A massive treatise by a convert of the 1680s, Adam Zoernikav’s On the Procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father Alone remains the most extensive Eastern Orthodox defence of a core doctrine of their communion (one that, along with claims of Papal primacy, has most sharply divided it from the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches of the West).

Written in Latin and never translated into a modern Western European language, Zoernikav’s work had its first and deepest impact in Russia, where it was translated into Greek (1797) with support from Catherine the Great and later into Russian (1902). It has also had a significant Western reception, through such disparate channels as the influential Orthodox theologian Georges Florovsky and the Anglican deacon William Palmer, a member of the Oxford movement.

This project, funded by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, seeks to draw renewed theological and historical attention to Zoernikav’s life and work and their later reception. Offering English translations of the 18th-century biography of Zoernikav and of a representative portion of On the Procession of the Holy Spirit, it also renders the work itself newly accessible to an international audience.

Key links

For a brief overview of Zoernikav’s life, from his birth at Königsberg (the modern Kaliningrad) in the Duchy of Prussia to his death in Ukraine, where had served as a military engineer to the Cossack hetman, see our Visual Biography of Adam Zoernikav.

On our Resources page, we offer annotated links to modern scholarship, to online (public domain) editions and translations, and to the English translations we have released under a Creative Commons license.