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Alexander Nevski

(144 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (May 30, 1220, Jaroslav – Nov 14, 1263, Gorodok) was Prince of Novgorod from 1236 and Grand Prince of Vladimir from 1252; he defeated the Swedes on the Neva in 1240 (whence his nickname) and the Knights of the Teutonic Order on the ice of Lake Peipus; in contrast, he submitted to the Tatars whom he saw as less of a threat to Russian Orthodox identity than the Latin West. He died as a monk and has been venerated as a saint since as early as the 14th century. Peter the Great transported his remains to the Lavra in St. Petersburg, which was named after Alexander in 1724. Peter Hauptmann Bibl…

Ruarus, Martin

(140 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (1589, Krempe, Holstein – 1657, Danzig [Gdańsk]), polymath adherent of Socinianism (Socinians). While Ruarus was studying at Altdorf, the physician E. Soner won him to the Socinian cause. After traveling through Denmark, Holland, England, France, and Italy, in 1621/1622 he served as rector of the academy of the Polish Brethren in Raków, near Sandomierz; after further travels, he settled in Danzig in 1631. Coupled with these travels, his extensive correspondence served to propagand…

Chavchavadze, Ilia

(157 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Čavčavadze, Ilja) (Oct 27, 1837, Qvareli – Aug 30, 1907, Cicamuri), Georgian poet and writer, journalist and politician of royal origins, who was canonized as “St. Ilia the Righteous” on Jul 20, 1987. ¶ After studying philosophy as well as administration and economics in St. Petersburg, he worked as a magistrate in Georgia from 1864, and from 1874 as the chair of the administration of the Bank of the Nobility. In 1906, he was elected to the State Council of the Russian Empire. His verses and …

Athenagoras I, Patriarch

(183 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Mar 25, 1886, Vasilikon, Epirus – Jul 7, 1972, Istanbul). The ecumenical patriarch Athenagoras I (born Aristokles Spyrou) was the son of a physician. After completing his theological studies at the seminary on Halki (1910), he was ordained hierodeacon and assigned administrative duties in the metropoly of Pelagonia. In 1919, after half a year on …

Socinians/Socinianism

(955 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] This term, first used in the 17th century, denotes the main stream of the anti-Trinitarian movement (Antitrinitarians), moderated in many respects by F. Socinus after 1579. The Socinians explicitly kept the Trinitarian formula in the command to baptize (Matt 28:19). According to the Racovian Catechism, anyone who rejected it could not be a Christian. It was the Early Church’s doctrine of the consubstantiality of the Father and the Son and the personhood of the Holy Spirit that the…

Gniezno

(301 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Ger. Gnesen), a town situated roughly 50 km east of Poznań with approx. 50,000 inhabitants, which, as the seat of the first Piaste kings and the center of the archdiocese established in 999, was the cradle of both the Polish state and its church (Poland). The original suffragans Krakow, Wrocław (Ger. Breslau) and Kołobrzeg (Ger. Kolberg) were joined in subsequent centuries by Poznań (Ger. Posen), Włocławek (Ger. Leslau), Płock, Lebus, Vilnius, Łuck and Samogitia. The addition of …

Afanasev, Nikolai

(186 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Sep 4 or 16, 1893, Odessa – Dec 4, 1966, Paris) was a Russian Orthodox theologian, forced from his homeland with the White Army, who studied theology in Belgrade from 1921 to 1925 and immigrated to Paris in 1929, where, beginning in 1932, he taught at the Orthodox Theological Institute of St. Serge. He was ordained as a priest in 1940; he led a community in Tunis from 1941–1947, then returned to St. Serge where he was named professor of canonistics in 1950. His main achievement was the rediscovery of the original ecclesiology (Church) which, in …

Polentz, Georg von

(180 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (1478 – Apr 28, 1550, Balga am Frischen Haff [Kaliningrad]), bishop of Samland from 1519. Polentz belonged to the Meissen nobility; after studying in Leipzig and Italy, he was a lawyer in papal and imperial service, before entering the Teutonic Order (Orders of Germany) in 1511 and becoming commander in Königsberg (Krolewiec, Poland) in 1516. Between 1522 and 1525 he ruled the order’s territory of Prussia as the grand master’s deputy. Converted to the Reformation from 1522, he ced…

Lebus

(291 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] Lebus, a small town approx. 10 km north of Frankfurt an der Oder, on the left bank of the river, shares its name – which recalls the Lutiz prince Lub (Lubosłav) in the 9th century – not only with its vicinity but also with the diocese bequeathed in 1124 by the Polish duke ¶ Bolesłav III Krzywousty. The diocese kept the name, although in the years 1276 to 1326 the see was in Göritz (Górzyca), to the right of the Oder approx. 10 km upstream, and since 1385 it was in Fürstenwalde on the Spree, where the Marienkirche was elevated to a ca…

Lismanini, Franz

(145 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Francesco Lismanino; 1504, Corfu – April 1566, Königsberg [Kaliningrad]). Originally a Franciscan provincial, Lismanini came to Poland as confessor and court chaplain to Queen Bona Sforza from Italy in 1546; there he took over leadership of the circle of Humanists in Krakow. Won to the cause of the Reformation by the writings of Calvin and the Bohemian Brethren, he converted to Calvinism in Geneva in 1553. In 1556 he accepted the call of the Protestants in Malopolska to head thei…

Leskov, Nikolaj Semyonovich

(163 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Dec 4/16, 1831, Gorochovo near Orël – Feb 21/Mar 5, 1895, St. Petersburg), Russian author. The grandson of a clergyman, Leskov became familiar with the Orthodox Church at an early age. As an orphan, he was brought up in the household of a professor of medicine in Kiev, and spent years traveling throughout Russia in the employ of a trading company. Working as a professional journalist and employed by the ministry of culture from 1862 onward, he reflected the numerous experiences g…

Yaroslav the Wise

(164 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Mudry; c. 978 – Feb 20, 1054), son of St. Vladimir the Great. As vice-regent of Novgorod, in 1019 he expelled his elder brother Svyatopolk from Kiev; in 1036, after the death of his younger brother Mstislav of Chernigov and Tumutarakan, he became sole ruler of the Kievan Rus’ empire, which experienced its golden age under him. He expanded his capital after the model of Constantinople; among other building projects, he oversaw the building of the stone Cathedral of St. Sophia in K…

Racovian Catechism

(161 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] has become the widely accepted title of the most important doctrinal text of the Antitrinitarian Church of the Polish Brethren. Valentin Schmalz, Johannes Völkel, and Hieronymus Moskoszowski were the authors of this catechism, which includes preliminary work by F. Socinus; they worked as teachers in the secondary school founded in 1603 in the small town of Raków near Sandomierz. It was also there that the catechism was printed in Polish in 1605, in German in 1608, and in Latin in …

Amvrosii, Starets of Optina

(182 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Aleksandr Grenkov; Nov 23, 1812, Bolshie Lipovicy near Lipeck – Oct 10, 1891, Shamordino near Kozelsk). Amvrosii was the son of a cantor. After seminary studies at Tambov, he became a tutor and then language teacher at the seminary in Lipeck. In 1839 he entered the Optina hermitage near Kozelsk, where he was clothed as a novice in 1842. In 18…

Socinus, Faustus

(162 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Dec 5, 1539, Siena – Mar 3, 1604, Lucławice, near Cracow), a leading thinker of the antitrinitarian movement (Antitrinitarians, Socinians) of his era, shaped its churches in Poland and to some extent in Transylvania. Born a patrician, he served from 1562 to 1574 as a jurist at the Medici court in Florence; inspired by his uncle Lelio Sozzini, who did not believe the doctrine of the Trinity, he devoted himself to theological study, primarily at Basel, from 1572 to 1578, attracting attention with his first writings (including De Jesu Christo servatore, printed in 1594).…

Częnstochowa,

(173 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] a large city in southern Poland, has been an episcopal see since 1925 (in 1995, with a Catholic population of 837,500 in 286 parishes). A monastery of Pauline hermits (originally Hungarian but now represented only in Poland), founded in 1382 on the Jasna Góra (“Shining Mountain”), is the most important pilgrimage destination in Poland. Devotion centers on the Black Madonna, a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary dating from the 14th century, which has been blackened by the smoke of candles. Since 1655, when the monastery was …

Duchoborcy

(151 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (“spiritual warriors”) is the appellation given to adherents of the “Spiritual Christians,” an extremely spiritualist wing of the Old Russian sectarian movement (Russian sects) which separated in the last third of the 18th century from the equally anti-cult, but still Scripture-bound Molocanes (see also All-Union Council of Evangelical Christians and …

Folly, Holy

(287 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] The Eastern Church, following 1 Cor 4:10ff., describes as such the ascetic practice of publicly ¶ exposing oneself to mistreatment and isolation through feigned mental incapacity and, thus, of protecting oneself from the danger of popular admiration. It presumes a Christian environment and the absence of institutions for the mentally ill. Holy folly appeared first in the 4th century in a nun in Egypt, then occasionally in the Near East; it came to Russia in the 11th century and reached its greate…

Nikon

(278 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Nikita Minich; May 24, 1605, Veldemanovo near Nizhny Novgorod – Aug 17, 1681, Yaroslavl), patriarch of Moscow. Initially a secular priest, after the death of his three children he persuaded his wife to take the veil and in 1635 became a monk (taking the name Nikon) in a hermitage in northern Russia; in 1642 he became abbot of a desert monastery. There in 1646 he met Tsar Alexis, then 17 years old; he greatly impressed the tsar, who had Nikon appointed archimandrite of the Novospa…

Henry of Livonia

(164 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (c. 1188, near Magdeburg – after 1259, Papendorf). Henry of Livonia was educated in the canon seminary of Segeberg, went to Riga as a student of Bishop Albert of Buxhöveden in 1205, was ordained to the priesthood in 1208, and spent his entire life as pastor among the northern Latvians in Papendorf (Latvian Rubene) near Wenden (Latvian Cēsis). From this location, he participated in over 30 military campaigns against the still heathen Livonians and Estonians, while he and his assistants baptized more than 10,000 people during his numerous…
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