Meletij Smotryc'kyj was one of the outstanding figures in the great
flourishing of Orthodox spirituality that occurred in the late 16th
and early 17th century in response to the challenge posed first by
Polish heterodox religious movements, and later by the Polish
Counter-Reformation. His biography reflects the tensions and
contradictions that characterized his "nation"--the Ruthenians, the
Orthodox Christians of the Polish--Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Ruthenian patriots were torn between various allegiances to nation,
church, and traditions. Thus, in Smotryckyj's life we witness one
of the later acts in the drama of the European Age of Reform, all
the more important because for the first time the Reformation and
Counter-Reformation came into direct daily contact with the
Byzantine world of Orthodox Slavdom.
Professor Frick's biography--the first major English--language
work on Smotryc'kyj--examines the ways in which established
cultures were altered by cross-cultural understandings and
misunderstandings, resulting from the confrontation and mutual
adaptation of two or more diverse cultures. This study, which has
affinities with the "microhistorical approach," seeks to
reconstruct details in the lives of individuals and pays special
attention to the ways in which individual world views conflicted
with each other and with various higher authorities. "Meletij
Smotryc'kyj" will be of interest to scholars and students of
Ukraine, Belarus, Poland-Lithuania, and those researching the
history of the Uniate, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic Churches in
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