Orthodox Encyclopedia

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The Orthodox Encyclopedia[1] (Russian: Православная энциклопедия - Pravoslavnaya entsiklopediya) is specialized encyclopedia, published by the Church Research Center "Orthodox Encyclopedia" under the general editorship of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia since 2000.[2][3]

The stated objectives of the publication are:[4]


10 October 1996, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church approved the edition of 25-volume Orthodox Encyclopedia. To implement the project was formed: Supervisory, Trustees, Church-scientific and editorial boards, as well as the Association of philanthropists.[2]

Sergei Kravets stated: "the basic parameters of the upcoming work on Orthodox Encyclopedia were identified in 1997. From the very beginning the Encyclopedia planned as issue, that look far beyond the scope of the Orthodox world: it had to be presented basic information on all Christian denominations and other religions, significant material from the fields of philosophy, morality, ethics, art, music. The edition was to be not only an encyclopedia of the Orthodoxy, but as an encyclopedia of the Orthodox view to the human spirit world, to all humanitarian sphere of life".[5]

19 February 1998 the first meeting of the Scientific and Editorial Board for publication 25-volume Orthodox Theological Encyclopedia was held under the chairmanship of Patriarch Alexy II in the Throne Room of the Synodal residence in St. Daniel's monastery. The Scientific Editorial Board approved the thematic division of the Encyclopedia and determined the time of its creation, based on the need to release the first volume on the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Christ. In addition, the issues of interaction with the church and the secular academic institutions, the dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as with the fraternal local churches.[6]

Initially authors hoped to rely on the unfinished Orthodox Theological Encyclopedia (1900-1911)[7] by Alexander Lopukhin and Nikolay Glubokovsky, as well as the Greek Orthodox Encyclopedia. But already at work on the Dictionnaire it became clear that the information in the Orthodox Theological Encyclopedia, despite their high scientific value, was outdated while information in the Greek encyclopedia was so narrow national in character that could not be used as the main source for the creation of the conceived common Orthodox encyclopedic set.[5]

Entire 1999 was spent on the preparation of the first, non-alphabetic volume of "Русская православная церковь" ("Russian Orthodox Church") and the completion of the glossary.[5]

1 March 2013 Patriarch Kirill of Moscow has spoken out against spending money on an electronic version of the Orthodox Encyclopedia series, saying it would be unprofitable.[3]