On Christian Leadership: The Letters of Alexander Schmemann and Georges Florovsky (1947-1955)- Church History - Christian Life - Book
Fr Georges Florovsky (1893–1979) and Fr Alexander Schmemann (1921–1983) profoundly shaped twentieth-century Orthodox theology. Their correspondence, edited and translated into English for the first time, provides a unique window into their theological visions, leadership styles, and interactions with their contemporaries. Most of the letters were written when Florovsky had recently moved to the US to lead and organize the fledgling St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York, while Schmemann was still teaching at the St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris.
The correspondence also reveals the circumstances of Schmemann’s move to the US at the request of Florovsky, and offers glimpses into their subsequent collaboration at St Vladimir’s Seminary until their tragic rift in 1955. Reminiscent of the style of Schmemann’s journals, the letters lay out the challenges of leadership with brutal honesty and good humor, bearing an eloquent testimony to their authors’ dedication to launching a new era of theological education.
About the Author: Paul L. Gavrilyuk is an Orthodox historian and theologian, and the Aquinas Chair in Theology and Philosophy at the University of St Thomas (St Paul, MN). His publications include Georges Florovsky and the Russian Religious Renaissance (Oxford, 2013), and the present correspondence in Russian (Moscow, 2019).