Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Das Russisch-Orthodoxe Kirillo-Belozerskij-Kloster Zwischen Macht Und Spiritualität

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Das Russisch-Orthodoxe Kirillo-Belozerskij-Kloster Zwischen Macht Und Spiritualität

Article excerpt

Diefenbach-Popov, Natalia. Das russisch-orthodoxe Kirillo-Belozerskij-Kloster zwischen Macht und Spiritualität. [Theion: Stuthen zur Religionskultur/S tudies in Religious Culture, Vol. XXIV.] (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. 2009. Pp .vii, 121. $39-95 paperback. ISBN 978-3-63158355-5.)

In The Russian Orthodox Cyril-Belozersk Monastery between Power and Spirituality Natalia Diefenbach-Popov presents a history of the famous St. Cyril-Belozersk Monastery in northern Russia, with emphasis on its relations with the Muscovite state.Throughout the book the author attempts to demonstrate a cause-effect relationship between the monastery's growing economic prosperity (especially in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries) and its increasing dependence on the central government in Moscow.

The introductory chapter of the book offers a thorough overview of previous studies on the topic, followed by a rendition of the Vita of the monastery's founder, St. Cyril (fl427), including reflections on his character and ideology. This is followed by an exploration of the monastery's inner administrative structure and its initial attitude toward material wealth. The author contextualizes the latter issue within the so-called "Non-possessor" controversy of late-fifteenth and early-sixteenth-century Muscovy- that is, the much-disputed question whether monasteries should have material possessions. The study goes on to elucidate in detail the multifaceted economic activities of the monastery throughout the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries, the monastic community's internal life and occasional conflicts, and the monastery's relations with the government. …

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