Classification – name: Literary studies
Author: Olga A. Krasheninnikova
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
Collection: Literary process in Russia of the 18th  — 19th centuries. Secular and spiritual literature. Issue 2
Year of publication: 2020
Place of publication: Moscow


Krasheninnikova O.A. Theophan Prokopovich’s treatise “About reviling of decrees of Peter the Great” (1734): towards the history of disputes about the destiny of monasticism in Russia in the 18th century.

 About the author

Olga A. Krasheninnikova, PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia


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This article analyzes for the first time the full text of objection of Theophan Prokopovich (1681–1736) to the work of Markell Radyshevskiy (†1742) on monasticism ([Objection to The announcement of monasticism], 1730), and explains the circumstances and motives for its creation. In his polemical treatise of 1734, Theophan Prokopovich polemicises with the most important provisions of Markell Radyshevskiy’s work, defending the views of Peter’s companions on monasticism and the Church. In his rebuttal, Theophan Prokopovich stands as a staunch supporter of Peter I and his Church reform, a supporter of unlimited autocratic power and unconditional subordination of the Church to the head of state. He polemicises with important arguments of Markell Radyshevskiy’s work, defending all the main provisions of Peter’s 1724 decree on monasticism. The first full publication of Theophan Prokopovich’s objection will give a clear idea of the nature of the ideological and religious disputes of Peter’s time, the essence and intensity of the controversy between Church reformers and conservatives in the era of formation of the Russian state in the 18th century.


Keywords: Theophan Prokopovich, Markell Radyshevsky, decrees, Peter I, defence of monasticism, Church reform, polemic, fate of monasticism.