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Old Believers

(644 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
“Old Believers” (Russ. Raskolniki, “Schismatics”) is the name given to those Christians in the Russian Orthodox Church who in the mid-17th century opposed the liturgical reforms of the Moscow patriarch Nikon (1605–81). They themselves took the name “Old Ritualists” or “Old Orthodox,” claiming to be the only ones to continue true Orthodoxy (Orthodox Christianity; Orthodox Church). Those reforms were avowedly to restore ancient uses but were in point of fact an importation of contemporary Greek pract…

Starets

(486 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
A starets (Russ., lit. “old man, elder”; pl. startsy) is a spiritual adviser in the Orthodox Church, not necessarily a priest, recognized for his piety and spiritual insight. The choice of an experienced ascetic (Asceticism) who deserved special honor as an older Christian (Gk. gerōn = Russ. starets) to act as a confessor was an early feature of Eastern monasticism (Orthodoxy Christianity). In view of the Russian term for gerōn, such men came to be known as startsy toward the end of the 18th century, when they became most influential in Russia. With the developme…

Slavophiles

(466 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
When Russian philosophy became independent in the early 19th century, a prominent question was that of the relation of Russia to Europe, which J. P. Chaadayev (1794–1856) raised in his Lettres philosophiques (1827–31; ET Philosophical Letters [Knoxville, Tenn., 1969]). A “Western” group of thinkers wanted a full and swift adoption of the achievements of the West, but another group, the Slavophiles, argued for Russia’s independence and even superiority and hence advocated separate enterprises. It is hard to draw a distinction betwee…

Stundism

(492 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
Stundism refers to a free church movement that arose in 1861 in southern Russia. It called itself the Brethren of the Friends of God, but it came to be known as Stundism (Ger. Stunde, “hour”) because of its link with the German Reformed “observing of the hours” at Rohrbach, near Odessa. For the Stundists, reading and discussing the Bible came to be viewed as more important than maintaining the external Orthodox rites of worship (Bible Study). The movement arose in the context of other indigenous sects going back to the middle o…

Martin of Troppau (Polonus)

(92 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Martinus Polonus; before 1230, Troppau [today Opava] – Jun 12, 1278, Bologna). Initially a Dominican in Prague, Martin became papal chaplain and apostolic penitentiary in Rome; on May 21, 1278, he was consecrated archbishop of Gniezno in Viterbo. He is best known as a chronicler. His Chronicon pontificum et imperatorum (Chronicles: IV), replete with anecdotes and fables, was widely read; its many extensions and imitations gave rise to a genre of “Martin chronicles.” Peter Hauptmann Bibliography A.-D. v. den Brincken, LThK 3 VI, 1997, 1429 (bibl.).

Macarius of Moscow (Saint)

(192 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Makarij, birth name: Mikhail; c. 1482, Moscow – Dec 31, 1563, Moscow) was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church on Jun 6, 1988 at its Millennium Council in Sergiyev Posad. Having become a monk of Paphnutius Monastery in Borovsk at an early age and abbot of Luzhetsky Monastery in Mozhaysk in 1523, he remained deeply committed to the spirit of Joseph of Volokolamsk's monasticism as archbishop of Novgorod and Pskov (from 1526) and as metropolitan of Moscow (from 1542). He effecte…

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 …

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…

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 …

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…

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…

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…

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 …

Silesia

(1,125 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Polish Śląsk, Ger. Schlesien). The name of this historical region has survived all political, ethnic, and religious mutations. Derivation from the Silingi, a Vandalic people, appears dubious; more likely it goes back to a Slavonic root (cf. Old Polish ślęcgnącć, “wet”). As a region, Silesia has an area of almost 40,000 km2 on both sides of the upper and middle Oder; shaped somewhat like an oak leaf, it is bordered to the southwest by the Sudetes and to the south by the western Beskids. Western Slavs began entering Silesia in the mid- 6th century; at the end of t…

Smolich, Igor

(145 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Feb 9, 1898, Uman’ – Nov 2, 1970, Berlin), independent scholar who became the outstanding Russian church historian of the 20th century. After involvement in war and civil war and a stay in Constantinople, he was unable to resume his studies until 1923 in Berlin, initially at the Russisches Wissenschaftliches Institut, founded by émigrés, and then at the university, where he received his doctorate in 1934 with a dissertation on I. Kireyevsky. His subsequent research led to several…

Stancarus, Franciscus

(155 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (c. 1501, Mantua – Nov 12, 1574, Sopnica, near Sandomierz), Hebraist, physician, and theologian, whose contentiousness triggered violent disputes wherever his unsettled life took him. Probably of Jewish descent and initially a priest or monk, after studying in Basel and in southern Germany he was appointed professor of Hebrew in Vienna in 1544 and in Cracow in 1549. Called to the University of Königsberg (Kaliningrad), he left after three months because of a clash with A. Osiander…

Gorazd, Saint

(175 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Matěj Pavlík; May 26, 1879, Hrubá Vrbka, near Hodonín – Sept 4, 1942. Prague). Gorazd, bishop of Moravia and Silesia, was the founder of Czech Orthodoxy. Having been a Roman Catholic chaplain in ¶ Kromeríz, in 1920 he joined the Czechoslovakian Church, which had broken its ties with Rome. In 1921 he was sent to Belgrade to be consecrated bishop by the Serbian patriarch, thus securing apostolic succession. As this went together with a sincere conversion to Orthodoxy, in 1924 he broke with the Czechoslovakian Churc…

Vladimir, Saint

(176 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (c. 960 – Jul 15, 1015, Berestovo), prince of Kiev. As the youngest son of Prince Sviatoslav of Kiev, Vladimir received the principality of Novgorod in 969 but had to give it up in 977 as he fled from his two elder brothers. After winning it back with the help of Varangian mercenaries, he advanced against Kiev, which fell into his hands in 980 without a fight. As autocrat of the Kievan kingdom, he decided the urgent question of a religious reorientation in favor of his grandmother…

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…

Stanislaus of Cracow, Saint

(178 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (c. 1036–1040, Szczepanów – Apr 11, 1079, Cracow), martyr bishop and patron saint of Poland. Initially a parish priest in Czembocz, as bishop of Cracow (from 1072) he came into bitter conflict with King Boleslav II, which cost ¶ him his life. Church tradition has it that he was slain by the king himself during mass in the Church of St. Michael because he had rebuked the king for his immoral way of life, but the alternative tradition is more believable – that he was condemned to death as a traitor for his political opposition and was gruesomely executed by truncatio membrorum. His…
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