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Georges Florovsky on reading the life of St Seraphim


The following letter was found in the archive of the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius, Oxford ('A.F. Dobbie BatemanPapers and Booklist'). It is written by the Russian Orthodox theologian, historian, ecumenist and early member of the Fellowship, Protopresbyter Georges Florovsky (1893-1979), who from 1956-64 was the professor of eastern church history at Harvard Divinity School. The letter is written to his old friend, the retired civil servant and Anglican priest, A.F. Dobbie Bateman (1897-1974), who was also an early leader of the Fellowship. Dobbie Bateman is a fascinating and little-known figure. In the 1930s, his knowledge of Russian made him one of the key links between the Russian and Anglican members of the Fellowship, until his resignation in 1945 after a disagreement with Nicolas Zernov concerning the plan for a Fellowship centre in London, St Basil's House.' His role as one of the only English interpreters of Russian thought in his era can be seen in a series of 'footnotes' published in The Journal of the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius and Sobornost in the 1930s and 1940s, as well as many unpublished letters and memoranda from the time of the controversy surrounding Sergii Bulgakov's proposal, in June 1933, for limited intercommunion in the Fellowship between Anglicans and Orthodox, and the Sophiological controversy which began in 1935.2 He was a critic and friend of both Bulgakov (whose important essay, Ipostas' i Ipostasnost' he translated for a Fellowship study group in 1932)3 and Florovsky (an extensive unpublished correspondence exists between them which is scattered between archives at Princeton University, St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary and the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius in Oxford). Dobbie Bateman had a strong devotion to St Seraphim of Sarov. Indeed, Nicolas Zernov, in his obituary,4 claimed that Dobbie Bateman

was responsible for introducing English Christians to Seraphim through his 1936 work, St Seraphim of Sarov: Concerning the Aim of Christian Life. This volume included one of the first English translations of the now famous 'conversation' between Seraphim and his disciple N.A. Motovilov, in which Seraphim describes the Christian life as the 'acquisition of the Holy Spirit'.5 Later, following his retirement from the civil service in 1952 where he was undersecretary of the ministry of supply (being awarded a Companion of the Bath in 1948)6 and his ordination to the priesthood on 5 June 1953 by the bishop of Bath and Wells (after which he ministered at two parishes around Frome, Somerset),8 he worked on another volume on St Seraphim, which included a life of the saint and a revised translation of the 'conversation' and was published in 1970 as The Return of St Seraphim.'' In his letter to Dobbie Bateman, Florovsky, prompted by a suggestion of the former in an earlier letter,10 corrects the conversation's insistence on the role of the Spirit in Christian life (or, more precisely, both corrects it and offers an alternative christological reading), insisting on the 'christoform shape' of everything we are given as Christians by the Spirit who is the medium of ascetic and pedagogical achievement as a feat of the creative witness to Christ. Florovsky's christological reading of Seraphim influenced Dobbie Bateman's The Return of St Seraphim. There he noted that the conversation was 'deeply christological', marked as it is by Seraphim's frequent refrain 'for Christ's sake',12 and he thanked Florovsky in the work's preface for his assistance in showing him the conversation's 'christological basis'.'3 The rest of Florovsky's letter discusses a wide variety of subjects including an important section detailing his view of patristic 'authority'. It is not surprising that Florovsky would discuss St Seraphim in the same breath as patristic authority since he believed that the saints or fathers are fundamentally witnesses to Christ through the Spirit and, furthermore, he understood tradition to be 'the witness of the Spirit; the Spirit's unceasing revelation and preaching of good tidings'. 14 Patristic authority is coextensive with 'tradition', for Florovsky, and by tradition he meant the charismatic, creative and ecclesial power to teach the Word (potestas magisterii) primarily



through the exegesis of scripture. This magisterial power is an authoritative witness or testimony (martyria) by the Church, preeminently embodied in the work of its hierarchy, to the truth of salvation in Christ (adoption into God's eternal life). It accompanies the church as it is challenged daily not to pursue authoritative answers to settled problems before it has brought sharply into focus and carefully identified its own new theological problems or ecclesial challenges. The martyria of the saints reveals their creativity, courage and wisdom and it comes from the inner evidence of catholicity given to them through their common abiding in the one Spirit in whom they were all baptised as one body having a concrete oneness of feeling and thought (a common unity of life). The catholic consciousness or 'patristic mind',15 which we are describing, however, has a cruciform structure because it is the living, eternal and faithful experience of Christ being wholly in the midst of the his church in both head and body. In figures like St Seraphim, we see saints (called 'doctors and fathers') who are unique in that they have attained a level of catholicity, a completeness of the patristic mind, which allows them personally to witness for the whole Church 'from the completeness of a life full of grace'. 16 Thus the patristic authority to teach ('tradition') is essentially a matter of the saints' creative spiritual vision of faith or catholic witness to the Christian gospel of Christ crucified and risen for us according to the scriptures, rather than a form of what might be called 'patristicism' or 'Byzantinism' 17 where the Greek patristic corpus is understood, more or less, as inerrant and infallible with theology as the careful repetition of the fathers' words. The argument that tradition is the creative Christian witness in the modern context to the truth of Christ or the global gospel vision of the fathers as 'the constant abiding of the Spirit and not only the memory of words' is the essence of what Florovsky referred to as a 'neo-patristic synthesis'." Yet Florovsky's vision of theology, understood in this fashion, is shared, in the broadest sense, by other very different writers in the emigration, such as Vladimir Lossky and even Bulgakov.20 Although it must be remembered that there were vast theological differences, particularly between Bulgakov and his younger colleagues Florovsky and Lossky,21 contemporary scholarship

is now rightly emphasising that there exists commonality of vision in Paris emigre theology.22 A previously



unpublished letter of Georges Florovsky Dobbie Bateman 23 CAMBRIDGE, Mass. December 12, 1963


Dear Father, Thank you so much for your letter and for the paper enclosed.24 The paper is excellent. Its first merit is in that it proceeds inductively, from the concrete cases or episodes. Then the conclusion imposes. I think you are right about Motovilov. In any case, the Conversation should not be regarded as a closed unit. It does not say the whole truth. The Spirit is the Spirit of Christ,25 and is sent by Christ from the Father in order to remind the Disciples, those of Christ, or Christians, of Him. Pneumatic should not be played against Christological. I am coming to see it with increasing clarity. The Spirit, and His gifts, the charismata, can be 'acquired' only in the name of Christ. And, in the order of Salvation, there is no higher Name. One addresses the Father in the Name of Christ, the Incarnate Son. The Pentecost is the mystery of the Crucified Lord, Who rose again to send the Paraclete. Thus, Cross, Resurrection, Pentecost belong together as aspects of one mystery, distinct in the dimension of time, but integrated in the one Divine deed of Redemption. In the image of St. Seraphim all these aspects are reflected both in their temporal distinction and in their essential unity. Hardships, humility, joy and gentle charity, and daring.26 I have discussed this paradoxical synthesis of humility in daring in my short preface to Father Sophronius's book on Starets Silouan.27 The Spirit brings joy, but He also bestows authority and power. Your expression alter Christus is rather strong, but ultimately correct.28 After all, in the phrase of St. Augustine, Christ is not only in capite but also in corpore,29 and, according to St. Paul, all 'members' together are 'One Christ'.30 Imitatio Christi is not just a figure of speech, and it is not a Western phrase.31 St. Ignatius of Antioch




regarded himself as a mimetes Christou, with the special emphasis on the sharing of the Cross or the martyr's death.32 I do not see much difference between mimesis and akolouthia. My remark on the preference for 'settled problems', in the article on Old Russia, was not just a casual remark. This preference is still the major predicament of modern man. It is so conspicuous in the theological field. Just yesterday the question was put to me, in my Patristic seminar, by one of the participants: we enjoy immensely, he said, the reading of the Fathers, but what is their 'authority'? Are we supposed to accept from them even that in which they obviously were 'situation-conditioned' and probably inaccurate, inadequate, and even wrong? My answer was obviously, No. Not only because, as it is persistently urged, only the consensus patrum is bindingand, as to myself, I do not like this phrase. The 'authority' of the Fathers is not a dictatus papae. They are guides and witnesses, no more. Their vision is 'of authority', not necessarily their words. By studying the Fathers we are compelled to face the problems, and then we can follow them but creatively, not in the mood of repetition. I mentioned this already in the brief preface to my 'Eastern Fathers of the IV century', 34 and provoked a fiery indignation of the late Dom Clement Lialine.35 So many in our time are still looking for authoritative answers, even before they have encountered any problem. I am fortunate to have in my seminars students who are studying Fathers because they are interested in creative theology, and not just in history or archaeology. I am very glad that you found M. Philaret simple and not unduly rhetorical. On the other hand, his sermons were always thoroughly prepared and probably written in advance. Not all of them are on the same level, especially in his early years, when he was under the influence of'evangelical mysticism' of the time.36 I was glad to learn Father Salmon is still active. I remember him very well. It is an excellent idea to produce a 'Western edition' of the Damascene. It is a good sign that such a project could be initiated in our time. What is needed is, of course, not a scientific edition, but a kind of working book.37 You can do it, and it will be of great help in the age of John Woolwich.38 By the way, in the recent catalogue of James Thin, of Edinburgh, I found a new book of Oliver Clark, a reply

to Robinson. Have you seen the book? Oliver does not seem to have written much recently.39 You are the only man who can do what Chitty has asked you to prepare for the projected Festschrift. And I shall be very grateful to you. And I am grateful to Chitty for the idea to ask you to do it. I have sent you a new article of mine on Tradition. Next to me you will find also an article of Allchin, on the same subject. The magazine is Lutheran, and the manager is a pupil of mine, a bright scholarly minister. With best greetings of ours to you both Yours ever, Georges Florovslcy

* I am indebted to the hospitality and generosity of the staff (the Revd Stephen Platt and Dr M.C. Steenberg) of the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius in Oxford, UK who gave me access to the archives of the Fellowship; the tireless work on my behalf of Margaret Rich, Archivist, the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library (by whose gracious permission I have published extracts of documents from the archive); Clare Brown and the staff of Lambeth Palace Library; Dr Cliff Davies, Keeper of the Archives, Wadham College, Oxon., Rt Revd Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia, Revd Canon Donald Allchin, Revd Prof Michael Plekon, Prof Andrew Blane, Prof Paul Valliere and Irina Kukota. Dobbie Bateman felt that Zemov's plan to set up a Fellowship centre in London ('St Basil's House') was a financially unsound move (letter of A.F. Dobbie Bateman to Nicolas Zernov, 2 August 1943, archive of the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius f=FASOxon], in folder 'St Basil HouseOxford 1932London 1943'). He believed Zemov's 'dream' departed from the original vision of the Fellowship and, furthermore, the Fellowship did not have the necessary financial backing for investing in house property. The following year he resigned his membership (letter to N. Zernov, 16 April 1945, FASOxon, ibid.) postponing his decision to resign until contact had been resumed after the war between the London and Paris branches after the pleas of Zernov and Paul Anderson (see the letter of N. Zernov to A.F. Dobbie Bateman, 24 April 1945; 63



and the letter of Dobbie Bateman to Zernov, 17 June 1945, FASOxon, ibid.) Nevertheless, he reconfirmed the following year: am unwilling to be an absentee member of a society with which I am out of sympathy [...]. ^ happiness of the past must be its own inspiration without the burden of insincerity' (letter to N. Zernov, 6 January 1946, FASOxon, ibid.). However Dobbie Bateman's lack of sympathy for the Fellowship did not last and he later rejoined, although in a much diminished role due to his age, in February of I960 (see his membership card, FASOxon). See Gallaher, Anastassy, 'Bulgakov and intercommunion', Sobornost 24.2 (2002), pp. 9-28; Geffert, Bryn, 'Sergii Bulgakov, The Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius, Intercommunion and Sofiology', Revolutionary Russia 17.1 (2004), pp. 105-41; Klimoff, Alexis, 'Georges Florovsky and the Sophiological Controversy', St Vladimir's Theological Quarterly 49.1-2 (2005), pp. 67-100; and Nikolaev, Sergei V., 'Spritual Unity: The Role of Religious Authority in the Disputes between Sergii Bulgakov and Georges Florovsky Concerning Intercommunion', St Vladimir's Theological Quarterly 49.1-2 (2005), pp. 10123. Dobbie Bateman translated the title of Bulgakov's famous essay (Bulgakov, Sergii., 'Ipostas' i Ipostasnost' (Scholia k Svetu Nevechernemu)' in Sbornik statei posviashchennykh Petru Berngardovichu Struve ko dniu tridtsatipiatiletiia ego nauchno-publitsisticheskoi deiatel'nosti, 1890-1925 (Prague 1925), pp. 35371) rather fancifully as 'Person and Personality' (translation done in London in April 1932 for November 1932 Fellowship study group; in FASOxon folder 'Documents About Fellowship and Correspondence'). English translation: 'Protopresbyter Sergii Bulgakov: Hypostasis and Hypostaticity: Scholia to the Unfading Light', revised trans., ed. and intro. of A. F. Dobbie Bateman by Anastassy Brandon Gallaher and Irina Kukota, St Vladimir's Theological Quarterly 49.1-2 (2005), pp. 5-46. See Bishop, Frank H., 'Editorial, News, Comments, Correspondence etc.', Journal of the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius 18 (1932), p. 3; and 'Editorial, News, Comments, etc.', Journal of the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius 19 (1933), p. 4). Zernov, Nicolas, Obituary of The Reverend Arthur Fitzroy Dobbie Bateman', Sobornost 7.1 (1975), pp. 47-9. Dobbie Bateman, A.F., Conversation of St Seraphim of Sarov with Nicholas Motovilov Concerning the Aim of the Christian Life', St Seraphim of i Sarov: Concerning the Aim of Christian Life (London 1936), pp. 42-60. An ) earlier abridged translation of the conversation, which appears to be by the hand of Oliver Fielding [Bernard] Clarke, was published a few years earlier: Conversation of St Seraphim of Sarov with N. A. Motovilov concernin the Aim of the Christian Life (1831)', The Journal of the Fellowship of St Alban and St 64

Sergius 22 (1933), pp. 29-38. See Clarke's introduction to the conversation: 'Things New and Old', The Journal of the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius 22 (1933), pp. 21-8. 'Acta Majorum', Wadham College Gazette no. 123 (1948), p. 9. Many thanks to Dr Cliff Davies, keeper of the archives, Wadham College, Oxford for providing me with references to Dobbie Bateman in the archives of his old college (BA, 1920 and MA, 1952).
8 9 6

ibid., no. 133 (1953), p. 100. Interpretation

Dobbie Bateman, A.F., The Return of St Seraphim: A Western (London 1970).


started with the view [in his paper sent to Florovsky, 'The Maturity of St Seraphim'] (prompted by your critique of Lossky in 1054-1954 [Florovsky, Georges, 'Christ and His Church: Suggestions and Comments' in 1054-1954: L'Eglise et Les eglisesneuf siecles de doloureuse separation entre orient et IOccident:Etudes et travaux sur Vunite Chretienne offerts a Dom Lambert Beauduin, Vol. 2; Chevetogne 1954-55, pp. 168-70]) that Seraphim should be interpreted christologically. This met the gap which I felt strongly but did not sufficiently probe in my book of 1936. Also I have long felt that the conversation tells more about Motovilov than about Seraphim. It reads as if Motovilov had written him up; and merely made him discursive. Not till I had sorted all this into its proper time sequence did the post-resurrection theme emerge. So the Pentecostal interpretation seems to lose its disturbing, almost sectarian, vagueness. If this makes sense to you, then it gives an approach to Seraphim's long years of recollection and preparation and a clearer meaning to the attack of the robbers' (letter to Georges Florovsky, 27 November 1963, George Florovsky Papers, box 26, folder 2). " Blane, Andrew (ed.), Georges Florovsky: Russian Intellectual and Orthodox Churchman (Crestwood 1993), p. 297.
12 13 14

Dobbie Bateman, The Return of St Seraphim, p. 30. ibid., 'preface'.

Florovsky, Georges, 'Sobornost: The Catholicity of the Church' in The Church of God: An Anglo-Russian Symposium By Members of the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius, ed. E. L. Mascall (London 1934), p. 64.

Florovsky, Georges, 'Patristics and Modern Theology', Diakonia 4.3 (1969 [1936]), p. 229.

ibid., p. 231.




' ' Florovsky, however, fell himself into a form of Byzantine romanticism which can be seen in The Ways of Russian Theology (Paris 1937), his history of the 'western captivity' or 'pseudo-morphosis' of Russian theology from its true Byzantine form. St Seraphim, who is favourably compared to the Byzantine 'visionary' St Symeon the New Theologian, is said to be outwardly Russian but 'inwardly belongs to the Byzantine tradition which once again fully came to life in him' (Florovsky, Georges, Ways of Russian Theology, Part Two in The Collected Works of Georges Florovsky, vol. 6, ed. Richard Haugh and tr. Robert L. Nichols (Vaduz 1987), p. 165). Florovsky believed that the Christian message could not be separated, without deforming it, from the Greek categories in which it was formulated ('a new Christian Hellenism [...] Hellenism is a standing category of Christian experience') and so the creativity of modern Orthodox theology was dependent on a 'spiritual Hellenisation (or re-Hellenisation)': 'let us be more Greek to be truly catholic, to be truly Orthodox' (Florovsky, 'Patristics and Modern Theology', p. 232, and see Blane, Georges Florovsky: Russian Intellectual and Orthodox Churchman, p. 155). The complete inadequacy of this position both theologically (Orthodox ethnicism and patristic fundamentalism being encouraged) and scientifically (with its ignoring of the witness of countless non-Hellenistic fathers such as Ephrem the Syrian, Shenoute of Atripe, Mesrob, etc.) cannot be underestimated (See Maloney, George A., 'The Ecclesiology of Father Georges Florovsky', Diakonia 4.1 (1969), pp. 23 ff; and bishop Hilarion Alfeev's 'The patristic heritage and modernity' paper delivered at the 9th International Conference on Russian monasticism and spirituality, Bose Monastery, 20 September 2001 <>, last accessed 27 June 2005).


See Valliere, Paul, 'The "Paris School" of Theology: Unity or Multiplicity?', unpublished conference paper, 'La Teologia ortodossa e l'Occidente nel xx secolo: Storia di un incontro' (Seriate, October 2004). I am grateful to Prof Valliere for sharing his paper with me (found at <>, last accessed 27 June 2005). See Arjakovsky, Antoine, 'Personne, Sagesse, Hypostase, une vision renouvelee de la divino-humanite', <>, last accessed 27 June 2005. Also see Arjakovsky, Antoine, La generation des penseurs religieux de Vemigration Russe: La Revue La Voie' (Put'), 1925-1940 (Kiev/Paris 2002), pp. 517-22.
23 22

Editorial note: We have retained herein the capitalisation and punctuation of the original letter. This paper is 'The Maturity of St Seraphim' (George Florovsky papers, box 59, folder 2) and Dobbie Bateman had given it that year at the Fellowship conference (Ryan, Edward and Ronald Smythe, 'Impressions of the Conference II' Sobornost 4.10 (1964), p. 594). It would later serve, in a much revised form, as chapter one of The Return of St Seraphim (1970).
25 26 24

Rom 8.9.

Florovsky, Georges, 'Sobornost: The Catholicity of the Church', p. 65.

In a much earlier portrait from 1937 in The Ways of Russian Theology, Florovsky writes that Seraphim 'testifies to the mysteries of the Spirit with an unexpected daring. He was more of a witness than a teacher, but even more than that, his being and his whole life are manifestations of the Spirit' (Florovsky, Georges, Ways of Russian Theology, p. 165). Florovsky, Georges, 'Foreword' to Archim. Sophrony (Sakharov)'s The Undistorted Image: Starets Silouan, 1866-1938 (London 1958), pp. 5-6; Florovsky had come to know St Silouan personally on Mt Athos and his photograph had hung in his study (Blane, Georges Florovsky: Russian Intellectual and Orthodox Churchman, p. 298). 'What the Holy Spirit revealed in Saint Seraphim was Christ in him. The life, the piety and the glory of Saint Seraphim are fundamentally christocentric. He who had withdrawn the Lord of his life from the imaginative exchange of vision into the secret night of a reserved and recollected mind, has disclosed thereby the operation of the Christ-life. He is alter Christus (Dobbie Bateman, 'The Maturity of St Seraphim', George Florovsky papers, box 59, folder 2, p. 12). Florovsky alludes to a passage of Augustine which is the locus classicus of the phrase 'totus Christus': In Iohannis evangelium tractatus CXXIV, 28.1 (PL 35. c.1622). This notion is crucial for understanding Florovsky's theology. See 67
28 2

Blane, Georges Florovslcy: Russian Intellectual and Orthodox Churchman, pp. 153-5 and see Florovsky, Georges, 'Sobornost: The Catholicity of the Church', pp. 53-74, 'Patristics and Modern Theology', pp. 227-32 and 'Saint Gregory Palamas and the Tradition of the Fathers', Sobornost 4.4 (1961), pp. 165-76; for commentary on the meaning of this phrase see bishop Hilarion Alfeev's 'The patristic heritage and modernity'. Bulgakov, Sergii, 'Dogmat i dogmatica' in Zhivoie Priedanie: pravoslavie v sovremennosti (Pravoslavnaia mysl' v.3) (Paris 1937), pp. 9-24, tr. as 'Dogma and Dogmatic Theology', Peter Bouteneff in Tradition Alive: On the Church and the Christian Life in Our TimeReadings from the Eastern Church, ed. Michael Plekon (Lanham 2003), pp. 67-80; and Lossky, Vladimir, 'Tradition and Traditions', tr. G.E.H. Palmer and E. Kadloubovsky in In the Image and Likeness of God, eds. J. Erickson and T.E. Bird (Crestwood 1974), pp. 141-68. 66



commentary at Kiinkel, Christoph, Totus Christus. Die Theologie Georges V. Florovskys (Gottingen 1991), pp. 14-15 and 185-7.

Rom 12.5 and 1 Cor 12.12. The allusion is to Thomas a Kempis' (c. 1380-1471) Imitation of Christ.

(1936), pp. 328-9; 'L'Affaire Sophiologique', Irenikon 13.6 (1936), pp. 704-5). For his obituary see Rousseau, Dom Olivier, 'In Memoriam: Dom Clement Lialine (1901-1958)', Irenikon 31 (1958), pp. 165-82.

'Allow me to be an imitator of the suffering of my God' (Ignatius of Antioch Rom 6.3) Florovsky, Georges, 'The Problem of Old Russian Culture. A discussion with comments by Nikolai Andreev and James H. Billington', Slavic Review 21 (1962), pp. 1-42. 'This book was compiled from academic lectures. In the series of studies or chapters I strived to delineate and depict the images [obrazy] of the great teachers and Fathers of the Church. To us they appear, first of all, as witnesses of the catholic faith, as custodians of universal tradition. But the patristic corpus of writings is not only an inviolable treasure-trove of tradition. For tradition is life; and the traditions are really being preserved only in their living reproduction and empathy [for them]. The Fathers give evidence concerning this in their own works. They show how the truths of the faith revive and transfigure the human spirit, how human thought is renewed and revitalized in the experience of faith. They develop the truths of the faith into the integral and creative Christian worldview. In this respect, the patristic works are for us the source of creative inspiration, an example of Christian courage and wisdom. This is a school of Christian thought, of Christian philosophy. And first of all in my own lectures, I strived to enter into and to introduce [the reader/listener] into that creative world, into that eternal world of unaging experience and contemplation, in the world of unflickering light. I believe and I know that only in it and from it is revealed the straight and true way towards a new Christian synthesis, about which the contemporary age longs for and thirsts after. The time has arrived to en-church our own mind and to resurrect for ourselves the holy and blessed sources of ecclesial thought' (Florovsky, Georges, preface to Vostochnye Ottsy IV-go Veka (Paris 1931)). Florovsky never completed his projected five-volume study of the fathers, only two volumes of the full work were ever completed (Blane, Georges Florovsky: Russian Intellectual and Orthodox Churchman, p. 154). Lialine criticized Florovsky's lectures as lacking a scientific erudition both in their literary point of view and their lack of concern for scholarly precision (Lialine, Clement, Review of'Vostocnye Otcy IV veca', Irenikon 10.1 (1933), p. 84). His analysis and account of the sophiology controversy of 1935 is still a major source for contemporary historians (Lialine, 'Le Debat Sophiologique', Irenikon 13.2 (1936), pp. 168-205; 'Chronique Religieuse', Irenikon 13.3 68

Metropolitan Philaret (Drozdov) of Moscow (1782-1867) was an eminent 19th-century Russian theologian and churchman (best known in the west for 1823's Christian Catechism of the Orthodox Catholic Eastern Greco-Catholic Church and in Russia for his sermons, for which see Philaret, Slova i rechi, five volumes [Moscow 1873-85]). Harold Bryant Salmon (1891-1965), then prebendary of Whittackington in Wells Cathedral and formerly principal (1931-47) at Wells Theological College (1840-1971), had suggested to Dobbie Bateman, in conjunction with a lecturer of Arabic, the production of a 'Western edition' of St John of Damascus' De Fide Orthodoxa. Dobbie Bateman felt that others more capable than him might already have taken up the project and the preparation of a critical text was outside his range and, therefore, asked Florovsky what he advised (letter to Georges Florovsky, 27 November 1963, George Florovsky Papers, box 26, folder 2).
38 John Robinson (1919-83) was Anglican Bishop of Woolich. He had just published his then controversial book, Honest to God (London 1963), which launched the 'God is dead' movement in theology. 37

Florovsky refers to Oliver Fielding Clarke's For Christ's Sake: a reply to the Bishop of Woolich's Honest to God and a positive continuation of the discussion (second ed., Wallington 1963).
40 Derwas J. Chitty (1901-71), Anglican rector for many years of the parish of Upton in the diocese of Oxford, was a longstanding and formative early member of the Fellowship, and a specialist in ancient Christian monasticism (cf. The Desert a City: an introduction to the study of Egyptian and Palestinian monasticism under the Christian Empire [repr. Crestwood, NY 1995]; Every, Edward, 'Derwas James Chitty, 1901-1971' and Allchin, A. M. 'D. J. Chitty: A Tribute', Sobornost 6.3 (1971), pp. 178-81; and Ware, Kallistos, 'Derwas James Chitty (1901-1971)', Eastern Churches Review 6 (1974), pp. 1-21). He appears to have started a project to collect a festschrift in honour of Florovsky, to which he wanted Dobbie Bateman to contribute (cf. George Florovsky Papers, box 60, folder 5). However, as happened many times in his life (e.g. his unfinished English translation of John Climacus' Ladder of Divine Ascent: Ware, Kallistos and Sebastian Brock., 'The Library of the House of St Gregory and St Macrina, Oxford: The D.J. Chitty Papers', Sobornost 4.1 (1982): 57 [56-58]), this venture was eventually put aside.




Cf. Florovsky, Georges, 'Scripture and tradition: an Orthodox point of view' Dialog 2 (1963), pp. 288-93. Canon A. M. Allchin was at that period a librarian of Pusey House, Oxford. See Allchin, A.M., 'Anglican view on Scripture and tradition', Dialog 2 (1963), pp. 295-9. The reference is to Charles S. Anderson, who was then managing editor of Dialog and taught at Luther Theological Seminary (St Paul, Minnesota).

SERGEI HACKEL (1931-2005)

One of my first vivid memories of Fr Sergei was in 1960. We were together on the first pilgrimage from our diocese to the Soviet Union. It was a very mixed group: Nicholas Zernov, Shura Pickersgill and myself from England, some others from Switzerland and Holland. Fr Sergei, although far from the oldest, was chosen as leader since he was the only ordained clergyman among us, he was a deacon. The trip was not an easy one. The Church in Russia was undergoing the first stages in Khruschev's campaign to eradicate religion. The purpose of our visit was to reassure us as representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate abroad that all was well, and to allay our fears regarding any persecution. Our visits were carefully stage-managed and movements were carefully controlled. The priest from the department of external church relations assigned to escort us had to lie. We stayed in the Ukraina hotel, were feasted on champagne and caviar, given presents and a substantial gift in roubles. On our visits to various churches a small number of clergy and some ordinary parishioners told us, usually in a whisper, what was really happening. It was a very painful experience, and I am sure that the trip played a very important part in Fr Sergei's outlook and attitude to the Moscow Patriarchate.