Classification – name: Literary studies
Publisher: A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWL RAS Publ.)
Rights – description: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 (СС BY-ND)
Rights – URL:
Language of the publication: Russian
Type of document: Monograph
Collection: Literary process in Russia of the 18th  — 19th centuries. Secular and spiritual literature. Issue 2
Year of publication: 2020
Place of publication: Moscow


Author: Eduard L. Afanasyev
Afanasyev E.L. Metropolitan Platon (Levshin) — publicist.

About the author

Eduard L. Afanasyev, DSc in Philology, Senior Researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a. 121069 Moscow, Russia

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The article deals with the work of Metropolitan of Moscow Platon II (worldly surname — Levshin) (1737–1812), who became famous not only as an outstanding preacher of the second half of the 18th century, but also as a historical writer. The well-known facts of his life and the creative history of works receive a new sound in the context of a spiritual biography; first of all — a strong connection to the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius and a deep understanding of the spiritual experience of venerable Sergius of Radonezh. A comparative analysis of the text “On the Road to Schism” (1767) and “Brief History of the Russian Church” (1805) was undertaken, illustrating the path of spiritual growth. The author is presented not just as a widely educated person, but as a hierarch, vigilantly expanding his spiritual horizon. Changes in genre priorities and lexical and stylistic features, adherence to certain literary traditions, the dominance of a national idea, proximity to Church Slavonic sources and ancient Russian literary tradition are traced. One of the key roles of the spiritual heritage of Metropolitan Platon II in the historical and literary process of the second half of the 18th century is confirmed.

Keywords: 18th century Russian literature, historical and literary process, Metropolitan Platon II (Levshin), spiritual biography, sermons, journalism.