The Role Of Metropolitan Filaret 's Divine Context And Ambiguity

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The influence of Metropolitan Filaret’s divine context and ambiguity are evident in the document. In speaking to the unity of God and tsar, Metropolitan Filaret makes the connection very clear. He wrote, “We thus became convinced that the problem of improving the condition of serfs was a sacred inheritance bequeathed to Us by Our predecessors, a mission which, in the course of events, Divine Providence has called upon Us to fulfill.” The focus is that the time for emancipation is now, whereas it had not been time before, and that the tsar is fulfilling the will of God. While there is some discussion of the specific terms of emancipation such as the temporary obligation the peasants still had to the lords and a vague hint of…show more content…
In addition to being able to read scripture themselves, peasants also could read church liturgy and practices, which created questions and enabled peasants to see how insufficient their parish priest was. Peasants began sending petitions and grievances to local and national church offices; they wanted increased authority over their own parishes, something the Orthodox Church did not want to give. The Russian Orthodox Church viewed this increased interest among the peasantry very negatively. The Church “often interpreted peasant activism as a negative consequence of secular enlightenment that ultimately would harm the Orthodox faith through the dilution of its traditional hierarchical principles.” Thus, the church became increasingly reactionary and isolated itself further from the peasantry—interacting even less and trying to distance the peasantry from doctrine and liturgy. The Church saw peasant interest as directly undermining their power instead of a development of a more devoted populous. This led to the paradox of a weakening political and culture power of the Church while simultaneously the peasantry became increasingly devoted to “localized religious practice.” The gap widened even further between the Church and the peasantry due to the Church’s fear and mistrust of the peasantry. As the Church distanced themselves from the peasantry in relational and spiritual realms, it also tried to reassert its control over the peasantry, primarily through
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