Kopystensky, Zakhariia

Image - An edition of Zakhariia Kopystensky's sermon.

Kopystensky, Zakhariia [Kopystens’kyj, Zaxarija], b? in Peremyshl, d 21 March 1627 in Kyiv. (Portrait: Zakhariia Kopystensky.) Outstanding Orthodox theologian, writer, and churchman; nephew of Mykhail Kopystensky. He probably studied at the Lviv Dormition Brotherhood School before traveling throughout the Balkans and moving to Kyiv in 1616, where he joined the Kyiv Epiphany Brotherhood. Fluent in Greek and Latin, in Kyiv he engaged in publishing and writing, especially polemical literature. On 20 November 1624, he became the archimandrite of the Kyivan Cave Monastery. He published several translations of Greek religious books, including the Horologion (1617), Nomokanon ... (Nomocanon ..., 1625), and the works of Saint John Chrysostom. His major work is Palinodiia, ili kniga oborony ... vskhodnei tserkvy ... (A Palinode, or a Book in Defense ... of the Eastern Church ..., 1621). Although this work was only published in 1876, it was widely read in Orthodox circles in manuscript. Palinodiia is a comprehensive exposition of the Orthodox theology of the Kyiv school, written in response to Obrona jedności cerkiewnej (A Defense of Church Unity) by the Uniate (see Uniates) hegumen of Vilnius monastery, L. Krevza. This work not only showed his skill as a polemicist, but also demonstrated his great erudition and knowledge of church history and theology. His sermons on the grave of Yelysei Pletenetsky, his predecessor as archimandrite of the Kyivan Cave Monastery, were published in 1625, and Kniga o vere iedinoi ... (A Book on the True Faith ..., ca 1620) has been attributed to him.

Arkadii Zhukovsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1989).]

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