"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Patriarch Nikon: Reform, Schism, Deposition

The late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are a fascinating time in the East-Slavic world. The post-Reformation period gives rise to such changes as the Union of Brest (about which one must read Borys Gudziak's work) which in turn leads on to dramatic changes in Russia, many brought about by Patriarch Nikon, about whom two recent books have been written. The first, in 2007, was by Ioann Shusherin.

Now Cambridge University Press is bringing out:

Paisius Ligarides, History of the Condemnation of the Patriarch Nicon: By a Plenary Council of the Orthodox Catholic Eastern Church Held at Moscow A.D. 1666-1667, trans. William Palmer (Cambridge, 2010), 630pp.

Nikon, as Paul Meyendorff demonstrated in a book almost twenty years ago now, oversaw dramatic changes in the liturgical life of the Russian Church, changes that caused enormous religious and nationalist furor at the time and resulted in the rise of schismatic groups, some still extant, and leading to the deposition of Nikon--for reasons too complicated to enter into here--from his patriarchate.

This book will be reviewed next year in Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies. 

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