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Devotions in the Ancient Way of Offices: Medieval Domestic Devotion in the Seventeenth Century
Open AccessArticle

The Cult of Old Believers’ Domestic Icons and the Beginning of Old Belief in Russia in the 17th-18th Centuries

Institute of Art History, University of Warsaw, Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28, 00-927 Warszawa, Poland
Religions 2019, 10(10), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100574
Received: 23 August 2019 / Revised: 30 September 2019 / Accepted: 11 October 2019 / Published: 14 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Domestic Devotions in Medieval and Early Modern Europe)
The aim of this paper is to present the cult of icons in the Old Believer communities from the perspective of private devotion. For the Old Believers, from the beginning of the movement, in the middle of the 17th century, icons were at the center of their religious life. They were also at the center of religious conflict between Muscovite Patriarch Nikon, who initiated the reforms of the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Old Believers and their proponent, archpriest Avvakum Petrov. Some sources and documents from the 16th and 18th centuries make it possible to analyze the reasons for the popularity of small-sized icons among priested (popovtsy) and priestless (bespopovtsy) Old Believers, not only in their private houses but also in their prayer houses (molennas). The article also shows the role of domestic icons from the middle of the 17th century as a material foundation of the identity of the Old Believers movement. View Full-Text
Keywords: icons; private devotion; Old Believers; Patriarch Nikon; archpriest Avvakum icons; private devotion; Old Believers; Patriarch Nikon; archpriest Avvakum
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Sulikowska-Bełczowska, A. The Cult of Old Believers’ Domestic Icons and the Beginning of Old Belief in Russia in the 17th-18th Centuries. Religions 2019, 10, 574.

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