Skoptsy

by Nathan Hamm on 1/26/2005 · 5 comments

That’s right. Castrati:

The Castrati sect in its genesis was closely connected with the sect of Christ-believers. Considering castration to be the main and principal condition of salvation, it was the logical completion of the ascetic program of the Christ-believers.

The Castrati’s way of life, based on the principles of their faith, was also very attractive to common people. All objective observers noted that the Castrati were very hardworking and industrious, their ordinary life was cleaner and more authentic than the ordinary life of nonsectarian population. For example, the Castrati who lived in Yakutia, with its severe polar climate, were engaged in agriculture, they had millets, and they were famous for their rejection of drinking and for their moderate behavior.

Just one of the more obscure and bizarre forms of Christianity in Russia’s past. And there’s plenty more right here.

[Castrati! If that doesn’t deserve your vote, I don’t know what does. Maybe the Red Army Choir singing the “Battle Hymn of the Repulic” or “O! Canada?” Because, you know, that kind of think could be arranged.]


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This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 4 comments }

PF January 26, 2005 at 9:47 pm

The Skoptsi feature in Tolstoy’s novel Resurrection, and evidently met with the author’s approval.

Tatyana January 27, 2005 at 3:32 pm

He would approve of it, wouldn’t he? Very like him.

Alexei January 28, 2005 at 7:17 am

Well done, Nathan. Did you register resemblances between the Khlysty and the Shakers — belief in Christ’s reincarnation, merry-go-round dancing, rejection of sexual intercourse, and, of course, a deep mistrust of authority?

Alexei January 28, 2005 at 7:32 am

…although, on the other hand, the Shakers did not degenerate to the point of having pansexual orgies.

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