Info

and the teaching of the Greek Fathers of the church. He also stated that they rejected the superstitions of illiterate Latin monks and begged the patriarch of the Orthodox to pay no attention to the calumnies of the enemies of truth against the Protestant Christians.3

Melanchthon's letter and the translation of the Augsburg Confession were duly delivered by Demetrios Mysos in Constantinople, but the patriarch and the synod were presumably not impressed by the claim to 'orthodoxy' on the part of the Protestants and avoided replying to them. After Melanchthon's death in 1560 direct contacts between Protestants and the patriarchate of Constantinople were suspended for more than ten years. Protestant influences upon the Orthodox world began to be felt, nevertheless. Via Transylvania and the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, Protestant ideas about the teaching of the scriptures found their way into the Orthodox world. Of special interest and importance was the influence of German religious art upon post-Byzantine painting in the sixteenth century, as witnessed by the impact of the engravings of Dürer and of Lukas Cranach the Elder upon the famous Apocalypse cycle on the exterior of the refectory of Dionysiou monastery on Mount Athos.4

The abortive contacts with Protestantism under Joasaph the 'Magnificent' found a more substantial sequel during the first patriarchate of Jeremias II Tranos (1572-79). This time the initiative emanated not from Wittenberg but from Tubingen. The occasion was the appointment in 1573 of Stephen Gerlach, an eminent Lutheran scholar, as chaplain to the Austrian embassy in Istanbul. Gerlach brought two letters addressed to Patriarch Jeremias from the eminent professors of the University of Tubingen, the great hellenist Martin Crusius and the theologian Jacob Andreae. This initiated a correspondence between the patriarch and the Tubingen professors, which extended until 1581: that is, it outlasted the patriarch's first term of office. In all, the Tubingen professors wrote eight letters and the patriarch wrote five in reply. Besides their own letters the Protestant professors sent six copies of the Augsburg Confession, addressed to the patriarch, to the metropolitan of Berroia Metrophanes, a future ecumenical patriarch, to the head of the patriarchal academy Theo-dosios Zygomalas, and to Gabriel Severos, another senior scholar and future titular metropolitan of Philadelphia, but resident in Venice. One final copy

3 Philaretos Vapheidis, 'EKKÁr/aiaaTiKT) 'laTopía, iii-a', 1453-1700 (Constantinople: Gerardos 1912), 43-5; G. Hering, 'OrthodoxieundProtestantismus',Jahrbuch der Ósterreichischen Byzantinistik 31/32 (1981), 823-74, esp. 828-31.

4 P. Huber, Apokalypse: Bilderzyklen zur Johannes-Óffenbarung in Trier, auf dem Athos und von Caillaud d'Angers (Düsseldorf:Patmos Verlag, 1989), 98-231.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment