05 December 2009

New Book by Fr Justin (Popovich)

In partial payment for a little proof-reading job I did, Bishop Maxim of the Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church has just sent me a copy of their newest publication, Archimandrite Justin (Popovich), Man & the God-Man (Alhambra, CA: Sebastian, 2009), which the Publisher’s website refers to as an ‘anthology of neopatristic syntheses’ (here). Like their previous work (which I mention here), it is a lovely volume—somewhat slim, softbound, with a beautiful mosaic of the face of Christ on the cover. With, as far as I can tell, one exception—‘Sentenced to Immortality: A Homily on the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ’ (pp. 39-43)—, it is all material that has appeared in English before. A number of the pieces, however, are only available in the somewhat rare The Struggle for Faith: A Treasury of Serbian Orthodox Spirituality, vol. 4, trans. Rev. Todor Mika & Rev. Stevan Scott (Grayslake, IL: New Gracanica, 1999). Here is a complete list of the contents:

Preface by Bishop Athanasius (Jevtić)

Perfect God & Perfect Man: Christ is Born!—Hristos se Rodi! (A Nativity Epistle)

The God-man: The Foundation of the Truth of Orthodoxy

The Supreme Value & Infallible Criterion

Sentenced to Immortality: A Homily on the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Humanistic & Theanthropic Culture

Humanistic & Theanthropic Education

The Theory of Knowledge of St Isaac the Syrian

A Deer in a Lost Paradise: A Confession

List of Sources

Bibliography of Fr Justin Popovich’s Works

The real surprise is all of the photographs that I’ve never seen published before, plus a large number of icons of Fr Justin, nearly all from Serbia, printed in full colour. This section of the book will be a special treat for all who revere the memory of the great Serbian ‘Abba’ and theologian of the twentieth century, of whom Bishop Athanasius writes in his Preface:

Fr Justin (Popovich) was a deep, multifaceted, Christ-like person—a man of Pauline, biblical, and patristic stature and breadth. He would say of both the Apostle Paul and Dostoevsky that they reached from the bottom of hell to the peak of the third heaven, perhaps because he himself possessed such breadth and dimension. In him was manifested a well-rounded—or, better to say, fully rounded—man, a thinker and philosopher, a wise man and theologian, a struggler and ascetic seer of inexhaustible energy, an evangelical penitent and apocalyptic Christologian (as he was recently called by the monks of Hilandar), a spiritually inspired writer and priestly liturgizer of the Most-High God. Above all else he was an unwavering witness—a true martys (=lifelong confessor=martyr) of Christ the God-man, the All-Wise Creator, God the Son and Logos, the God-sent Messiah and Savior Who came voluntarily into the world and became incarnate as a human being, the historical Jesus Christ, the Divine and Man-loving Restorer, the One worshipped both by man and by the world, by all things created and existing in all realms belonging to God as well as in our very own, however many there may be—the One worshipped as both Savior and salvation, as both the Venerated and the veneration of His Church, that very Church which is a Theanthropic Community, the Body of the God-man, the unity and oneness of all creation with the Living and True God, in the grace of the Holy Spirit, in eternal communion with the Being and Life and Love of the Holy Trinity. (p. 7)


Trevor-Peter said...

Any chance we'll see a thorough discussion of the nativity epistle before revised Julian Christmas gets here? :-)

Blogger's word verification for this comment is "poope." Just thought I'd share.

aaronandbrighid said...

Trevor-Peter> I'm usually so busy celebrating the feast of St Herman that I scarcely notice 'revised Julian Christmas' as such. ;-) But a discussion of the epistle is an interesting idea. I'll read it and give the matter some thought.

Esteban Vázquez said...

Don't give in to Peter's pressure, Aaron! That would be the tragic first step down the slippery slope that leads to New Calendarism, Modernism, Renovationism, etc., etc., etc. ;-)

And thanks for posting the Table of Contents to the Sebastian Press book. I had wondered what was in it, and I'm relieved to learn that I can wait a while before purchasing a copy: "The Struggle for Faith" was one of the few books that I was able to bring with me from Puerto Rico when I moved last year.

aaronandbrighid said...

Esteban> Yes, I suppose it begins with discussing the Nativity epistle of Fr Justin (Popovich) before New Calendar Christmas, and it ends with outright apostasy and the religion of Antichrist.

I'm glad I was able to take a load off your shoulders!

Anonymous said...

How would you compare the translation of Fr. Justin's works in this book to that of "Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ"?

aaronandbrighid said...

Andrew> Sorry, I'm afraid it will be a while before I'm able to get back to you on that!

Anonymous said...

No problem. *Waiting Patiently*