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Job of Pochaev, Saint

(202 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[German Version] (Ivan Železo; 1551, Polutʾja – 1651, Počaev, Volhynia), revered for preserving the ascetic tradition of the Eastern Church in Poland and Lithuania in the epoch of confessionalization. He became a priest and monk around 1580 and initially headed the monastery of the Exaltation of the Cross in Dubno. The limited number of writings which can be attributed to him consist primarily of citations from the church fathers and represent an exception in the confessionally polemic literature …

White Russia

(901 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[German Version] White Russia or Belarus became independent in 1991, keeping the 1945 borders of the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (see below). In the 17th century, the territory between the upper Neman and the middle Dnieper settled by East Slavic tribes was officially called Belorussia (Lat. Alba Russia). The element Rus’ indicates its relationship to the medieval Kievan Rus’ (Kiev, Russia), while bela (“white”) remains unexplained, despite many attempts. ¶ Shortly after the baptism of the Rus’ in 988, the eparchy of Polotsk was founded. In parallel with…

Catherine II,

(143 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[German Version] “the Great,” tsarina of Russia (1762–1796; born princess of Anhalt-Zerbst, Apr 21, 1729, ¶ Stettin, died Nov 6, 1796, Carskoe Selo); on her marriage to Peter III (1761–1762), she converted to the Orthodox Church. As a representative of an enlightened absolutism, she practiced religious tolerance so long as state interests were not affected. In the acquired territories of Poland, Courland, the Crimea, and the Black Sea region, both Christian and non-Christian faith co…

Alexander II, Tsar

(160 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[German Version] (Apr 17, 1818, Moscow – Mar 1, 1881, St. Petersburg), Tsar of Russia (1855–1881). In domestic policy, the epoch of the “reform tsar” is rightly considered a turning-point. As the core of the reforms, the law abolishing serfdom was issued on Feb 19, 1861, the reform of the justice system, among other things, in 1864. Cultural institutions recei…

Brotherhoods

(2,906 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Dörfler-Dierken, Angelika | Oswalt, Julia | Daiber, Karl-Fritz
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Church History – III. Current Situation I. History of Religions Brotherhoods are a special form of community, not constituted by traditional forms of relationship (Covenant). They are mono-gendered groupings (also “sisterhoods”) distinguished by certain homogeneous characteristics. Initiation groups are often the origin of brotherhoods in cultural histo…

Kurbsky, Andrey Michajlovič

(176 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[German Version] (1528 – May 23, 1583, Kovelʾ, Wolhynia). Descended from the dynasty of Smolensk/Yaroslav princes, Kurbsky is first mentioned in 1549 as a participant in Ivan the Terrible's campaign against Kazan. He served Ivan as a successful military leader during the Livonian War. Having fallen out of favor, Kurbsky changed allegiance in 1564 and entered the service of King Sigismund Augustus II, who endowed him with estates in Lithuania and Wolhynia. During his exile, as a student of Maksim G…

Golubinsky, Evgeny Evsigneyevich

(147 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[German Version] (Feb 28, 1834, Kostroma, Russia – Jan 7, 1912, Sergiyev Posad, Russia). Golubinsky's magum opus is the still indispensable Istoriia russkoi tserkvi [History of the Russian Church]. It covers the 10th–16th centuries and was published in two double volumes (1880–1881, 21900; fragments of vol. II/2 appeared posthumously in 1917). He divides Russian church history into two eras: the age of “scribalism” prior to Peter the Great, and the age of “Enlightenment” after Peter, which Golubinsky hails as progress. His source-critic…

Polotsky, Simeon

(274 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[German Version] (Samuil Emelianovich Petrovskii-Sintianovich; 1629, Polotsk [?] – 1680, Moscow), active as a theologian, educator, poet, and dramatist in Moscow, where he acquired enormous cultural and political influence in a period when formal education and increase of knowledge through closer ties with the Western world were taking on existential significance. After concluding his studies at the Mogila Academy in Kiev (II) in 1651, he studied at Jesuit colleges abroad and then began teaching a…
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