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

Bishop Maxim (Vasiljević)

(2006–)

For the last eleven years the ruling bishop of the Western American Diocese is Maxim (Vasiljević,) well known in academic circles since he holds several academic titles and is professor of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology at the University of Belgrade. Maxim (secular name Milan Vasilje¬vić) was born on June 27, 1968 in Foča, Yugoslavia, into a family of a priest. His father Lazar is a priest and mother Radmila, nee Todorović.

After finishing elementary school in Sarajevo (1983), he studied Seminary school in Belgrade (finished in 1988), served the army, and enrolled into the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in the same city.

He was tonsured a monk in Tvrdos Monastery, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on August 18, 1996, by Bishop Atanasije of Herzegovia, who also ordained him a deacon (1996) and priest in 2001.

Bishop Maxim graduated from the Faculty of Orthodox Theology at the University of Belgrade 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 with the title, “Participation in God” in the Theological Anthropology of St. Gregory Nazianzen and St. Maximus the Confessor.

He worked for one year on his post-doctorate in Paris and the Sorbonne in 2003–2004, in the field of Byzantine History and Hagiography. During this time, he also delved in the theory and practical application of painting at the French Academy of Fine Arts in Paris. Bishop Maxim speaks Greek, French, Russian, and English. He was the editor of “Theology”—Journal of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Belgrade.

On July 30, 2006 Bishop Maxim was instated on the throne of bishops of the Western America Diocese by Bishop Longin of New Gračanica Metropolitanate. Previously, he was Bishop of Hum and Vicar in the Metropolitanate of Dabro-Bosna, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As vicar-bishop of Hum he was elected Bishop of the Western American Diocese at the regular Assembly of the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade, Serbia in 2006.

Bishop Maxim is professor 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. He also taught at St. Sava School of Theology in Libertyville, Illinois.

Bishop Maxim also leads the Diocesan iconographical school inspired by Byzantine and Serbian medieval fresco painting and by Fr. Stamatis, a famous Iconographer from Greece.

Bishop Maxim’s scholarly studies and articles include books and essays on Holy Fathers and Saints; he has also written on the hagiographical and iconographical themes. His books include, among other, History, Truth, Holiness Studies in Theological Ontology and Epistemology (2011); Diary of the Council Reflections from the Holy and Great Council at the Orthodox Academy in Crete (2016), Theology as a surprise: Patristic and pastoral insights (SVSP 2018).

Among his many appointments, Bishop Maxim represents the Serbian Orthodox Church to the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches (WCC).

In 2006 he established St. Sebastian Orthodox Press and named in honor of a first American born Orthodox priest, Fr. Sebastian Dabovich. Sebastian Press is one of the prevalent and most dynamic publishers of Christian Orthodox publications on the West Coast and in the USA. It has enriched Christian literature in the English language during the last few years with almost 100 titles in print from many of the best living Orthodox writers, with its valuable translations of the interesting and resourceful works of Serbian, Greek, and other theologians to English.

He has participated in many theological forums and symposia in the USA, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He was a member of St. Vladimir’s Seminary Board of Trustees in New York.


SA

 

People Directory

Bishop Grigorije (Udicki)

(1963–1985)

As the son of Stevan Udicki, notary, and Anica Udicki Pavlovich, he was born on January 14, 1911, in Velika Kikinda, Banat. He finished the public and secondary school at Velika Kikinda and Timisoara (Romania), the Seminary in Sremski Karlovci (Yugoslavia) in 1930, when he entered the University of Belgrade and finished the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in June 1934.

After the military service in the Red Cross company in Bitola (Yugoslavia) in 1934/35, he became a teacher of the Seminary and gymnasium in Bitola on March 15, 1935. On November 14, he was ordained a priest, on special duty at the monastery church of St. John the Baptist in Bitola till 1938, when passed the examination of a Master degree.

He took monastic vows in the Monastery of Hilandar in 1936.

In September 1938 he went to the U.S.A., to Libertyville, Illinois, taking up there the job of a secretary of the Orthodox Diocese and later on duty of a priest at the Holy Trinity Church at Butte, Montana. In order to complete the studies necessary for getting the PhD degree, he went in 1939 to Athens (Greece), but soon returned to Yugoslavia because of the war between Greece and Italy. Having transferred studies to the University of Belgrade he passed the examination on June 11, 1940. Working on preparation of the dissertation he went to Petrovgrad, Banat (Yugoslavia), where he remained till 1945. During the wartime between Yugoslavia and Germany, he was just a manual worker, and later in 1943 he became again a teacher in Gymnasium and helped at the Church in Petrovgrad. In June 1945 he was forced by communists to leave because of his faith.

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Publishing

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.

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