VISHNYAK M.A. The Image of the Arsenites in the Correspondence of Athanasius I, the Patriarch of Constantinople

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2017.5.2

Mikhail A. Vishnyak

Master of Theology, Postgraduate Student,

Moscow Theological Academy, 

Holy Trinity-St., Sergius Lavra, 141300 Sergiev Posad, Russian Federation

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http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3354-9553


Abstract. The correspondence of the Patriarch of Constantinople Athanasius I (1289–1293, 1303–1309) is one of the most original sources on the Arsenite schism (1265–1310). It largely supplements and corrects our knowledge of the complex problem of the Arsenite schism. The author tries to recreate the whole image of the Arsenites and the Arsenite schism as it is represented in the correspondence of the patriarch Athanasius, to compare it with the data of other sources, and to detect the main features and tendencies of the letters of the patriarch describing the schism.

The patriarch convinces the flock that the Arsenites are schismatics, completely alien to the Church. He does not recognize the Arsenites as true “zealots”, comparing them with the ancient schism of Katharoi (Novatians), who mistakenly considered themselves to be pure. He charges the Arsenites with dogmatic, canonical and moral faults, which aims to debunk the Arsenites as advocates of the principles of “akribeia”. The patriarch emphasizes the spiritual causes of the schism – sins and vices, showing in this respect a great similarity with Metropolitan Theoleptos of Philadelphia. Despite a strict position, the patriarch tries to return the schismatics to the Church.

Key words: Patriarch Athanasius I of Constantinople, Byzantine literature, Arsenites, schism, metropolite Theoleptos of Philadelphia.

Citation. Vishnyak M.A. The Image of the Arsenites in the Correspondence of Athanasius I, the Patriarch of Constantinople. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2017, vol. 22, no. 5, pp. 16-26 (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2017.5.2.

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The Image of the Arsenites in the Correspondence of Athanasius I, the Patriarch of Constantinople by Vishnyak M.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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