The preparations for the Great and Holy Council… in 1976

As noted earlier, preparations are underway to convene a pan-Orthodox synod. Looking into the background of this synod, I’ve seen references to the last big push to try to get something like this going, which occurred in the late 1960s/early 1970s and into the mid-1980s at the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Geneva.

Fun fact: the first “preconciliar” conference started on the very day I was born, 21 November 1976 (Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple on the Revised Julian Calendar).

So, there are nine published volumes of the acts and minutes of these various preparatory meetings. WorldCat doesn’t seem to be able to find any of them.

There also seem to have been things published in the Center’s journal, Episkepsis, but I can’t find that indexed anywhere.

Still, there’s also a collection of “introductory reports” published in 1972, and WorldCat was able to find that. I requested both the Greek and the English version via interlibrary loan.

Anyway, all of this leads me to two questions —

  1. Anybody have a sense off the top of their head how I could track these materials down?
  2. In terms of general scholarly practice, what does one do when one knows particular sources exist, but can’t find them through regular channels?

As a very general musing — how would this kind of research have been done in the days before the Internet?

By the way — my wife has a hatched chicken of her own, and I’m very proud of her. I’m not sure this one can be announced yet, but I’ll go into detail once I know I can. (No, she’s not pregnant.)


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