A great man is one who collects knowledge the way a bee collects honey and uses it to help people overcome the difficulties they endure - hunger, ignorance and disease!
- Nikola Tesla

Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
- Franklin Roosevelt

While their territory has been devastated and their homes despoiled, the spirit of the Serbian people has not been broken.
- Woodrow Wilson

Theological Disambiguations

An Unconventional Handbook of Orthodox Theology

by Rev. Vladan Perisic

Foreword
by Fr John Behr

It is a great pleasure to see this work published, making available some of the most important writings of Fr Vladan Perisic over the last couple of decades available, together in one volume, to an English speaking audience. Fr Vladan’s work is well known in Serbia, and in broader academic and ecumenical circles. But it can now receive the much wider readership that it deserves, and, as a collected volume, its scope, coherence, and significance is sure to receive the recognition it deserves.

The eighteen essays collected here treat diverse topics, from academic theology (and its place in the Church) to questions of life and death, from historically oriented studies, on Sts Ignatius and Gregory Palamas, to contemporary issues, such as human rights and ecology. Each of them is characterized by meticulous scholarship and great insight, clarity of thought and expression.

While treating diverse topics, there is nevertheless an underlying unifying approach, one that is captured well by the arresting title of this book: Theological Disambiguations. The title, of course, calls to mind the great (and dense) work of St Maximus the Confessor, the Ambigua. It is characteristic that this saint, the most profound theologian among the Fathers, does not attempt to construct an overarching edifice of systematic theology, as has become the practice over the last centuries, but rather explores particular theological points, taking his lead from difficult statements of St Gregory the Theologian, and in doing so leads the reader to a more expansive theological vision, in which the original point of difficulty becomes recontextualized and greater insight into the breadth and depths of the wisdom of God is attained. Fr Vladan’s approach is similar, taking various issues that have become problematic due to the modern polarization between faith and reason, and seeking to resolve the problematic by working carefully through the issues involved and finding a standpoint prior to the opposition, so opening out a more comprehensive horizon.

Of particular interest is Fr Vladan’s assertion that the proper context of Christian theology is philosophy. Much of late twentieth-century theology has been devoted to exploring the fact that all theology is necessarily contextual, for it is always—from the apostles and evangelists themselves to contemporary thinkers— articulated by historically, geographically, and sociologically situated human beings. Against the tendency to then re-contextualize theology within different anthropological, sociological, cultural, and political contexts, Fr Vladan argues, rightly, that the proper context for theology is in fact philosophy. While every theologian certainly thinks, speaks, and writes in a particular socio-political situation, the problems address, as theology, belong to a different realm. To use Fr Vladan’s image: the evangelist John, the "Theologian", asserts "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (Jn 1:14), not "the Word became a Jewish rabbi and dwelt in first-century Judea"; as true as the second statement is, it is not theology, whereas the first statement is properly theological, reflected upon intensely in the theological debates of the following centuries, concluding that the enfleshed Word defines for us both what it is to be God (he is consubstantial with the Father) and what it is to be human (he is consubstantial with us), in one, and as such is "the image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15). After a couple of centuries of intense theological scholarship, which has resulted in the fragmentation of the discipline of theology into a variety of fields (Scriptural study, liturgical study, patristics, systematic reflection, etc.) that are often unable to understand each other, understanding the proper nature of theological discourse, as theology, is one of the most pressing contemporary issues. This "unconventional handbook" has much to offer, as we begin to learn again how to speak true theology.


People Directory

Mele "Mel" Vojvodich

Mele Vojvodich Jr. was born of Serbian ancestry on March 28, 1929 in Steubenville, Ohio. He went on to become Major-General in the USAF. For his bravery he was awarded the Legion of Merit.

Looking back at the career, Vojvodich received his pilot wings in 1950 from Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Six years later, he graduated from Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. During 1971, he completed his studies at National War College Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington DC.

.
Read more ...

Publishing

Jesus Christ Is The Same Yesterday Today And Unto the Ages

In this latest and, in every respect, meaningful study, Bishop Athanasius, in the manner of the Holy Fathers, and firmly relying upon the Apostles John and Paul, argues that the Old Testament name of God, “YHWH,” a revealed to Moses at Sinai, was translated by both Apostles (both being Hebrews) into the language of the New Testament in a completely original and articulate manner.  In this sense, they do not follow the Septuagint, in which the name, “YHWH,” appears together with the phrase “the one who is”, a word which is, in a certain sense, a philosophical-ontological translation (that term would undoubtedly become significant for the conversion of the Greeks in the Gospels).  The two Apostles, rather, translate this in a providential, historical-eschatological, i.e. in a specifically Christological sense.  Thus, John carries the word “YHWH” over with “the One Who Is, Who was and Who is to Come” (Rev. 1:8 & 22…), while for Paul “Jesus Christ is the Same Yesterday, Today and Unto the Ages” (Heb. 13:8).