Joseph Gill (Byzantinist)

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Joseph Gill ( September 8, 1901 , † October 15, 1989 ) was a British Jesuit , theologian , church historian and Byzantinist .


Joseph Gill graduated from the Jesuit-run Leeds Catholic College. In 1918 he entered the Society of Jesus. From 1920 he devoted himself to improving knowledge of ancient Greek , and he enrolled at London University . From 1923 to 1926 he completed the three-year Jesuit philosophy course, with the third year being spent at the Gregoriana in Rome. He graduated with a Ph. D. from. From 1929 to 1933 he studied theology . In 1934 he was appointed to the Pontifical Oriental Institute . He spent the years up to 1936 in Athens, where he taught himself both the Dimotiki and the Katharevousa variant of Modern Greek . After a short stay at the Oriental Institute, he taught Latin and Greek at a bachelor's level in London from 1936. Back at the Pontifical Oriental Institute, he began teaching the Greek language in 1938. In 1940, however, the superior general sent him to England, where he was supposed to spread news of the persecution of the Catholic Church in National Socialist Germany. A short time later he was active as a chaplain of the Royal Air Force in various theaters of war. In 1946 he was demobilized and returned to the Pontifical Oriental Institute, where he resumed his academic career.

Gill devoted himself to the project initiated by Georg Hofmann of a critical edition of the acts of the Council of Florence , which he published from 1953. He also dealt with issues of the edition in his London dissertation from 1948. His story of the Council of Florence, which he published in 1959, was unexpectedly successful. Further research covered various aspects of the council and found expression in about thirty articles and two monographs. In Rome, Gill taught Byzantine church history and Anglican theology. He also taught in England. From 1948 he was secretary and from 1962 to 1967 rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute. At times he was editor of the Orientalia Christiana Periodica . In 1967 he handed over his duties to a younger colleague and took a sabbatical in Southern Rhodesia , where he also taught.

From 1969 to 1980, Gill became a member of Campion Hall , a permanent private hall at the University of Oxford , and taught at the Faculty of Modern History. Here he mainly devoted himself to the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the Church in the Byzantine Empire . He also published a monograph on this subject.

In 1980 he retired from Harborne, Birmingham , teaching Greek to novices .

Fonts (selection)

  • La Chiesa anglicana (= Le religioni dell'umanità. Vol. 20). Is. Ed. Galileo, Milano 1948.
  • (Ed.) Quae supersunt actorum Graecorum Concilii Florentini, necnon descriptionis cuiusdam eiusdem (= Documenta et scriptores. Vol. 5). 3 parts. Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome 1953/1953/1964.
  • The council of Florence. University Press, Cambridge 1959.
  • Eugenius IV. Pope of Christian Union (= The popes through history. Vol. 1). Burns & Oates, London 1961.
  • Personalities of the council of Florence and other essays. Blackwell, Oxford 1964.
  • (Ed.) Orationes Georgii Scholarii in concilio Florentino habitae (= Documenta et scriptores. Vol. 8,1). Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome 1964.
  • Constance et Bâle-Florence (= Histoire des conciles oecuméniques. Vol. 9). Ed. de l'Orante, Paris 1965.
    • Constance and Basel-Florence (= history of the ecumenical councils. Vol. 9). Translated from the French by Karlhermann Bergner . Grünewald, Mainz 1967.
  • Byzantium and the papacy 1198-1400. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick 1979.
  • Church union. Rome and Byzantium (1204-1453). Variorum Reprints, London 1979 (collection of articles).


  • John F. Haldon, John TA Koumoulides (Eds.): Perspectives in Byzantine history and culture. Dedicated to Father Dr. Joseph Gill, SJ Hakkert, Amsterdam 1985.
  • Charles Fitzsimons: Décès. In: Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique. 84: 849 (1989).
  • Joseph A. Munitiz: Joseph Gill SJ (8 IX 1901-15 X 1989). In: Orientalia Christiana Periodica. 57: 5-10 (1991).

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