Ia.N. Shchapov. The State and the Church in Old Rus' XXIII Centuries (Abstract)

The book treats an important though still insufficiently investigated problem in the history of Old Rus', namely the relations between the Old Russian church the metropolitan, bishops, and their officials on the one hand and the State authority in the person of the Prince, city assembly veche, and the administrative machine on the other The Introduction to the book presents a review of the Russian pre-revolutionary, Soviet, and foreign historiography relating to this subject.

Chapter 1 substantiates the thesis according to which the metropolitan see was established in Kiev in the end of the 10th C, analyses the three stages of formation of the system of eparchies, and the emergence of a titular archbishopric in Novgorod. Metropolitan sees existed for some time in the second half of the 11th C in Chernigov and Perejaslavl concurently with the Kievan one.

Chapter 2 investigates the socio-political role of the Church and the forms of material maintenance of the sees. During the first century of its existence, the Church was provided with a centralized fiscal tithe assigned by a Prince, while in the 12th C it was collected by episcopal officials themselves. Monasteries are known to possess land since the end of the 11th C, while the sees have become land-owners at a somewhat later date. The Church exercised jurisdiction over the city service of measures and weights, the incomes from which were shared in the 13th C also by the city administration. The Church played a prominent part in legal matters as the episcopal court was responcible for a wide range of cases concerning marriages, divorces, family conflicts, breaks of Christian morality, etc. As a rule, the principal and church jurisdictions which covered different spheres of life augmented one another, but in certain cases (lawsuits refering to inheritance, special cases of insult and murder) there existed competition between the two legal authorities.

Chapter 3 treats city councils and cliroses corporations of white clergy which played an important role in the city life, and also archimandritics peculiar unions of monasteries amalgamated under the aegis of a Prince to represent the interests of black clergy.

Chapter 4 demonstrates the unique international status of the Old Russian Church which was both state and national by its nature but at the same time came under the jurisdiction of Constantinople which limited its freedom to select candidates to the metropolitan see and prevented the opening of new sees in Rus'. Consideration is also given to the participation of the Old Russian Church in political conflicts between princes on the one hand and cities on the other, as well as to the role played by metropolitans of the Greek origin in the social and cultural life of the country.

The author substantiates and supports the view that the Church was vital to the transfer of the achievements of Ancient Mediterranean civilizations to Rus', to the formation of Christian society there, to the consolidation of a minor family, to the development of a feudal city, to the political stabilization of separate principalities at a time when the unity of Rus' within the framework of a uniform church administration remained intact.

The Supplements present a list of bishops who have hold every known see of Old Rus' and also a short biographic roll of Kievan metropolitans compiled by A. Poppe. The book is complete with two maps of eparchies of the 11th and the 12 mid. 13th CC correspondingly.

 
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