On Christian Leadership: The Letters of Alexander Schmemann and Georges Florovsky (1947-1955)





Document Type



Alexander Schmemann, Georges Florovsky


Fr. Georges Florovsky (1893-1979) and Fr. Alexander Schmemann (1921-1983) profoundly shaped twentieth-century Orthodox theology. Their correspondence - edited and translated 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 seminary education.

Citation/Other Information

Gavrilyuk, Paul L. On Christian Leadership: The Letters of Alexander Schmemann and Georges Florovsky (1947-1955). Yonkers, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2020. 412 pp. Text transcribed, compiled, annotated, translated, and edited by P. Gavrilyuk. 85 pp. introduction and 40 pp. biographical index. Greek and Romanian translations under negotiation. ISBN: 978-0881416602

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