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

Dimitrije Djordjevic

Dimitrije Djordjevic, Professor of History, Emeritus, at the University of California, Santa Barbara, member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Belgrade, died in Santa Barbara on March 5, 2009, one week after his 87th birthday.

Professor Djordjevic was one of the leading historians of Serbia and the Balkans in the 19th and early 20th century, a man of vast knowledge, held in great esteem in national and international scholarly circles. He was a founding member of the North American Society for Serbian Studies and its former President.

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Born in Belgrade, descendant of a prominent and wealthy Serbian family, Mita—as his friends called him—did not have an easy life during his adulthood, especially during and after the Second World War. As a member of Draža Mihailović's Četniks, he was arrested by the Germans and sent to Banjica prison and later on to the concentration camp Matthausen in Germany. When the Communists came to power, in the fall of 1945 he was again arrested, sentenced to a year in jail in Zabela and Sremska Mitrovica, and denied his civil rights.

Nevertheless, the vicissitudes of his life neither broke his spirit nor influenced his scholarly work. He always approached historical events, personalities and processes with an open mind and broad tolerance for a variety of views. However, he never compromised the integrity of his own views or subordinated them to the opinions of others. His approach to Serbian and Balkan history was based on his firm belief in the potential of Serbian people and in the need for a western orientation of Serbian politics.

It is not by chance that already his first book on the conference of the ambassadors in London in 1912 and on Serbia's emergence on the Adriatic Sea (Izlazak Srbije na Jadransko More i konferencija ambasadora u Londonu 1912), published by the author in Belgrade in 1956, attracted the attention of historians in Serbia and abroad. After this first success, Mita continued working with great energy and perseverance and produced a series of outstanding books and edited or co-authored a number of others. All his books and articles show a deep knowledge of his field, his intellectual honesty and his sharp, inquisitive mind.

It is not surprising that Dimitrije Djordjevic in a very short time became a well-known and respected scholar, whose work increasingly influenced domestic and foreign historians of modern Serbia and of the Balkans.

One of great contributions that Mita made to history of his native land and its region was the fact that—as a highly regarded scholar—he obtained very early access to international scholarly publications and was invited to numerous international scholarly meetings and conferences, where his erudition, eloquence and friendly demeanor substantially helped to create and to broaden the interest for Serbian and Balkan history.

Of particular importance was his decision, in 1970, to accept the invitation of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and to take the chair of Balkan history in that prestigious institution.

During thirty years of activity in that respected university, he directed a number of Ph.D.s in the field of Serbian and Balkan history and thus enlarged the interest for his area of expertise among younger American and international scholars. At the same time, he helped the scholarly work of young people in Serbia itself. His natural kindness and unpretentious behavior established him very quickly as a friend of students, many of whom became his devoted followers.

Dimitrije Djordjevic was a distinguished scholar, and a beloved teacher, but above all he was an extraordinary human being and a gentleman in the best sense of that word. His goodness, his warm personality, his wise words and his kindness will be sorely missed by all his friends and colleagues.

May he rest in peace!

Ružica Popovitch-Krekić, "In Memoriam", Serbian Studies: Journal of the North American Society for Serbian Studies 21.1 (2007): 147-148.

Photo: Santa Barbara Independent


People Directory

His Grace Bishop Dr. Maxim

Episkopos, Professor, Artist

His Grace Bishop Maxim (Vasiljevic) of Hum was elected Bishop of the Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South American at the regular assembly of the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade, Serbia in 2006. Bishop Maxim is docent of the Divinity School at the Theological Faculty of the University of Belgrade, and was teaching Christian Anthropology and Sociology at the University of East Sarajevo.

His Grace Bishop Maxim graduated from the Theological Faculty of the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1993. He completed his Masters of Theology at the University of Athens in 1996, and then three years later, in 1999, at the same university, he defended his doctorate in the field of Dogmatics and Patristics.

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Publishing

Knowing the Purpose of Creation through the Resurrection

Proceedings of the Symposium on St. Maximus the Confessor

The present volume is a collection of presentations delivered at the St Maximus the Confessor International Symposium held in Belgrade at the University of Belgrade from 18 to 21 October 2012. The Belgrade Symposium brought together the following speakers: Demetrios Bathrellos, Grigory Benevitch, Calinic Berger, Paul Blowers, David Bradshaw, Adam Cooper, Brian Daley, Paul Gavrilyuk, Atanasije Jevtić, Joshua Lollar, Andrew Louth, John Panteleimon Manoussakis, Maximos of Simonopetra, Ignatije Midić, Pascal Mueller-Jourdan, Alexei Nesteruk, Aristotle Papanikolaou, George Parsenios, Philipp Gabriel Renczes, Nino Sakvarelidze, Torstein Tollefsen, George Varvatsoulias, Maxim Vasiljević, Christos Yannaras, and John Zizioulas. The papers and discussions in this volume of the proceedings of the Belgrade Symposium amply attest to the reputation of Saint Maximus the Confessor as the most universal spirit of the seventh century, and perhaps the greatest thinker of the Church. Twenty eight studies have been gathered in the present volume, which is organized into eight chapters, each of them corresponding to the proceedings of the Symposium, all of which are of intense interest and importance. Chapter One brings to light new evidence regarding the sources, influences, and appropriations of St Maximus’ teaching. His mediatorial role as one of the few genuinely ecumenical theologians of the patristic era is acknowledged and affirmed. Chapter Two offers some crucial clarifications on the relationship between person, nature, and freedom. In Chapter Three we find substantial discussion on body, pathos, love, eros, etc. New interpretive paradigms and insights are proposed in Chapter Four, while the next chapter presents the Confessor’s cosmological perspective in light of modern scientific discoveries. Some important ontological and ecclesiological issues are discussed in Chapter Six, while in Chapter Seven we are able to see what contemporary synthesis is possible through St Maximus’ thought. Chapter Eight offers further readings by engaging younger scholars who did not present their papers at the conference but whose studies were accepted by the organizers. In the final paper we find an important overview of the Symposium with a description of the conference’s flow. In an age of plurality and division, it is particularly important to know what our Tradition—shaped by the Fathers—can teach us. In any such endeavor, Saint Maximus the Confessor stands out as the most important theologian of the so-called Byzantine period. Yet his theology, assimilated and incorporated by Tradition, has relevance beyond any single historical period; in fact, the Confessor’s efforts to mediate between East and West distinguish his work as vital for contemporary theological discourse.