"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Holy Spirit's Church

Next month the University of Notre Dame Press is set to release a paperback edition of an enormously important book first published in 2007: Nicholas Afanasiev, The Church of the Holy Spirit, ed. Michael Plekon, trans. Vitaly Permiakov. This remains one of the landmark works in twentieth-century ecclesiology and was long available in Russian and French, but only recently in English. Afanasiev was an official observer at the Second Vatican Council, and the only non-Catholic whose works were cited in some of the documents of the council. His recovery of the notion of eucharistic ecclesiology has been hugely influential on all subsequent Catholic and Orthodox ecclesiology. 

About this book, the publisher tells us:
The Church of the Holy Spirit, written by Russian priest and scholar Nicholas Afanasiev (1893–1966), is one of the most important works of twentieth-century Orthodox theology. Afanasiev was a member of the “Paris School” of émigré intellectuals who gathered in Paris after the Russian revolution, where he became a member of the faculty of St. Sergius Orthodox Seminary. The Church of the Holy Spirit, which offers a rediscovery of the eucharistic and communal nature of the church in the first several centuries, was written over a number of years beginning in the 1940s and continuously revised until its posthumous publication in French in 1971.Vitaly Permiakov's lucid translation and Michael Plekon's careful editing and substantive introduction make this important work available for the first time to an English-speaking audience.

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