Malyshev Artem

Reception and development of ‘alte kenotik’ in the russian theological and academic tradition

Malyshev Artem (2021) "Reception and development of ‘alte kenotik’ in the russian theological and academic tradition ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia. Religiovedenie, 2021, vol. 95, pp. 28-44 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI202195.28-44


The article studies the roots of the theory of gradual manifestation of divine Nature of Christ in His human nature, which belongs to St. Innokenty (Borisov). In the initial section, the article provides a short explanation of the origin and development in the Lutheran world of the 16th — 17th centuries of a conception of kenosis of Christ, as his non-use of the divine majesty, i.e. the totality of the divine properties, communicated to His human nature. Having outlined the history of so-called “alte Kenotik”, the article describes its reception by the Russian theological tradition and analyses the conception of kenosis from the theological system of Archbishop Theofan (Prokopovich). The article also compares this conception with the theological views of Johann Quenstedt and the doctrine of St. Innokenty (Smirnov). Then it is shown that Christological theory of St. Innokenty (Borisov) is based on the ideas adopted by the Russian tradition from “alte Kenotik” of Lutheran scholastics. St. Innokenty (Borisov) admitted that kenosis of Christ referred to His deifi cated human nature and implied the limited realisation of divine properties communicated to it. It was also admitted by St. Innokenty (Borisov) that the full realisation of divine properties took place in the state of exaltation of Christ. The article not only demonstrates the integration of the ideas of “alte Kenotik” in the theory of St. Innokenty (Borisov), but also examines the original aspects of the latter. The originality of Christological theory of St. Innokenty (Borisov) is due to the idea that the manifestation of the divine nature in Christ is a process. Using the perception of Christ’s kenosis as a standard adopted in the theological and academic sphere, the Saint attempted to respond to I. Kant’s criticism of the traditional Christology and fill those gaps in Orthodox Christology which appeared due to the achievements of philosophy.


Kenosis, Christology, Lutheranism, Russian theology, Johann Quenstedt, Archbishop Theofan (Prokopovich), St. Innokenty (Smirnov), St. Innokenty (Borisov)


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Information about the author

Malyshev Artem

Student status: Graduate student;
Place of study: St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University for the Humanities; 6/1 Likhov pereulok, Moscow 127051, Russian Federation;
ORCID: 0000-0002-3674-3303;
Email: artema.malishev@gmail.com.


Article is prepared within the “Russian religious academic theology of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century: ideas and contexts” project with assistance of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University and Fund “The live Tradition”.