Professor Veselin Kesich Gives His “View from 90” as He Celebrates Birthday
Many graduates of St. Vladimir's fondly remember Dr. Veselin Kesich, not only as a fellow alumnus but also as professor emeritus of New Testament at the seminary, who taught at our school from 1953–1991. Professor Kesich celebrated his 90th birthday recently, having been born March 12, 1921. His son Gregory, a newspaper reporter, wrote a touching tribute to him in The Portland Press Herald, titled "The View from 90 Includes More Than a Few Surprises." The newspaper piece attests to Professor's unflagging and deep concern for people—all people (even Lindsay Lohan!)—and his equal concern that they minister to each other and to their communities.
Fellow alumni who had the privilege of studying under Professor Kesich may remember his underlying intimation that the Holy Scriptures have the ability to vivify lives, contemporary lives, which may seem on the surface far removed from biblical writings. He steeped his students in the New Testament, so that they might discern its truth and power amidst cultural influences that either coincided with it, or diverted from it. Professor Kesich was apt to have students compare the Gospel of John with The Bhagavad Gita, or to write a critique of the film "Jesus of Nazareth,"or to draw to their attention the Christian virtues he found in the characters in the popular film "Rocky." To sharpen the discernment of his students, he demanded memorization of New Testament passages and in-depth elucidation of texts.
Professor Kesich is a 1953 graduate of St. Vladimir's Seminary and holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University. He has authored several SVS Press books, including The Passion of Christ (1965); The Treasures of the Holy Land (with his wife Lydia, 1985); The First Day of the New Creation (1982); The Gospel Image of Christ (1991); and Formation and Struggles: The Birth of the Church AD 33–200 (2007), as part of the press's The Church in History series. His works have been translated into several languages.
During the momentous occasion of Dr. Kesich's 90th year, we're calling upon former students of his to send him a congratulatory note or belated birthday message. You may write to Professor Kesich at: 15 Piper Road, Apt. C 301, Scarborough, Maine 04074.
View other Alumni News here, most recently the story of Dn. Nicholas Denysenko's appointment as Director of the Huffington Ecumenical Institute.