St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press (SVS Press) announces the release of two new books, both by episcopal members of our Board of Trustees: His Beatitude The Most Blessed Jonah (Paffhausen), archbishop of Washington and metropolitan of All America and Canada of the Orthodox Church in America; and His Eminence The Most Rev. Hilarion (Alfeyev) archbishop of Volokolamsk and chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Reflections on a Spiritual Journey —a collection of essays and addresses by Metropolitan Jonah— provides a glimpse into His Beatitude’s spiritual formation and thinking. The book, which contains not only a lengthy biography of the author but also a Foreword by The Right Rev. Benjamin, bishop of San Francisco and the West, is divided into two main sections.
Part One, “The Spiritual Life,” contains the author’s reflections on forgiveness and reconciliation; becoming and purifying the true self; the connection between shame and the passions; and human personhood and the value of suffering. Part Two, “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church,” conveys the author’s vision regarding the identity and mission of the Orthodox Church in America as well as his perspectives on episcopacy, primacy, and the mother churches.
The volume is the first in the press’s new Orthodox Profiles series, which acquaints readers on an intimate level with Orthodox figures who have shaped the direction of the Orthodox Church in areas of mission, ascetical and liturgical theology, scholarly and pastoral endeavors, and various other professional disciplines. Archpriest Chad Hatfield, Chancellor/CEO of the seminary, is the Series Editor.
The Mystery of Faith: An Introduction to the Teaching and Spirituality of the Orthodox Church, by Metropolitan Hilarion, was written when His Eminence was a priest, lecturing in dogmatic theology at the Moscow Theological Seminary in 1992. It was published in Russian in 1996, and it was first printed in English by Darton, Longman and Todd, Ltd. in the United Kingdom in 2002. It is, in the words of the author “…neither a systematic exposition of the dogmatic theology of the Orthodox Church, nor a comprehensive analysis of Orthodox spiritual tradition. It is rather a personal commentary by an Orthodox priest on the dogmas of the Orthodox Church as they relate to spiritual life.” A collection of texts, mostly patristic, which illustrate the author’s points, follows each chapter.
Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware), bishop of Diokleia, in his Foreword to the work, writes:
"The Mystery of Faith is written in a generous, holistic spirit. For the author there is no separation between theology and spirituality, between dogma and personal experience, between faith and prayer; all of them form together a single, undivided whole. Bishop Hilarion agrees with the saying of the Desert Fathers that the theologian is the one who prays…The great Metropolitan of Moscow in the nineteenth century, St. Philaret, used to say that the Creed belongs only to those who live it. Such is exactly the spirit in which the present work is written."
Both titles may be ordered through St. Vladimir’s Seminary Bookstore, by clicking here.