Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

The first parish in the West was founded in Pennsylvania in 1884. The married clergy who followed their flocks to the New World were sometimes suspended by Roman Catholic bishops (triggering movements to Orthodoxy). The first bishop for the USA was assigned in 1907, and upon his death in 1916, the Vatican divided Slav Greek Catholics by creating distinct structures for those from Austrian-controlled Galicia on the one hand, and the Hungarian part of Transcarpathia (the jurisdiction now known as...

Institutions Governance and Canon

According to the Sixth Canon of the Council of Nicaea, the Exarch of Caesarea had jurisdiction over the missionary districts to the east of the Exarchate. Consequently, for about sixty years after the consecration of St Gregory as catholicos, his successors were ordained by the Exarchs of Caesarea. After 373, open canonical ties with Caesarea were severed. The Armenian Church had become sufficiently strong and mature, its clergy had increased in numbers, and its authority had been established....

The External Exarchate

In 1878, after the liberation of the main Bulgarian lands from Ottoman occupation, the pastoral jurisdiction of the Bulgarian Exarchate covered three distinct political entities the Principality of Bulgaria under the suzerainty of the Sultan, Eastern Rumelia (an autonomous region under direct Ottoman military and political rule until 1885), and Macedonia and the Adrianople region of Thrace that remained within the borders of the Ottoman Empire. Exarch Joseph believed that the episcopal seat of...

Patriarch and clergy

The Coptic Church has a long history of concentrating power in the hands of the patriarch of Alexandria. No other bishop or city in Egypt challenged the influence of Alexandria in the early centuries. His see has been located variously in Alexandria, Cairo and Wadi Natrun. The patriarch is elected by the Holy Synod (bishops, heads of monasteries, patriarchal council of clergy), representatives of priests and deacons, and lay people. In 1971, 622 voters chose three final candidates whose names...

The Ethiopian Church

L'Arche thiopienne art chr tien d'Ethiopie (2000) Catalogue of the exhibition, Pavilion des Arts, Paris, 2 7 September 2000 to 7 January 2001 and the Fundacio Caixo de Girona, Girona, 23 January to 31 March 2001 (Commissariat B. Riottot El-Habib, J. Mercier). Paris Paris Mus es Girona Fundacio Caixa de Girona. Chojnacki, S. (1983) Major Themes in Ethiopian Painting Indigenous Developments, the Influence of Foreign Models and their Adaptation from the 13th to the 19th Century. Wiesbaden F....

Struggles and Victories of the Church and the Nation

With the growth of national aspirations during the National Revival in the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries the need to cast off the spiritual suzerainty of Constantinople emerged as one of the principal goals of the Bulgarian national revolution. The Bulgarian clergy were helping to preserve the national consciousness, the way of life and the morale of the Bulgarian people, lending them moral support and encouraging them to fight the oppressors. The drive for church independence began...

References and further reading

F. (1990) Ordination Rites of the Ancient Churches of East and West. New York Pueblo. Calivas, A. C. (1992) Great Week and Pascha in the Greek Orthodox Church. Brookline, Mass. Holy Cross. Gardner, J. von (1980) Russian Church Singing, vol 1. Crestwood, NY St Vladimir's Seminary Press. -(2000) Russian Church Singing, vol. 2. Crestwood, NY St Vladimir's Seminary Press. Larina, Sister Vassa (2006) The origins and history of the Royal Office at the beginning of Matins. Paper given at...

Two Strategies for the Muscovite Church the Josephites and the Non Possessors

The last three decades of the fifteenth century were a formative period for two alternative strategies in the development of the Muscovite Church. After a period of smouldering they flared up after the Moscow Council of 1503. They were backed by two monastic movements headed by Joseph of Volokolamsk (1440-1515) and Nil of Sora (14331508). Naming the followers of the latter 'Nestyazhateli' ('non-possessors', or 'those who have no possessions') is an over-simplification, because the Josephites,...

The Patriarchate of Moscow Establishment Fall and Reconstruction 15891633

Establishment of the Patriarchate of Moscow the Third Rome without autonomy The period from 1585 to 1605 was a time of revival for the Muscovite Church, after its illegal autocephaly had been abolished through the act of establishing the Patriarchate of Moscow in 1589. Officially, as was said in the Charter of the Patriarch of Constantinople, Jeremias II (1572-95), given that same year in Moscow, the patriarchate was established in response to an address by the tsar to the Patriarch of...

Introduction

Byzantine Christianity is articulated primarily by the practical expression of its theological and spiritual life but may also be delineated by certain geographical and chronological boundaries. Christianity was the dominant, but not the sole, religion practised in the Byzantine Empire, the precise boundaries of which fluctuated according to imperial fortunes. The empire spread originally around the entire Mediterranean Sea, with the Balkan peninsula and Asia Minor economically dominant. In 560...

Eucharistic rites

In the accounts of the Eucharist in the Acts of Thomas it appears that wine was not always used sometimes there is reference to bread only. However, when examples of prayer over the elements is given, several take the form of an invocation of the Spirit to come upon the element(s), rather like the invocation on the oil in the baptismal accounts. On the other hand, in Apostolic Constitutions VIII, the Eucharist is outlined as having readings from the Law, Prophets, Letters and Gospels a sermon...

Rites of initiation

The rite of baptism begins with prayers over the catechumens, and a prayer for oil of the catechumens, which is exorcistic in theme. Exorcisms follow, together with anointing with the oil of exorcism. The rite then replicates much of the eucharistic rite, with four lections, psalmody, intercessions, sursum corda, blessing of water (modelled on the eucharistic prayer) into which chrism (myron) is poured. The blessing of the water asks God to Show forth yourself and look upon this your creature,...

The Late 1970s and After

Upon his enthronement as catholicos-patriarch of all-Georgia in late 19 77, Ilia II embarked on a programme to rejuvenate the Georgian Church. Vacant ecclesiastical positions were filled, church buildings were refurbished, and some new ones constructed. Serving as a president of the WCC from 19 79 to 1983, he drew global attention once again to Georgian Christianity and strengthened his Church's commitment to the ecumenical movement. Ilia also engaged the national movement, especially in the...

The New Martyrs

Antonopoulos, N. (1999) Archiepiskopos Loukas (Archbishop Luke of Simferopol). Athens Akritas. Cavarnos, C. (1992) The Significance of the New Martyrs. Etna, Calif. Centre for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies. Stefan Decani (2005) Monk Hariton, the New Martyr of Kosovo. The Orthodox Word 241 (Platina, Calif.). Dionysiou, G. (1989) Martyres tes Katoches (Martyrs of the Second World War). Athens Tinos. Hackel, S. (1981) Pearl of Great Price The Life of Mother Maria Skobtsova. Crestwood, NY St...

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

Without doubt, the most difficult and challenging period in the history of the Ethiopian Church was the sixteenth century. The Christian kingdom itself was nearly destroyed by the Muslim invasion led by Ah. mad ibn-Ibrahim al-Ghazi, known in Ethiopian tradition as Gran, 'the left-handed', whose predominantly Somali and Afar armies with some Yemeni and Ottoman help swept through the Ethiopian highlands from the south-east between 1525 and 1543. Gran's troops destroyed and looted churches,...

Martyrdom as a continuing challenge

Another important point in this and other stories collected in John of Ephesus' Lives of the Eastern Saints is full commitment to the truth. From the perspective of John, who wrote during the Christological controversies of the sixth century, this meant resistance to the Chalcedonian Creed, which the imperial authorities in Byzantium tried to impose upon all Christians. Owing to political and geographical circumstances, becoming a confessor or martyr was a true challenge for the Syrian...

Funeral rites

The burial rite consists of a service of psalmody, readings and prayers in church or in the house the funeral procession to the place of burial a short office committal sealing of the grave and return to the house of the deceased. For lay burial the rite begins with three psalms (Gobola), a prayer concerned with creation of humanity and asking that this person be ranked with the saints of the kingdom, and the Lord's Prayer with paraphrase. This is followed by a psalm, Epistle and Gospel...

Melkite Greek Catholic Church

Emigration to the West began around 1850, and 1889 saw the arrival of the first permanent priest in the USA. Even though a bishop was not assigned to America until 1966, a seminary was founded in Methuen, Massachusetts in 1954. Since Vatican II, dioceses have existed in America, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia and Venezuela. Owing to their lack of identity with a single national or ethnic group, and their willingness to use the vernaculars of their adopted homelands, in America the Melkites...

The Daily Round of Prayer

The order of the daily services begins with Vespers on the previous night. This is followed by Compline (or 'After Dinner'), then the Midnight Office, Matins, the First, Third, Sixth Hours and the Divine Liturgy. Then the Ninth Hour immediately before the next Vespers completes the cycle. The services are now usually grouped common Russian practice is to serve Ninth Hour, Vespers, Little Compline, Matins and the First Hour in the evening, and then Midnight, Third and Sixth Hours and Divine...

Monasticism and Spirituality

The Orthodox Church is well known for its long-standing tradition of monasticism. The uninterrupted monastic tradition of Orthodox Christianity can be traced to the Egyptian desert communities of the fourth and fifth centuries. In medieval Serbian society monasteries and monks played an especially significant and unique role. The monasteries of Studenica, Zica, Pec, Mileseva, Sopocani, Decani, Ravanica, and many others, all founded by royal patrons, outlived the state and centuries of...

The twelve and the twenty Anargyroi

From the early Byzantine period Panteleimon was also given the title Anargyros owing to the obvious parallels between his Life and the Kosmas and Damianos group. He was credited with healing and reviving a number of people, many of whom accompanied him to martyrdom. Kyros and John were also promoted as equal in stature to Kosmas and Damianos. It is evident from the stories of their posthumous miracles that this was done specifically to counter and eclipse the cult of the goddess Isis. From the...

Homeland and Diaspora Politics

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church As a 'Church of the people', usually devoid of state sponsorship, the UGCC became very much identified with the Ukrainian national cause, especially as centuries of devastation (and a veritable 'brain drain' to the north and west) left the clergy as the only social elite. While on the one hand this enabled the Church to stand with the people in their daily struggles, it also engendered a deleterious ethno-centrism, from which the Church is emerging only now,...

The nineteenth century

From the second quarter of the eighteenth century onwards, the political structure of the Ethiopian kingdom fractured, and actual government rested in the hands of an array of local warlords and petty kings. It was not until one of these, Kasa of Qwara, took the throne as Tewodros II in 1855 that political unity was restored. The succession of bishops sent from the See of Alexandria had always been precarious, but after a period of thirteen years without an abuna, or bishop, in 1841 the...

Doctrine

The label 'Monophysite' is rejected by the Ethiopian Church as an inaccurate reflection of the unionist Christology that they follow (hence the title of the official doctrine as Tawahado, literally 'union'), which is supported by the teaching of Cyril of Alexandria. Historically, because of its linkage with the See of Alexandria, and also the strong Syrian influence in the early Ethiopian Church, Ethiopia joined the Copts, Jacobite Syrians and the Armenians in rejecting the Council of Chalcedon...

Patriarch Maxim

Patriarch Cyril died on 7 March 1971 and in accordance with his dying wish was buried at the Monastery of Bachkovo. The Metropolitan of Lovech, Maxim, was elected vicegerent chairman of the Holy Synod. On 25 June 1971 the full Synod elected three candidates for the patriarchal throne the Metropolitans Maxim of Lovech, Paisiy of Vratsa and Sofroniy of Dorostol and Cherven. On 4 July 1971 a council for the election of a patriarch composed of 101 electors was convened in Sofia and the Metropolitan...

Further reading

Mar Aprem Mooken (2000) The Assyrian Church of the East in the Twentieth Century. Moran Etho 18. Kottayam St Ephrem Ecumenical Research Institute. Baum, W. and Winkler, D. W. (2003) The Church of the East A Concise History. London and New York Routledge Curzon. Baumer, C. (2006) The Church of the East An Illustrated History of Assyrian Christianity. London I. B. Tauris. Brock, S. (1996) The 'Nestorian' Church a lamentable misnomer. Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester...

Cave churches and rockcut churches

During the medieval period, and probably already in Late Aksumite times, there developed the habit of building churches within large caves. Perhaps from this developed the practice first of enclosing cave openings and building a church behind, and then of actually cutting into the rock face to carve out a church, or cutting down into the bedrock to construct a subterranean church. The most famous of these monolithic churches are indubitably those of Lalibala, though similar churches do exist...

Missions and Diaspora

From the middle of the nineteenth century and during the whole of the twentieth century, many of the faithful in the Serbian Orthodox Church emigrated to America later emigrations were to western Europe, South America, Australia and Canada. Causes of migration were varied, from economic to political, and the process of emigrating had several phases. migr circles first established parishes and after these bishoprics of the Serbian Orthodox Church, because they held that the Church was a basis...

Period of division 451642

Successors of Dioscorus who remained loyal to his teachings held the allegiance of most Egyptian Christians. A Chalcedonian hierarchy was installed in Alexandria, at the head of a 'Melkite' Church with little popular base. Through the latter half of the fifth and then the sixth centuries, the position of a Chalcedonian Church in Egypt depended on the efforts made by the emperor in Constantinople. In 482, Peter Mongus, anti-Chalcedonian patriarch (477-89), accepted the compromise of the...

Further reading The Anargyroi

Antonopoulos, N. (1999) Loukas Simpheroupoleos (Luke of Simferopol). Athens Akritas. Asmatike Akolouthia (1988) Ton en Kypro Agion, Moni Stavrovouniou (Offices to the Saints of Cyprus, Monastery of Stavrovouni). Nicosia Leucosia. Baring-Gould, S. (1882) The Lives of the Saints. London J. Hodges. Butler, A. (193 7) The Lives of the Saints. London Burns, Oates and Washbourne. Constantelos, D. (1984) Byzantine Philanthropy and Social Welfare. Athens Phos. Cowie, L. W. and Selwyn Gummer, J. (1974)...

The Coptic Church

Architectural and iconographic traditions in the Coptic Church developed as a result of several stimuli, internal and external, past and contemporary. The pharaonic past remained a potent force in the Coptic psyche. The Coptic language itself, retained as a liturgical if not a spoken language, was a continuation of the pharaonic language. In the fourth century, churches were built into pharaonic temples, such as Luxor and Deir el Bahari. Throughout the medieval period links were retained with...

Marginal Anargyroi

On the other hand, many saints who were never reputed to be doctors, nurses or folk healers by profession have been given the title Anargyroi because they have been associated with faith healing or miraculous cures. Indeed, all the recognized Orthodox saints are portrayed not only as prayerful intercessors but as healers quite simply they are like Christ and their prayers ought to be potentially curative. A few examples should suffice Paraskevi the Roman is thought to cure eye diseases, Antipas...

Spirit who proceeds from the Father

'Yea, we believe in the Holy Spirit, Lord who gives life, who proceeds from the Father.' By adhering to the original form of the Nicene Creed, the Coptic Church, along with others in the East (Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian), rejects the development that took place in the Latin Church. The Coptic Church does not accept the double procession of the Spirit from Father and Son (the filioque clause of the Latin Church). A fourteenth-century textbook of Coptic theology (Yuhanna Ibn Saba,...

Textiles

One of the areas of Coptic culture that has attracted attention in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries is that of textiles. Many thousands of fragments and partial garments from cemeteries are scattered throughout collections worldwide, often with insufficient information about their find-spots. Many of these were from excavations initiated in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the search for papyri, predominantly in Middle and Lower Egypt, including those in the...

Judaic features

One of the most notable features of Ethiopian Christianity that has impressed itself on travellers, including the Jesuits, is the presence of a number of practices that may be identified as 'judaic' or 'Jewish-like'. The observance of a Saturday Sabbath has already been mentioned. Others are the circumcision of infant males on the eighth day, dietary laws especially regarding the eating of pork and the proper slaughter of animals for food, and rules of ritual cleanliness, for instance in regard...

History

Present-day discussions on a shared identity among the members of the Syriac churches reflect a long common history in which these churches at some points (theological and sometimes political) were on opposite sides, but on many others (such as language, literature, spirituality and social position) share a common heritage. This shared heritage was never completely lost sight of, despite fierce polemical debates and opposing political interests. The Syriac churches of today all trace back their...

The Syrian Orthodox Church

P. (ed.) (2001) The Hidden Pearl The Syrian Orthodox Church and its Ancient Aramaic Heritage, 2 vols, edited with the assistance of D. G. K. Taylor. Rome Trans World Film Italia. Bell, G. L. (1982) The Churches and Monasteries of the fur'Abdin, with introduction and notes by M. Mundell Mango. London Pindar Press. de la Croix, A.-M. and Zabbal, F. (2003) Ic nes arabes art chr tien du Levant. Exposition pr sent e l'Institut du Monde Arabe du 6 mai au 17 ao t 2003. Paris ditions Gr...

Coptic Hagiography

Coptic Egypt was influenced by Greek Christian culture hence many of its hagiographi-cal texts were written first in that language and translated later into Coptic. It is important to consult the classical hagiographical tools, such as the Bibliotheca Hagiographica Orientalis, Subsidia Hagiographica, and the Bibliotheca Sanctorum. There are several ways to approach the study of hagiography we have chosen to start with the liturgical approach or how the Coptic Church presents its saints through...

The Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches

The Oriental Orthodox jurisdictions in the United States in 1973 set up the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches (SCOOCH). This conference is designed to strengthen the bonds among the churches and to present a common witness. The conference opened up a theological dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church in 19 78. A Consultation with the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops was established in 2000. This consultation is designed to build upon recent theological...

Info

On 23 August 1944 Romania severed the links with Germany and joined the Allied Forces until the end of the war. By the truce with the Soviet Union, Romania lost Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina (which was also certified by the Paris Peace Treaty in 1947). Owing to influence from Moscow and the presence of Soviet troops on its territory, Romania was to be turned into a 'popular republic' (in 1947), which was later to become 'socialist'. Dramatic changes occurred in the political, social and...

Syro Malabar Church

The designation 'Syro-Malabar', created by Rome, has been used consistently only from the end of the nineteenth century. It derives from the original liturgical tradition of this Church, that is, the East Syrian while 'Malabar' (probably of Arabic derivation) is the name that came to be applied to its original territory, the western coast of South India, properly called Kerala. Today, there is a movement to restore the Church's original name, 'Saint Thomas Christians'. In Kerala, a territory...

The Sixth Century

If the earliest period in Christian art is characterized by its diversity and by the metamorphosis of various pagan traditions into a Christian iconography, the sixth century may be viewed as a period of synthesis and consolidation. By the sixth century Constantinople had become the undisputed capital of the Roman Empire, while old Rome and the western provinces were increasingly subjected to periods of disorder and constant pillage. Emperor Justinian (r. 527-65), who did much to militarily...

Introduction Statistics and Languages

Eastern Catholicism consists of some twenty churches (before Vatican II (1965), 'Rites') united by communion with the See of Rome. Most Eastern Catholic Churches have Orthodox counterparts, that is, churches not in union with the pope. Each of them has the status of a 'particular church', or, more technically, a church sui iuris ('of its own law'), which in some instances corresponds to Eastern Orthodoxy's 'autonomous churches'. The exact number of sui iuris churches is subject to debate (see...

The Liturgy of the Faithful

This begins with the singing of the Cherubic Hymn and the Great Entrance. The bread and wine prepared in the outside skeuophylakion used to be brought in a solemn procession to the altar, which came to be seen as a burial procession of Christ whose resurrection would be celebrated in the anaphora. The hymn, 'Let us who mystically represent the Cherubim' may have replaced a psalm sung at this point. When a bishop celebrates nowadays he receives the gifts at the holy doors, but a celebrating...

Renewing the Spotless Robe the Mystery of Confession

Many of the prayers given in the Euchologia for penance and confession had their origin in canonical penance and communal reconciliation. Practice nowadays varies quite widely many Orthodox use the sacrament only rarely when conscious of a very serious sin, while others (especially Russians) confess before every reception of communion. It is common for confessions to be heard in the open church, by the priest standing beside a lectern on which are placed the cross and a Gospel book. The...

Monasticism

The history and foundation of Armenian monasticism is explored in the topographical, archaeological and geographical works of the Mkhitarist Fathers Ghoukas Inchichian (1822, 1835), Nerses Sarkissian (1864), and Ghewond Alishan's topographical works on the provinces of Ayrarat, Sis, Shirak and Sisouan, published in the last decade of the nineteenth century. The number of monasteries listed in the publications of Ghewond Alishan, and more recently in the monograph by Hamazasp Oskian, is as...

Doctrine and Theology

An event of overwhelming significance took place in 451, when the Armenians waged the battle of Avarayr against Sassanian Persia. For the first time a Christian nation made a declaration of the principle of the inviolability of freedom of conscience From this belief no one can move us, neither angels, nor men, nor sword, nor water, nor any tortures that can be conceived or devised . . . We will, here, below, choose no other lord in thy place referring to the king of Persia , and in heaven, we...

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tawahado Church

Ethiopian Christianity, exceptionally, straddles the African and Semitic worlds. But Christianity in Ethiopia, adopted in the fourth century by the Aksumite king Ezana, also retained links with other Eastern Christian areas as well as with western Europe. Christianity purportedly came to Ethiopia with two brothers from Syria, with its first and subsequent bishops appointed by Coptic patriarchs from the Coptic church of Alexandria. The first bishop, Frumentius, one of the brothers, was a...

The laity

The role of the laity has been contentious in the modern era. The Majlis Milli (Community Council) originated in 1874 as the voice of lay opposition to the church hierarchy. Since 1955, its power has been curtailed, but members continue to be important advisers to the patriarch, who is now president of the Majlis. Former members of the Majlis are part of the electoral body that chooses the patriarch, as are other lay notables. But tension between clergy and laity continues as a certain...

Patriarch Cyril

In truth the churchmen understood all too well that in the difficult conditions prevailing after 9 September 1944 it would be very hard for the Bulgarian Orthodox Church to grow and develop. For this reason they were trying to preserve the status quo and to slow down as much as possible the destruction of the organization of the Church. They hoped that Patriarch Cyril would help attain these modest objectives. Future students of the history of the Church must judge to what an extent he managed...

Under the Jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople

After the capital Turnovo fell to the Ottoman Turks on 17 July 1393 Patriarch Euthymius was driven out of Tsarevets, where the patriarchal palace was located. Later he was interned in the Bachkovo monastery, where he died in April 1404. One year after the fall of Turnovo, the Patriarchate of Constantinople, taking advantage of the difficult situation, intervened directly in the administration of the Bulgarian Patriarchate. The Patriarch of Constantinople Antony IV (1389-90, 1391-7) and his...

Cultural Reductionism

The re-emergence of cultural and civilizational analysis in sociology has led to claims being made about the supposed internal consequences of Orthodoxy in Russia and other former Communist societies. The same kinds of mechanisms at work in the Huntington school are also deployed here. This means that religious traditions, in this case Orthodoxy, has characteristics imputed to it from a particular reading of theological texts and then presumed to have fairly direct cultural and societal...

Bryan D Spinks

The non-Chalcedonian Churches divide into two distinct theological groupings. On the one hand are the so-called Miaphysite Churches Syrian Orthodox and their Indian subbranches Armenian Coptic and Ethiopic. On the other is the so-called Diophysite Church, the Church of the East or Assyrian Church. However, in terms of liturgical traditions and their interrelationship, the alignments are rather different. The Syriac-speaking churches - Syrian Orthodox, Church of the East, and the Chalcedonian...

The Non Possessors Programme as the Political Opposition Prince Andrew Kurbskij

Seen through the eyes of the Non-Possessors, Russia under Ivan the Terrible was in a situation worse than under the Mongols. Then, at the time of the Battle of Kulikovo Field (1380), the Hesychast leaders put forward a programme called by one modern scholar (G. M. Prokhorov) 'political Hesychasm', which forced Grand Prince Dimitrij to start a war against the Tartars. The second half of the sixteenth century saw another 'political Hesychast' initiative, which was a plan of a war against Moscow...

Structure and Organization

The structure and internal organization of Byzantine Christianity is complex and at times unwieldy. It combines a degree of autocephaly with an adherence to the concept of Ecumenical Councils which, in theory at least, drew on all parties within Christendom in deciding on agreed doctrine and practice within the Church. The councils were instrumental in agreeing the Christian creeds, but sometimes through the negative process of anathematizing perceived heretics rather than by a positive...

Tendencies towards Acculturation

Particularization of medieval Syriac hagiography was combined with a gradual process of 'Byzantinization' of the West Syrian heritage. The so-called 'Melkite' communities which followed the Chalcedonian Creed in particular show signs of alienation from indigenous traditions. As already mentioned, Greek influence loomed large from the very beginning. During the fifth and sixth centuries, some writings show cultural syncretism at its best. But in the wake of the Christological controversies, the...

Literalization of symbols and bodily representation of biblical models

The phenomenon of stylites has to be interpreted in the larger framework of Syrian spirituality. It seems that the general tendency in early Christianity to literalize symbols, and to represent biblical models bodily, is prevalent in the Syrian tradition. Symeon and his successors standing on a pillar, that is to say, standing midway between heaven and earth, symbolically fulfilled the call to imitate Christ in a radical sense. Standing with their arms outstretched in prayer, they were living...

Arab Christianity under Islam

As what can be thought in many ways to be a response to the religious and social milieu in which it came into being, the Our'an contains numerous comments on Christians and their beliefs. It addresses them directly as Nasara, a term that is usually understood as a reference to the followers of 'the Nazarite', and is also accepted as referring to them indirectly in the term Ahl al-kitab, 'People of the Book', which refers to communities in pre-Islamic times that had been given a revealed...

The Golden Age of Syriac Hagiography

The Golden Age of Syriac hagiography was late antiquity, so this period will be emphasized in this survey. Some vitae of that period, which are of Syrian origin, won international popularity for their heroes for example, the story of St Alexis of Edessa (Mar Resha), the 'Man of God' (the core of the Life from the fifth century) and the vita of St Pelagia, a converted courtesan (pseudonym of the fifth-century 'deacon Jacob'). The last-mentioned life became even the model for a particular type of...

The Romanian Church in the Seventh to Fourteenth Centuries

This long period in the history of the Romanian people and Church is rather obscure, as the historical and archaeological sources are scarce. From the third to the end of the thirteenth century, a series of migrating peoples, of Germanic, Slavic and Asian descent, heading for western Europe, invaded this territory Goths, Vandals, Gepids, Huns, Avars, Slavs, Hungarians, Pechenegs, Cumans and Mongols. Even when they were warrior minorities, they dominated, if temporarily, parts of Romanian...

Dominant Figures

It is inimical to any form of Eastern Christianity to impose modern, scholastic or systematic divisions into the rich and complex entirety of its thought, but it is worth noting that among the dominant figures in Byzantine Christianity are monks, priests and bishops and theologians (in the Evagrian sense) were noted for their preaching, poetry, pastoral care or political acumen. All of these modes of expression serve to articulate doctrine and thus the faith of the Byzantine Christian none had...

The Exodus

We have followed the 'double language' of the Orthodox Church during the last seven centuries in an attempt to critically appreciate its position in history. The Greek Orthodox Church was early taken captive by secular authority first by Constantine, then by Justinian and his court, by other Byzantine emperors, by the Ottoman sultan and finally by the nation-state of Greece. It has always functioned as a court institution and then as one of the many state apparatuses. Its very structure is that...

The Anargyroi in the church calendars

Even a brief survey of the Menaia and Heortologia currently in use would provide us with a list of over forty commemorations associated with the Anargyroi saints and other holy physicians. This clearly demonstrates the significance of the Anargyroi in the cycle of the Orthodox Church year and, by implication, the relevance of this group to the faithful and the centrality of this model of sanctity in traditional teaching. Of course, not all the feasts listed are widely celebrated today but those...

The Cult of Saints

Canonization in the Eastern Orthodox Church is a solemn proclamation rather than a process. Spontaneous devotion toward an individual by the faithful establishes the usual basis for sainthood. The bishop accepts the petition, examines it, and delivers it to a commission that will render a final decision. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, relics of saints appear less frequently, although the antimension (the cloth upon which the Divine Liturgy is celebrated) always contains a relic, but icons of...

The Kosmas and Damianos triangle

The main Anargyroi are surely the three pairs of 'Kosmas and Damianos' who are distinguished by being termed the Syrians, the Romans and the Arabs. An amount of confusion has always been engendered by them all bearing the same names. Unsurprisingly, scholars have argued that this triplication of pairs simply represents conflicting traditions about one pair - almost certainly the Syrians entombed in Kyrros Hagiopolis. The Roman Catholics now appear to hold an approximation of this view and the...

Christian Literature

To meet the immediate needs of the Armenian Church, to reinforce its doctrinal and liturgical activities, translations from Greek and Syriac were a conscious plan of cultural transmission. This plan called for the translation of the entire corpus of Christian knowledge. The writings of the following church fathers were translated into Armenian, which not only speaks eloquently of the whole intellectual and spiritual vitality of the Armenian Church, but also serves as an indicator of its...

The twentieth century

At the beginning of the twentieth century a new wave of independence arose in the Ethiopian Church. Ever since Frumentius had been ordained the first Bishop of Ethiopia by Athanasius in the fourth century, the head of the Church had been an Egyptian appointed by the See of Alexandria. The anomaly of this situation, supported by a spurious addition to the Canon of Nicaea, was acutely felt by Ethiopians. It was also felt that reform and modernization of the Church could not be led by a foreign...

Arab Christianity

The history of Christianity among the Arabs is long and distinctive, stretching from within a few centuries from the time of Christ to the present, and developing its own character and forms of thought. For much of its history it has been bound up with Islam and, as far as can be seen, has employed Arabic as its main language of worship and teaching. This has meant it has remained separate from other parts of the Church for long periods, and that its writings have been largely unknown to most...

Modern Period Bonaparte to the Present

Egypt remained a province of the Ottoman Empire into the twentieth century, but the struggle between colonial powers in the nineteenth century influenced missionary activity and promoted the growth of national consciousness among Coptic Christians. Napoleon invaded Egypt and defeated the local rulers in 1798, yet the lasting effect of his expedition was scientific, not political, as modern Egyptology began with the experts accompanying Napoleon. The British soon defeated the French and helped...

The Alaskan Mission

Two significant events led to the establishment of Eastern Orthodox Christianity in the United States. Firstly, monastic missionaries from the Church of Russia established missions in Alaska, beginning in 1794. At that time, the Alaskan coastland and the numerous islands between North America and Siberia, discovered and explored from 1741, was part of imperial Russia. During the first century of the existence of these missions, many thousands of natives became members of the Orthodox Church....

Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Martyrs and Saints

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries several riots by Muslims have produced new martyrs for the Coptic Church. Among those of the nineteenth century is Sidhum Bishai (1804-44). He served as clerk at the port of Damietta when a Muslim-instigated revolt broke out and he was accused of insulting Islam. He was killed and his body now reposes in the Church of the Holy Virgin in Damietta. Under the leadership of President Sadat Islamist fundamentalist movements were encouraged in Egypt....

The legacy of the Anargyroi

The Anargyroi are not simply a phenomenon of the early Christian era or the Byzantine centuries. A cursory look at the Orthodox calendars demonstrates that an active witness, represented in this instance by the Anargyroi, has always complemented the contemplative tradition in the Orthodox East. In the twentieth century Elizabeth Feodorovna, guided by the Pskov elder Gabriel of Eleazar (d. 1915), established a hospital in her Moscow convent of Saints Mary and Martha. The very dedication of the...

The calendar

The Ethiopian calendar follows the primitive Alexandrine Computus, though as many month names suggest, this probably came to Ethiopia in pre-Christian times. Today the year, which begins around 11 September, is normally calculated according to the Year of Mercy, or 'Amata Mahrat, calculation of which is seven and eight years behind the Common Era. Other systems are used, especially in ecclesiastical circles, including the Year of the Martyrs, starting from the persecutions of Diocletian in 284...

Steps towards cooperation and greater unity

Confronted with the divisions both within and beyond their flocks, Archbishop Athenagoras and Archbishop Antony (Bashir) (1898-1966) of the Syrian (Antiochian) Orthodox Archdiocese recognized the need for greater jurisdictional cooperation. Antony in particular advocated the greater use of English in liturgical services and envisioned a more united church in the United States. Together with Antony, Athenagoras made a bold proposal for a pan-Orthodox seminary in 1934 and for a pan-Orthodox...

The Contemporary Situation in the Middle East and the Diaspora

Despite significant migration waves, until the early twenty-first century the majority of Syriac Christians (apart from those in India) lived in the Middle East. Of the Syrian Orthodox, about two-thirds live in the Middle East and one third in Europe and the United States. As for the Church of the East, the balance is only slightly tilted in favour of the Middle Eastern communities about 52 per cent in the Middle East, about 10 per cent in Russia, Armenia and Georgia and 38 per cent in North...

The Oriental Orthodox Churches

The formal division between the Orthodox Churches and the Oriental Orthodox Churches dates from the fifth century. Differences in the articulation of Christology were compounded by linguistic, cultural and political factors. With the rise of Islam in the seventh century, the divide between these two families became entrenched. While some limited contacts took place in subsequent centuries, the division was not resolved. Each of the Oriental Orthodox Churches has its own particular history and...

Encounter with Other Religions

The Great Schism between the Eastern and the Western Church (1054) was the culmination of a gradual process of estrangement between East and West that began in the early centuries of the Byzantine Empire and continued throughout the Middle Ages. Linguistic and cultural differences, as well as political events, contributed to the estrangement. Theological differences could probably have been settled if there were not two different concepts of church authority. The growth of Roman primacy, based...

Iconoclasm

The destruction of the image of Christ over the Chalke Gate of the Great Palace in Constantinople in 726 on the orders of Emperor Leo III may have marked the official beginnings of iconoclasm, but the roots of the conflict go back much earlier and may reflect the possible clash between the more iconoclastic eastern traditions where the Mosaic ban on graven images prevailed and the Hellenistic heritage. After the death of Justinian the Byzantine Empire sustained a number of serious military...

Pilgrimages and Local Traditions

The main feast days are those of Christ, the Theotokos, and the saints. The Serbian Orthodox Church starts Christmas celebrations forty days ahead of the feast itself. The Serbian Church, like the Churches of Russia and Jerusalem, and most monasteries on Mt Athos, continues to use the Julian calendar. Celebrations begin for Christmas with the forty-day fast, while the last three Sundays of the fast are marked by events popularly called Children's Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day. The last two...

Monuments and religious buildings

Kingship was crucially important to Ethiopian Christian society. Early cultural activity, until the tenth century, was based at Aksum in the north of the country. Aksum was a prosperous trading centre linking the Mediterranean with India, as its gold coinage attests. Early stone stelae (obelisks) survive from before 400, carved in storeys or registers, with blind windows. These are believed to mark the burial places of kings. The sacred Solomonic lineage, traced to the house of Solomon and...

Counter Reform Programme of the Non Possessors

At the Council of 1503 the Non-Possessors put forward an antidote to the Josephites. They considered the prime danger to be any rise in the secular power of the Church. So, in accordance with the Byzantine tradition, they were against capital punishment for heretics, although they were not of course against it for civil criminals. But their main aim was the complete dissolution of lands belonging to the monasteries. In the Orthodox Church in general monasticism was the element whose influence...

The Syriac Churches Early Liturgical Traditions

At one time scholars were of the opinion that the Syriac liturgies were branches of a common Antiochene liturgical tradition, with two forks, East and West Syrian. The Maronite rite was seen as a variant of the West Syrian rite. However, more recent scholarship has emphasized that the East Syrian rite was centred on Edessa, not Antioch, and that the Maronite liturgical tradition seems to have blended some elements from the Edessan tradition with elements from the Antiochene tradition. (Macomber...

Particularization from the Seventh Century Onwards

From the seventh century onwards Syriac hagiographic works continued to be produced. However, compared with the older vitae, most of the texts written in honour of medieval indigenous Syrian saints had no more than a local or temporal influence, often a very restricted one. Thus, we have clearly to distinguish between the meaning of such a text in its original historical and ecclesiastical context, and its modern meaning, which may be quite different for Syrian Christians themselves who, in...

The Coptic Orthodox Church

Although something about worship in Egypt may be gleaned from Clement and Origen, the first liturgical compilation of note is the Canons of Hippolytus (c.336) and the eucol-ogy attributed to Bishop Sarapion of Thmuis (c.350). The former is one redaction of the so-called apostolic tradition attributed to Hippolytus, the integrity of which has been seriously challenged in late twentieth-century scholarship. The latter is a collection of prayers, some probably by Serapion, but by no means all from...

The Creation of New Saints

This leads us to the question of the creation of new saints. From the tenth century onwards, in the Latin context, the universal veneration of new saints had to be confirmed by papal processes. In modern times, this procedure was also expanded to the Oriental Catholic Churches. Also, some Orthodox Churches developed more formalized procedures for approving new saints, although none adopted in full the specific Roman procedure. In the twentieth century both Indian jurisdictions of the Syrian...

Scripture and Tradition

Armenians call the Bible Astuadsashuntch, which means 'breath of God', following St Paul's definition 'All Scripture is inspired by God' (2 Tim. 3 16). The eminent leaders of the young Church, with the help of Greek and Syriac missionaries, had achieved great success in establishing the new faith. Through the medium of the spoken language, the Gospel was communicated from the earliest period of evangelization to the very beginning of the fifth century. But hearing the Gospel was not enough to...

The Initiation Rites

There are a number of preparatory rites before baptism eight days after the birth, the naming of the child then, forty days after the birth, the 'churching' of the mother and child. Traditionally, the mother would then attend church again, and the child would begin to do so. The first attendance at church by the mother and child together is usually shortly followed by the baptism. The present baptismal rite was intended for adults, and to be spread over a period of time. Most of the rite as we...

Priesthood and Hierarchy

Table 15.2 provides the following information (1) location of the primate, and his title and (2) the proportion of married (diocesan) clergy to that of celibate diocesan clergy. Notwithstanding Vatican II's declaration of the equality of all 'Rites', Roman authorities continue to oppose the open ordination of married candidates to the priesthood outside of Eastern Catholic 'homelands.' Thus, in spite of the severe shortage of clergy in the USA, the only married priests usually permitted to...

Vallachia and Moldavia

In the fourteenth century, the territories in the south and east of the Carpathians united. Apart from Transylvania, two other states, Vallachia and Moldavia, appeared. Transylvania remained independent of Hungary until 1541, and for centuries these three states were at war with the expanding Ottoman Empire, attempting to preserve their ethnic uniqueness and their Orthodox faith. In the second half of the fourteenth century, the Ottomans conquered several Greek-Byzantine states in the vicinity...

Sociology of Religion as an Intellectual Practice

To grasp the way Eastern Orthodoxy is understood as it is, it is necessary to look very briefly at the nature of sociology as a discipline, particularly the role played by the sociology of religion within it. True to its Enlightenment origins within the wider discipline of sociology itself, the sociology of religion seems to promise rational understanding of that which the Enlightenment and its heirs deemed the 'irrational'. However, this background in practice produced a set of difficulties...

Architecture and sculpture

The inventiveness of Armenian architecture is apparent in its use of stone cutting, mostly in tufa. Building traditions were derived from the pre-Christian era, as in the kingdom of Urartu, known through excavations. More recently the site of Garni, near modern Erevan, with its Greco-Roman temple and other monuments of the first or second century ce, also provided precedents for monumental building in stone. The late sixth to early seventh centuries ce saw the first phase of Christian...

The Nubian Church

Y. (1965) Architectural evolution of the Nubian Church, 500-1400 AD. Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 4 87-139. -(1977) Nubia Corridor to Africa. London Allen Lane. -(1991) Nubian church art. In A. S. Atiya (ed. in chief) The Coptic Encyclopedia, vol. 6 Dinkler, E. (ed.) (19 70) Kunst und Geschichte Nubiens in Christlicher Zeit. Recklinghausen A. Bongers. Gartkiewicz, P. M. (1982) An introduction to the history of Nubian church architecture. In S. Jakobielski (ed.)...

The Vicissitudes of the Twentieth Century

As was mentioned earlier, the twentieth century began with attacks on the translation of the New Testament into modern Greek and the official, albeit incomprehensible, prescription of the Greek state to be itself in control of the integrity of the text. Even the new and all-powerful star of Greek politics, Eleftherios Venizelos (1864-1936), was unable to introduce any reforms. During the tragic decade 1912-22 Venizelos found himself victim to his indecision and procrastination. Whereas he had...

The enarxis

The deacon incenses the church, and the priest begins with the blessing 'Blessed be the kingdom of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit . . .' The deacon says the synapte while the priest says a prayer. Then is sung the first antiphon (in Russian churches usually Psalm 102), and there is a small litany while the priest says another prayer. The second antiphon (Russian usage, Psalm 145) always includes the hymn 'Only-begotten Son and Word of God', and is followed by another short litany and...

Newly Discovered Saints

The remains of several saints and martyrs of the Coptic Church have been newly discovered. While the ambo of the Church of Abu Sarjah in Cairo was being restored, some bones were brought to light on 25 April 1991. There were identified as the relics of Saint Bashnufa, who was mentioned in the History of the Patriarchs, and the story of whose martyrdom was composed in 1164. This martyr, according to the History of the Patriarchs, was A monk (who) was martyred at their hands (of the mob). His...

Building up the Bulgarian Exarchate

Thanks to the firman the Bulgarian Church regained the independence of which it had been deprived at the beginning of the fifteenth century. The decree of the Ottoman administration was received with hostility by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which declared it uncanonical. In fact the firman issued by the Sultan on 2 7 February 1870 was based on a draft prepared in 1867 by the Patriarch of Constantinople, Gregory VI, and a document drawn up by a joint Bulgarian-Greek committee in 1869...

The Anargyroi in the Orthodox calendar

Below are notes on the main feasts of saints associated with the Anargyroi group as they appear sequentially in the Eastern Orthodox calendars. Variant commemorations indicate western practice. These notes do not attempt to distinguish between historical and legendary materials in traditional sources. It must be assumed that stories regarding early Christian figures in particular are greatly embellished. 4 September Hermione and Eutychia, the daughters of Philip the Deacon. Church tradition...

Ascetic orientation

The strong ascetic orientation of Syrian Christianity may be its most widely known feature. No wonder that asceticism had also a significant impact on Syriac hagiogra-phy. From the very beginning, until the most recent beatifications and canonizations of nineteenth-century Maronites, almost all saints who were not venerated as martyrs have an ascetic element in some way or another. The vitae praise monks and nuns, church officials and hierarchs with an ascetic background, but also a...

Legend and early history

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is one the oldest officially adopted and still flourishing national churches in the world. Like most of the other ancient churches it seeks to place its origins in apostolic times, a wish that finds ready support in the confusion of the exact meaning of the name Ethiopia where it occurs in the Greek Bible. There the term is either a general label for Africa south of Egypt, or more specifically refers to ancient Nubia, the Kush of the Hebrew text. Thus it is a...

Apostolicity and Missions

In The Epic Histories of P'awstos Buzand (425-86), and the Armenian version of the Acts of Addai, Christianity was first introduced into Armenia from Edessa by Thaddeus, the apostle who converted the royal princess Sandukht. From the seventh century the name of the apostle Bartholomew is also added to the apostolicity claim in Armenian historiography. These traditions corroborate historical evidence pointing to the influx of Christians from Syria and Adiabene during the second and third...