SVS Press releases new Popular Patristics volume, Bishop Maxim work

11 January 2019 • Yonkers, NY

As 2019 begins,Saint Vladimir’s Seminary (SVS) Press has added two titles to its offerings: The Testament of the Lord and Theology as a Surprise.

The Testament of the Lord becomes the fifty-eighth entry into SVS Press’s widely popular (no pun intended) Popular Patristics Series. The Testament of the Lord is one of several ancient “Church Order” texts. Written in the first four centuries of the Church, they direct Christian conduct and morality, ecclesiastical organization and discipline, and the Church’s worship and liturgical life. Beginning with an apocalyptic section in which the risen Lord himself addresses the reader, The Testament then describes the building of a church, the mode of appointment for clergy and monastics, and the conduct of daily prayers and of other liturgical services.

The text is newly translated by Alistair Stewart from the extant Syriac (with an eye to Ethiopic manuscripts), and the introduction makes the case for a fourth century Cappadocian redactor who gave the work its present shape, though much of its material goes back at least to the third century.

Also new to SVS Press is Theology as a Surprise, written by His Grace Bishop Maxim (Vasiljević), bishop of the Diocese of Western America of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

“This is not a book of theology in the form we have become accustomed to expect: a systematic examination of the usual topics of theological reflection; it is much more than that,” writes Very Rev. John Behr, professor at St. Vladimir’s Seminary and editor of the Popular Patristics Series. “Bishop Maxim draws upon Scripture, the Fathers, and Liturgy to address perennial and yet very contemporary questions: our experience of time and history, our existence as human persons and the complexities of sexuality and gender, our life in the polis and the ekklēsia, and the relational presence of an icon in a world saturated with digital images.

And he does so in engagement with a diverse range of contemporary thinkers: philosophers, scientists, poets, artists, media figures, and film directors. The theological vision and call that emerges here is indeed a surprise, and one that brings the gospel to bear on all aspects of our life and existence."

Both new titles are available through SVSPress.com, or by calling 1-800-204-BOOK (2665).