Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Cossack Christian Warrior Culture

This post on the Cossacks as representatives of a Christian warrior culture appeared on another blog of mine in 2011. I think it's worth republishing here.

Although I find various aspects of Eastern Orthodox belief & practice foreign to my understanding of Scripture, I do recognize Orthodox culture as one expression of Trinitarian faith in a social context. As a Christian Martialist, I find the Cossack warrior culture of particular interest.

Wikipedia's article on the Cossacks says that they Orthodox, and of the Old Believer persuasion in terms of liturgy and dogma. The way they organized their society appeals to my Christian Martialist leanings.

Wikipedia says,

In early times, Cossack bands were commanded by an ataman (later called hetman). He was elected by the tribe members at a Cossack rada, as were the other important band officials: the judge, the scribe, the lesser officials, and even the clergy. The ataman's symbol of power was a ceremonial mace, a bulava.
. . . . The ataman had executive powers and at time of war he was the supreme commander in the field. Legislative power was given to the Band Assembly (Rada). The senior officers were called starshyna. In the absence of written laws, the Cossacks were governed by the "Cossack Traditions," the common, unwritten law.
Cossack society and government were heavily militarized. The nation was called a host (vois’ko, translated as 'army'), and subdivided into regimental and company districts, and village posts (polky, sotni, and stanytsi).
Each Cossack settlement, alone or in conjunction with neighboring settlements, formed military units and regiments of light cavalry (or mounted infantry, for Siberian Cossacks) ready to respond to a threat on very short notice.

In my fantasies, I see a society of believers tied together by something like the Scottish Confession of 1560, who live in a martialist community as described in the book of Numbers and Deuteronomy and incorporates the best from various Christian Martialist communities of the past (Scottish Covenanters, Cossacks, Paladins, etc.).

Sadly,I believe the only thing that would force us together into such a community is a great upheaval of our civilization.

Oh well . . . a guy can dream, can't he?