Забытое время, или Практики самотрансформации в современном православном монастыре
According to secular views, some religious techniques of the self, such as complete subordination of a person to spiritual leader, seem to violate basic human rights, and hence unacceptable. Conversely, religious traditions have different views on the subject and his/her good, and how this good can be achieved. In today’s world, however, religious groups have to relate their views with the secular environment, and, therefore, some self-cultivation techniques represent a mixture of different worldviews. This article examines the techniques of the self in contemporary Orthodox convents. It explores how the notion of spiritual growth is influenced by an inner contradiction within the Orthodox Christian concept of sainthood — namely, between the deep perception of one’s sinfulness and the rising of virtues. The secular understanding of time, which exists in today’s monasteries, emphasizes this contradiction and puts into question the possibility of spiritual growth. By concentrating on diachronic dimension of self-transformation techniques, this article challenges current understanding of the secular and non-secular agency.