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Joseph of Volokalamsk (1439–1515)

  1. Archimandrite Jonah Paffhausen

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0739

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Paffhausen, A. J. 2011. Joseph of Volokalamsk (1439–1515). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Saint Joseph of Volokalamsk, or Iosif Volotsky, sometimes called “the Father of Medieval Russia,” was an influential figure in early Russian theology and ecclesiology. He was born into a wealthy family of votchinnik, large estate owners with legal rights over their populations, who owned a village in Volokalamsk Principality. Joseph was tonsured as a monk at Borovsk Monastery in 1459, where he attempted to introduce stricter monastic discipline. Failing in this, and disappointed with the laxity at several other monasteries, he went on in 1459 to found the important Volokalamsk Monastery near Moscow, and established a charter emphasizing stringent obedience to the abbot and strict observance of monastic rules.


  • Joseph of Volokalamsk (1439–1515);
  • Borovsk Monastery;
  • Volokalamsk Monastery, Moscow;
  • “judaizer” heresy;
  • trinity and incarnation