Rosyjska masoneria w świetle sztuk teatralnych Katarzyny II
Russian Masonry in the Light of Catherine the Great’s Theatre Plays
Languages of publication
The paper presents Russian Masonry as the phenomenon which was a novelty for the Russian culture of the 18th century. The figure of Catherine the Great and some aspects of her inner politics are the reference points for considerations about the clash between Masonic anthroposophy and the traditional patterns of Russian culture: the Empire and the Orthodox Church. The analyses of primary sources allow us to compare two points of view regarding the human’s place in world and the tools for his self-perfecting. The Masonic anthropological conception was both anthropocentric and theocentric. Masons emphasised their involvement in worldly problems and the necessity of putting society and the state in the scope of their activity. Catherine the Great, on the other hand, wanted to be the only one good-maker for the society. The tsarina studied Masonic texts quite early, when Masonic lodges were treated by her courtiers as a kind of entertainment. She was unable, however, to understand mystical and ideological side of Masonry because of her rationalistic and irreligious shape of mind. The conclusion of the paper is that Catherine the Great’s plays are an evidence for tsarina’s opinion about Masonry but they had very little impact on the new cultural trends which were represented and inculcated into the Russian culture by Masonic lodges.
Publication order reference