School of Theology and Seminary Graduate Papers/Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Theology (Th.M)


School of Theology and Seminary

First Advisor

Shawn Colberg

Second Advisor

Charles Bobertz

Subject Categories

Christian Denominations and Sects | Christianity | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Cyril Lucaris is primarily remembered as an Eastern Orthodox patriarch who held Calvinist beliefs. A more nuanced view is gained from often ignored facets of his life and times, the extant letters he wrote, and in recognition of various possible interpretations of the existing evidence. This paper, challenging common misconceptions about Lucaris, explores three main areas relevant to this discussion: his biographical influences, his beliefs and their development, and his own intentions and self-understanding of his relationships with Protestants. The result shows a man engaged in a world influenced by Western theological developments from the Reformation, fostering friendships as he thought beneficial, trying to make sense of the Christian faith upon being confronted by questions and categories foreign to Eastern Orthodoxy, and striving to determine what might be harmful accretions and superstitions and what was essential and proper, working toward the betterment of the struggling church that was his charge.



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