Odessa I. I. Mechnikov National University
Ivan Franko National University of Lviv
Stephan Lobachevsky was born on October 28, 1873 (Julian date) in the Vilshanka
(Olshanka) village of the Elisavetgrad district (currently the village in
Kirovohrad oblast) in the family of the Kherson eparchial archpriest Volodymyr
The future historian had got his education at the Odesa seminary. During
1894–1898, he studied at the Kyiv Theological Academy and received the candidate
degree. On September, 26 the bishop of Katerynoslav consecrated
Lobachevsky as a priest.
Since 1901, the father Stephan held the cathedra of catechesis at the 2nd Odesa
boys’ gymnasium. Since 1906, he was a board member of the Odessa seminary
administration, an acting member of Cherson consistory, the fourth priest
at the Odessa Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour (Spaso-Preobrazhenskyi)
and the catechist at the Maria Gymnasium for girls.
In 1907, the Kyiv Theological Academy council gave him a master of theology
degree for a successful defense of dissertation which was his only valuable
historical work. He also explored the issue of the religious indifferentism in his
Since 1921, Stephan Lobachevsky was supervised by the Cheka, then by the
local GPU. The known criminal cases took place in 1921, 1922, and 1927.
Lobachevsky transferred from Odessa Savior-Transfiguration cathedral to the
Intercession (Pokrovska) church, and later to the Dormition (Uspenska) church.
The final impact on Lobachevsky was made by the repressions against the
church at the early 1930s. The Special Council of the OGPU on November 3,
1931, banned him to Kazakhstan for three years. The place and the year of his
death were unknown, though he had already been dead to the time of rehabilitation
Lobachevsky was prominent as the author of fundamental research on the biography
and doctrine of Saint Anthony of Egypt. His research on the Eastern
monasticism founder started with the candidate dissertation at the Kyiv Theological
The dissertation received the high mark. This gave its author the right to present
the same, but upgraded work for a master’s degree. Lobachevsky presented
his text to the Academy council on March 13, 1906. His master’s dissertation had
the title “St. Anthony the Great (his life, writings, and moral selfless doctrine)”.
His defense took place only on May 11, 1907, as witnessed by the Academy council
protocols. Up to this time, it was already published in Odessa in 1906.
Lobachevsky’s monograph consisted of the four parts. In the first one author
presented the significance of Anthony in the history of Christian monasticism.
The second part was dedicated to his detailed biography. Lobachevsky meticulously analyzed the smallest details and argued on discussions in the historiography.
The key part is the third one, where the main results were presented. It was
devoted to the problems of authenticity and authority of the texts considered to
be St. Anthony’s works. The last part contained the moral selfless doctrine of the
Saint. Odessa priest’s investigation was the first comprehensive study of the life
and the worldview of the Egyptian hermit in the Russian empire.
Keywords: Stephan Lobachevskyi, Kyiv Theological Academy, Anthony
the Great, religious indifferentism, early monasticism, the law of God, history
of the Church, the repression against the Church, the Transfiguration Cathedral