book provoked an attack in the form of a parody of a religious service by the bishop of Platamon Dionysios, who was an old enemy of Pamblekis since their days at the Athonite Academy. Pamblekis responded in the same year with an extensive treatise, which he subtitled 'Of theocracy'. In this text he declared himself proud to be called a new Rousseau or Voltaire by his enemies and launched an all out attack on the church, monasticism and the fundamentals of Orthodox faith, eventually adopting a pantheistic position. This was the first and only open systematic attack on the fundamentals of Christian faith to emerge in the literature of the Enlightenment in Greek. Pamplekis's enemies were quick to bring this to the attention of the church and in November 1793 Patriarch Neophytos VII and the synod of Constantinople issued an edict excommunicating Pamblekis and anathematising his views. Meanwhile the author had died in Leipzig in August 1793 while his controversial work was still in press. Thus he had no chance to rescind his views and the anathema of the church against him was never lifted. 36
Anxieties and worries in the Orthodox East over what was happening in the world climaxed in a major crisis in 1798. During that year French revolutionary troops had literally crossed the threshold of the Ottoman world by landing in Egypt under General Bonaparte, who had meanwhile abolished the Republic ofVenice in 1797 and brought its possessions, including the seven Ionian islands, under French revolutionary occupation. In exactly the same year a Jacobin-inspired conspiracy to overthrow Ottoman despotism and to establish a free 'Hellenic Republic' in the Balkans and Asia Minor was unravelled by the Austrian authorities, which arrested the protagonists, Rhigas Velestinlis and seven companions, in Trieste and Vienna.37 The Sublime Porte was alarmed over the security of the empire and the alarm was transmitted and deeply imprinted upon the new patriarch Gregory V, who had already distinguished himself by his dynamism, pastoral work and piety as metropolitan of the great city of Smyrna. During his three patriarchates (1797-98, 1806-8, 1818-21) Gregory V was to inspire and lead the campaign ofthe church against the Enlightenment. His pastoral zeal, great learning, dedication to the traditions of the church and unbending will power were mobilised with remarkable tenacity in this cause. One of his first actions upon ascending the ecumenical throne was to reconstitute the patriarchate's printing press, thus reviving Cyril Loukaris's original,
36 The edict in M. Gedeon (ed.), KavoviKai AiaTá^sis (Constantinople: The Patriarchal Press, 1888), I, 279-91. For a discussion of the Pamblekis case see Kitromilides, Aia<p<xiTij¡jós, 368-72.
37 P. M. Kitromilides, 'An Enlightenment perspective on Balkan cultural pluralism. The republican vision of Rhigas Velestinlis', History of Political Thought 24 (2003), 465-79.
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