23–26 November 2013 • Off-Campus • SVS Press News
Over Thanksgiving weekend, SVS Press  Marketing and Operations Manager Dn. Gregory Hatrak traveled to Baltimore, Maryland to exhibit books at the Annual Meeting  of the Atlanta-based American Academy of Religion  (AAR). The AAR is a 9,000-member professional association of teachers and research scholars who work in some 900 colleges, universities, seminaries, and schools in North America and overseas, and SVS Press and the Seminary's faculty and alumni have an annual presence at its main meeting.
The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr, a member of the Academy and dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary, traveled with Dn. Gregory. "It's always a joy to attend and visit with our alumni who have gone on to pursue doctoral work," he commented, and added that many of them now hold university positions. "Furthermore, I am always reminded at this conference, which is indeed the main gathering of those working and studying in the field of religion and theology, of how widely our Press books are used and how greatly they are respected." 
The Academy sponsors many regional conferences and meetings, publications, programs, and membership services, but the Annual Meeting is always its largest event. Over 15,000 people attended this year's gathering in Baltimore. SVS Press hosts a display every year, since the meeting's yearly book exhibition, typically with more than 200 publishers participating, provides an ideal opportunity for the Press to engage with leading scholars within the field of religion.
"It also gives us a chance to meet with our international distributors, and to find out what is going on in the world of theological publishing in general," explained Dn. Gregory.
The AAR hosted the meeting at the Baltimore Convention Center, with publishers setting up shop on the bottom floor while speakers and attendees gathered upstairs, and in Baltimore-area hotels. "The event was huge," noted Dn. Gregory. "Some 27 hotels hosted Annual Meeting-related gatherings. Our SVS Press booth was open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. every day. We offered our books for sale and had many discussions with professors about using our texts for their courses."
This direct contact with teachers from leading universities, colleges, seminaries brings about course adoptions of SVS Press books, said the deacon, with the Popular Patristics Series  leading the way. "Our Letters of St. Ignatius , for instance, has already been chosen by several schools for use in coursework." Other new releases, such as Fr. John's artistic and reflective Becoming Human,  generated a good deal of interest as well.
"Most people attending the AAR's Annual Meeting aren't Orthodox," commented Dn. Gregory afterwards. "It's amazing to discover how many non-denominational Christians are reading the church fathers."