"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).

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Russian-Jewish Encounters

I just received a long review-essay that will run in a forthcoming issue of Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies. Authored by Robert Slesinski, the essay very carefully discusses a recent and very important, if difficult and controversial, collection by Dominic Rubin treating the explosive questions of Judaism, anti-Semitism, and Russian Orthodox theology: Holy Russia, Sacred Israel: Jewish-Christian Encounters in Russian Religious Thought (Academic Studies Press, 2010, 400pp.).

About this book the publisher tells us:
Holy Russia, Sacred Israel examines how Russian religious thinkers, both Jewish and Christian, conceived of Judaism, Jewry and the 'Old Testament' philosophically, theologically and personally at a time when the Messianic element in Russian consciousness was being stimulated by events ranging from the pogroms of the 1880s, through two Revolutions and World Wars, to exile in Western Europe. An attempt is made to locate the boundaries between the Jewish and Christian, Russian and Western, Gnostic-pagan and Orthodox elements in Russian thought in this period. The author reflects personally on how the heritage of these thinkers little analyzed or translated in the West can help Orthodox (and other) Christians respond to Judaism (including 'Messianic Judaism'), Zionism, and Christian anti-Semitism today.

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