Select Bibliography on Eastern Orthodox Canon Law

Alivizatos, Hamilcar S. Die Oikonomia nach dem kanonischen Recht der Orthodoxen Kirche. 1998.

Bright, William. The Canons of the First Four General Councils of Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus and Chalcedon with Notes. 1892.

Erickson, John H. The Challenge of Our Past: Studies in Orthodox Canon Law and Church History. 1997.

Hartman, Wilfried, and Kenneth Pennington, eds. The History of Byzantine and Eastern Canon Law to 1500. 2012.

Hefele, Karl Joseph von. A History of the Christian Councils from the Original Documents. 5 vols. 1872-1896.

L’Huillier, Peter. The Church of the Ancient Councils: The Disciplinary Work of the First Four Ecumenical Councils. 1996.

Mihai, Vasile. Orthodox Canon Law Reference Book. 2017.

Milasch, Nikodemus. Das Kirchenrecht der morgenländischen Kirche. 2nd ed. 1905.

Patsavos, Lewis J. Spiritual Dimensions of the Holy Canons. 2007.

Papageorgiou, Konstantinos G. Introduction to the Hellenic Ecclesiastical Law. 2012.

Percival, Henry R. The Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Undivided Church: Their Canons and Dogmatic Decrees. NPNF, 2nd Series, vol 14. 1900.

Phidas, Vlassios I. Droit canon: Une perspective orthodoxe. 1998.

Potz, Richard, and Eva Maria Synek. Orthodoxes Kirchenrecht: eine Einführung. 2nd ed. 2014.

Rodopoulos, Panteleimon. An Overview of Orthodox Canon Law. 2007.

Schroeder, Henry Joseph. Disciplinary decrees of the general councils, text, translation, and commentary. 1937.

Troianos, Spyros. Die Quellen des byzantinischen Rechts. 2017.

Viscuso, Patrick. Orthodox Canon Law: A Casebook for Study. 2nd ed. 2011.

Documents on Primacy from the Bilateral Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue

Ravenna Document (2007): Ecclesiological and Canonical Consequences of the Sacramental Nature of the Church: Ecclesial Communion, Conciliarity and Authority

Response of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation to the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue regarding the ‘Ravenna Document’ (2009)

Position of the Moscow Patriarchate on the Problem of Primacy in the Universal Church (2013)

First without Equals: A Response to the Text on Primacy of the Moscow Patriarchate. By Metropolitan Elpidophoros (Lambriniadis) of Bursa (2014)

Primacy and Synodality from an Orthodox Perspective. By Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk (2014)

Chieti Document (2016): Synodality and Primacy during the First Millennium: Towards a Common Understanding in the Service to the Unity of the Church

Serving Communion: Re-thinking the Relationship between Primacy and Synodality. A Study by the Saint Irenaeus Joint Orthodox-Catholic Working Group (2018)

Digitized Greek Dictionaries

G. W. Lampe, A Patristic Greek Lexicon, 1961.

Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott, A Lexicon: Abridged from Liddell & Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon, 27th ed., 1899.

E. A. Sophocles, Greek lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine periods (from B.C. 146 to A.D. 1100), 1900.

Digitized Resources for Greek Hagiography and Heortology

Acta Sanctorum (Online)

Ad typica Graecorum ac praesertim ad typicum cryptoferratense, 1864.

Annibale Albani, ed., Menologium Graecorum jussu Basilii imperatoris, vol. 1, 1727.

Annibale Albani, ed., Menologium Graecorum jussu Basilii imperatoris, vol. 2, 1727.

Annibale Albani, ed., Menologium Graecorum jussu Basilii imperatoris, vol. 3, 1727.

Bibliotheca Hagiographica Graeca, 2nd ed., 1909.

Hippolyte Delehaye, ed., Synaxarium ecclesiae Constantinopolitanum e codice Sirmondiano nunc Berolinensi, 1902. (Scanned version).

Hippolyte Delehaye, ed., Synaxarium ecclesiae Constantinopolitanum e codice Sirmondiano nunc Berolinensi, 1902. (Transcribed version).

Hippolyte Delehaye, The Legends of the Saints: An Introduction to Hagiography, 1907.

Dumbarton Oaks Resources for Byzantine Hagiography

Internet Medieval Sourcebook: Saint’ Lives

Il menologio di Basilio II (cod. vaticano greco 1613), vol. 1, 1907.

Il menologio di Basilio II (cod. vaticano greco 1613), vol. 2, 1907.

Karl Adam Heinrich Kellner, Heortology: A History of the Christian Festivals from their Origin to the Present Day, 1908.

Vasilij V. Latyšev, ed., Menologii anonymi Byzantini saeculi X quae supersunt, vol. 1, 1911.

Vasilij V. Latyšev, ed., Menologii anonymi Byzantini saeculi X quae supersunt, vol. 2, 1912.

Andrea Luzzi, “Edizione di alcuni sinassari B* assenti nel Menologium Graecorum” (2006).

Andrea Luzzi, “El «Menologio de Basilio II» y el semestre invernal de la recensio B* del Sinaxario de Constantinopla” (2008).

Alexios v. Maltzew, ed., Menologion der Orthodox-Katholischen Kirche des Morgenlandes: Deutsch und Slavisch, unter Berücksichtigung der griechischen Urtexte, vol. 1., 1900.

Alexios v. Maltzew, ed., Menologion der Orthodox-Katholischen Kirche des Morgenlandes: Deutsch und Slavisch, unter Berücksichtigung der griechischen Urtexte, vol. 2., 1901.

Manuscript (Menologion of Basil II)

Johannes Martinov, Annus ecclesiasticus graeco-slavicus, 1863.

A. S. Mazzochi, In vetus marmoreum Neapolitanae ecclesiae kalendarium Commentarius, vol. 1, 1744.

A. S. Mazzochi, In vetus marmoreum Neapolitanae ecclesiae kalendarium Commentarius, vol. 2, 1744.

A. S. Mazzochi, In vetus marmoreum Neapolitanae ecclesiae kalendarium Commentarius, vol. 3, 1755.

The Roman Martyrology, 1916.

Migne, PG 117 (Menologium Graecorum).

Stefano Antonio Morcelli, Kalendarium Ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae, vol. 1, 1788.

Stefano Antonio Morcelli, Kalendarium Ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae, vol. 2, 1788.

Nikolaus Nilles, Kalendarium manuale utriusque ecclesiae orientalis et occidentalis, 1st ed., vol. 1, 1879.

Nikolaus Nilles, Kalendarium manuale utriusque ecclesiae orientalis et occidentalis, 2nd ed., vol. 2, 1896.

Urbanus Godofridus Siber, ed., Ecclesiae graecae Martyrologium metricum ex Menaeis, 1727.

Charles de Smedt, Introductio generalis ad historiam ecclesiasticam, 1876.

Herbet J. Thurston and Donald Attawater, eds., Butler’s Lives of the Saints, Complete Edition.

Digitized Resources on Anglican-Orthodox Relations

Ch. Androutsos.  The Validity of English Ordinations from an Orthodox Catholic Point of View. 1909.

W. J. Birkbeck. Russia and the English Church containing a correspondence between Mr. William Palmer and M. Khomiakoff. 1917.

R. W. Blackmore, ed., The Doctrine of the Russian Church. 1845.

N. Boulgaris, A Holy Catechism: Or, Explanation of the Divine and Holy Liturgy and Examination of Candidates for Ordination. 1861.

A. Bulgakoff, The question of Anglican orders : in respect to a “vindication” of the papal decision, which was drawn up by the English Roman Catholic bishops at the end of 1897, 1899.

S. Dabovich, The Lives of the Saints, and Several Lectures and Sermons, 1898.

S. Dabovich, Preaching in the Russian Church, or Lectures and Sermons by a Priest of the Holy Orthodox Church, 1899.

Documents of the International Commission of the Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue, 1973-

Dositheos (Notaras). The Acts and Decrees of the Synod of Jerusalem: Sometimes Called the Council of Bethlehem, holden Uunder Dositheus, Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1672. 1899.

J. A. Douglas. The Relations of the Anglican Churches with the Eastern-Orthodox,1921.

W. H. Frere, Some Links in the Chain of Russian Church History, 1918.

F. Gavin. Some Aspects of Contemporary Greek Orthodox Thought. 1923.

I. F. Hapgood. Service Book of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic Church. 2nd ed. 1922.

E. R. Hardy Jr., ed. Orthodox Statements on Anglican Orders, 1946.

A. H. Hore. Eighteen Centuries of the Orthodox Greek Church. 1899.

G. B. Howard, The Schism between the Oriental and Western Churches, 1892.

J. G. King, The Rites and Ceremonies of the Greek Church in Russia, 1772.

W. C. King. Translation from the original Greek of a pamphlet entitled: “Letters of the most pious king [Peter I. of Russia], and of the most holy patriarchs, concerning the establishment of the most holy synod: with an expotion of the orthodox faith of the eastern catholic church.” 1865.

A. S. Khomiakoff. The Orthodox doctrine on the Church, an essay. 1864.

H. P. Liddon. Report of the Proceedings at the Reunion Conference at Bonn. 1876.

Lives of Eminent Russian Prelates, 1854.

A. N. Mouravieff. History of the Church of Russia. 1842.

J. J. Overbeck. Catholic orthodoxy and anglo-catholicism. 1866.

W. Palmer. Notes of a Visit to the Russian Church 1840-1841. 1882.

W. Palmer. A Harmony of Anglican Doctrine with the Doctrine of the Catholic and Apostolic Church of the East: Being the Longer Russian Catechism : with an Appendix Consisting of Notes and Extracts from Scottish and Anglican Authorities. 1846.

W. Palmer.  Dissertations on subjects relating to the “Orthodox” or “Eastern-Catholic” communion.1853.

Papers of the Russo-Greek Committee and of Eastern Church Association, 1863-1866.

Peter Mogila, The Orthodox Confession of the Catholic and Apostolic Eastern Church. 1762.

Philaret (Drozdov), Select Sermons, 1873.

Platon (Levshin), The Present State of the Greek Church in Russia: Or, a Summary of Christian Divinity. 1815.

A. Riley. Birkbeck and the Russian Church. 1917.

H. C. Romanoff, Sketches of the Rites and Customs of the Greco-Russian Church, 1868.

Russian Observations upon the American Prayer Book ,1917.

P. E. Shaw, American Contacts with the Eastern Churches, 1820-1870, 1937.

E. Smirnoff, A Short Account of the Historical Development and Present Position of Russian Orthodox Missions, 1903.

D: Sokolof. A Manual of the Orthodox Church’s Divine Services. New York, 1899.

A. P. Stanley, Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church, 1864.

The Greek and Eastern Churches: Their History, Faith and Worship, 1851?

G. Williams. The Orthodox Church of the East in the Eighteenth Century: Being the Correspondence Between the Eastern Patriarchs and the Nonjuring Bishops : with an Introduction on Various Projects of Reunion Between the Eastern Church and the Anglican Communion. 1868.





New Publication: Philip L. REYNOLDS, ed., Great Christian Jurists and Legal Collections in the First Millennium (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019)


Great Christian Jurists and Legal Collections in the First Millennium is a systematic collection of essays describing how Christian leaders and scholars of the first millennium in the West contributed to law and jurisprudence and used written norms and corrective practices to maintain social order and to guide people from this life into the next. With chapters on topics such as Roman and post-Roman law, church councils, the papacy, and the relationship between royal and ecclesiastical authority, as well as on individual authors such as Lactantius, Ambrosiaster, Augustine, Leo I, Gelasius I, and Gregory the Great, this book invites a more holistic and realistic appreciation of early-medieval contributions to the history of law and jurisprudence for entry-level students and scholars alike. Great Christian Jurists and Legal Collections in the First Millennium provides a fresh look, from a new perspective, enabling readers to see these familiar authors in a fresh light.


Part I:
1. Normative texts and practices of the first millennium – Philip L. Reynolds
2. The many voices of Roman law – Jill Harries
3. The law of the post-Roman kingdoms – Alexander Callander Murray
4. Ecclesiastical councils – Gregory I. Halfond
5. The papacy Clemens – Gantner and Stefan Schima
6. The sacred palace, public penance, and the Carolingian polity – Mayke de Jong
7. Canonical collections – Roy Flechner
8. The practice and literature of penance – Rob Meens
9. Monastic rules – Albrecht Diem
Part II:
10. Lactantius – Elizabeth De Palma Digeser
11. Ambrosiaster – David Hunter
12. Augustine – Brian Gronewoller
13. Leo I – Susan Wessel
14. Gelasius I – Bronwen Neil
15. Dionysius Exiguus – David Heith-Stade
16. The rule of Benedict – Hugh Feiss
17. Gregory the Great – Carole Straw
18. Isidore of Seville – Luca Loschiavo
19. Pseudo-Isidorus Mercator – Clara Harder
20. Jonas of Orléans – Francesco Veronese
21. Hincmar of Reims – Charles West
22. Regino of Prüm – Greta Austin
23. Burchard of Worms – Greta Austin
24. New horizons in church law – Robert Somerville.

More info here

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.

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., ΙΕΡΑΤΙΚΟΝ.

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

C. Papayannis, ed., ΤΡΙΩΔΙΟΝ.


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.