"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).

Monday, September 27, 2021

In Praise of Robert Slesinski (I)

The indefatigable Jack Figel, who seems to run Eastern Christian Publications single-handedly, is owed many debts by Eastern Christians, and those others interested in the liturgical and theological works of the Christian East. I met him over a decade ago at the Orientale Lumen Conferences he has hosted for decades in Washington, DC, and again in 2019 at the last one I attended in those far-off days we now fondly recall as the Before Times. 

In any event, he recently kindly sent me a box full of all the books ECP has published by Robert Slesinski. Slesinski, for those who do not know him, is an independent scholar and pastor, and author of many works, including most recently his The Theology of Sergius Bulgakov. Most of Slesinski's work focuses on Russian philosophical and theological thought, especially in the so-called Silver Age. 

As I mentioned, he is not only a scholar but also a pastor, and combines these two roles to great effect in nearly a dozen books published from ECP over the years. As a tribute to the unsung labours of both men, I want this week to draw your attention to those books. They are, broadly, grouped into three categories: those that focus on liturgical feasts and texts; those that focus on people; and those that are "ecclesiological" in nature, examining not just the nature of the Church but the place of law and Tradition within the Church and the sacramental nature of the Church as well. 

But let us begin with his newest book, which seems in some ways to be in a category of its own, not least by its title: OMG! A Shout in the Street? A Dare to Millennials to Believe (ECP, 2011). 

Here is the publisher's blurb about the book: 

Digressing from his usual catechetical and theological works, Father Robert Slesinski targets this book on philosophy at millennials and those who might be searching to find true meaning in their lives.  Mostly marked by secularism, the author of this book, a philosopher himself as well as a Byzantine Catholic priest, strives to awaken the “inner philosopher” in all people by plumbing the depths of human interiority.  This inevitably draws the person out of his or herself, ultimately enabling the person to soar beyond themselves toward worship of the One, True God.  164 page.  Color illustrations.  $20.00.

In the coming days I will draw some attention to some of his other books, few of which are available on Amazon, so you will have to do the meet, right, and just thing by ordering them directly from ECP


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