Studies on the History of the Church of Cyprus: 4th-20th Centuries

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Studies on the History of the Church of Cyprus: dth-20th Centuries. By Benedict Englezakis. Edited by Silouan and Misael Ioannou; translated by Norman Russell. (Brookfield,Vermont: Variorum, Ashgate Publishing Company. 1995. Pp. xvi, 487. $100.00.)

This volume collects twenty essays, critical editions, and lectures of the learned Cypriot Archimandrite, historian, and biblical scholar Benedict Englezakis, who died in 1992.The original audiences for these pieces, arranged here chronologically, were quite varied. Disparate parts of the book will prove useful and informative to scholars and lay readers.

Five chapters present overviews of important moments and extended periods in Cypriot church history. The fourth-century origins of Cyprus's autocephalic archbishopric owe much to the charismatic and powerful figure of Epiphanius of Salamis. A broad outline of the Church's development in the Byzantine period (330-1191) illustrates a particular sensitivity to the diverse social, political, and economic forces which shaped not only the hierarchy but Cypriot Christianity itself. Treatment of the survival of Orthodoxy under the Roman Catholic Franks draws attention to the cross-purposes of Lusignan political and ecclesiastical leaders and the resulting oppression of the indigenous population. Accounts of the Church both in the Late Ottoman period (eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) and under British rule (1878-1955), while somewhat more partisan, flesh out a fascinating story otherwise unavailable in English. Those with a general interest in Cypriot history will find that these chapters benefit from sound historical research and methodology. One wishes Englezakis had lived to flesh out a complete history of the Church of Cyprus.

Much of the book is devoted to Englezakis's significant work on St. Neophytos the Recluse (1134-c. 1220), perhaps the most important Cypriot source for the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. …