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Conservative orthodox clergy as public-social power at the beginning of 20th century (basing on the materials of Tambov eparchy)


The socio-political activity of the Orthodox clergy of the Tambov Eparchy of the period of activity of the State Duma of 1–4 convocations (1907–1917) is considered. Based on the archival documents of the Tambov spiritual consistory and publications in the diocesan and provincial press, the consequences of the policy of “Orthodox conservatism” are reflected in the changing views of the Tambov clergy in three directions of the political spectrum: the extreme right flank, the liberal center, and the left flank. Analysis of the diocesan press in 1905–1917 made it possible to identify the most relevant topics reflecting the world view and interests of the Tambov clergy: changing the relations between the Church and the state, the content of the programs of political parties and their discussion, participation of representatives of the Tambov clergy in the work of the State Duma, the Church’s participation in organizing the system of spiritual and secular education and other social institutions, the activities of church communities and brotherhoods, missionary and anti-sectarian activities, etc. It is reasonably proved that the most vividly social-political clergy activity has resulted in the organization of diocesan congresses in the period under review, as well as national-patriotic movements (Tambov Union of Russian people). The legalization of such patriotic organizations led to strict control by government agencies and strict restriction of the Church’s participation in the political life of the society.


Tambov eparchy; press; clergy; socio-political power; Orthodox conservatism; national-patriotic union

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National history

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