Light as a Significant Concept of Medieval Religious Consciousness (As Exemplified in 'The Hagiography of Theodosius of the Kyiv Caves')

Document Type : Research Article


1 Kazan Federal University, Kazan, Russia.

2 Kazan Federal University

3 Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences



The article discusses the linguistic forms of representation of the concept of light in a work of religious content XII-XIII centuries. "The Lives of Theodosius of the Caves." Under the influence of the Christian worldview, the concept of light is enriched and saturated with new meanings, the idea of the positive properties of which has developed in mythological consciousness. The method of conceptual analysis of lexical units used in the research process allows us to draw conclusions about the linguistic picture of the world of the medieval man, his spiritual and moral values, and the methods of component and contextual analysis allow us to characterize the semantic content of the lexemes of the studied field. The juxtaposition of light and darkness is a significant conceptual opposition with an axiological orientation. For the consciousness of a medieval man, light is understood as a phenomenon of the physical plane associated with the divine plan. Representatives of the lexical and semantic group 'light' are examined in contexts and not only the frequency of their use is shown, but also a place in the religious picture of the world, since it is the concept of 'light' that occupies one of the key places in it, entering the field of the concept of 'holiness' '. Light is one of the most significant attributes of God, and its distribution to a person testifies to the chosenness and holiness. The use of a large number of lexemes with light meaning in characterizing Theodosius reflects the religious picture of the world of the Middle Ages. Along with the lexeme light, the monument analyzes both the derivatives of the given basis of the form with various word-formation meanings: personal, abstract, tool, and other LSG 'light' lexical units. The adjective light, which has a wide range of meanings and is used to characterize the most significant church events, plays a special role in the text of the "The Lives". Functionally, the lexemes of this group perform not only a nominative, but also an expressive function, have a pronounced appreciation, and are part of stable formulas that perform text-forming functions in works of church subjects. The results of the study can be applied in the practice of linguistic and ethnolinguistic analysis of the basic concepts of Russian culture, they refine the data on the evolution of a person’s views on the idea of light in Russian culture, thereby are important for the development of ethnolinguistics, linguoculturology, cognitive science.


Volume 10, Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Applied Linguistics Issues (ALI 2019) July 19-20, 2019, Saint Petersburg, Russia
This special issue of the journal includes papers published in the spirit of academic support of the conference and so they did not go through the review process defined by the journal.
July 2019
Pages 927-935