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Journal articles

Quitter l'orthodoxie en Russie centrale, 1905-1914 : usages d'un droit nouveau et culture juridique des apostats

Abstract : The religious policy of the Russian Empire was substantially transformed by the 1905 decree allowing people of Orthodox confession to convert to another officially recognized faith without being prosecuted. This change took place while there was an unprecedented development of liberal legal culture, giving more and more importance to the idea that law must recognize and protect individual freedom. The 1905 decree had numerous implications for non-Russian and non-Orthodox people living in the periphery and resisting pressure from the Orthodox Church and imperial authorities. But the new freedom to convert from Orthodoxy had also important consequences for every person seeking official recognition of her belonging to a non-Orthodox confession, given the fact that imperial law and administrative practice made it compulsory to have a confessional affiliation. The Orthodox clergy was given the right to exhort apostates not to leave Orthodoxy. Documents related to these exhortations allow us to study how converts exercised their right in two central provinces of the empire, at the heart of Russian Orthodoxy. The problem is to understand what motivated the apostates, and to examine the language they used when confronted with the Orthodox priests. Conversions were of different types. Some people converted from Orthodoxy by religious convictions, others wanted to change the conditions of their private life. But overall they made little use of conceptual references to the content of liberal legal culture. And converts did not seem to be so confident in the value of their right as to resist moral pressure from Orthodox priests asking them to justify themselves.
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Contributor : Michel Tissier Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, January 17, 2011 - 11:58:30 AM
Last modification on : Monday, December 13, 2021 - 12:02:33 PM


  • HAL Id : halshs-00556577, version 1


Michel Tissier. Quitter l'orthodoxie en Russie centrale, 1905-1914 : usages d'un droit nouveau et culture juridique des apostats. Revue d'Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine, Societe D'histoire Moderne et Contemporaine, 2010, 57 (4/4 bis), p. 124-154. ⟨halshs-00556577⟩



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