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Author Topic: Peter the Great and Westernization  (Read 1304 times) Average Rating: 0
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ROCORthodox
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« on: January 22, 2007, 04:14:14 PM »

Greetings,
I have been reading the work of Fr. John S. Romanides and others who make the claim that Peter the Great introduced elements of Roman Catholicism into Russian Orthodoxy.  None of the essays, however, say exactly what those doctrines were.

Can anyone offer any ideas as to what doctrines they were?

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CRCulver
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2007, 05:07:19 PM »

One element that I have to put up with every Sunday at parishes in Helsinki is the use of statuary and of the "soft" style of icons, similar to Renaissance paintings in their use of perspective. Peter the Great also had Jesuit manuals brought in for the training of priests.
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ROCORthodox
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2007, 05:56:49 PM »

I actually have a few of those style of Icons in my home.

I am wondering if any Roman Catholic theological dogmas concerning the Mother of God have been applied.  In the Jordanville morning prayers I read that Mary is the salvation of the Christian race.   This reminds me of the RCC co-redemtrix doctrine but perhaps I am wrong.
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2007, 06:09:05 PM »

I'll just come out and say I'm a member of the St. Petro Mohyla and St. Demetrius of Rostov fan club.

There was considerable western influence in present day Ukraine before Peter the not so Great.  You can see it in art, architecture, music and education.  Some was not so good I suppose, but some of it had a great deal of value and helped the church after it was cut off from Constantinople because of the Turk.  The Ukrainian clergy, brought much of this in to the Muscovite church starting in the 17th century.

Much of that happened before Peter the not so Great ascended the throne.  His real goal was to co-opt the church from within and to exercise control over it.  His aims were political.  There was influence from western Europe at the time throughout Russian society; some Catholic but more of it freethinking and/or Protestant.  The dissolution of the Patriarchate for instance was based on what he saw in Scandinavia.

It seems like many of the Anti-Western Orthodox love to harp on this period.  It's too bad in my opinion.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2007, 06:09:51 PM by welkodox » Logged
augustin717
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2007, 06:33:47 PM »

Quote
In the Jordanville morning prayers I read that Mary is the salvation of the Christian race.   This reminds me of the RCC co-redemtrix doctrine but perhaps I am wrong.
That prayer is universal within the OC, I suppose; at least we have it, too:"The door of mercy open to us, o Virgin Mother of God, lest we that trust in you may perish, but may be saved by you from troubles, for you re the salvation of the Christian race.".
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2007, 10:36:28 AM »

If you're interested in the history of the era, I might suggest a book called "The Icon and the Axe" by James Billington.  It's in general I think an even handed and well done treatment of the cultural history of Russia, and covers in great detail the various influences from the West that came in to and influenced Russia, both before and after Peter.  It has some interesting tidbits in it, including the Tsar who almost converted to Roman Catholicism.

I think it would give a good perspective to balance a polemical work like Fr. Romanides' against.
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