The Luthetan traditionalism and high Church

Aleksandr Michaylovich Prilutskiy, doctor in philosophy, professor, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia (naberezhnaya reki Moiki, 48/20a, Saint-Petersburg, Russia,191186)

Prilutskiy A. M. The Luthetan traditionalism and high Church, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2012, vol. 1, pp. 75–90.

DOI: 10.24411/2308-0698-2012-00005

Language: Russian

At the present day decline in theology regarded as «book learning» lies behind crisis of  confessional identity. Family and ethnic traditions, aesthetic preferences and other factors determine one’s membership of a confessional fellowship. As a result, a religious entity is no more a community of people having the same beliefs but is based on some other principles. One may count the High Church movement among these principles.

The author critically evaluates classical interpretation of the term High Church and considers it from the perspective of both liturgics and ecclesiology. Adiaphoron is the theological foundation for the High Church movement in Lutheranism. Russian High Church discourse does not form a common semiotic field – some regions are more prone to High Church tendencies than others. Obviously, Russian mental and cultural patterns are assimilated by the communities in the North-West region.

The study is based on the data received from the Church of Ingria. High Church movement proponents are featured by negative perception of liturgical and theological modernism. While the former can be detected easily, the latter may cause some difficulties because of vagueness of terms and using of common Christian notions out of their proper context. The author touches upon High Church movement adherents’ attitude to such «quasi-theological products» as female pastors and same-sex marriages.

Russian High Church Lutheranism can be characterized by the interest to the church fathers’ heritage, particular attitude to the sacraments, maintenance of the traditional holy orders, special attention to the Eucharistic canon, strict conservatism and traditionalism in liturgical hymnography. However, Lutheran High Church movement in the North-West region has not been formed yet.

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Key words: traditionalism, соnfessional theology, High Church, North-West region of Russia, liberalism, apostolic succession, hymnography, liturgy

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