On Christian Leadership: New book reveals Florovsky/Schmemann correspondence in English for the first time

22 May 2020 • Yonkers, NY

Fathers Georges Florovsky and Alexander Schmemann were the Orthodox theologians par excellence of their generation. Now, On Christian Leadership, one of the most highly anticipated book releases this year from Saint Vladimir’s Seminary (SVS) Press, translates their correspondence into English for the first time. This important work provides a unique window into their theological visions, leadership styles, and interactions with their contemporaries.

The correspondence also reveals a deeply poignant and profound friendship at a time when Florovsky had recently moved to the US to lead and organize the fledgling St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York, while Schmemann was still teaching at the St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris. The letters show their subsequent collaboration at St. Vladimir’s Seminary until their tragic rift in 1955. 

“Paul Gavrilyuk knows how to tell a story,” said Very Rev. Dr Chad Hatfield, president of St. Vladimir’s Seminary. “With the publication of On Christian Leadership: The Letters of Alexander Schmemann and Georges Florovsky (1947-1955), this church historian has not only given us the long-awaited publication of the letters between two of the most influential Orthodox Christian leaders of the last century but he tells the story in a captivating manner, through translation and editorial background, that elevates this book to a place of high standing. Through these pages the reader will gain fresh insights and corrections that shed new light onto a story that is worth telling and revisiting anew.”

Reminiscent of the style of Schmemann’s journals, the letters lay out the challenges of leadership with brutal honesty and good humor, bearing an eloquent testimony to their authors’ dedication to launching a new era of theological education.

About the Author
PAUL L. GAVRILYUKis an Orthodox historian and theologian and the Aquinas Chair in Theology and Philosophy at the University of St. Thomas (St Paul, MN). His publications include Georges Florovsky and the Russian Religious Renaissance (Oxford, 2013), and the present correspondence in Russian (Moscow, 2019). 

About SVS Press

St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press is the largest publisher of Orthodox Christian books in the English languagehousing over 500 titles. Our mission is to partner with reputable authors and translators worldwide in order produce and distribute rich theological texts that preserve the Orthodox faith, tradition and history, while also fostering a platform for new theological and academic works of excellence. Our team is committed to building and maintaining a catalog of work covering a variety of topics, not limited to the following: theology, history, ecclesiology,  ecumenism, hagiography, iconography, spirituality, scriptural studies, music, pastoral theology, Christian education, philosophy, biographies, and patristics. SVS Press is one of few seminary presses that make a profit. 100% of our book sales supports St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and its mission to train Orthodox priests and future church leaders.