Slavonic Apocrypha


Despite its “Slavonic Apocrypha” name, this research unit is intentionally broad in scope and provides a forum in which both biblical scholars and Slavists can discuss current issues in their fields and exchange ideas. It includes the traditionally understood Slavonic Apocrypha, i.e. translations of Hellenistic pseudepigrapha, as well as a variety of sacred literature in Slavonic and its intertextuality, such as theological discourses, historiographies, hagiographies, liturgical texts, and folk tales that are intertwined with biblical texts in both manuscripts and religious practices. Lexicographical works and linguistic analysis of Slavonic manuscripts are central research fields in this forum. We also welcome contributions from scholars of other academic fields that discuss these topics.

Slavonic Apocrypha are studied as biblical reception history. Because the mechanism of intertextuality in Slavic religious literature was more powerful and longstanding than the assessment of marginality and the differentiation of the texts according to canonical/noncanonical, our forum aims to contribute to the ongoing search for a comprehensive term for apocalyptic, pseudepigraphical, and apocryphal literature. This unit addresses the pressing need for a platform where European scholars of “Slavonic Apocrypha” and their international colleagues can express their concerns, discuss solutions, and set mutual goals. It promotes the publication of critical editions of “Slavonic Apocrypha” and discusses the concerns over the digitization project of Slavonic manuscripts. While the name “Slavonic Apocrypha” is inadequate for this corpus of literature, we will wait and allow the scholarly consensus in the field to lead us to a better one.


Slavonic, Manuscript, Bible, Interpretation, Canon, Apocrypha, Reception


Ljubica Jovanovic
American Public University System

Basil Lourié
Journal of Patrology and Critical Hagiography, Sociological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Member Area

Toulouse 2022 Call for Papers

We accept papers on all topics connected to Slavonic Apocrypha, as defined in our program. Importantly, we have already accepted papers for Toulouse conference from the previous Wuppertal conference 2020/2021 whose authors were unable to present them.  Because our 2022 meeting is in Toulouse, France, the one of the significant medieval place where the different movements developed over centuries we welcome any paper with Thomas Aquinas in regard to his idea of systematization and summaries, as well as on the sectarian voices of Cathari in regard to their relationship to Manichean dualism. 


We welcome interdisciplinary approach and encourage the use of different methodologies in order to uncover the literary and cultural context of Slavonic and related texts, as well as their accessibility to scholars in regard to the manuscripts’ condition. The topics may range from lexicographic issues, linguistically oriented textual investigation, to literary analysis as well as their reception whose remains are preserved in the written, visual, architectural or musical development of particular texts.


Finally, we call for papers that deal with current directions in the research as well as the new and changing biblical scholarship paradigms regarding Slavonic texts. For example, what does the study of biblical scholarship and Slavonic library say about the particular Slavic sense of Christianity? Papers that present surveys of scholarship or careful analysis of significant essays or seminal books on Slavonic Apocrypha are also welcome and, also those, that present the crossroads between scholarship on Slavonic library in its ecclesiastical milieu and political perspectives of 21st century. 


All the presenters will have the opportunity to publish the full paper after the peer reviewed assessment in Scrinium or Scripta& E-Scripta


Past History and Goals

Slavonic Apocrypha has convened to meet the necessity for interdisciplinary studies conducted by the scholars of the Religion and the Slavic studies. We intend to overcome the existing gap in the modern research of religious texts produced in Slavonic language and their embodiment within Slavic cultures. Our goal is to make the Slavic Bible accessible to wider audience through examination of neglected sources by using the sound methods of interpretation. Through the joint efforts of Biblical and Slavic scholars worldwide we illuminate the development of Biblical narrative and emphasize its national and international cultural significance through the close analyses of texts and reexamination of the historical controversies. Moreover, at each EABS meeting we adapt the themes so that we recognize the past and present academic contribution to the field by our hosts. Finally, we trace our academic progress through the publications and additional meetings.


The papers from 2019 conference in Warsaw and 2020 meeting in Wuppertal are planned to appear ScriniumJournal of Patrology and Critical Hagiography

A number of papers from the joint meeting with ISBL in Helsinki 2019 were published in Scripta & e-Scripta 19 (2019)

The selected papers of the conferences in Leuven (2016) and Berlin (2017) were published as “Religion, Philology, and Slavic Cultures: Slavonic Apocrypha” in ScriniumJournal of Patrology and Critical Hagiography, 14 (2018) 195-368

Past Meetings 

Warsaw 2019 

At the meeting in Warsaw we discussed the current issues on Slavonic Apocrypha and their relationship with the Bible in the contemporary context and opened the conversation about Old Church Slavonic texts in the interpretation of Polish scholars. Because the National Library in Warsaw houses one of the oldest South Slavonic manuscript, the Codex Suprasliensis, we created a special session, “In Poland: Apocrypha and Codex Suprasliensis.” The latest academic attempts in studying the importance of the concept of light in Slavic Christian tradition were addressed in the session, “Calendars, Apocalypses, and Astronomy.”

Dorota Rojszczak Robinska, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań: Book of Psalms as the source of the Old Polish Apocrypha of the New Testament

Liudmila Navtanovich, Universitat Autónoma De Barcelona: About the Sun's Faces in the Short Recension of 2 Enoch

Sladana Mirkovic, University of South Florida: Could the Biblical Studies Save the Slavonic Apocrypha?

Vadim Vitkovskiy, Humboldt University Berlin” 711 and 760 of National Library of Serbia in the Textual History of Third Baruch

Anissava Miltenova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: South Slavonic Interpolations in the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius

Ivan Iliev, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski: The ‘Kingdom of the Antichrist’ in a Compilation of Bible Quotes 

Ljubica Jovanovic, American Public University System. The Figure of Joseph in the South Slavonic “Homily about Fasting, and Joseph, and the Priest, and the Prophet David.”

Alexander Grishchenko, Moscow State Pedagogical University: The Apocryphal Table of Contents in the Edited Slavonic-Russian Pentateuch from the 15th Century

Ekaterina Dimitrova Todorova, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridsky: Between Apocrypha and The Holy Bible: Saint Pantaleon' Martyr from 17th Century

Lilly Emilova Stammler, The Institute for Literature, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: The Erotapokriseis from The Life of Andrew the Fool in the Byzantine and Medieval Bulgarian Literary Tradition

Helsinki 2018

The joint meeting of European Association of Biblical Studies (EABS) and International Society of Biblical Literature (ISBL) allowed  our EABS session “Slavonic Apocrypha” to hold a session together with the ISBL program units “Rethinking Biblical Written Tradition through Slavonic Interpretations, ”  “Apocalyptic literature,” and “Hellenistic Judaism.”  We chose the theme “Research on Apocalyptic, Apocryphal, and Second Temple Literature in Nordic, Baltic, and North Slavic Lands” because we wanted to recognize the importance of the scholars of Finland in the field on the on Dead Sea Scrolls. 

The goal of our unit for this meeting was to reevaluate the Slavonic Apocrypha in a contemporary light through the exploration of the history of North Slavonic, Nordic and Baltic interpretative traditions in regard of the biblical and related manuscripts. 

Ivan Biliarsky, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences/Institute of History: The Testament of Abraham in a Juridical manuscript of XVI Century

Ivan I. Iliev, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski: The Old Church Slavonic Translations of the Book of the Prophet Daniel: How Many are they and how they functioned?

Milan Kostresevic, Universität Bern - Université de Berne: TheLinguistic Analysis of the Names and Toponyms in the Slavic Apocalypse of Abraham 

Basil Lourié, Scrinium. Review of the Patrology, Critical: A Jewish-Christian Exegesis in the Slavonic Text on the Perdition of the Higher Intellect 

Anissava Miltenova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: South Slavonic Apocryphal Collections

Maria Vitkovskaya, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Humboldt University of Berlin: Rewriting Methods in the Palaea Historica and in the Slavic Cycle of Abraham

Sladana Mirkovic, University of South Florida: Slavic Studies and Wissenschaftliche Approach to the Bible

Vadim Wittkowsky, Humboldt University Berlin: Literary Criticism and Conservative Orthodoxy: Critics of the Q-Hypothesis in 21st century Denmark and Russia

Berlin 2017

“Slavonic Apocrypha” held a joint session with ISBL units, “Apocalyptic Literature,” “Rethinking Biblical Written Tradition through Slavonic Interpretations,” and “Hellenistic Judaism” on the topic “Slavonic Translations of the Second Temple Texts.” Our presenters discussed both literary and visual motifs of the medieval Slavic interpretations. A special session was dedicated to the legacy of Cyril and Methodius. 

Keiko Mitani, The University of Tokyo: The Inscription on Solomon’s Chalice in Vita Constantini: An Old Question Revisited 

Ljubica Jovanovic, American Public University System: The Septuagint Event in the Ninth Century Slavic Lands: Which Bible did Cyril and Methodius and their Followers Translate? 

Amber Ivanova, Universiteit Gent: The Apocryphal Origin of the Martyr Act of Saint Thekla in the Medieval Slavonic Tradition 

Basil Lourié, Scrinium. Journal of Patrology and Critical Hagiography, State University of Aerospace Instrumentation, St. Petersburg: Some Pseudepigraphic Prophecies in Slavonic  

Anissava Miltenova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: Symbiosis between Apocryphon and Nomocanon: Apocalypsis Johannis Quarta  

Enrique Santos Marina, Universidad Complutense de Madrid: Prophet Elijah as a Weather God in Church Slavonic Apocryphal Works 

Lyubov Osinkina, University of Oxford: The Representation of Literary Motifs in the Visual Arts (in Connection with the Image of Job)

Leuven 2016

The topics of the presentations were on the current status of the research and the setting of the goals for the future scholarship on Slavonic Apocrypha.  We discussed the scope of our panel and the terminology and decided that we will keep the inadequate but easily recognizable name, “Slavonic Apocrypha,” for the historical Slavic religious literature until we agree on a competent replacement. 

Sladana Mirkovic, University of South Florida: How to Study Slavonic Apocrypha in the 21st Century?

Ljubica Jovanovic, American Public University System: Reception of Biblical Literary Models in the Slavonic Traditions

Anissava Miltenova, Bulgarian Academy of Sceinces: Slavonic Apocrypha: New Discoveries, New Perusals

Basil Lourié, Scrinium. Journal of Patrology and Critical Hagiography, State University of Aerospace Instrumentation, St. Petersburg: Rewritten Bible in the “Museum” Slavonic Translation of the Song of Songs 

Liudmila Navtanovich, Universitat Autónoma De Barcelona: Slavonic Apocrypha: the Main Problems with their Textual History (a Philological Perspective)

Keiko Mitani, The University of Tokyo: The Dream of King Jehoash: Textual Structure and Intertextuality

Martina Chroma, Institute of Slavonic Studies, Czech Academy of Sciences: Slavonic translation of the Apocryphal Questions of Bartholomew

Cornelia Horn, Freie Universitaet Berlin: The Infancy Gospel of James and Its Reception in the Caucasus: Status Quaestionis