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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…

Herman of Alaska, Saint

(171 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (1757, Serpuchov, Russia – Dec 13, 1837, Spruce Island, Alaska). Herman entered the Trinity-St. Serge Hermitage near St. Petersburg at the age of 16 and transferred to Valaam Monastery in 1778. In 1793, the abbot sent him with seven other monks to Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska to care for the Russian trappers and furriers there, but also in order to evangelize the native population. Apart from a few minor interruptions, the conduct of the Kodiak mission was effectively in hi…

Maksim Grek

(162 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Michael Triboles; c. 1470, Árta, Ípiros – Jan 21, 1556, Sergiyev Posad), major mediator of Greek theology to the church of Moscow, canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church at its millennial council on Jun 6, 1988. Born to an aristocratic family, Maksim grew up on Corfu; after studies at Italian universities, he entered the Dominican order in 1502 but in 1504 became a monk on Athos. In 1518, at the request of Grand Prince Vasily III, he was sent to Moscow to translate biblical and…

Philip of Moscow, Saint

(165 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Fedor Kolyčev; 1507 – Dec 23, 1569, Tver’), metropolitan of Moscow. As boyar, Philip was involved in a conspiracy at the tsar’s court, but then escaped to Solovki monastery and became abbot there. In 1566 he was elevated to the position of metropolitan of Moscow, but soon fell out with Ivan IV Grozny because of the latter’s reign of terror. After he had publicly reproached Ivan in Uspensky cathedral and refused to bless him, Philip was deposed by a compliant church court, and on …

Slavophile

(285 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] Slavophiles are exponents of Russian intellectual and spiritual life; under the influence of Romanticism, since the early 19th century they have assigned the unique character of the Slavic people a critical role in deciding the future. They are opposed to the so-called “Westerners” who would unconditionally impose the heritage of the Western European Enlightenment. The question of Russia’s relationship to Europe was raised by P.Y. Chaadayev in his “Philosophical Letters,” which be…

Anthony (Khrapovitsky)

(109 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Antonij; Mar 17, 1863, Vatagino – Aug 10, 1936, Belgrade) was a towering figure both as theologian (rector of the Spiritual Academies of Moscow [1890] and Kazan'; harsh critic of the Western theology of satisfaction) and as hierarch (1900 bishop of Ufa; 1902 bishop of Zhytomyr; 1914 archbishop of Kharkov; 1981 Metropolitan of Kiev). At the election of the Moscow Patriarch in 1917 he assembled the most votes, but fate decided otherwise. Forced to flee in the civil war, after 1920 he led the Russian Orthodox Church in exile. Peter Hauptmann Bibliography Manuil (Lemeshevsk…

Mogila, Petr

(279 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Petro Mohyla; Petrus Mogilas; Petru Movilă; Dec 21/31, 1596, Suceava – Dec 22, 1646/ Jan 1, 1647, Kiev), metropolitan of Kiev (from 1633) and abbot of the Cave Monastery there (from 1627). He had become a monk there in 1625, after having had to abandon his attempts to regain rule over Moldavia, lost in 1607 by his father, Prince Simion Movilă. As the son of a Moldavian prince he had connections in Poland-Lithuania that favored his rise. With the confirmation by Vladislav IV of hi…

Vakhtang Gorgasal

(151 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (1st half of the 5th cent. – 502), king of Iberia (East Georgia). His byname, which means “wolf ’s head,” relates to the decoration on his helmet. After his accession c. 446, he pursued the goals of strengthening his royal authority, extending it throughout Georgia, and freeing Georgia from dependence on the Persian Sassanian Empire. He achieved these goals temporarily in 483. At the same time, he persuaded the patriarch of Antioch to consecrate his candidate Peter as catholicos a…
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