Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Book Release Conciliar Press

Dimitri's Cross: The Life and Letters of St. Dmitri Kleppinin, Marytyred During the Holocaust  by Helene Arjakovsky-Klepinine   Ben Lomond, CA: Conciliar Press Ministries, 2008    189 pages, paperback

Recently there has been a renewed interest in the Parisian Orthodox that lived, worked, and ministered during the earlier part of the 20th century; namely, Lev Gillet, Elizabeth Behr-Sigel, Mother Maria Skobtsova, Paul Evdokimov, Sergius Bulgakov, and Nicholas Afanasiev. Now, thanks to the work of his daughther Helene we now have a short biography of Fr. Dimitri, the longtime friend and pastor to Mother Maria and martyr in the Holocaust. Much can be said about this book, it certainly shows Dimitri's bravery and many sacrifices to save Jews during this difficult time in France. Scholars think that he along with others saved several hundred people by creating fake baptismal certificates. Dimitri's Cross also includes many letters that he wrote to his wife while he was interred in a prison camp. This is a worthy book to read especially for those of us who want to learn more about contemporary Orthodox persons who are "living saints" to us. 

Monday, November 10, 2008

Orthodox Readings of Augustine

New Release
Orthodox Readings of Augustine
George E. Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou, editors

St Vladimir's Seminary Press
ISBN 9780881413274
Softcover 304 pages
Price; US $ 22.00

This book not only presents Eastern Orthodox readings of the great Latin theologian, but also demonstrates the very nature of theological consensus in ecumenical dialogue, from a referential starting point of the ancient and great Fathers. This collection exemplifies how, once, the Latin and Byzantine churches, from a deep communion of the faith that transcended linguistic, cultural and intellectual differences, sang from the same page a harmonious song of the beauty of Christ.

Contributors are: Lewis Ayres • John Behr • David Bradshaw • Brian E. Daley • George E. Demacopoulos • Elizabeth Fisher • Reinhard Flogaus • Carol Harrison • David Bentley Hart • Joseph T. Lienhard • Andrew Louth • Jean-Luc Marion • Aristotle Papanikolaou • David Tracy

Posted by Nina Chapman on behalf of St Vladimir's Seminary Press

Monday, November 3, 2008

Coming Soon

Our Father: A Prayer for Christian Living (Rollinsford, NH: Orthodox Research Institute, 2008)

I wanted to share some good news about my new book project. Our Father is an easy to read reflection on the Lord's Prayer. Each chapter is devoted to the scriptural background of the prayer. Also included are a series of "food for thought" sections which helps the reader reflect more deeply on the meaning of each verse. Our Father is a resource for both personal and group Bible study as well as for sermon preparation.

Our Father will be available before Christmas 2008

For ordering information contact the publisher at

posted Nov. 3
Fr. Bill

Monday, October 27, 2008

Book Review: Thinking Through Faith

Thinking Through Faith:
New Perspectives From Orthodox Christian Scholars

Edited by Aristotle Papanikolaou and Elizabeth H. Prodromou

Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2008

Reviewed by Fr. William C. Mills

Thinking Through Faith is a volume that is long overdue. When perusing through recent Orthodox Christian publications from various Orthodox presses one finds much on Scripture, Church History, Patristics, and Liturgy, but very little on how these theological subjects are related to each other and even less on how they impact our culture and society. If we as Orthodox Christian scholars are going to have an impact in our respective parishes, seminaries, and institutions, and the academy, we have to start thinking about brining the best that we have to offer to a wider audience. Thankfully the tide is shifting and Orthodox Christian scholars are active in the various scholarly guilds, most notably is the recent Orthodox presence at the Society of Biblical Literature last year as well as the ongoing presence in the American Academy of Religion. Hopefully other scholarly guilds will also include sections if not seminars or round-table discussions and debates with Orthodox Christian scholars and theologians.
The present volume is a collection of essays by Orthodox theologians, some established and others who are just beginning their scholarly career. The individual essays are as diverse as their authors, there are entries on how to read the lives of the saints, the nature of pastoral care in the early Church, and the notion of the communal aspect of liturgy and prayer. I found most of the essays to be thought provoking and inspiring, some were worth a second read, especially John Fotopoulos’ essay on the Kingdom of God in the writings of the Apostle Paul, Valerie Karras’ Orthodox theologies of women in ordained ministry, and Anton Vrame’s essay on four types of Orthopraxy among Orthodox Christians in America. It was also very nice to see that all but one contributor are lay theologians who are working and writing in various schools, colleges, and seminaries, many in non-Orthodox settings. This gives me hope because it shows us that Orthodox theologians are indeed working and writing in a religious pluralistic setting and will have to engage and dialogue with non-Orthodox students and faculty.
Individual readers will find essays that are more or less engaging. Some essays I found lacking, especially in terms of an important question that one of my friends, a longtime author and scholar always asks of his students when they write papers, “where do we go from here?” In other words, I was looking for and even expecting some creativity when it comes to how we, as Orthodox scholars, both clergy and laity, are to incarnate and really think about the practical and pastoral application on these specific topics included in the book. Hopefully, as we await further volumes on such topics we will find more creativity and ideas on how our Orthodox theology, rich and full, can engage our Western society and culture.

Posted on Oct. 27, 2008
Fr. Bill Mills
Blog Moderator

Friday, September 5, 2008

DISCUSSION: Buying books

I created the OCB blog with the intent to offer Orthodox publishers a vehicle for promoting their book and magazine news and for readers to learn that news. After all, I don't think it's a secret that I work for one of the aforementioned publishers. But today, instead of posting the usual press release or book review, I'd like to get your opinion on what you buy as readers. So here are some questions up for discussion:

(1) Would you say that the recession has affected your book-buying at all? Slowed it down? Or not?

(2) How often do you buy Orthodox books and from where?

(3) How much does price factor into your decision to buy (or not buy) a book? Are Orthodox books too expensive?

(4) What can publishers of Orthodox Christian books do to improve their products and services?

(5) What is your favorite Orthodox book? Your favorite Orthodox publisher?

(6) Is there anything you can't stand about the way Orthodox books are currently published in the English-speaking world?

(7) Orthodox children's books: do you ever buy them? Why or why not?

(8) What kind of Orthodox book would you like to see more of in the future?

(9) Would you buy a book from your church book store as a matter of principal, even if it were offered for a much lower price on Amazon? Or would you go for the deal?

(10) Are books flying off the shelves at your church bookstore, or have they been collecting dust for years?

Please take a moment to comment on any one (or all) of these questions. And while you're at it, respond to our poll. After all, it's your feedback that helps us publishers provide you with books of increasing quality and integrity. Without your feedback and support, we would be nothing.

Have a great weekend, and keep reading!

In XC,
Heather Zydek
Blog Moderator

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

BOOK SALE: Conciliar Press Children's Books

Tomorrow is the last day of a one-week sale on Orthodox Christian children's books published by Conciliar Press. Conciliar's "Back to School Sale" includes discounts of up to 30 percent on select Conciliar Press children's books through Thursday, September 4, 2008. Visit www.conciliarpress.comto browse books on sale.

NEW BOOK: Royal Monastic by Bev. Cooke

The life of a princess isn’t all glamour, handsome princes, and beautiful clothes. It’s also devotion to duty, sacrifice for your people, and a lot of just plain hard work. And if your country happens to suffer two world wars and a communist takeover in your lifetime, it means danger and suffering, exile and heartache as well. Princess Ileana of Romania endured all this and more. But her deeply rooted Orthodox faith saw her through it all, and eventually led her in her later years to the peaceful repose of monasticism. But that life included sacrifice and hard work as well, because as Mother Alexandra she was called to build the first English-language Orthodox women’s monastery in the United States—the Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania. Princess Ileana’s story is a thrilling tale of love and loss, danger and rescue, sacrifice and reward. Her inspiring life stands as a beacon of faith and holiness for young women of all times and nations to follow.

"Royal Monastic [is] a comprehensive and enjoyable read for any age…Readers will learn to appreciate the woman who lived on three continents during the most troubled time in modern history--a woman who in some ways could identify with everyone she met, yet in other ways with no one on earth."
-- Mother Christophora, Abbess, Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration

"Royal Monastic is an excellent and engaging historical biography of a truly remarkable princess turned monastic. Mother Alexandra is an example of Orthodox Christian virtues of love, suffering and self-sacrifice."
-- Chrissi Hart, Author of Under the Grapevine: A Miracle by Saint Kendeas and The Hermit, The Icon and The Emperor: The Holy Virgin Comes to Cyprus

Bev. Cooke is the author of Keeper of the Light: Saint Macrina, Grandmother of Saints (Conciliar Press, 2006) and Feral (Orca Book Publishers, 2008). She lives in Victoria, British Columbia. Learn more about Bev. and her work at

Purchase Royal Monastic at