” jests, “conceits and verbal gems.” “In those days,” of course, as has been noted, “it was considered appropriate to mix sacred traditions of the Church with mythological tales.” Yet another Kievan scholar of this variety was Antonii Radivillovskii. 206 All of his homilies [prediki] and sermons [kazaniia] were modelled on Latin examples. And his book, The Garden of Mary, Mother of God [Ogorodok Marii Bogoroditsy, 1676] well illustrates the highly allegorical and rhetorical Latin style exercised on Marian themes common to that era.

Of a somewhat different mold than these Kievan scholars was Adam Zernikav of Chernigov. He deserves mention because of his special place in the ranks of religious leaders at that time in the south of Russia. Born in Konigsberg, and trained in Protestant schools, Zernikav came to Orthodoxy through scholarly study of the early Christian tradition. 207 After a long period in the West, primarily in study at Oxford and London, he turned up in Chernigov. There he made his mark as the author of the treatise, De processione Spiritus Sancti, which after its belated publication in Leipzig in 1774-1776 by Samuil Mislavskii, Metropolitan of Kiev, 208 gained him wide renown. It appears to have been Zernikav's only work, but it is the work of a lifetime. There is manifested in it an enormous erudition and a great gift for theological analysis. To this day Zernikav's work remains a skillful compilation of valuable materials, one of the most comprehensive studies on the subject ever made. It still deserves to be read.

The two most outstanding examples of Kievan learning in the late seventeeth century were Saint Dimitrii (Tuptalo, 1651-1709) and Stefan Iavorskii, though to be sure their religious importance is not confined to the history of Kievan theology. Each played a large part in the history of Great Russian theology. Nevertheless, both figures are quite representative of the later years of the Mogila epoch. Dimitrii, who became bishop of Rostov after his move to the north, is famous for his work in the field of hagiography. Here his main work was his book of saints' lives, The Reading Compendium (Chet i-Minei, 1689-1705). Based for the most part on western sources, the bulk of the work is taken from the renowned seven volume collection of Laurentius Surius,209 Vitae sanctorum Orientis et Occidentis, (1563-1586, itself actually a reworking into Latin of Symeon Metaphrastes' work on the lives of saints).210 Dimitrii also utilized various of the volumes of the Acta Sanctorum, which had by his time appeared in the Bollandists' edition, 211 as well as Skarga's personal collection of hagiographies, Lives of the Saints (Zywoty swgtych, 1576) which, judging from the large number of translations that circulated in manuscript form, must have been popular among the Orthodox for a long time. Skarga's style and language, too, left a deep imprint on the work of St. Dimitrii. Greek and Old Church Slavonic materials, however, are hardly present at all, and there is scarcely a trace of the diction and idiom of the East. St. Dimitrii's sermons were also of a western character, especially those of the early years. The same is true of his morality plays, written in Rostov for school performances, and patterned as they were after the popular Jesuit dramas of the time. The catalogue of Dimitrii's private library which has been preserved tells a similar story: Aquinas, Cornelius a Lapide,212 Canisius, Martin Becan,213 the sermons of Mlodzianowski, numerous books on history, the Acta Sanctorum, a number of the Fathers in western editions, and publications from Kiev and others of the cities in the south. On the whole it was a library appropriate to an erudite Latin. True, in his spiritual life, St. Dimitrii was not confined to the narrow mold of a Latin world, but as a thinker and writer he was never able to free himself from the mental habits and forms of theological pseudo-Classicism acquired when at school in Kiev. Nor did he wish to do so, insisting with obstinacy on their sacred character. And in the north, in Russia, where he settled, he never came to understand its distinctive religious ethos and the circumstances that shaped it. To cite but one example: Dimitrii understood the Old Believer movement as no more than the blindness of an ignorant populace. 214

A somewhat younger man than St. Dimitrii was Stefan Iavorskii (1658-1722), who came to prominence in the north only during the reign of Peter the Great. Nevertheless he was a typical representative of the Kievan cultural pseudomorphosis,” that “Romanized” Orthodoxy of the Mogila epoch. Iavorskii studied under the Jesuits in Lvov and Lublin, and afterwards in Poznan and Vilna. During these years he was doubtlessly under “Roman obedience.” On his return to South Russia, he rejoined the Orthodox Church, took monastic vows in Kiev, and received an appointment to teach at the collegium, where he later became prefect and then rector. Iavorskii was a gifted preacher, delivering his sermons with passion and authority. In spite of his simple and direct intent to teach and persuade, his style was that same pseudo-Classicism, replete with rhetorical circumlocution. Still, Iavorskii was a man of religious conviction, and he always had something to say. His main theological work, Rock of Faith [Kamen' very] was a polemical treatise against Protestantism. 215 Written in Latin, even though he had left Kiev, it was less an original work than an adaptation or even abridgement of a highly select body of Latin books. His main source was Bellarmine's Disputationes de controversiis christianae fidei adversus hujus temporis haereticos from which Iavorskii repeated entire sections or paragraphs, often word for word. Another basic source was Martin Becan's Opera (1649). Though a valuable refutation of Protestantism, Iavorskii's Rock of Faith was hardly an exposition of Orthodox theology, although unfortunately it has too often been understood as such. A second book of Iavorskii's, Signs of the Coming of the Antichrist [Znameniia prishestviia Antikhristova, 1703], was also more or less a literal rendering of a Latin work, in this case the treatise De Antichristo libro XI (Rome, 1604) by the Spanish Dominican Tomas Malvenda. 216

With the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Mogilan epoch reached a climax, when the school and culture Mogila had established at Kiev came to its fruition. In theology and in other fields as well the period during the rule of the hetman Mazepa (1687-1709) represents the height of what may be termed the Ukrainian Baroque. 217 For a time the Kievan Academy (promoted to the rank of “Academy” in 1701) was even referred to semi-officially as the “Academia Mogiliano Mazepiana.” But its climax was also the end. The flowering was also an epilogue. Probably the most representative figure of this final chapter in the Mogila era in Kievan intellectual history was Ioasaf Krokovskii (d. 1718), reformer, or even second founder, of the Kievan school. For a time he served as its rector and later he became metropolitan of Kiev. More than any other figure he seems to exhibit in religious activity and intellectual outlook all the ambiguities and contradictions of Kiev's cultural “pseudomorphosis: Educated at the Greek College of St. Athanasius in Rome, Krokovskii for the rest of his life was to retain the theological set of mind, religious convictions, and devotional habits he acquired there. At Kiev, he taught theology according to Aquinas and centered his devotional life — as was characteristic of the Baroque era — on the praise of the Blessed Virgin of the Immaculate Conception. It was under his rectorship that the student “congregations” of the Kiev Academy known as Marian Sodalities arose, in which members had to dedicate their lives “to the Virgin Mary, conceived without original sin” (“Virgini Mariae sine labe originali conceptae”) and take an oath to preach and defend against heretics that “Mary was not only without actual sin, venal or mortal, but also free from original sin,” although adding that “those who regard her as conceived in original sin are not to be classed as heretics.” 218 Krokovskii's acceptance of the Immaculate Conception and his propagation of the doctrine at Kiev was no more than the consolidation of a tradition that for some time in the seventeenth century had been forming among various representatives of Kievan theology, including St. Dimitrii of Rostov. And in this realm, too, it was but an imitation or borrowing from Roman thought and practice. The growing idea of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary was intellectually linked with an evolving trend in the interpretation of Original Sin, but, more profoundly, it was rooted in a specific psychology and attitude developing historically within the bosom of the western Baroque. The veneration of Panagia and Theotokos by the Orthodox is by no means the same. 219 It is grounded in a spiritual soil of an altogether different kind.

Although the Ukrainian Baroque came to an end during the early eighteenth century, its traces have not fully vanished. Perhaps its most enduring legacy is a certain lack of sobriety, an excess of emotionalism or heady exaltation present in Ukrainian spirituality arid religious thought. It could be classified as a particular form of religious romanticism. Historically this found partial expression in numerous devout and edifying books, mostly half-borrowed, which at the end of the seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth centuries were coming out in Kiev, Chernigov, and other cities of South Russia. Interesting parallels to these literary documents can be found in the religious painting and ecclesiastical architecture of the time. 220


The “Pseudomorphosis” of Orthodox Thought.


From the cultural and historical points of view, Kievan learning was not a mere passing episode but an event of unquestionable significance. This was the first outright encounter with the West. One might even have called it a free encounter had it not ended in captivity, or more precisely, surrender. But for this reason, there could be no creative use made of the encounter. A scholastic tradition was developed and a school begun, yet no spiritually creative movement resulted. Instead there emerged an imitative and provincial scholasticism, in its literal sense a theologica scholastica or “school theology.” This signified a new stage in religious and cultural consciousness. But in the process theology was torn from its living roots. A malignant schism set in between life and thought. Certainly the horizon of the Kievan erudites was wide enough. Contact with Europe was lively, with word of current searchings and trends in the West easily reaching Kiev. Still, the aura of doom hovered over the entire movement, for it comprised a “pseudomorphism” of Russia's religious consciousness, a “pseudomorphosis” of Orthodox thought.
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