Saturday, October 15, 2005

Interesting Goings-On at Jordanville

I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but there have been some interesting things happening at Jordanville in the last few years. Most recently, I noted the report on the 'Third Holy Trinity Seminary Colloquium' ( One session was devoted to Andrei Rublev, and one of the lecturers was Fr Andrew Louth of the University of Durham. Also, at the bottom of this page, I noticed that at the 'Second Holy Trinity Seminary Colloquium', on Khomiakov, one of the lecturers was Paul Valliere. Most of you may not know the name off the top of your heads, but if you recall, Dr Stamoulis had Philip do a paper on a book of Valliere's two years ago, about which I was privileged to hear a great deal of criticism as Philip was reading the book. In short, Valliere, a champion of what he euphemistically calls 'the liberal tradition' in Russian Orthodox theology, is not your typical Jordanville fare.
Check out the seminary news page,, for more of the same.


Blogger Mark Montague said...

Wow - that's very interesting. Thanks for the link. I'm currently enjoying the biography of Florovsky, and one of the issues that is raised is the negative reaction in the Russian emigre community to his negative evaluation of later Russian theologizing. So is that attitude (appreciation of the "liberal tradition") still general in some circles? Beyond being championed by Valliere?

4:56 PM EDT  
Blogger aaronandbrighid said...

It seems to be more general among 'Russian studies' folks, i.e. not-necessarily-Orthodox students of Russian philosophy & literature, than it is among Orthodox theologians. But the guys currently at St Sergius & St Vladimir's, despite being substantially more traditional (& thus more fond of Florovsky) than any of the Russian 'religious renaissance' thinkers that constitute the bulk of the so-called 'liberal tradition', are still more appreciative of those guys than other Orthodox theologians are. Thus Schmemann, in his introduction to 'Ultimate Questions', points out that 'it would be a mistake to see in them [the liberal guys] an expression of the official teaching of the Orthodox Church', and he mentions that Florovsky saw them as 'a complete deviation from true Orthodoxy'. But Schmemann is clearly not ready to second Florovsky's appraisal; he wants to 'hedge his bets' so to speak. Fr Seraphim (Rose), on the other hand, is much more in the Florovsky line. In his introduction to 'Orthodox Apologetic Theology', he writes, '...the Russian religious "renaissance" of the early 20th century was remote from Orthodoxy; it was a current of religious "freethinking" that prepared the ground for "renovationism" in Russia and for religious "liberalism" and outright heresy [I think he means primarily "sophiology"] in the Diaspora.' Fr Seraphim traces all of this back primarily to Solovyov. As I suggested, though, Philip can probably talk about it at a good deal more length than I!

5:46 PM EDT  
Blogger Mark Montague said...

Very helpful. Thanks.

6:32 PM EDT  

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