Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Russian Schism and Protestant Individualism

Practicing levitation in the Ochocos

"Containing within it a germ of Protestantism, the Russian Schism cultivated it to its limits. Even among the Old Believers, the true preserver of the ancient heritage and tradition is the individual person. This person does not live in the past, but in the present; the adopted tradition, here shorn of an advantage over the individual in terms of living wholeness or catholicity (as in the Universal Church) and being in itself no more than a dead formality, is revitalized and reanimated merely by the faith and devoutness of its true preserver - the individual person. No sooner, however, does a position of this kind start to be aware that the centre of gravity is shifting from the dead past to the living present, than the conventional objects of tradition lose all value, and all significance is transferred to the independent, individual bearer of that tradition; from this there proceeds the direct transition to those free sects which notoriously claim personal inspiration and personal righteousness as the basis of religion" - V. S. Solovyov as quoted in David McDuff's introduction to Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment (translated by David McDuff; London: Penguin Classics, 1996) pp. 26-27.

No comments: