Ways of Russian Theology



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Notes to Chapter II.


1. The close ties between Poland and Lithuania began in 1385 when Grand Prince Jagietto of Lithuania agreed with Polish ambassadors to be baptized into the Catholic Church, marry the 12 year old Queen Jadwiga of Poland, and accede to the Polish throne as King Wladyslaw. Further agreements between Poland and Lithuania in 1401 and 1413 strengthened this “personal union.” Although it lapsed at the end of the 15th century, the senates of both states then agreed that the King of Poland would also hold the title of Grand Prince of Lithuania, and at the city of Lublin on July 1, 1569 a common parliment was formed, finalizing the union.

2. Scattered pagan Lithuanian tribes first began to unite before the middle of the 13th century under Mindaugas Mindove or Mendovg, (d. 1263) to combat the Teutonic Knights. Mindaugas, crowned Lithuania's first and only king by Pope Innocent IV, already began to expand eastward and southward into Kievan Rus', which had been ravaged by the Tatars. Gediminas (d. 1341), however, was the real builder of the Lithuanian state, moving its frontiers to the Dnieper River and establishing his capital at Vilna. His son Algiridas (or Olherd, d. 1377) continued to expand into Western Russia, taking Kiev in 1362, and earlier, in 1355, was able to secure a separate metropolitan for his Orthodox subjects. For the early history of the Lithuanian Metropolitanate of Kiev see Dmitrii Obolenskii, “Byzantium, Kiev and Moscow, A study in Ecclesiastical Relations,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers, no. 11, 1957.

3. The territory of Galicia, situated on the northeastern slopes of the Carpathian Mountains in present day Ukraine, first became a strong and independent power under Prince Roman (1189-1205) of Vladimir in Volynia, and later under his son Daniel (1245-1264). Although Daniel received k crown from papal legates, the independence of Galicia was constantly threatened by Hungary, Lithuania and the Tatars, and in the latter half of the 14th century it was divided between Poland and Lithuania. A separate metropolitanate was created for Galicia in 1303 and lasted intermittently until 1347. See M. Hrushevsky, A History of the Ukraine (New Haven, 1941), pp. 96-123.

4. Gregory Tsamblak, a Bulgarian and nephew of Metropolitan Kirill (see Chapter I, section IV), held the office of metropolitan of Lithuania from 1415 until his death in 1420. The Lithuanian Grand Prince Vitovt (Vytautas, 1392-1430) had attempted to secure his own metropolitan from the patriarch of Constantinople, but his candidate, Gregory, was instead deposed in 1414. Thereupon, ignoring the authority of the patriarch, the Lithuanian Orthodox clergy met in council and named Gregory their metropolitan themselves. See I. Wlasowsky, Outline History of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (New York, 1956), v.1, pp. 109-110.

5. The Council of Constance, the 16th general council of the Catholic Church, met from Nov. 5, 1414 to April 22, 1418. It had three purposes: 1) to resolve the “Western Schism,” brought on by the simultaneous claims to the papacy of Gregory XII and anti-popes John XXIII and Benedict XIII; 2) to condemn the heresies of John Wycliffe and Jan Hus (Hus was burned at the stake there in 1415); and 3) to initiate reforms strengthening the power of councils at the expense of the papacy. See L.R. Loomis, tr., The Council of Constance, ed. J.H. Mundy and K.M. Woody (New York, 1961).

6. See Chapter I, note 53.

7. See Chapter I, note 52.

8. Gregory Mammas (d. 1459), one of the leaders of the pro-union party in Constantinople and a supporter of the Council of Florence, was elected Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople in 1445. Opposition to the union forced him to abandon his see and come to Rome in 1450, where he served with Isidore and Bessarion as advisers to Popes Nicholas V, Calixtus III and Pius II in their efforts to enforce the union first in Co&127;stantinople, and after its fall in Eastern Europe.

9. See, for example, the letter of March 14, 1476 sent from West Russia to Pope Sixtus IV which had as one of its signators the metropolitanslect Misael (Pstruch or Pstrukis). The full text of the letter is published in Arkhiv Iugozapadnoi Rossii, vol. III, part I, (Kiev, 1887), 199-211. There is a discussion of the letter and the relevant bibliography in Oscar Halecki, From Florence to Brest (1439-1596), (second edition, Archon Books, 1968), 99-103. [Author's note.]

10. See Chapter I, note 113.

11. The Arians were followers of the early 4th century Alexandrian presbyter Arius (d. 336) who taught that the only true God is God the Father, and that Christ was not truly divine, i.e. there “was when he was not.” Condemned at the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 325, the Arian heresy was rather widespread and provoked a bitter controversy throughout the Church in the 4th century, a controversy which raged until the Second Ecumenical Council at Constantinople in 381. The term “Arian” was therefore applied to various Anti-Trinitarian or Unitarian sects which arose during the Protestant Reformation.

12. Sigismund II Augustus (1548-1572), in whose reign the Union of Lublin was established, was the last of the descendants of Jagiet to hold the Polish throne. During his reign there was no official “state” religion and therefore an unusual degree of freedom of religious discussion and worship.

13. Stephen Batory, the prince of Transylvania, was elected to the throne after Henri de Valois vacated it to claim the French crown, and during his reign led three brilliant military campaigns against Ivan IV's forces in Lithuania. Although Batory was a Calvinist before he converted to accept the throne, he soon became a devout champion of Catholicism, cooperating with the Jesuits in the Catholic restoration in Poland, and even attempted to force his Orthodox subjects to accept the calendar reform of Gregory XIII (see below).

14. Sigismund III Vasa (1587-1632), a devout Catholic, was elected king on the premature death of Stephen Batory. It is interesting to note that, acting as the traditional protector of the Orthodox subjects of the Commonwealth, he issued a royal charter on July 15, 1589 authorizing Patriarch Jeremiah's visit to Lithuania (see below, section V) and any action he might take on religious matters, and confirmed Jeremiah's deposition of metropolitan of Kiev Onesifor as well as his decision to put the Brotherhoods of Lvov and Vilno outside the jurisdiction of the local bishops, who were appointed by the Polish crown. (The charter is reprinted in Russkaia istoricheskaia biblioteka, VII, col. 1117-1121). However, on December 15, 1596, shortly after the Union of Brest, he virtually outlawed the Orthodox Church by calling on all Orthodox Christians to join the union and banning all opposition to the union. In the latter part of his reign he twice invaded Muscovite Russia; in 1610 while Muscovy was in its “Time of Troubles” to try and gain the Russian crown for himself, and again in 1617 to support his son and successor Wladyslaw's claim to the throne.

15. Giovanni Commendone (1524-1584) was the papal nuncio to Poland from 1563-1565. He was responsible for obtaining King Sigismund II's acceptance of the decrees of the Council of Trent (see note 196) and for persuading him to give the Jesuits his royal protection in Poland, thereby setting the stage for the Catholic restoration activities begun under Stephen Batory. He was also the first of the papal nuncios to give attention to the problem of converting the Orthodox, as well as the Protestants, to the Roman Church. Later he returned as a papal legate to get Poland's participation in an anti-Ottoman league.

16. Stanislaus Cardinal Hosius (Stanistaw Hozjusz) (1504-1579), the great Polish bishop and one of the leading Catholic hierarchs of the 16th century, had been a presiding member of the Council of Trent. Renowned for his zeal in combatting the opponents of Catholicism, he was referred to by contemporaries as the “second Augustine” and the “hammer of heretics.” It was he who actually introduced the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Poland in 1564. Between 1564 and 1654 50 Jesuit establishments were founded in Poland.

17. See below, section IV.

18. The “nation” or millet system had long been used by Moslem rulers to deal with religious minorities within their realms. Each “nation” was allowed to govern its internal affairs according to its own laws and customs, and the religious head of the “nation” was responsible for it before the Moslem authorities. After the conquest of Byzantium, the Turkish rulers extended this system to the Orthodox under the patriarch of Constantinople.

19. I.e. Peter Mogila (Movila in Romanian, Mohyla in Ukrainian). See below, section VII.

20. Zakharii Kopystenskii (d. 1627) was a leading Orthodox monastic in the period after the Union of Brest. See below, section V.

21. Russkaia istoricheskaia biblioteka, IV, 813.

22. Artemii's epistles are published in Russkaia istoricheskaia biblioteka, IV, col. 1201-1448. See also S.G. Vilinskii, Poslaniia startsa Artemiia XVI veka, (Odessa, 1906).

23. Socinianism was an Anti-Trinitarian offshoot of the Protestant Reformation. It took its name from two early proponents of the heresy in Italy, Laelius (1525-1562) and Faustus (1539-1604) Socinus, who taught that Christ was not divine by nature, but only by office. The center of the movement soon shifted to the Poland-Lithuania Commonwealth, where Faustus Socinus himself moved, and where it divided into two rival factions. The Polish faction, led by Socinus, held that it was proper to address Christ in prayer because of His divine office, and preached non-participation in government and in the military. The Lithuanian group, which Budny joined and soon led, included several local noblemen who kept their positions in the goverriment, and taught that since Christ was not truly God it was therefore forbidden to pray to Him, hence the name non-adorantes. The two groups were somewhat reconciled at a synod in 1584, but Budny himself was excommunicated from them and died a few years later. See E.M. Wilbur, A History of Unitarianism, vol. I (Cambridge, Mass., 1945).

24. Budny's Katekhizis was published (although not in full) in Arkheograficheskii sbornik dokumentov, otnosiashchikhsia k istorii severo-zapadnoi Rusi, vol. VIII, (Vilna, 1870), xvi-xxiv. Fragments of the Opravdanie were published in Opyt' rossiiskoi bibliografii V.S. Sopikova, ch. I, (St. Petersburg, 1813). The latest essay on Budny is by S. Kot in Studien zur alteren Geschichte Osteuropas 1 (Festschrift frv H.F. Schmid), (Graz-Koln, 1956), pp. 63-118.

25. See Chapter I, note 41.

26. See Chapter I, note 43.

27. See Chapter I, note 49.

28. St. John of Damascus (d. 777), the last great theologian of the Patristic age, was the leading defender of Orthodoxy during the controversy over icons, and is best known for his De Fide Orthodoxa or An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, as well as the numerous prayers and hymns attributed to him.

29. See above, Chapter I, section VI.

30. Artemii had a number of private pupils, one of whom — Mark Sarygozin — later worked with Kurbskii on Patristic translations. [Author's note.] Little is known about Sarygozin (or Sarykhozin). He deserted to Lithuania along with Timofei Teterin, an army officer who fled about the same time as Prince Kurbskii. In an undated letter to Sarygozin, Kurbskii relates his interest in Patritic writings and asks Sarygozin to visit him in Lithuania to help translate the Fathers into Church Slavonic. Cf. J.L.I. Fennell, editor and translator, The Correspondence between Prince A.M. Kurbsky and Tsar Ivan IV of Russia, 1564-1579, (Cambridge, 1963), p. 182, n. 7. The Kurbskii correspondence should be read with caution and in the light of the possible significance of Edward L. Keenan's research. See footnote 54 of Chapter I.

31. There is an English translation of Kurbskii's history by J.L.I. Fennell, Kurbsky's History of Ivan IV, (Cambridge, 1965).

32. See above, Chapter I, section VI.

33. A controversy exists as to whether or not, prior to the 17th century, libraries in Moscow contained Greek manuscripts. One view, based on probability, claims that they were brought by Greek scholars who came with Sophia Palaeologos; consequently at the time of Ivan IV a sizable collection was available. The opposite case, resting on the absence of evidence, holds that until the 17th century only Slavonic material was at hand. The problem remains unsolved. [Author's note.]

34. St. John Chrysostom, the “Golden Mouth” (d. 407), is one of the most renowned and beloved figures in the history of the Orthodox Church. He is known mostly for his fearless preaching in Constantinople, his numerous homilies on the New Testament Gospels and Epistles, and the Divine Liturgy most commonly celebrated in Orthodox churches, which is attributed to him.

35. St. Gregory Nazianzus, the “Theologian” (c. 330-383), was, along with St. Basil and his brother St. Gregory Nyssa, one of the great 4th century thinkers who led the church to the final victory over Arianism and helped to standardize the theological terminology over which so many battles were fought in the 4th century Trinitarian and Sth century Christological controversies.

36. St. Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria from 412 until his death in 444, led the struggle against the Nestorians, who taught that Christ's divine and human natures were entirely separate and that since Mary gave birth to his human nature only she could not be called Theotokos [the Mother of God]. St. Cyril was the dominant figure at the Third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus in 431, which condemned the Nestorian heresy.

37. See above, note 28.

38. The Historia ecclesiastica of Nicephorus Callistus Xanthopoulos (c. 1260- 1335) contains 18 books tracing the history of the Church from the beginnings of Christianity to the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Phocas (602-610). Nicephorus Callistus was also known for various writings on liturgical themes as well as a catalogue of Church Fathers, emperors, patriarchs, melodists and saints.

39. See Kurbskii's Introduction to his New Pearl [Novyi margarit] included in N.G. Ustrialov, Skazaniia kniazia Kurbskogo, (St. Petersburg, 1868). [Author's note.]

40. Where this rumor arose and how it reached Kurbskii is unknown. It was probably through Maxim the Greek, although he could have heard it from Greeks who settled in Volynia after the destruction of Constantinople. [Author's note.]

41. Nicholas Cabasilas (1320-1390) was a distinguished hesychast mystic and a firm opponent of Latin theology and scholasticism. He is best known, however, for his Life in Christ, tr. C.J. de Catanzaro (St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1974) and A Commentary on the Divine Liturgy, tr. S.M. Hussy (London, 1960).

42. The study of the eclectic philosophy and magnificent prose style of Cicero (106-43 B.C.), the great Roman orator and statesman, was a standard part of the curriculum of the ancient schools in which many early Christian writers were trained. His influence is especially felt in such Western Fathers as Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustine.

43. The Mamonich family were well-established printers in Vilna. Two of the best known of them were the brothers Kuzma and Lukash, who owned their own printing office and were printers for the Lithuanian government.

44. The Dialectica and De fide orthodoxa, along with a section On Heresies in Epitomies and a short introduction, form the four parts of St. John of Damascus' principle work Fount of Knowledge. De fide orthodoxa is the usual title given the fourth section of the Fount, but the full title is An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith.

45. Not much is known about the life of John, Exarch of Bulgaria (d.c. 925) or even what the title “Exarch” refers to, but several of his works are known. His translation of De fide orthodoxa comes from the years 891-2, he also wrote a commentary on the six days of creation [Shestodnev] based on St. Basil's Hexameron, and his Homilies are being edited in Sofia by Dora Ivanova Mircheva.

46. Johann Spangenberg (1484-1550) was an indefatigable worker for the cause of the Reformation. Born in Hardegsen in 1484, he was later known as Hardesius, Hardesianus, and Herdesianus. After imbibing the spirit of humanism at the University of Erfurt, he became both school rector and preacher at Stolberg. He became an early sympathizer of the ideas of the Reformation and as early as the beginning of the 1520's, according to his biographer Menzel, he began to interpret the Scriptures in an unaccustomed way [non consueto more]. In 1524 he was invited to the imperial city of Nordhausen and there he served as both educator and pastor; he opened his own school and hence is often known as “Scholae Nordhusanae Episcopum.” Spangenberg's reputation as pastor and educator spread rapidly and in 1546 Luther requested that Spangenberg go to Mansfeld in order to superintend the entire affairs of the church there. He worked tirelessly, sometimes preaching four times a day. In 1550 Spangenberg died, leaving behind his wife of forty-three years and four sons (three of whom became theologians). Spangenberg wrote hymns, sermons, works of a doctrinal nature and works on general moral development. In his Nfargarita theologica he transposes Melanchthon's Loci theologici into the form of questions. His Trivii Erotomata dealt with the trivium in the form of questions.

47. Fragments of partially completed translations, among them sections of Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, exist in manuscript form. [Author's note.] The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea (d. 339) is by far the most famous of early church histories and the prime source for all research into the Christian Church. A critical edition of this work was compiled by Edward Schwartz and published in Griechische Christliche Schriftsteller (Leipzig, 1903- 1909).

48. Commonly but erroneously ascribed to Maxim the Greek. [Author's note.]

49. Theodoret, bishop of Cyrus (423-466), was a theologian of the Antioch tradition, from which Nestorius came, and his friendship and sympathy for Nestorius was to prove his undoing later, for although he formally condemned Nestorius at Chalcedon in 451, he himself was condemned as one of the “Three Chapters” at the Fifth Ecumenical Council in Constantinople in 553. Outside of the Christological controversies, however, he was known for his valuable Scriptural exegeses.

50. Many extant fragments of commentaries on the Psalms, Genesis, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs have been attributed to St. Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria from 328 to 373, a courageous fighter against the Arians who was exiled five times from his see and is best known for his Three Discourses Against the Arians and The Life of St. Anthony.

51. Ivan Fedorov had set up the first printing press in Moscow in 1564 but was soon driven out by a superstitious mob aroused by the professional manuscript copiers. He then went to Zadlubov in Lithuania, where he printed the Gospels in 1568 and, when his patron lost interest in the project, moved on to establish the first press in Lvov in 1573. Later he went to Ostrog to work for Prince Konstantin where he printed the Ostrog Bible (1580-1581). After that he tried to start his own establishment back in Lvov but died there in 1583.

52. Petr Mstislavets had been Fedorov's assistant in Moscow. He came with him to Lithuania and settled in Vilna, where he printed the Gospels and the Psalms.

53. The Chodkiewicz family was one of the most prominent noble families in Lithuania and was highly sympathetic to the Protestant Reformation. Grigorii Chodkiewicz, the castellane of Vilna, who was himself Orthodox, set aside his entire income of one of his large villages to finance Fedorov's printing operation.

54. See below, section IV.

55. On bookprinting during this period see M.N. Tikhomirov, “Nachale moskovskogo knigopechataniia,” Uchenye zapiski MGU (Moscow, 1940) and A.V. Zernov, Nachalo knigopechataniia v Moskve i na Ukraine (Moscow, 1547).

56. Gerasim Smotritskii was the first rector of the Ostrog Academy, the principal collaborator in the preparation of the Ostrog Bible, the author of its Preface, and the author of The Key to the Kingdom of Heaven, a defense of Orthodoxy against the Uniates written in 1584. See below.

57. On a United Faith was published in Ostrog in 1583 and is preserved in Russkaia istoricheskaia biblioteka, VII, 601-938.

58. Demian Nalivaiko was the priest of St. Nicholas Church in Ostrog. His brother Semerin was the organizer of his own band of Cossacks who revolted in the fall of 1595 and plundered the territory around the city of Lutsk, including the estates of Bishop Terletskii, who was in Rome at the time receiving the Pope's blessing of the Union of Brest (see below). The following year Semerin was captured by the Polish army, tortured in prison for a year, and beheaded.

59. Jan Liatos (c. 1539-1605), a Catholic, was a professor at the University of Cracow who was dismissed from his position because he opposed the calendar reform of Pope Gregory XIII. See below.

60. Jacob Susza, Saulus et Paulus. [Author's note.] Jacob Susza (1610-1687) was the bishop of Chelm from 1652 and the head of the Uniate Basilian order of monks from 1661 to 1667. His Saulus et Paulus ruthenae unionis sanguine beati Josaphati transformatus sive Meletius Smotricius was published in Rome in 1656.

61. Veliamin Rutskii, the Uniate metropolitan of Ostrog, viewed Ostrozhskii's plan as an effort to counterbalance the Uniate College of St. Athanasius founded in Rome in 1576 by the Jesuit Antonio Possevino. The purpose of this school was to educate Greeks and Slavs of the Eastern rite. [Author's note.] Rutskii (1574-1637) succeeded Hypatius Pociej (see below, note 87) as Uniate metropolitan of Kiev in 1613. He worked unsuccessfully against the activities of the Orthodox Brotherhood of Kiev and organized the Uniate monasteries under his control into a regular order under the rule of St. Basil.

62. Cyril Lucaris was one of the most important and tragic figures in the Orthodox Church of this time. Born in Crete in 1572, he received a broad humanist education at the Greek school in Venice and the University of Padua. He was ordained priest by his cousin, Meletius Pigas, the patriarch of Alexandria and sent to Eastern Europe to help the Orthodox in their struggle against the Union of Brest. He attended the Orthodox synod of 1596 in Brest (see below) and taught in the Orthodox schools of Ostrog, Vilna and Lvov. Forced to flee for a short time because he was accused of being a Turkish spy, he returned to the Lvov school for another brief period in 1600 and then was elected patriarch of Alexandria in 1601. While patriarch of Alexandria, he acquired several Dutch and Engtish Protestant friends with whom he corresponded on religious matters, and by 1617 he was taking open Protestant positions on such matters as sacraments and icons. In 1620 Lucaris was elected patriarch of Constantinople and became the focal point of the constant intrigues surrounding that see under the Turks. His Confession, first published in Latin at Geneva in 1629, had a thoroughly pro-Calvinist character, and caused Lucaris to be a special target of the Jesuits at the Ottoman court who were mainly responsible for his depositions in 1621, 1633, and 1635. Finally, in 1638 both Cyril Lucaris and his Confession were condemmed at a synod in Constantinople, he was arrested by the Turks on charges of treason and while sailing to exile he was murdered by the sailors on his ship: The best account of Cyril's life was compiled by Thomas Smith, Collectanea de Cyrillo Lucario (London, 1707); a modern work on Cyril is G.A. Hadjiantoniou, Protestant Patriarch (Richmond, Va., 1961).

63. See below, section V.

64. Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1585) was known for his attempts to win back England, Sweden, and even Russia for Catholicism, his promotion of the Jesuit order, and the Gregorian University in Rome, which he founded. He is best remembered, however, for appointing a commission to revise the old Julian calendar and carrying out its recommendations to advance the calendar from October 4 to October 15, 1582.

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