Trieste, 13-14 ottobre 2023
Convegno Internazionale


Venerdì 13 ottobre (15:00 – 17:00)

Aula Magna SSLMIT, Via Filzi, 14 – Trieste

Saluti istituzionali
Prof. Valter Sergo
Prorettore Vicario Università di Trieste
Prof. Georg Meyr
Direttore del Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche e sociali

Introduzione al Convegno

Prof.ssa Giuliana Parotto
Responsabile Scientifica del Convegno


Sarà disponibile un servizio di traduzione simultanea italiano-inglese)


Prof. Richard Sakwa Emeritus: Head of School – Politics and International Relations-Rutherford College University
of Kent – Canterbury Kent

The Russo-Ukrainian war marks before a turning point and an acceleration of tendencies long visible.
In the case of Russia, it marks a decisive break with the 500-year-long attempt to modernise and adapt
to Western modernity. Since 2012 Russia has been identified as a ‘state-civilisation’, including the
affirmation of an identity and values opposed to those of the West. However, the repudiation is partial.
While relations with the political West are ruptured, Russia remains ambivalent about the civilisational
West, the entity that it has been trying to join for 500 years, while it remains relatively unambiguously
in favour of the cultural West, the tradition drawing on Europe’s Judaic-Christian and Greco-Roman
inheritance. This in turn is reflected in the coexistence and contestation between the four great
macrofactions of Russian modernity: the liberals, the guardian-security (okhraniteli-siloviki) bloc, the
neo-traditionalists (ranging from neo-communists to the Russian Orthodox Church), and the
Eurasianists. Thus, Russia remains ideationally plurally even as it become more politically authoritarian.
This shapes the debate about Russian civilisation today, although all factions seek to create some sort
of ‘greater Russia’. All seek to make Russia great again, but their respective definitions of greatness

Prof. Alexander V. Astrov Central European University – Wien
Initially, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine was defined by President Putin as a “special military
operation.” As this “special operation” dragged on for over a year, some media sources started referring
to it as a “holy military operation.” At first, this may appear to be a playful use of language since, in both
cases, the Russian abbreviation would be the same: SVO. However, there is more to it than a play on
words. At stake is contestation over what semiotician Yuri Lotman and philosopher Aleksandr
Pyatigorsky defined as a “cultural code” implicitly present in significant “texts” that make up a “culture,”
including political culture. In this paper, I explicate and generalise this contestation as a process
of meta-syn-chresis – a combination of relations exemplified in rhetoric by metaphor, metonymy and
catachresis. Then, following the work of Ernesto Laclau on the rhetoricity of social organisation, I show
this process to be at work in the writings of Marina Tsvetaeva, in the political speeches of Viktor Orbán,
and in the Russian discourse leading up to the current war.

Prof.ssa Kristina Stoekl Università Luiss Guido Carli – Roma
L’esicasmo è una preghiera meditativa praticata dai monaci ortodossi fin dai primi tempi del
cristianesimo. La pratica è stata concettualizzata teologicamente nel XIV secolo da Gregorios Palamas
(1296/97-1359). Da allora, l’esicasmo è diventato oggetto di numerosi trattati teologici e filosofici, in
particolare durante il periodo di fioritura della filosofia religiosa russa durante l’ultimo decennio del XIX
secolo ed i primi due decenni del XX secolo. Ma solo a metà del XX secolo, nelle condizioni improbabili
del comunismo sovietico e della Guerra Fredda, si hanno due interpretazioni distintamente politiche
dell’esicasmo da parte del filologo russo Gelian Prokhorov (1936-2017) e del teologo emigrato russo di
seconda generazione John Meyendorff (1926-1992). Nel suo intervento, la sociologa Kristina Stoeckl
delinea le origini dell’esicasmo politico nelle opere di Meyendorff e Prokhorov e poi traccia l’influenza
di questo concetto sulla Chiesa Ortodossa Russa contemporanea, dove l’esicasmo politico e la visione
neo-bizantina della Russia odierna è diventato cavallo di battaglia per estremisti anti-occidentali e
fondamentalisti ortodossi.
Political Hesychasm and Neo-Byzantinism in the Russian Orthodox Church. Hesychasm is a meditative
prayer tradition practiced by Orthodox monks since early Christian times. The practice was
conceptualized theologically in the 14th century by Gregorios Palamas (1296/97-1359). Since then,
hesychasm has become the object of numerous theological and philosophical treatments, in particular
during the “silver age” of Russian religious philosophy. But only in the mid-20th century, under the
unlikely conditions of Soviet communism and Cold War, we get two distinctively political interpretations
of hesychasm by the Russian philologist Gelian Prokhorov (1936-2017) and the Russian second
generation émigré-theologian John Meyendorff (1926-1992). This chapter outlines the origins of
“political hesychasm” in the treatments of Meyendorff and Prokhorov and then traces the influence of
this concept in contemporary Russian philosophy and Orthodox theology. The focus lies on recent
treatments of “political hesychasm” by Russian authors who have made the concept the ground for
radical arguments about Christian Orthodox uniqueness and anti-Westernism.

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Sabato 14 ottobre (9:00 – 13:00)
Aula Magna SSLMIT, Via Filzi, 14 – Trieste

Prof. Giovanni Codevilla Emerito – Università di Trieste
The doctrine of Russkijmiris the result of a long historical process marked by the progressive distancing
of Russian Orthodoxy from Constantinople with the refusal of the Grand Prince of Moscow to accept
the decisions of the Council of Florence. In the space of a few years, the metropolis of Moscow
proclaimed its de facto autocephaly and the bond of subordination of the Sacerdotium to the Imperium
was strengthened, especially starting from the Council of 1503 which saw the monastic current led by
Iosif of Volokolamsk, who stated a close bond between Church and sovereign, prevail on that
represented by Nil Sorskyj, who supported the independence of the Church from civil power. At the
beginning of the 16th century, the monk Filofej from the Pskov region enunciated the theory of the
Moscow third Rome and the transfer of the imperial capital from Constantinople to Moscow. Since then
the symphonic relationship between Church and Empire has been upset, no longer signifying the
harmonious collaboration between them, but the prevalence of civil power over religious power, which
will culminate in 1721 with Peter the Great’s decision to abolish the Patriarchate established in 1589.
From then on the history of the Church will be that of the State. With the end of Bolshevism which
marked the full subjugation of the Church, a new symphony was reconstituted between civil and
religious power: the latter provides the former with the theological justification for the affirmation of
Russki jmir, or the obsessive claim to also impose manu military the hegemony of Moscow and the
supremacy of its Orthodoxy as the only way to eliminate Evil and impose Good in the reconstituted
great Empire of Russia.

Prof. Stefano Caprio Pontificio Istituto orientale – Roma
Si affronterà il passaggio dalle tesi enunciate nel 2000 nei “Fondamenti della dottrina sociale della
Chiesa Ortodossa russa”, fino alla giustificazione della “guerra santa” come missione della Russia nel
mondo, contro l’ideologia globalista anti-tradizionale. L’intervento passerà in rassegna i discorsi del
metropolita e poi patriarca Kirill, i documenti del Sinodo del patriarcato di Mosca, i vari interventi del
metropolita di Pskov Tikhon (Shevkunov) e altri esponenti del patriarcato. Si potrà quindi fare
attenzione alle elaborazioni ideologiche dell’attuale regime di Mosca, dall’eurasismo al russkij mir, nei
discorsi di Putin, dei suoi “ideologi” ed esponenti della cultura e della società russa, fino alla retorica
bellica dell’ultimo anno.

Prof. Arpad Szakolczai Emeritus – University College Cork- Ireland
The aim of the presentation will be to assess the impact of the peculiar, dualistic ‘Byzantine spirit’ on
the rise of the modern world, as a background to contemporary political-theological developments. It
will be using the approach and the tools of political anthropology, in particular the terms ‘liminality’,
‘trickster’, and ‘schismogenesis’. The source of such dualistic spirit is the dual nature of the
Hippodrome: location of solemn public-religious rituals, on the one hand, and on the other of various
circus entertainment, survivals of the pre-Christian Roman Empire; both under the authority of the
Emperor, who thus embodied in his person religious and secular authority, deeply confusing charismatic
and trickster roles. It was this spirit that was transmitted, in the liminal moment of the sack of
Constantinople, into the West, playing a fundamental role in the rise of the modern world, which
reproduced the East-West schism with the rise of Protestantism. Focus here will be on the extremely
ambiguous nature of the ‘public sphere’, which was already a main theme of the hesychasm debate,
and which is systematically ignored in the modern celebration of the media and the public.

Prof. Adriano Roccucci Università Roma 3
Nella storia della Russia i processi di sacralizzazione del potere hanno avuto il loro epicentro a Mosca,
il cui tessuto urbano e la cui trama ideologica sono intrisi di rimandi alla dimensione del sacro. Mosca è
una città a cui una stratificazione ideologica e culturale secolare ha assegnato una valenza simbolica di
grande rilievo politico-religioso. L’inestricabile intreccio di sacro e potere ha segnato le sue vicende e
ha lasciato un’impronta profonda nei luoghi della città, che si è venuta a configurare come uno «spazio
sacrale» e contestualmente come uno «spazio politico». Nel corso del Novecento sovietico il linguaggio
urbano e simbolico di Mosca, in un intreccio di eredità e innovazioni, è stato declinato in maniera
funzionale alla religione politica del bolscevismo. Nella nuova Russia post-sovietica la capitale, divenuta
terreno per un ulteriore gioco di ibridazioni tra passato e presente, ha continuato a svolgere il ruolo di
spazio di sedimentazione dei processi di sacralizzazione del potere e dei messaggi ideologici di carattere

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Dr. Luciano Larivera sj (Centro Veritas)

Prof. Giovanni Grandi (Università di Trieste),

Dr. Egor Novikov (Heidelberg University),

Dr. Stella Marega (Università di Trieste).

L’iniziativa vale come proposta di aggiornamento per Docenti della scuola
secondaria di I e II grado e per il Personale educativo: è possibile accedere
all’iscrizione tramite il portale SOFIA – Ministero dell’Istruzione e del Merito.

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