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Semiotic Interpretation of the Sign ‘Ecclesiastical Court’ Within the Framework of Legal Precepts in Terms of Temporality and Spatiality (Case of Russia)

The article aims to provide a semiotic interpretation of the sign of the Ecclesiastical Court within the legal framework from temporal and spatial perspectives (case of Russia). The starting point of the research is the idea that the history of the Russian Ecclesiastical Court is inextricably linked to the history of Russian society and secular court. Consideration of the pre-revolutionary ecclesiastical and secular law helps us explore principles of the ecclesiastical proceedings and organization, identify contradictions in understanding modern Ecclesiastical Court. Its sign is not only limited to the legal interpretation. In his novel The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky F. M. gave the sign of the Ecclesiastical Court symbolic meaning and, thus, expanded it beyond the existing legal framework. The Ecclesiastical Court is one of the symbols of Russian spirituality which is reflected in the concept of “Russian soul”. Rational elements of the sign of Ecclesiastical Court as well as its sensual and metaphorical (represented visually in the author’s pictures in this article) components, are analyzed using the category of Truth. Clearly, the Cross is sign-symbol for Christianity. But if applied to the concept of Ecclesiastical Court, the Orthodox Cross becomes a sign-index. As a result, several semantically heterogeneous meanings of the sign of Ecclesiastical Court are revealed and described. The article is published in a special issue: Cultural Heritage, Law & Discourse: A Triadic Dimension in Protection, Regulation & Identity.