Prof. Nikolai Glubokovsky on Russian academic theology before the Revolution

In 1922 the exiled Prof. Nikolai Glubokovsky published in Prague an interesting article about the development and state Russian academic theology from the beginning of the 19th century until his own time.

This article would later be reworked into the Russian booklet Русская богословская наука в её историческом развитии и новейшем состоянии which still serves as a classic introduction to the subject.

The original article was, however, already in 1927 abbreviated and translated into French and is available online here.

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Bolotov on the Filioque

Within the context of the dialogue between the Old Catholic movement and the Russian Orthodox Church in the 19th century, the theologian Professor Vasilii Bolotov (1854-1900) published his famous “Thesen über das ‘Filioque'” anonymously in Revue international théologie 6 (1898): 681-712. He later published the article in Russian under his own name.

Bolotov’s theses about the Filioque may today be mostly known for his influential distinction between dogma, theologoumena, and private theological opinions, but they are also very interesting (and still relevant) for his views on the actual theological question.

Prof. V. V. Bolotov (1853-1900)

The article has five parts. It is in the introduction he makes his distinction between various theological statements. Dogmas are binding truths of faith (in the article it becomes apparent that these are basically the doctrinal formulas of the ecumenical councils). Theologoumena are probable truths of faith put forth by church fathers. Private theological opinions are the theories of “mere” theologians.

Dogmas are mandatory doctrinal formulas and the necessary foundations of Christian theology. Theologoumena are the private opinions of church fathers which, unless they have been explicitly condemned by the competent authority (an ecumenical council?), must be tolerated and treated with respect due to their Patristic authority. They are not, however, binding, but one may not dismiss them as unacceptable theological opinions even if one thinks they are wrong.

The private theological opinions of “mere” theologians have only the force of the arguments in their favor and their aesthetic impression but may not contradict dogmas. One may freely reject and criticize private theological opinions.

The second part of the article deals with the doctrinal history and the formulation of the doctrine of the Trinity in the 4th century. Bolotov notes that the debate was based both on Biblical revelation and natural analogies and tried to make sense of mystery of the Trinity.

Bolotov also notes that the Greek Patristic tradition is more Biblical while St. Augustine’s theological speculation about the Trinity gives too much room for natural analogies instead of Biblical revelation and the Patristic tradition. He also notes that St. Augustine was not familiar with Greek theological speculation about the mystery of the Trinity.

The third part deals with the first set of theses about the Greek tradition after the formative period of the 4th century. The first thesis is that the dogma of the Orthodox Church is only the truth that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and is consubstantial with the Father and the Son. The formulas that the Holy Spirit proceeds “from the Father and the Son,” “from the Father through the Son,” or “from the Father alone” are not dogmas but theologoumena.

Among the theses in this section one may note that Bolotov shows that many fathers use the formula “through the Son” not only in relation to the temporal mission of the Spirit but also in the relation to the eternal procession. He also notes that St. Photios could not find much support among the fathers for his theologouemnon that the Spirit proceeds from the Father alone.

The fourth part deals with the procession of the Spirit in the Latin tradition. Bolotov notes that the Filioque represents the isolated theologoumenon of a single Latin church father, St. Augustine, and is not as well founded as the Greek theologoumena about the procession of the Spirit.

Bolotov emphasizes that the theology of St. Augustine was isolated from early Greek Patristic theology so it cannot be viewed as a response to Greek theological speculation nor can Greek theological speculation before St. Photios be viewed as a response to St. Augustine. He also emphasizes that the Greek formula “through the Son” is something else than St. Augustine’s Filioque.

Bolotov notes that the Filioque as a theologoumenon is not heretical even if it is not as good as the Greek theologoumena about the procession of the Spirit. He also notes that the Filioque was not a reason to break communion since the Eastern Churches remained in communion with the Roman Church even after they became aware of the theology of St. Augustine and the Filioque. Even St. Photios was in communion with the Roman Church despite his critique of the Filioque.

This leads to the final part of the article which is composed of two theses that states that the Filiqoue was not the reason for the schism between the Roman Church and the Eastern Churches (in the introduction he stated that the papacy was the real reason for the schism and this reason will probably remain until the end of time). The second thesis is that the Filioque is not an impedimentum dirimens to communion between the Western Church and the Eastern Churches.

Digitized grammars of Eastern liturgical languages

Leskien, A. Grammatik der altbulgarischen (Altkirchenslavischen) Sprache. 1919.

Meillet, A. Altarmenisches Elementarbuch. 1913.

Mercer, Samuel A. B. Ethiopic grammar: with chrestomathy and glossary. 1920.

Nöldeke, Theodor. Compendious Syriac Grammar. 1904.

Robinson, Theodore H. Paradigms and Exercises in Syriac Grammar. 1939.

Tattam, Henry. A compendious grammar of the Egyptian language as contained in the Coptic, Sahidic, and Bashmuric dialects. 1863.

 

And as a bonus a 19th-century textbook on katharevousa Greek:

Rangabé, Eugene Rizo. A practical method in the modern Greek language. 1896.

The Revision of Byzantine Liturgical Books

The current form of the Byzantine rite is the result of the development of its liturgical books which have heterogonous origins (e.g., Constantinopolitan cathedral liturgical practice, Constantinopolitan monastic liturgical practice, the Palestinian monastic liturgical practice, and Jerusalemite cathedral liturgical practice). The Byzantine rite is thus an amalgam of different liturgical practices.

The most notably example is how the Euchologion, which originally belongs to the cathedral rite of Constantinople, has been combined with the Horologion, which originally belongs to the Palestinian monastic rite.

This is, for example, the reason why there are silent priestly prayers in Vespers and Matins since these prayers are remnants of the cathedral rite which did not really fit into the Palestinian monastic liturgical practice so they were bunched together to be read silently by the priest at the beginning of the service.

The liturgical books of the Byzantine rite became standardized through the invention of the printing press and the mass production of printed liturgical books.

The printing of Greek liturgical books was originally a private commercial enterprise in which Greek printers based in Venice produced the editiones principes in the early 16th century.

These printed editions which produced the standardized liturgical texts of the Byzantine rite were based on an arbitrary selection of manuscripts and often also included arbitrary editorial emendations.

From the 17th century onwards the Roman Catholic Church also began to print Byzantine liturgical books intended for Italo-Byzantine parishes and Uniates. The Roman editions were often superior from a philological perspective but also contained some unfortunate confessionally motived emendations intended to bring Byzantine liturgical practice more into line with post-Tridentine Catholicism.

It was first toward the end of the 19th century that official Greek editions of liturgical books began to be published by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Unfortunately, these also reflect to a certain degree polemically or pastorally motivated editorial changes which deviate from the Byzantine manuscript tradition(s).

It was first in the 20th century that Greek scholars began to produce editions of liturgical books based on textual criticism and sound liturgical scholarship. A pioneer was Prof. Panayotis Trembelas (1886-1977) who edited the three liturgies and the Mikron Euchologion.

The most productive modern editor of liturgical books was Protopresbyter Constantine Papayannis (1929-2014), a collaborator of the prominent liturgical scholar Prof. John Fountoulis (1929-2007).

Papayannis worked as the main editor of the revised liturgical books published by Apostoliki Diakonia, the publishing house of the Church of Greece. His last contribution to the revision of the printed liturgical books was a posthumous edition of the Triodion. He also prepared editions published by other publishers, for example, an edition of the Horologion and a two-volume Anthologion.

However, the production of revised liturgical books based on textual criticism and liturgical scholarship in Greece does not seem to have come to end with the death of Papayannis in 2014. In the same year Dr Dionysios Anatolikiotis published a revised edition of the Euchologion to Mega based on textual criticism and scholarly principles. (One can also note that the Hellenic Bible Society published a Prophetologion in 2008.)

The following are the revised and critical editions of Greek liturgical books which to my knowledge are now in print:

P. Trembelas, ed., ΑΙ ΤΡΕΙΣ ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΙΑΙ.

P. Trembelas, ed., ΜΙΚΡΟΝ ΕΥΧΟΛΟΓΙΟΝ, Τ. Α΄.

P. Trembelas, ed., ΜΙΚΡΟΝ ΕΥΧΟΛΟΓΙΟΝ, Τ. Β΄.

C. Papayannis, ed., ΩΡΟΛΟΓΙΟΝ ΤΟ ΜΕΓΑ.

C. Papayannis, ed., ΑΝΘΟΛΟΓΙΟΝ, Τ. Α΄.

C. Papayannis, ed., ΑΝΘΟΛΟΓΙΟΝ, Τ. Β΄.

C. Papayannis, ed., ΕΓΚΟΛΠΙΟΝ ΤΟΥ ΑΝΑΓΝΩΣΤΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΨΑΛΤΟΥ.

C. Papayannis, ed., ΙΕΡΑΤΙΚΟΝ.

C. Papayannis, ed., Η ΑΓΙΑ ΚΑΙ ΜΕΓΑΛΗ ΕΒΔΟΜΑΣ.

C. Papayannis, ed., ΤΡΙΩΔΙΟΝ.

C. Papayannis, ΣΥΣΤΗΜΑ ΤΥΠΙΚΟΥ.

D. Anatolikiotis, ed., ΕΥΧΟΛΟΓΙΟΝ ΤΟ ΜΕΓΑ.

Incidentally one can also note that Eastern Christian Publications are reprinting the four-volume Roman edition of the Greek Anthologion: vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3, vol. 4.

Finally, one can note that Archimandrite Nikodemos Skrettas has recently published a critical edition of the Typikon of St. Sabbas which can be ordered here.

Selected literature

C. Calivas, Essays in Theology and Liturgy, vol. 3: Aspects of Orthodox Worship, 2003.

J. Chupungco, ed., Handbook for Liturgical Studies, 5 vols., 1997-2000.

J. Getcha, The Typicon Decoded, 2012.

P. Meyendorff, Russia, Ritual, and Reform, 1991.

T. Pott, Byzantine Liturgical Reform, 2010.

F. Taft, The Byzantine Rite, 1992.

Resources for Liturgical History

I noticed that the useful resource, Michael Zheltov’s Liturgical Website Logike Latreia is currently offline. This is very unfortunate, but in the meanwhile the following links to edition of liturgical sources and manuscripts might be of use:

Dmitrievskii’s classic edition of liturgical manuscripts in three volumes is available as pdfs here.

Papadopolous-Kerameus’ edition of manuscripts from the Holy Land is available as pdfs here. Vol. 2 contains an edition of the Typikon of the Anastasis.

Aleksey Pentkoviskiy’s edition of the Old Slavic translation of the Typikon of Patriarch Alexios the Studite is available here.

For digitized versions (pdfs) of classic printed edition of Greek liturgical books see here.

Classic Manuals of Greek Literature from the Ottoman Period

In this post I will collect links to digitized versions of classic manuals of Greek literature (primarily theological literature) from the Ottoman period, 1453-1923:

Dimitrakopouos, Andronikos. Ορθόδοξος Ελλάς: ήτοι περί των Ελλήνων των γραψάντων κατά Λατίνων και περί των συγγραμμάτων αυτών. 1872.

Dimitrakopouos, Andronikos. Προσθήκαι και διορθώσεις εις την Νεοελληνικήν Φιλολογίαν Κωνσταντίνου Σάθα. 1871.

Grass, Konrad. Geschichte der Dogmatik in russischer Darstellung. 1902.

Legrand, Emile. Bibliographie hellenique: ou description raisonnee des ouvrages publies en Grec par des Grecs aux XVe et XVIe siecle. 4 vols, 1885-1906.

Legrand, Emile. Bibliographie hellenique: ou description raisonnee des ouvrages publies par des Grecs au dix-septieme siecle. 5 vols, 1894-1903.

Legrand, Emile. Bibliographie hellenique: ou description raisonnee des ouvrages publies par des Grecs au dix-huitieme siecle. 2 vols, 1918-1928

Sathas, Konstantinos. Νεοελληνική Φιλολογία: Βιογραφίαι των εν τοις γράμμασι διαλαμψάντων Ελλήνων, από της καταλύσεως της βυζαντινής αυτοκρατορίας μέχρι της ελληνικής εθνεγερσίας (1453-1821). 1868.

Strahl, Philipp. Das gelehrte Russland. 1828.

Zaviras, Georgios. Νέα Ελλάς: ή Ελληνικόν θέατρον. 1872.

The following 19th-century manuals of Eastern Orthodox church history also contains some information about post-Byzantine theological literature:

Kyriakos, A. D. Geschichte der orientalischen Kirchen von 1453-1898. 1902.

Philaret, Geschichte der Kirche Russlands, 1. Bd. 1872.

Philaret, Geschichte der Kirche Russlands, 2. Bd. 1872.

The following is also a classic manual of Greek Orthodox theological literature in the 16th century, but unfortunately I have not been able to find a digitized copy of it yet:

Meyer, Philipp. Die Theologische Literatur der Griechischen Kirche im 16. Jahrhundert mit einer allgemeinen Einleitung. Studien zur Geschichte der Theologie und der Kirche Band 3, Häft 6, 1899.

Rudolf Sohm’s contributions to ecclesiology and the history of canon law

Lowrie, Walter. The Church and its Organization in Primitive and Catholic Times: An Interpretation of Rudolph Sohm’s Kirchenrecht. 1904.

Sohm, Rudolph. “Wesen und Ursprung des Katholizismus.” 1909.

Sohm, Rudolph. “Weltliches und geistliches Recht.” 1913.

Sohm, Rudolph. Kirchenrecht 1. Bd. Reprint 2016.

Sohm, Rudolph. Kirchenrecht 2. Bd. Reprint 2016.

Sohm, Rudolph. Das altkatholische Kirchenrecht und das Dekret Gratians. Reprint 2014.

Kirill Florinskii’s Lectures on Dogmatic Theology

The manuscript of the lectures of one of the first courses on dogmatic theology given during the Petrine Reforms is digitally available at the website of the Russian National Library:

Theologia positiva et polemica tradita in Mosquensi Academia a Cyrillo Florinsky.

Digitized Classic Manuals of Early Church History (in English)

Bardenhewer, Otto. Patrology: The Lives and Works of the Fathers of the Church. 1908.

Duchesne, Louis. Early History of the Christian Church, vol. 1: From its Foundation to the End of the Third Century. 1912.

Duchesne, Louis. Early History of the Christian Church, vol. 2: From its Foundation to the End of the Fourth Century.  1912.

Duchesne, Louis. Early History of the Christian Church, vol. 3: From its Foundation to the End of the Fifth Century.  1924.

Funk, Franz Xaver. Manual of Church History, vol. 1. 1910.

Harnack, Adolph von. The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries, vol. 1.

Harnack, Adolph von. The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries, vol. 2.

Harnack, Adolph von. History of Dogma, vol. 1.

Harnack, Adolph von. History of Dogma, vol. 2.

Harnack, Adolph von. History of Dogma, vol. 3.

Harnack, Adolph von. History of Dogma, vol. 4.

Harnack, Adolph von. History of Dogma, vol. 5.

Harnack, Adolph von. History of Dogma, vol. 6.

Harnack, Adolph von. History of Dogma, vol. 7.

Hefele, Karl Joseph von. A History of the Christian Councils from the Original Documents, vol. 1: To the Close of the Council of Nicaea, A.D. 325.  1883.

Hefele, Karl Joseph von. A History of the Christian Councils from the Original Documents, vol. 2: A.D. 326 to A.D. 429. 1876.

Hefele, Karl Joseph von. A History of the Christian Councils from the Original Documents, vol. 3: A.D. 431 to A.D. 451.  1883.

Hefele, Karl Joseph von. A History of the Christian Councils from the Original Documents, vol. 4: A.D. 451 to A.D. 680. 1895.

Hefele, Karl Joseph von. A History of the Christian Councils from the Original Documents, vol. 5: A.D. 626 to the Close of the Second Council of Nicaea, A.D. 787.  1896.

Kurtz, John Henry. Text-book of Church History, vol. 1. 1891.

Seeberg, Reinhold. Text-Book of the History of  Doctrines.

Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church, vol. 1, Apostolic Christianity A.D. 1-100. 1907.

Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church, vol. 2, Ante-Nicene Christianity A.D. 100-325. 1914.

Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church, vol. 3, Nicene and Post-Nicene Christianity A.D. 311-600. 1906.

Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church, vol. 4. Mediaeval Christianity A.D. 500-1073. 1905.

Tixeront, Joseph. History of Dogmas, vol. 1: The Antenecene Theology.

Tixeront, Joseph. History of Dogmas, vol. 2: From St. Athanasius to St. Augustine (318-430).

Tixeront, Joseph. History of Dogmas, vol. 3: The End of the Patristic Age (430-800).

Tixeront, Joseph. A Handbook of Patrology.

Wace, Henry and William C. Piercy. A Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century A.D., with an Account of the Principal Sects and Heresies.

Manuals of Roman Law

Byzantine-Roman law is the context in which much of the ancient and Byzantine canon law developed. Therefore it is necessary to have an understanding of Byzantine-Roman law. The classic German manuals are still useful for developing such an understanding and the most important have also been translated into English and are available digitally online:

Sohm, R. Institutes of Roman Law. 3d ed. 1907.

Mackedey, F. Handbook of Roman Law. 1883.

Concerning Byzantine law, the following manuals are still useful:

Mortreuil, J.-A.-B., Histoire du Droit Byzantin 1. 1847.

Mortreuil, J.-A.-B., Histoire du Droit Byzantin 2. 1847

Mortreuil, J.-A.-B., Histoire du Droit Byzantin 3. 1846.

Zachariä von Lingenthal, Karl Eduard. Geschichte des griechisch-römischen Rechts. 3d ed. 1892.

Zhishman, J., Das Eherecht der orientalischen Kirche. 1864.

The classic manual of Byzantine canon law is still N. Milasch, Das Kirchenrecht der morgenländischen Kirche. rev. ed. 1905: