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Document Details :
Title: A Guide to Old Ritualism
Author(s): HOWE, Jovan E.
Journal: Journal of Eastern Christian Studies
Volume: 50 Issue: 3-4 Date: 1998
A Guide to Old Ritualism
Old Ritualism was distinguished by much more than adherents to rituals abandoned by the State-controlled Church. It expressed the world-view of a sizeable segment of the population, primarily among the peasantry, who rejected the secularization of society euphemistically called ‘westernization’. The imposition by Tsar Aleksej Michajlovic? of forms of worship introduced into the Kiev Patriarchy under Polish rule, using ‘corrected’ texts printed by the Jesuits, was interpreted as a sign that the “spiritual Antichrist” had entered into the tsarist State and Church. The savage persecution of defenders of the Ancient Grace confirmed this view. In the reign of Peter I (the Great) the assault on traditional culture and beliefs became general, affecting all sectors of the population. Part of the Old Ritualists responded by declaring Peter “Antichrist in the flesh”. Under persecution the Old Ritualist movement gave birth to several tendencies that differ in their attitude towards the State and its Church. Old Ritualism has survived centuries of repression and secularization, and today Old Ritualist communities are found on every continent except Africa.