Glava že vsěm Biblïja”. Biblical Quotations in the Literary Works of H.S. Skovoroda (1722-1794) between Slavic Orthodox Tradition and Baroque Culture

Maria Grazia Bartolini


Innumerable quotations from the Bible permeate all Skovoroda’s writings, and yet no systematic analysis of the philosopher’s biblical quotations (or of his quotations from other ecclesiastical sources) has ever been made . In this article I isolate all the biblical quotations incorporated in the dialogue Beseda 1-ja narečennaja Observatorium (Sion), while pointing to their role as a crucial component of the spiritual meaning of the text. It is my contention that Skovoroda’s use of the Bible follows the rhetorical and theological patterns already outlined by R. Picchio in his seminal works on the function of “biblical thematic clues”. On the other hand, the often whimsical distribution of biblical quotations and their complicated linking with one another are to be placed in the Baroque tradition, where, as P. Lewin’s studies on Ukrainian scholastic drama have successfully demonstrated, quotations from the Bible fulfilled stylistic as well as theological functions.

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