"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).

Friday, August 8, 2014

Monasticism in Eastern Europe and Eastern Christianity

Ines Murzaku e-mailed me this week to let me know of her most recent book, and another one set for release next year, both on similar themes. The one recently published by Peeters in Leuven is Monastic Tradition in Eastern Christianity and the Outside World: A Call for Dialogue (Peeters, 2013), xvi+286pp.

About this book the publisher tells us:
This volume's focus is threefold, thus corresponding to its tri-partite topical division: to analyze Eastern monasticism's unique place in the life transforming journey to theosis; Eastern monasticism's hospitality and mutual encounters with culture; and Eastern and Western monasticism's hospitality to Christian and non-Christian religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam (even though Islam does not have any monastic institution, its adherents have been historically in dialogue with Christian monastics and have the potential to achieve a spiritual affinity with monks of other religious traditions). The three parts of the volume share one unifying argument: monasticism's special call to spiritually symbiotic relationship or impact on the very socio-politic-historic structures of reality. The topics are explored from historical, theological, and literary standpoints. The volume's overall intention is to help make monastic ecumenical engagement or its potential for inter-faith dialogue better known, appreciated, and relevant within inter-religious dialogue.
The publisher also helpfully provides a detailed table of contents in this PDF. I hope to interview Ines about both books in the coming weeks.

Her second book, set for release in the spring of 2015 by Routledge, is entitled Monasticism in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Republics. About this book we are told:

This book looks at Eastern and Western monasticism’s continuous and intensive interactions with society in Eastern Europe, Russia and the Former Soviet Republics. It discusses the role monastic’s played in fostering national identities; and the potentiality of monasteries and religious orders to be vehicles of ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue within and beyond national boundaries. Using a country-specific analysis, the book highlights the monastic tradition and monastic establishments. It addresses gaps in the academic study of religion in Eastern European and Russian historiography, and looks at the role of monasticism as a cultural and national identity forming determinant in the region.
We are also given the table of contents:
Monasticism in Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Republics: An Introduction Ines Angeli Murzaku

Part 1: Monasticism in Eastern: Central Europe 1. Monasticism in Bulgaria Daniela Kalkandjieva 2. Croatian Monasticism and Glagolitic Tradition: Glagolitic Letters at Home and Abroad Julia Verkholantsev 3. Monasticism in Slovakia and Slovak National Development Stanislav J. Kirschbaum 4. Catholic Monasticism, Orders, and Societies in Hungary: Ten Centuries of Expansion, Disaster and Revival James P. Niessen 5. Religion and Identity in Montenegro Jelena Dzankic 6. Relations between the Holy Mountain and Eastern Europe c.1850-2000 Graham Speake 7. Roman-Catholic Monasticism in Poland Krystyna Górniak-Kocikowska 8. Orthodox Monasticism and the Development of the Modern Romanian State: From Dora d’Istria’s Criticism to Cyclical Reevaluation of Monastic Spirituality in Contemporary Romania Antonio D’Alessandri 9. Monasticism in Serbia in the Modern Period: Development, Influence, Importance Radmila Radić 10. The Church and Religious Orders in Slovenia in the Twentieth Century Kolar Bogdan 11. Between East and West, Albania's Monastic Mosaic Ines Angeli Murzaku

Part 2: Monasticism in Russia and Former Russian Republics 12. Monasticism in Modern Russia Scott Kenworthy 13. Monasticism in Russia's Far North in the Pre-Petrine Era: Social, Cultural, and Economic Interaction Jennifer Spock 14. Abbots and Artifacts: The Construction of Orthodox-Based Russian National Identity at Resurrection "New Jerusalem" Monastery in the Nineteenth Century Kevin Kain 15. Monasticism and the Construction of the Armenian Intellectual Tradition Sergio La Porta-Haig and Isabel Berberian 16. Monks and Monasticism in Georgia in the nineteenth and twentieth Centuries Paul Crego 17. Greco-Catholic Monasticism in Ukraine: Between Mission and Contemplation Daniel Galadza Conclusions Ines Angeli Murzaku

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