The present study continues a series of publications exploring “augustiniana” within the Russian ecclesiastical scholarship, i.e. the work of professors and students of Theological academies devoted to Saint Augustine and conducted prior to the Russian Revolution. In this paper we switch our attention from the person and heritage of the bishop of Hippo to so called Augustinian movements of the 17th century and in particular to Jansenism. We predominantly focus on two texts: Magister’s thesis of an alumni of Saint-Petersburg Theological Academy Ivan Troitsky (1859) — a future professor of his Alma Mater, and a paper of his pupil Vasily Bellavin — in future the Most Holy Patriarch Tikhon. The latter document dates back to 1891 and is based on currently unavailable Candidate’s thesis of Vasiliy Bellavin (1888). Our analysis has shown that although the content of the two explored documents is out of date (now that 150 years have elapsed since they were written), their signiﬁ cance for the history of theology is out of doubt. The questions posed by Jansenism turned out highly relevant for the church life in Russia in the late 1850s as well as in the late 1880s — early 1890s. Jansenists reﬂected upon church hierarchy and its authority, the “enigma of humanity”, actual and potential state of human nature, grace and freedom, the role Holy Scripture in the life of the Church and every christian, religious upbringing and education. Another factor that elevated interest to Jansenists’ movements of the 17th century during the second of the above mentioned periods was the preparation to a new stage of the dialog with the Old Catholics who had joined the followers of Jansenists, i.e. with the Church of Utrecht. Treating Jansenists’ thought with sympathy the young Russian theologians proved open to consider without bias all truth seeking attempts leading to Orthodox tradition. However in both cases our authors soberly realised that Jansenists predominantly focused on ﬁghting the challenges that triggered the birth of Jansenism, which never resulted in joining the true Church.
Russian Orthodox Church, theology, Saint-Petersburg Theological Academy, St. Augustine, Jansenism, Paschasius Quesnel, St. Tikhon (Bellavin), Ivan Troitsky, Ivan Osinin.
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