The Teaching about Concord and Reconciliation in the Encyclical of Metropolitan Daniil of Moscow
Keywords:Metropolitan Daniil’s Encyclical; pastor’s instruction; history of Old Russian literature; agape
The Encyclical of Metropolitan Daniil (On Reconciliation, Unity, Concord, Love, the Preservation of Orthodoxy and Religious Instruction and Guidance for All of Us), written in 1539, represents a farewell instruction from the hierarch. Following the deaths of Vasily III and Elena Glinskaya, the historical circumstances in Moscow did not favour Daniil, and, as a result, he had to leave his throne. The Encyclical has not been studied thoroughly or published previously. The article aims to uncover the history behind the text and the development of the author’s ideas. Using textological, structural, typological, historical, and literary methods of analysis, the article singles out two versions of the work in question and describes them, focusing on the author’s intentions. Additionally, the article contains a critical assessment of the conclusions made by
V. Zhmakin in 1881. The Encyclical can be found in three handwritten collections of the mid-16th century, all related to the Iosifo-Volokolamsky Monastery. The copies kept in the Russian State Library are the initial short and extended versions of the instruction. The extended version contains insets clarifying the message of the author and providing a continuation of the text. The plot of the Encyclical contains two themes: reconciliation in society and preservation of the Orthodox faith. In the short version, their roles are unequal. The teaching about reconciliation and concord is addressed to laymen, the clergy, and all God’s children. The structure of the model of reconciliation and concord is based on the Gospel and the Epistles. Daniil maintains that salvation is to be found in humility and agape, which is the root of all good causes. Agape is the leitmotif of Daniil’s theology. The short version of the Encyclical only contains one sentence about the observation of divine law (the other theme of the instruction). In the extended version, the author develops the idea connected with the protection of faith from evil teachings and hostile people. He encourages the reader to fight with them and maintains that in this case, there can be no reconciliation. The final part of the work in the extended version is a nakaz (pastor’s instruction) as a type of sermon. The structural connection of the Encyclical with Daniil’s Sobornik revealed in the article allow the author to describe the principles of the ecclesiastical writer and prepare his work for academic publication.
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