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Tikhon of Zadonsk, Saint

(293 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[German Version] (1724, Korotsk, Novgo­rod region – Aug 13, 1783, Zadonsk), one of the most important 18th-century Russian hierarchs. The son of a church sexton, he was baptized Timofey. He attended the seminary at the court of the bishop in Novgorod, and after being tonsured as a monk in 1758 he took the name Tikhon and served as the bishop’s prefect. In ¶ 1759 he …

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 the development of the eparchy, the principality came under more stable government. Construction of St. Sophia Cathedral in Polotsk in the mid-11th century documents the aspirations of the Polotsk princes for independence. The vita of St. Euphrosyne of Polotsk (c. 1102–1173), founder of a convent, bears witness to active interchanges with the Christian world far beyond the territory of the Rus’. Her patriarchal cross is revered in Belarus as a national relic. Nevertheless Polotsk and the neighboring cities of Belarus were unable to maintain their independence and were forced to enter into treaties with the princes of Lithuania for protection. The common struggle against the Tatars, the Teutonic Knights (Teutonic Order), and Moscow increasingly brought Lithuanians and Belarusians together; the political and social structures of the Rus’ also influenced the situation of the Lithuanians: the Belarusian language continued in use into the 17th century and served for drawing up the Lithuanian statutes of 1529, 1566, and 1…

Philaret of Chernigov

(152 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[German Version] (Gumile…


(151 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[English Version] Rahoza, Michail (ca.1540?–1599 Kiev [?]), Metropolit von Kiev und Halič, in dessen Amtszeit die Union mit Rom angenommen wurde. Dem ruthenischen Kleinadel entstammend, erscheint R. 1579 als Archimandrit des Himmelsfahrtsklosters in Minsk.…


(259 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[English Version] Skovoroda, Grigorij (Hryhoryj Savvič; 1722 Černuchi, Gouvernement Poltava – 1794 Ivanivka [heute Skovorodinivka] im Gebiet von Char'kov). S. gilt als bedeutendster Dichter und Mystiker des ukrainischen Barock. Mit Unterbrechu…


(164 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[English Version] Pociej, Ipatij (Hypatius, vor der Mönchsweihe Adam; 12.8.1581 Rozˇanka, Großfürstentum Litauen – 18.7.1613 Wilna), gilt als der gebildetste ruthenische Kirchenfürst in der Epoche der Konfessionalisierung. Nach dem Besuch der calvinistischen Schule des Fürsten Nikolaus Radziwiłł (des Schwarzen) verließ er die Ostkirche, kehrte jedoch 1574 in sie zurück. Bis zu seiner Mönchsweihe und der Ernennung durch Sigismund III. zum Bischof von Wladimir in Wolhynien (1593) war er Senator und bekleidete das Amt des Kastell…

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, Kurb…

Dimitry of Rostov, Saint

(167 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[German Version] (Tuptalo; 1651, Makarovo near Kiev – Oct 28, 1709, Rostov), was influenced by scholasticism and the early Enlightenmen…

Skovoroda, Hryhory

(261 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[German Version] (1722, Chornukhy, Poltava Oblast – 1794, Ivanivka, near Kharkiv), is considered the most important poet and mystic of the Ukrainian Baroque. From 1734 to 1753 (with interruptions) he studied at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Kiev (II). From 1745 to 1750 he pursued his interests in the Stoics, Plato, and Pietism in Eur…

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…

Bukharev, Aleksandr

(184 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[German Version] (1824–1871), one of the most prominent Orthodox theologians during the reform era of Tsar Alexander II, became a monk (religious name: Feodor) in 1846 and taught as professor of Bible and dogmatics at the Theological Academies of Moscow and Kazan. In 1848, he attracted public attention with his Three Le…

Rutsky, Josef

(292 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[German Version] (1574, Ruta, near Vilnius – 1637, Ruta), thir…

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 received expanded rights of autonomy. In 1864, representatives of Orthodox Churches obtained the half authorization of “rules for the institution of Orthodox brotherhoods” and a “constitution for congregational curates in Orthodox churches” to develop, among other things congregational schools and welfare institutions, esp. to care for farmer…


(167 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[German Version] (250 km northeast of Lviv [Lemberg], Ukraine), chosen seat of the Ruthenian Udel princes of Ostrog; from the mid-14th century steadily built up as a defensive fortress against Tartar attack. With the rise of the princes of Ostrog to the highest rank of the Polish-Lithuanian aristocratic republic, Ostrog gained particular importance as a political and cultural center for the …

Poty, Ipaty

(171 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[German Version] (Hypatius, secular name Adam; Aug 12, 1581, Rozhanka, Grand Duchy of Lithuania – Jul 18, 1613, Vilnius) is considered the most learned Ruthenian church dignitary in the era of confessionalization. After attending the Calvinistic school of Prince Nicholas Radziwiłł (“the Black”), he left the Orthodox Church but returned to it in 1574. Before he became a monk and was appointed bishop of Volodymyr-Volynskyi (1593) by Sigismund III, he served as a senator and held the office of castellan of Brest. As a prominent advocate of union between Orthodoxy and Rom…


(186 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[German Version] After the Union of Brest in 1596, Orthodox laity, supported by the church brotherhoods, opposed a union with Rome (Unions with Rome) and called for the restoration of the Eastern church hierarchy. The election of Vladislav IV (1632–1648) enabled the Orthodox nobility to obtain the decree for the “Establishment of peace for the Russian people of ¶ Greek religion in the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Latvia,” and in 1632 achieved th…

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 “scrib…

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 t…
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