Roman or Byzantine Liturgy? Theological terminology in the Vita Methodii


The paper shows, that the question which liturgy has been celebrated by Methodius in Moravia, could well be the very point of conflict between the Slavic apostles and the Western clergy. After an outline of differences between Byzantine and Roman liturgical thinking and their resp. political implications the introduction to the Life of Methodius and the letter of Pope Adrian II are analysed and variant readings of the Old Church Slavonic text are proposed. It is concluded that Methodius had been allowed to celebrate according to Roman rite (maybe a sort of Missa Graeca), while the introduction to Methodius's Life affirms his Byzantine orthodoxy. Various points suggest, that the Slavic missionaries did not meet resistance on the level of the "master narrative" of an East-West conflict, but on the local level the Western clergy had reason not to agree with implementing Byzantine into Western areas.

Thomas Daiber (Giessen, Germany)