Title of the article:



Natalia S. Zhirtueva

Information about the author/authors

Natalia S. Zhirtueva — DSc in Philosophy, Associate Professor, Professor of the Department of “Political Science and Philosophy”, Institute of Social Sciences and International Relations, Sevastopol State University, Universitetskaya St., 33, 299053 Sevastopol, Russia. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2386-1332. E-mail: zhr_nata@bk.ru


Theory and history of culture




Vol. 57


pp. 8-20


October 25, 2019

Date of publication

September 28, 2020



Index UDK

008 +1(091)

Index BBK

71.1(2)4 + 63.3(2)411


There is still no consensus in the scientific studies about the role of Byzantine Hesychasm in the culture of Kievan Rus’ of the 11th–12th centuries. Hesychasm is considered as an Orthodox mystical doctrine, theory and practice of transformation or “deification” (“theosis”) of a person. The paper undertakes the analysis of three directions in the Old Russian philosophical in order to reveal the influence of hesychasm on them. The theological and church (Hilarion of Kiev, K. Smolyatich and K. Turovsky) and the monastic-ascetic (Saints Anthony and Theodosius of the Caves) directions were clearly visible already in the 11th–12th centuries. Under the influence of intensified paganism the secular-rationalist direction (V. Monomakh and D. Zatochnik) was formed in the 12th century. First of all the influence of Byzantine Hesychasm’s ideas may be observed in terms of the first two directions. Theodosius of the Caves can be considered as the founder of the Old Russian Hesychasm, a distinctive feature of which is the ideal of active holiness. However in general, the influence of ascetic hesychasm on the culture of Rus’ was insignificant, which is explained by the stability of the pagan tradition. While the doctrine of practical ways to achieve “theosis” turned out to be the most important for the monks of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, the issues of moral and ethical nature were of primary interest to Old Russian thinkers. In the search for new moral values and guidelines for the young Christian state, the teaching of the Byzantine Church Fathers became especially important for him. Metropolitans Hilarion of Kiev and Clement Smolyatich, Bishop Kirill of Turov, Prince Vladimir Monomakh strove for synthesizing the ideas of patristics with a Slavic spiritual tradition. The patristic concept of “deification of the flesh” was perceived in Rus’ in its ethical aspect as the doctrine of the moral perfection of man through love, patience, humility, non-possessiveness, and the practice of prayer.


Byzantine Hesychasm, Old Russian Hesychasm, “theosis”, patristics, Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, prayer.


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