HISB93H3 Professor Dowler Fall 2009 Lecture Note

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25 Jul 2010
NOV 12
x Tula
x During the 17th century, the Muscovite state in order to defend itself to defend itself had to
use western techniques
x Traditional muscovite culture started to clash with western cultures
x It leads to a major crisis in the Muscovite conciousness
x Traditional muscovite culture derived from Byzantine
x When Byzantine culture was transferred to Russia, the Russians did not completely absorb it
because it moved rapidly from paganism into Christianity
x They adopted Byzantine culture selected as they were not prepared intellectually and
spiritually to learn about the culture
x It was an esthetical adoption rather than its philosophy and theology
x The Byzantine Church permitted Slavic members to speak in Slavonic
x Since Russians did not have to learn Greek, they were cut off from Greek philosophy
x Russian church hierarchs thought it was undesirable to translate so they tended to be cut off
from civilization
x The result of the separation from classical literature led to a narrow tradition: authority of the
text, stressed obedience and ignored the humanistic and rationalistic sides of theology
x It was a highly visual culture such as icons and church decorations (paintings that told
stories). Not a culture that relies on text
minimize outside opinions
x The Renaissance and Refermation did not affect Russia (big events)
x Alchamy and astrology (very big in the Renaissance) made a small appearance in Russia
x Moreover, Renaissance interest in mathematics became very powerful in Russia
x Renaissance has minimal affect on Russia
x Church opposed to pre-science (astrology) and mathematics
x The approach of the Church to learning was hostile and that opinion (anything outside of the
authority of the text) was a second fall
x The ideas of the Renaissance made very little progress in Russia
x The ideal of Muscovite religion was the image of vineyard planted for god. Russia is a place
where souls are planted. The harvest is taking up the souls after life into another world
x Life on earth was a preparation for life after death
x Happiness of earth is not the human destiny. It is a reward after death for obedience
x So it is a very narrow religion and culture
x All other aspects of the culture were organized around the vineyard
x Literature was religious
x The Chronicles were written as religious epics that told tales about ordinary men and kings
were punished or rewarded according to their obedience
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