Ermilov Pavel, priest

Image of the Church in Works by Holy Martyr Damascene Tsedrik

Ermilov Pavel (2018) "Image of the Church in Works by Holy Martyr Damascene Tsedrik ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia. Religiovedenie, 2018, vol. 75, pp. 28-47 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI201875.28-47


The principal direction in the development of the Orthodox ecclesiology in the 20th century was, justifi ably, the so-called “Eucharistic ecclesiology”, where the principal role in the structural organisation of the church is assigned to the Eucharistic community headed by a bishop. Valuable contributions to the formation of this theory were made by Russian theologians living abroad. The widely disseminated ideas of émigré theologians and their successors have to a certain extent overshadowed other models of the church which were developed during the fi rst half of the 20th century by Russian New Martyrs. In exile and in jail, far away from churches, often concealing themselves from people and living amidst distrust and suspicion, many laypeople and clerics found themselves in a situation where no regular participation in one common Eucharistic gathering was possible and where there was often no communication with the bishop. It is evident that their ecclesiastical life could hardly be described in terms of the classical model of the Eucharistic ecclesiology, which implies that the community lives in normal conditions. Therefore expressing their experience of ecclesiastical communion, Russian New Martyrs made attempts at formulating alternative approaches applicable to the situation of persecution and internal instability within the church. An approach of this kind can be found in bishop Damascene Tsedrik’s works (martyred in 1937). St. Damascene’s view is rather similar to a pastoral model of the church where the church is conceived as a mystical union of believers formed through the “spiritual and grace-fi lled linkages between the shepherds and their fl ock”. The bishop hereby is presented as the archpastor, who guides rather than merely administrates spiritual life of believers. Within this approach, the “mass of believers” is considered to be the living body of the church, which in its wholeness is capable of reproducing the selfconscience of the church. This paper presents little-known theological insights of the Russian New Martyr.


Damascene Tsedrik, right opposition in the Russian church, ecclesiology of New Martyrs, pastoral model of the church, spiritual linkages, ecclesiastical hierarchy, episcopal ministry, mass of believers, self-conscience of the church, spiritual sense, ecclesiastical authority


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Information about the author

Ermilov Pavel, priest

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in History;
Place of work: St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University for the Humanities; 6/1 Likhov pereulok, Moscow 127051, Russian Federation;
Post: Head of the Ecclesiastical Institutions Research Laboratory;
ORCID: 0000-0003-0881-2866;
Email: pavel_ermilov@mail.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.


The article is written in 2018 within the framework of the project "Models of the Church in Russian theology of the twentieth century" supported by PSTGU Development Foundation