Religion Past and Present

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Starets
(365 words)

[German Version]

(pl. startsy) is the Russian equivalent to the Greek word γέρων/gérōn; it denotes an experienced (and therefore usually elderly) ascetic, whose spiritual direction younger ascetics as well as Christians living in the world accept without question. The roots this phenomenon go back to Eastern monasticism in the Early Church. St. Anthony is the prototypical starets, but this form of spiritual direction did not fully come into its own until the late 18th century in Russia, when Paisius Velichkovsky left Athos for Moldavia with 60 discip…

Cite this page
Hauptmann, Peter, “Starets”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 23 September 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_SIM_025722>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



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