Cerkiew prawosławna w reformach Piotra Wielkiego

Krystyna Chojnicka


In 1701 tsar Peter I resigned from appointing anybody to the throne of patriarch and, in 1721, he subjected  the  Orthodox  Church  to  the  secular  office  of  higher  rank,  the  Office  being  additionally supervised by Oberprocurator as one of the highest officers of the state. There appears a question: what was the cause, the aim and the sense of the reform thus carried out. Did Peter exploit the Protestant patterns. Or did he try to reach only economic, but perhaps also social, objectives. What additionally requires answering in whether the Orthodox Church benefited from the reform or whether the reform led to its fall. Was the subjecting of the Orthodox Church to the secular power only the next step upon the road that led to the strengthening of the patrimonial system in Russia or was this maneuver tantamount to the adoption of the Western model of absolute power? What is also of importance is the significance that Peter the Great attached to the legal form of his reforms. The answer to the aforementioned questions is not always unambiguous. The very formulation of these questions may however contribute to better understanding of Russia in one of the most important stages of its history.

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