Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

The Images of the Clergy in Russian Journalism and Literature of the XIX-XX Centuries: Tendencies and Contexts of Occurrence

Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

The Images of the Clergy in Russian Journalism and Literature of the XIX-XX Centuries: Tendencies and Contexts of Occurrence

Article excerpt


Work "Images of orthodox clergy in journalism and literature 19-20 centuries" which was initially assumed by me in the form of the scientific article - has developed into full monographic research which I hope to publish shortly. Here I do attempt to generalize the results I received during the analysis of many sources in their correlation with certain known historical periods. Results will be presented in the present article as follows: first, there will be a specified period; secondly - the key tendencies and contexts which have defined manifestation of various clergy images, thirdly - key authors in whose texts I have found these images considered in detail in the main text of the monograph, which I hope to present soon to scientific community, and separate parts of this research have already been published by me at the international conferences on journalism history in Kazan and St. Petersburg.


Within this research we first of all were interested in interrelation of literature with a journal context, with the actual agenda. That is we talked about images of the priests created and staticized by journalism and fiction in connection with the current agenda.

The inclusiveness of images in the agenda has determined also our approach to work with images. More, we were interested in social and psychological lines, their outlook, and also ideology of the author placing these images in some context provided in journalism and fiction for images of priests.

Selection of priests images examples in this work was performed by the following principles: first, their correlation to the actual agenda was considered; secondly, authors of publicistic or art texts who placed these images - the greatest writers and journalists representing whenever possible full range of the main directions and currents of the time we speak of; thirdly, the texts creating or involved in the major publicistic discourses which have developed in connection with discussion of the subjects connected with nature and role of clergy, its versions or aspects of life were considered.

One more important refining: we took secular sources, that is publicistic and art texts published in the secular social and political and other editions for wide audience.


So, here are some general outputs I managed to come to:

1. End 1830-1850th. Address images of clergy in the context of disputes on a way of the Russia development, renewal of the Russian society. Clergy and the secular noble intellectuals - two estates claiming for rising at the head of upgrade and spiritual updating of the Russian society. (Authors: P. Chaadayev, A. Homyakov, N. Gogol, V. Belinsky, I. Turgenev ("Noble slot").

2. End 1850-1860th. The principal "new people" - intellectuals. Images of clergy - incidental, on the periphery of reader's attention. Only church figures reflect on a role of clergy (disputes on clergy type during public rise). In the secular printing - living conditions of clergy life (in particular: seminarists, rural clergy). A subject of splicing hierarches with the government and police services (cf.: A. Herzen). In anti-nigilistic novels: priests resist nihilists. Authors: A. Herzen, I. Turgenev ("Fathers and children"), V. Krestovsky, N. Leskov (anti-nigilistic novels of the 1860th), F. Filaret (Drozdov), F. Ioann, N. Pomyalovsky, I. Aksakov.

3. 1870th. a gradual increase in attention to the clergy is observed (the flowering of pochvennichestvo and Russophilia camp in Russian journalism and literature, its impact to the overall literary process in Russia of the 1870s). Different types of clergy are distinguished, their worldview is formed. Priests again become one of the main characters in literature and journalism. Positive images of the clergy are common. The role and place of the clergy in the Russian society are established. We can also see interest in the issue of eldership («starchestvo»). In the right political press the Church is introduced as one of the foundations of the statehood, which needs to be protected and defended as well as autocratic roots in Russia. …

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