Dmitriev, Mikhail Vladimirovich. Confessio vs natio. Byzantine theological tradition as hindrance in formation of ethnic and national identity discourses in medieval Rus’

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For citation: Dmitriev, Mikhail Vladimirovich. Confessio vs natio. Byzantine theological tradition as hindrance in formation of ethnic and national identity discourses in medieval Rus’, in Studia Slavica et Balcanica Petropolitana. 2022. № 1. Pp. 83-104. DOI https://doi.org/10.21638/spbu19.2022.105

Title of the article Confessio vs natio. Byzantine theological tradition as hindrance in formation of ethnic and national identity discourses in medieval Rus’
Authors

Dmitriev, Mikhail Vladimirovich ― Dr. Sc., professor, Moscow Lomonosov State University; Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, OrcID 0000-0002-4101-8755, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the section  Disputatio / Discussion
Year 2022 Issue 1 Pages 83-104
Type of article RAR Index UDK; BBK UDK 94; BBK 63.3(2)41–45  Index DOI  https://doi.org/10.21638/spbu19.2022.105
Abstract This article attempts to verify some aspects of the research hypothesis which implies that normative orientations of the Byzanine orthodox theological thought (in ideologies, mentalities, discourses) contained traditions and constructions that were in odds with tendency to see communities of ethnic type in people whom we used to qualify as Russians and Ruthenians. In the East European Orthodox medieval Christian identity of groups included in the Church was thought of as a hindrance in forming discourses, which would claim that the Church community could be fragmented into ethnic and «national» groups (nationes). Old Russian texts, and texts of Muscovy, as well as writings of some Orthodox authors in Ruthenia (Ukraine and Belarus’) of the early 17th century have been taken in account. In these sources, very often, theological discourses were entering in conflict with tendency to transfer norms of ethnic (tribal) identity on the Christian communities. This generated a situation when «Russianness» was not perceived in ethnic terms, and in this respect relationships between Christian and «ethnic» were understood in a very different way, than in the theological culture of medieval West. Search for an explanation leads to the area of the Byzantine theological tradition, in which Christian and ethnic identities were regarded as two conflicting discourses. The Orthodox identity of emperor’s subjects was understood as «effacing» traces of tribal (ethnic) belonging. For subjects of Christian history (id est history of those, who got baptized) were regarded not the multiple nationes, but «new people» who became a united «nation of God». In medieval Rus, this discursive ligic was expressed by «Tale of the bygone years»; the same discursive «scenario» seems to be implemented in other texts of Russian Middle Ages, and this lead to Orthodox culture of Muscovy, which repelled the ethnic definition of «Russianness». It is very likely, that the same tendency was alive — disappearing and reappearing — in the worldview of literati and broader circles of the Orthodox population of Ruthenian lands.
Keywords Byzantine theology, confession, Christianity, ethnicity, old-Russian, Ukrainian-Belorussian, Ruthenian, cultural studies, medieval studies
Full text version of the article Article language  Russain
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Tags: ethnicity, Old Rus, Vizantium cultural influence, medieval studies, Byzantium, Byzantine studies, DISPUTATIO / DISCUSSION, Balkans, nation, medieval Russian culture, cultural studies, Belarus, DMITRIEV M. V.

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