The Stoglavy Sobor (Russian: Стоглавый Собор) (translated variously as Hundred Chapter Synod, Council of a Hundred Chapters, etc.) was a church council (sobor) held in Moscow in 1551, with the participation of Tsar Ivan IV, Metropolitan Macarius, and representatives of the Boyar Duma. It convened in January and February 1551, with some final sessions as late as May of that year.

The Stoglavy Sobor was called under the government's initiative which aspired to support the church in struggle against anti-feudal heretical movements and simultaneously to subordinate its secular authority.

The Sobor produced a church code named "Соборное Уложение Собора Русской Православной Церкви" (Synodal Code of the Russian Orthodox Church Synod"). It was formatted as a record of questions of the Tsar to the clergy with answers. By the end of the 16th century the text of the Code was formatted into 100 chapters (or "Sto glav" in Russian), and had become commonly referred to as the Stoglav. Accordingly, since these times the Sobor acquired the name "Stoglavy Sobor".[1]

The Stoglavy Sobor proclaimed the inviolability of church properties and the exclusive jurisdiction of church courts over ecclesiastical matters. At the demand of the church hierarchy the government cancelled the tsar's jurisdiction over ecclesiastics. In exchange, members of the Stoglavy Sobor made concessions to the government in a number of other areas (prohibition for monasteries to found new large villages in cities, etc.).

By decisions of the Stoglavy Sobor, church ceremonies and duties in the whole territory of Russia were unified, and norms of church life were regulated with the purpose of increasing the educational and moral level of the clergy to ensure they would correctly fulfill their duties, such as creation of schools for preparation of priests.[2] The church authorities' control over the activities of book writers, icon painters, and others, was firmly established.

During the second half of the 16th centuries The "Stoglav" Council was the basic code of law for the internal life of religious estate and its mutual relations with society and the state (there are many hand-written editions of "Stoglav").[3]

Some resolutions of the Stoglavy Sobor were cancelled by the Moscow Sobor of 1666—1667.[4]


  1. an article about the 455th anniversay of Stoglavy Sobor (Russian)
  2. Jack E. Kollmann, "The Stoglav and Parish Priests," Russian History 7, Nos. 1-2(1980): 65-91.
  3. Jack Kollmann, The Moscow Stoglav ('Hundred Chapters') Church Council of 1551 (Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1978).
  4. Church Court in the Resolutions of the Stoglavy Sobor (Russian)

ru:Стоглавый собор uk:Стоглавий собор

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