Chibisova Anastasiya

League of Churches: on one unimplemented project of the Patriarchate of Constantinople

Chibisova Anastasiya (2019) "League of Churches: on one unimplemented project of the Patriarchate of Constantinople ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2019, vol. 87, pp. 51-71 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII201987.51-71


This paper is devoted to the League of Churches, a unique integration project of the Constantinople Patriarchate which had been actively developed since 1919. The League of Churches is an organisation modelled on the League of Nations. In the early 1920s it was incorporated into the context of the actively developing idea of Constantinople as the “pivot of the world’s Orthodoxy” and was also a result of the post-war pacifi sm. In Russian historiography, scholars who encounter the phenomenon of the League of Churches usually confi ne themselves to only one document, i.e. the Encyclical of the Patriarch of Constantinople dated January 1920. The aim of this article is to introduce new sources on this topic and to attract scholarly attention to it. It draws on the analysis of foreign materials that were little used by Russian scholars before and examines the League of Churches in two perspectives, namely as a supranational ecclesiopolitical organisation supposed to provide a spiritual foundation for the implementation of the Greek “Great Idea” in Asia Minor, and, secondly, as a purely ecclesiastical project of an international organisation for establishing a dialogue between Christian denominations. The conclusion of the article is that the League of Churches came to be most viable just as an ecumenical project, in the fi rst hand designed to forge links of the Constantinople Patriarchate with international community, with the help of which Phanar was planning to survive in conditions of strong pressure from the authorities of Republican Turkey on the Orthodox church.


Patriarchate of Constantinople, League of Churches, League of Nations, Phanar, integration, Ecumenism, Megali Idea, Paris Peace Conference, Encyclical of 1920, koinonia, Faith and Order, Life and Work, Episcopal Church of the United States


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Information about the author

Chibisova Anastasiya

Student status: Graduate student;
Place of study: Lomonosov Moscow State University; 27/4 Lomonosovskii Prospect, Moscow 119192, Russian Federation;
ORCID: 0000-0003-3698-5836;
Email: aachibisova@mail.ru.