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« on: April 03, 2003, 12:07:29 PM »

I just received the 2003 St. Vladimir's Seminary Press catalog.  The layout is very nice - you can tell they have a very talented graphic designer on staff.  No covers on the website or I would have pasted them in this thread.

Here are the new books for 2003:

Abba: The Tradition of Orthodoxy in the West; a Festschrift for Bishop KALLISTOS Ware  ISBN 0-88141-248-1 376pp US$18.95 Available April 1, 2003

"This Festshrift honors the retirement of Bishop Kallistos Ware from thirty-five years of university teaching.  Written by those who have either been associated with him or have been taught by him, it celebrates his joyful heart, which radiates a spirituality of one who has found his monastic "desert" among the "dreaming spires" of academia, and his "cell" in the university lecture room."  

Facing the World; Orthodox Christian Essays on Global Concerns by Archbishop ANASTASIOS Yannoulatos ISBN 0-88141-246-5 216pp US$15.95 Available June 1, 2003

"The process of globalization, currently in progress, carries with it a variety of economic and cultural implications and evokes either euphoria or alarm: some view globalization as an unmistakable unquestionable threat.  The fact remains that the accelerated development of economic, scientific, political, and social links among all the peoples of the world have turned our planet into a megalopolis with a large number of slums.  In this work, Archbishop ANASTASIOS presents his conviction that the ecumenical vision of the Orthodox Church is the "best response" to the forming global conditions.

Although universality constitutes a basic component of Orthodoxy, theological and ecclesiastical circles often overlook this fact.  In Orthodox tradition, everything is understood in a universal context, from the creation of the world to the vision of the new heaven and new earth.  The human enterprise as a whole and the salvation of the entire world remain the fundamental themes of Holy Scripture.  This work invites us to broaden our field of vision and encompass the whole earth."

Three Treatises on the Divine Images St. John of Damascus, translation and introduction by Andrew Louth  ISBN 0-88141-245-7 164pp US$11.95 Available May 15, 2003

"In AD 726 the Byzantine empreror ordered the destruction of all icons, or religious images, throughout the empire.  Thus was inaugurated a period in which icons were subject to an imperial ban that was to last, with a brief remission, until 843.  Only then was iconoclasm finally rejected as imperial policy and the restoration of the veneration of icons - hailed as the "Triumph of Orthodoxy" - became an annual ceremony celebrated in the Orthodox Church on the First Sunday of Great Lent.

Among the defenders of icons, the most distinguished was St. John of Damascus.  John wrote three treatises against "those who attack the holy images" or it might be more accurate to say that he wrote against the iconoclasts three times, for the three treatises are not at all independant.  In these essays, John distinguishes the difference betweeen the veneration of icons, which is a matter of expressing honor, and idolatry, which is offending worship to something other than God."

The Epistle to the Hebrews - A Commentary Archbishop DMITRI (Royster), forward by Fr. Paul Lazor  ISBN 0-88141-247-3 254pp US$14.95 Available May 1, 2003

"...Illuminating and instructive for anyone seeking an understanding of the Epistle to the Hebrews from the perspective of the Orthodox Church ... with frequent mention of the specific placement of selected readings from the Epistle in the Church's liturgical and sacramental celebrations, the Commentary is particularly useful for those responsible for preaching and teaching in the Church.  Noteworthy here is the fact that readings from Hebrews are prescribed during the two most important in the Orthodox liturgical year: the days prior to the celebration of the Nativity of Christ, and the Great Fast before the Feast of Feasts, Pascha.

The author's exposition of Hebrews 3:13 summarizes well the purpose and pastoral tone of the whole Commentary... "But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin":

'What the Apostle says to his brethren can be said to us and to our generation in these terms: when we see a brother or a sister beginning to weaken or lose interest, we must come to his rescue.  We, for our part, must never let laziness and lack of enthusiasm for Christ and His way take hold of us.  Our own example of dedication cannot but be contagious in the community.  This is to be maintained daily, 'while it is called To day.' 'To day' reminds us of the Lord's command to His disciples to work while it is still day -- as long as one lives and as long as the world lasts (Rom 13:11; II Pet 3:10).  St. Basil the Great says that 'Today means the whole time of our life' and St. Cyril of Jerusalem, explains it as 'continually.''"

God With Us; Critical Issues in Christian Life and Faith Father John Breck  ISBN 0-88141-252-X 288pp US$16.95 Available July 1, 2003

"Theological books often focus on the ascent of the human to the Divine.  This collection of reflections contemplates the Divine descending, acting within, and enlightening our day-to-day lives.  Father John Breck's courageous reflections touch upon a wide and eclectic range of current ethical, biblical, liturgical, and doctrinal matters, as the chapter titles suggest: "Ova for Sale," "Violence against Women," "Fighting Clergy Burnout," "Who Wrote the Books of the Bible?", "Do Icons Really Weep?", and "Nightmares."  Eminent Orthodox ethicist and pastor, Breck ponders questions that arise in our culture and answers them in an engaging style that is fully accessible to the average layperson.  Crisply and succintly, and fully informed by the tradition of the Orthodox Church, Breck addresses the hard, practical issues confronting contemporary Christians: What about abortion rights?  Firearm legislation?  What is the meaning of innocent suffering?  Breck tenderly and compassionately discusses mental illnesses, aging, and the movement of the Holy Spirit in unexpected places at unexpected times."

On the Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ St. Maximus the Confessor, translation and introduction by Paul M. Blowers and Robert Louis Wilken  ISBN 0-88141-249-X  184pp US$13.95 Available June 1, 2003

"The last half of the twentieth century saw the establishment of the reputation of St. Maximus the Confessor as the greatest of all Byzantine theologians, with a wholeness of vision that speaks directly to many of our concerns today.  Until very recently, however, little of his work has been available in english translation, save for some collections of brief reflections arranged in centuries and a few brief treatises, too easily classified as "spirituality."  This volume provides translations from St. Maximus' two main collections of theological reflections - his Ambigua(or Difficulties) and his Questions to Thalassius - plus one of his Christological opuscula, hitherto unavailable in english.  The translations are accompanied by immensely helpful notes, and prefaced by a long, brilliant introduction to the theology of the Confessor.  This is the ideal volume from which to learn at first hand the depth and insight of St. Maximus' cosmic vision and grasp of the complexities of human nature, as he patiently explores the nature and consequences of the renewal of all things in Christ.  Robert Wilken and Paul Blowers have put us all deeply in their debt." -Andrew Louth


Growing in Christ - Shaped in His Image Mother Raphaela (Wilkinson), forward by Frederica Mathewes-Green  ISBN 0-88141-253-8 80pp US$9.95 Available June 15, 2003

A sequel to Living in Christ: Essays on the Christian Life by an Orthodox Nun, this volume continues the practical, insightful, and hard-hitting counsel of the Orthodox abbess of the Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery in Otego, New York.  Obtaining maturity in Christ is a theme that runs throughout the work, and St. Paul's admonition to "...come to the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph 4:13) appropiately describes the tone of the book.  Mother Raphaela assesses and addresses all the failings and spiritual detours that keep us from having the character of our Lord Jesus Christ - everything from false piety to heads swollen with knowledge.  She also emphasizes the molding of character within community, where rough edges and prideful independanceare transfore=med into graciousness and service to the neighbor.  In the process, the reader will discern that the sins she speaks to are none other than those with which she has struggled herself, some admittedly, and some veiled in poetic statements: "How can you rule and govern when you have not experienced being ruled and governed?"  Illustrated with calligraphy by the author herself, these commentaries on monastic community, church, society, and the machinations of the human soul result from careful observation and reflection upon te spiritual and natural realms."

Orthodox Prayer Life - The Interior Way Father Matta El-Maskeen (Matthew the Poor)  ISBN 0-88141-250-3 320pp US$16.95 Available July 15, 2003

"Saints who experience the power of prayer say it gives them wings to fly: wings of elation from being in proximity with Jesus Christ and relief from the burden of a sinful conscience.  Once engulfed in the grace of the Holy Spirit, the person in prayer experiences death to sin, resurrection in the Spirit, and mystical ascension to the Father.  The visible touches the Invisible, and joy wells up in the human heart.

This volume evolved experientially: the fruit of fifty-five years of solitude by a contemporary desert monk besieged by prayer.  Father Matta's prayer life initially was formed under the direction of the sayings of the Russian Fathers, and later expanded under the direction of other Fathers, both Eastern and Western.  He spent whole nights in prayer, reciting one or two passages from these luminaries and begging these saints to enlighten his understanding.

Father Matta discloses: "Whenever physical hunger turned cruel against me, I found gratification in prayer.  Whenever the biting cold of winter was unkind to me, I found my warmth in prayer.  Whenever people were harsh to me (and their harshness was severe indeed) I found my comfort in prayer.  In short, prayer became my food and drink, my outfit and my armor, whether by night or by day."  Desiring to share the lessons he learned, and compelled by the Holy Spirit to do so, he wrote this volume so that he might impart to his reader "a whole course" on the life of prayer."

Letters from the Desert; A Selection of Questions and Responses Barsanuphius and John, translated and introduction by John Chryssavgis  ISBN 0-88141-254-6 216pp US$14.95 Available August 1, 2003

"Two monastic elders - the "Great Old Man" Barsanuphius and the "Other Old Man" John - flourished in the southern region around Gaza in the early part of the sixth century.  Maintaining strict seclusion within their cells, they spoke to others only through letters by way of Abba Seridos, the abbot of the monastic community in Gaza, where these two holy men lived in silence.

The authority of John may be described as more institutional, responding as he does to problems of a practical nature; the authority of Barsanuphius is more inspirational, responding to principles of a spiritual nature.  Thus, they complemented each other and together they maintained a harmonious "authority-in-charity."  Rather than the Western emphasis on discipline, these two elders retained an emphasis on discernment, thus preserving the flexibility and fluidity of the Egyptian desert lifestyles (from whence Barsanuphius had been formed).  Nevertheless, both men were highly educated and displayed a fine intellect, as is reflected in their writings.

In the East, one sought out an elder, an Old Man (a geron in Greek or an abba, the Coptic word) as a spiritual director, and this was the chief role of monastic community to the surrounding community.  These letters of the two Old Men were written to hermits, to monks in the community, to those in the choir, to priests, and to lay persons.  Some were intended for advanced instruction, while others were intended for novices - according to the capacity of the inquirer.  So one must not perceive as a general rule words spoken to souls of different spiritual levels.  Still, these questions and answers evoke the image of the Christian tradition being passed from elder to disciple, and the contemporary reader will be able to appreciate the method - and possibly be inspired to imitate the message.

The Compassion of the Father Fr. Boris Bobrinskoy, translated by Anthony P. Gythiel introduction by Maxime Egger  ISBN 0-88141-251-1 176pp US$13.95 Available July 15, 2003

"Facing the suffering and the misery of the world, where may one find the strength to offer sympathy, support, and discernment?  How may one descend into the hell of the human heart without despairing?  In this work, the priest Boris Bobrinskoy shows how by spiritual union to the life of Christ, we can be clothed with the Holy Spirit and filled with the infinite mercy of the Father, who far from pleasing Himself in a blessed transcendance, suffers with humanity.

This way of purification triumphs over all the deadly forces of division, darkness, and hate that dwell in the heart - a universe vaster than any other universe.  The invocation of the Name, the asceticism of the body, and the baptism of the intellect constitute this long and difficult way of conversion and of cure: of unification with God, others, and even oneself.

From his long experience as a priest and a theologian, the author reveals the Trinitarian love guiding the living tradition of the Church - a river of revelation and faith that has its foundation in the Scriptures and that transmits itself from heart to heart, as from a spiritual father to his children.  Existential and paradoxical, his meditation explores the subtle and deep links between hesychasm and the Eucharist, solitary prayer and intercession for the world, the spiritual life and theological reflection, and fidelity to tradition and creative liberty.  By listening to the Word of the Spirit, Father Boris always returns to that same silence of the Father, whose mercy is the eternal source of authentic love and true unity."

Good and Faithful Servant; Stewardship in the Orthodox Church edited by Fr. Anthony Scott  ISBN 0-88141-255-4 208pp US$15.95 Available September 1, 2003

"Drawing on scriptual, patristic, historical, dogmatic, and liturgical foundations, this pioneering volume endeavors to develop an Orthodox Christian model of stewardship.  Renowned contributing authors explore the links between wealth and poverty; the relationship between ecclesial authority and parish management; voluntary impoverishment and detachment; individual and social philanthropy; the shifting affiliations between church and state and the consequent effects upon Christian attitudes toward property and money; hidden intentions related to charitable acts; sacrificial giving and tithing; the accountability of stewards; moral and social themes related to money management; almsgiving and acts of mercy; and the eucharistic impetus behind benevolent acts.

Contributors include:

Hilarion Alfeyev, John Barnet, Demetrios J. Constantelos, John Chryssavgis, John. H. Erickson, Stanley Samuel Harakas, Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Thomas Hopko, Paul Meyendorff, Michael Prokurat, Jaroslav Pelikan, and Anthony Scott."
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2003, 01:42:16 PM »

Thank you for posting this.  

Facing the World; Orthodox Christian Essays on Global Concerns by Archbishop ANASTASIOS Yannoulatos ISBN 0-88141-246-5 216pp US$15.95 Available June 1, 2003

"The process of globalization, currently in progress, carries with it a variety of economic and cultural implications and evokes either euphoria or alarm: some view globalization as an unmistakable unquestionable threat.  The fact remains that the accelerated development of economic, scientific, political, and social links among all the peoples of the world have turned our planet into a megalopolis with a large number of slums.  In this work, Archbishop ANASTASIOS presents his conviction that the ecumenical vision of the Orthodox Church is the "best response" to the forming global conditions.

Although universality constitutes a basic component of Orthodoxy, theological and ecclesiastical circles often overlook this fact.  In Orthodox tradition, everything is understood in a universal context, from the creation of the world to the vision of the new heaven and new earth.  The human enterprise as a whole and the salvation of the entire world remain the fundamental themes of Holy Scripture.  This work invites us to broaden our field of vision and encompass the whole earth."


The folks at ROCOR are going to have fun with this one. I am very curious to see  reviews of this book.

Abba: The Tradition of Orthodoxy in the West; a Festschrift for Bishop KALLISTOS Ware  ISBN 0-88141-248-1 376pp US$18.95 Available April 1, 2003

"This Festshrift honors the retirement of Bishop Kallistos Ware from thirty-five years of university teaching.  Written by those who have either been associated with him or have been taught by him, it celebrates his joyful heart, which radiates a spirituality of one who has found his monastic "desert" among the "dreaming spires" of academia, and his "cell" in the university lecture room."  


Perhaps this is the reason why he is going soft on many teachings of the church. Too many years in academia will do that. Having your 'cell' in the university lecture hall in this day and age cannot be good, especially for Orthodox doctrine. All of the great spiritual fathers have never attended a university.  Frankly, this book description is a joke. Come on, a 'desert' in academia? This whole notion the acedemy is new to Orthodoxy.  Academic discussions on faith tend to sterilize the whole issue and leave religion to bland and boring.
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2003, 12:26:29 AM »

"Academic discussions on faith tend to sterilize the whole issue and leave religion to bland and boring."

I couldn't disagree more.  Being in the seminary and studying religion in an "academic" setting (we of course have regular chapel attendence and spiritual retreats) has envigorated my faith.  Of course a seminary is not a university but even when I took Christianity classes at a secular university I found it to be envigorating as well.

Bp Kallistos is a faithful Orthodox Christian and he knows his stuff--both intellectually and noetically.  I can't imagine know how hard it must be for him to present Orthodoxy in the context of the liberal modern-day Anglican Church?  The fact that he has held his ground so well is amazing to me, and a sign of his piety.

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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2003, 01:53:15 AM »

Is the +Archbishop Anastasios mentioned above the same +Archbishop Anastasios who is Archbishop of Tirana, Durres and All Albania and the renowned Orthodox missiologist?

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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2003, 02:48:51 PM »

Yes, the same Anastasios of Albania.

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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2003, 02:51:29 PM »

Has anyone ever read the books of Father Matthew the Poor?  I wanted to see if anyone had an opinion on his books, I want to pick up one or two of them.
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2003, 08:18:24 PM »

Has anyone ever read the books of Father Matthew the Poor?  I wanted to see if anyone had an opinion on his books, I want to pick up one or two of them.  

I read one of his books published by SVS Press some years ago, Mor, and I was very deeply affected by it.  If Father Matthew is consonant with the rest of Coptic Christianity, then I can find nothing in him which is different from Eastern Orthodoxy.  I would not hesitate to recommend one of his books.

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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2003, 08:55:01 PM »

All of the great spiritual fathers have never attended a university.

Dear sinjinsmythe,

I am very sorry you feel this way.  Perhaps if you gently look at the lives of such as St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil the Great you will come to another conclusion, either about them or the statement above.  Their lives can be found at www.newadvent.org (I know it is Catholic but the sources for the vita seem to be the standards).  

Of course, you may say that the "university" of today is vastly different from the "schools" of then.  And you would be right.  I would also be right to say that the world has changed and the schools of those days are the universities of today.  

What is your alternative to systematic learning and education?  Is it private interpretation of the scriptures?  Private prompting of the Holy Spirit?  It seems that such an approach gave us the almost infinite number of Protestant groups we now have.

While you may criticize His Grace KALLISTOS, what is better for all to retreat to monasteries and not have any contact with the world?  Wait for the world to come to church?  What happened to (paraphrased) "Go teach...."? (Mat 28:19ff; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47)

Tony

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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2003, 11:40:09 PM »

Quote
What is your alternative to systematic learning and education?  Is it private interpretation of the scriptures?  Private prompting of the Holy Spirit?  It seems that such an approach gave us the almost infinite number of Protestant groups we now have.


I am not against systematic learning and education. I think it is good. I have nothing against the seminary system.  My problem with universities of today, is that they are full of political correctness and moral relativism. They are in many ways hostile to the truth proclaimed by the church. I did not agree with that description of Ware's book. I felt it was a little over the top.

Quote
While you may criticize His Grace KALLISTOS, what is better for all to retreat to monasteries and not have any contact with the world?  Wait for the world to come to church?  What happened to (paraphrased) "Go teach...."? (Mat 28:19ff; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47)

No, I did not suggest that at all. I do not like the fact that Bishop Kallistos has gotten soft on some things in his old age, such  as being open to the idea of the ordination of women.
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