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

Marko V. Jaric

Marko V. Jaric was born on March 17, 1952 in Belgrade. He completed his elementary school education in Belgrade and attended the Air Force Military High School in Mostar where he graduated in 1970 as the best student of his class. Subsequently he enrolled at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics where he received a degree in physics in 1974, graduating as the best student of his generation. He received his Ph.D. in 1978 at the City University of New York with professor Joseph Birman, one of the most prominent physicists in solid-state physics, as his thesis advisor.

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Publishing

Poemes de Jovan Dučić / Песме Јована Дучића

Translated into French by Petar Bubresko. Bilingual edition (French and Serbian)

The first bilingual edition translations of poems in French of this prince of Serbian poetry. These translations of poems Dučić meet two objectives: to publicize the work of the poet to Francophone readers and pay tribute to both the Serbian language Dučić and French language to which the great poet and Petar Bubreško were passionately attached. This book is dedicated to Leposava Bubreško (1923-2013) professor Bubreško’s wife who wanted so much this work to be published.

Publishers: Sebastian Press, Vidoslov, and Metokhia

216 pages, soft bound, published in 2015, price $15


Песме Јована Дучића

На француски језик превео проф. др Петар Д. Бубрешко

Ова књига је посвећена Лепосави Бубрешко (1923-2013), супрузи професора Петра Д. Бубрешка, која је толико желела да ово дело изађе на светлост

Саиздавачи: Видослов, Требиње и Metokhia, Paris

ПОЕЗИЈА

Мирна као мрамор, хладна као сена,
Ти си бледо тихо девојче што снева.
Пусти песма других нека буде жена,
Што по нечистим улицама пева.

Ја не мећем на те ђинђуве са траком,
Него жуте руже у те косе дуге:
Буди одвећ лепа да се свиђаш сваком,
Одвећ горда да би живела за друге.

Буди одвећ тужна са сопствених јада,
Да би ишла икад да тешиш ко страда,
А чедна, да водиш гомиле што нагле.

И стој равнодушна, док око твог тела,
Место китњастог и раскошног одела,
Лебди само прамен тајанствене магле.

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