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Document Details :

Title: Traditional Culture and the Old Ritualists
Author(s): HOWE, Jovan E.
Journal: Journal of Eastern Christian Studies
Volume: 50    Issue: 3-4   Date: 1998   
Pages: 211-228
DOI: 10.2143/JECS.50.3.2003049

Abstract :
Traditional Culture and the Old Ritualists
The schism in the Russian Orthodox Church precipitated in 1654 by the ‘reforms’ of Patriarch Nikon was a milestone in the development of the Russian State and society. It initiated the spiritual crisis that eventually split Russian society and culture into an increasingly secularized ‘Western’ component confined at first to the upper castes of educated gentry associated with the tsarist court, army and civil service, and the traditional culture of the peasantry, in which everyday behaviour was guided by ritual and religion. Russian national culture, deeply rooted in this peasant way-of-life and system of beliefs, has tended to survive best in Old Ritualist communities. The contribution of research on the folklore, song and visual arts, crafts, iconography, literature and religious customs of the Old Ritualists to understanding of Russian traditional culture has been great. Paradoxically, the first shoots of ‘civil society’ also emerged in Old Ritualist communities, which produced the first native capitalists – merchant-industrialists and bankers not dependent on the tsarist State or foreign capital.