Vyshensky, Ivan

views updated


Orthodox monk and polemicist; d. Mt. Athos, after 1621. Originally from Sodova Wyshnia, near Lvov, Vyshensky lived at Lutsk in his youth and had some connection with the Orthodox champion Prince Constantine Ostrogsky. He entered mount athos, c. 1600, where, after passing through several monasteries, he became a solitary in a grotto. He followed the religious controversies in the Ukraine through correspondence with friends and polemical exchanges with the unionists. Early in 1600 he returned to the Ukraine and visited the monk Job Kniahynycky and the confraternity of Lvov, but in 1607 he returned to Mt. Athos. In a letter of 1633 to the confraternity at Lvov, Leontius speaks of Vyshensky as deceased.

Vyshensky defended Orthodoxy frequently and with vehemence in popular, uncouth, but colorful language. The frankness with which he railed against religious and social abuses and against union with Rome did not meet with universal approval among the Orthodox, hence his writings were neglected until discovered by S. Solovev in 1858 and published in part by M. Kostomoriev in 1865.

Sixteen of his works written between 1597 and 1601 are known. His Book for the Alerting of Orthodox Christians is a mélange in 10 chapters, with recommendations for detachment and piety (ch. 1, 3), and open letters against Romanminded unionists and reformers, the Jesuits, and the nobility (ch. 2, 49). His other writings are polemical pieces mainly against Piotr skarga, the political union of Lublin (1569), and the religious union of Brest (1596).

Bibliography: j. mirtshuk, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche ¹ 10:706.

[v. malanczuk]