Balyko Timofey

Development of the conservative opinions of the church in Orel diocese as to the freedom of conscience after the Missionary congress of 1901

Balyko Timofey (2022) "Development of the conservative opinions of the church in Orel diocese as to the freedom of conscience after the Missionary congress of 1901 ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2022, vol. 105, pp. 79-96 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII2022105.79-96


The article is devoted to the topic of freedom of conscience, which by the beginning of the twentieth century had become one of the main topics in Russian church and public thought. The relevant discussion was largely initiated by a speech in September 1901 at the Missionary Congress in Orel by the leader of the nobility of the Orel province, M. A. Stakhovich, who proposed introducing freedom of conscience in Russia and abolishing criminal penalties for falling away from the Orthodox Church. This event has been repeatedly considered in the context of the all-Russian controversy that has arisen, but the consequences of Stakhovich's speech in the Oryol diocese itself have not been subjected to scientific study before. The author of the article managed to establish the fact of the activation of conservative church thought in the Oryol diocese at the end of 1901 and the clear formulation of the positions of the Oryol conservatives on the introduction of freedom of conscience and other liberal freedoms, which were a threat to the existence of the church-state union and the Russian Orthodox state. Special attention in the study is paid to attempts to blur the boundaries of the Church in the Orel diocese, to include "random persons" acting on a political order in church life. It also drew criticism from conservatives. After 1901, the manifestation of church conservative thought in the Orel diocese on these issues can be traced in a number of journalistic materials. This concerns, first of all, the period of the revolutionary years 1905-1907. and 1917, which indicates a certain stability of church conservative ideas in the Oryol diocese, the presence of these ideas of groups of supporters who became active at crucial moments in history.


freedom of conscience, Missionary Congress, M. A. Stakhovich, church conservative thought, Bishop Nikanor (Kamensky), Mitrofan of Athos, liberalism, Oryol Orthodox Peter and Paul Brotherhood


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Information about the author

Balyko Timofey

Student status: Graduate student;
Place of study: St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University; 23b, Novokuznetskaya st., Moscow 115184, Russian Federation;
ORCID: 0000-0001-6577-4320;
Email: t.balyko@yandex.ru.


To the priest, Professor, Deputy Head of the Department of the Modern History of the Russian Orthodox Church, Alexander Mazyrin