In the last decades of the XVIIth century in the situation of increasing absolutism, deepening processes of Russian culture secularization and western inﬂ uencing the adherents of Orthodoxy, the patriarch circle writers, who fought for the purity of the Orthodox Faith, intensiﬁed their activities. Remaining true to the canonical statutes of the Church, they tried to rethink its signiﬁcance and its role in the spiritual life of Russian society. Adherents of Orthodoxy supported the ideas of the Sixth Moscow Patriarch Nikon (1652-1658), who stood up for glorifying the Church and strengthening its role both in public life and in the state and also proclaimed the thesis about the superiority of the priesthood over the reign, which had ﬁrmly been based on the Byzantine patristic heritage. Within this tradition a number of compositions in defense of the Church and on behalf of the Church had been written. One of them was recently discovered composition about Patriarch Nikon of the 90s of the XVIIth century. In this composition the themes of the greatness of the Church, its spiritual inﬂuence on public life, the exaltation of the priesthood were the leading ones. With the reliance on such dogmatic and canonical sources as «The Book of Faith» and «The Tablet», which were especially popular in Russia in the XVIIth century, the anonymous author described essential features of Church, using for this purpose traditional metaphorical images and symbols; he skillfully transferred the symbols of Church - «the ship», «the heaven» and «the grape», embodied by Patriarch Nikon in the church architecture and in art, in verbal formulas. The author showed that the essential characteristics of the Church became more actual and important in the most diﬃcult periods for the Russian Orthodox Church, especially in the days of trial, persecution and infringement of its rights; in such periods the Church is conceptualized as the way of life, as an established liturgical «order», as inside and outside spiritualizing in people’ consciousness.
Russian literature of the end of the XVIIth century, writers of the patriarch circle (the patriarch circle writers), «The Tablet», «The Book of Faith», Patriarch Nikon, symbolic and allegorical deﬁnition, metaphorical images of the Church.