The Angelology of the Explanatory Palaea and the Problem of Theodicy


  • Irina Dergacheva



The Explanatory Palaea (Rus. Tolkovaya Paleya) is now known to us in the form of over 15 texts dating back to between the 14th and the 17th centuries. It provides a full description of cosmogenesis, the creation of Adam, the structure of the human body, the interaction between soul and body, and the forms of spiritual substances. It also contains natural scientific representations of physical phenomena. Together with the explanation of ontological problems, it describes the structure of the universe, the earth, and the next world. Like the Biblical books of the Old and New Testament, the Explanatory Palaea establishes the principal worldview to be found in medieval Russian texts. The descriptions in it are accompanied by polemics and invectives against the Jews, who refused to accept the main principles of Christian doctrine, pagans, and Muslims. The aforementioned makes it possible to view the Explanatory Palaea as a historic ancient Russian manuscript, truly outstanding due to its absolutely unique worldview and its incomparable religious, philosophical, and scientific content. Of special interest is the depiction of the disruption of noumenal beings and the emergence of the binary opposition between good and evil as a result of the fall of the archistrategos of the tenth angelic order. The Genesis catastrophe results in the emergence of evil, a phenomenon originally not included in the divine conception of the creation of the world.


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How to Cite

Dergacheva, I. (2017). The Angelology of the Explanatory Palaea and the Problem of Theodicy. Quaestio Rossica, 5(3), 826–837.