East-West Church & Ministry Report
Vol. 5, No. 4, Fall 1997, Covering the Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe


The editor highly recommends Keston News Service (KNS) and the Keston quarterly academic journal, Religion, State and Society (RSS). Keston's Moscow correspondent Lawrence Uzzell deserves high praise and, I would argue, a Pulitzer Prize for his summer and fall 1997 coverage of new Russian legislation on religion. Donations in the U.S. may be mailed to Keston USA, Box 4532, Wheaton, IL 60189, with checks made out to "Keston USA." Checks for U.S. subscriptions should read "Keston Subscriptions," and should be mailed c/o Robert Morrison, 801 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20001. Donations and subscriptions by credit card or in pounds sterling should be forwarded to Keston Institute, 4 Park Town, Oxford OX2 6SH, England; tel: 44-1865-311-022; fax: 44-1865-311-280; e-mail: keston.institute@keston.org. KNS subscriptions run $50/person, $160/organization (with hard copy, but not electronic reproduction rights). RSS is $53/year. Lawrence Uzzell may be contacted by phone (7-095-290-0327) or e-mail (9133.g23@g23.relcom.ru).

Since the peoples of Southeastern Europe feel the pains of centuries-old grievances as if they occurred yesterday, it is important for an understanding of this region's present hostilities to keep in mind not only the myriad nationalities and faiths, but the origins of various ethnic and religious conflicts. Two conferences organized by Dr. Theofanis G. Stavrou, University of Minnesota, and Dr. John R. Lampe, Director of East European Studies of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, which addressed these issues, resulted in an East European Studies Occasional Paper entitled Christianity and Islam in Southeastern Europe (Number 47). Charles Frazee writes on "Balkan Christian Communities in the Early Ottoman Empire"; Eve Levin writes on "Slavic Orthodox Attitudes Toward Other Religions"; and Drago Roksandic writes on "Religious Tolerance and Division in the Krajina." Professor Levin briefly summarizes the value of this study: "The reemergence of religion as a motive for violence, despite half a century of Communist rule, speaks to its vitality in popular consciousness. Consequently, an examination of what the various religious traditions of the Balkans have taught about other faiths can offer some insight into the reasons for conflict." For a free copy, contact: The Woodrow Wilson Center East European Studies Program, 370 L'Enfant Promenada, SW., #704, Washington, DC 20024-2518; tel: 202-287-3000, ext. 222; fax: 202-287-3772; e-mail: ees-wwc@erols.com.

Gateway Films is the distributor for a three-part video on "The History of Orthodox Christianity," produced by Greek Orthodox Communications. Released in 1994, each 29-minute video includes extensive filming on location, with art and architecture used to good effect. The information conveyed by an off-camera narrator is well-formulated and fairly balanced, whereas most short interviews with various Orthodox hierarchs are less successful, either because of heavy accents or wooden presentations. Too many clerics read from a script, or sound like they are reading from a script, and they rarely speak directly to the camera. The exception is Bishop Kallistos Ware, who not only is articulate, but addresses substantive issues with some candor, for example, in noting that too often Orthodoxy has been a source of ethnic more than spiritual identification.

Part One ("The Beginnings") covers the first two centuries of the Christian era in a manner that does not exclusively stress Eastern Orthodox distinctives. Part Two ("Byzantium") covers the Edict of Milan, which legalized Christianity (313 A.D.), to the fall of Constantinople to the Turks (1453 A.D.). This video ably summarizes the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the Iconoclast controversy, and the growing rivalry between Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Part Three ("A Hidden Treasure") briefly identifies the historic patriarchates and then honestly admits to overlapping and conflicting Orthodox jurisdictions in North America. An excellent 29-page study guide accompanies the series. Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, an Orthodox parish priest and professor of philosophy, is the author of this well-written aid, which is well worth reading in its own right. Helpful minute totals are given for each subsection. This reviewer has not seen an accompanying four-part series entitled "The Sacraments of Orthodox Christianity." Cost: $29.95/tape or $79.95/set. To order, contact: Gateway Films/Vision Video, Box 540, Worcester, PA 19490; tel: 800-523-0226; 610-584-1893; fax: 610-584-4610; e-mail: visionvide@aol.com.

The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality publishes Lumina Lina/Gracious Light. Most articles, poetry, reviews, and news appear in Romanian. The Institute has also published "Divine Creation and Human Responsibility in the Context of Contemporary Ecological Preoccupations" in English in Symposia 3 (number 1, 1996), 96 pp. Contact: Theodor Damian, Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, 30-18 50th St., Woodside, NY 11377; tel/fax: 718-626-6013. The cost for Lumina Lina/Gracious Light is $5 and there is a suggested donation of $3 for "Divine Creation and Human Responsibility in the Context of Contemporary Ecological Preoccupations." The postage and handling charge is $2.50 for each.

Leo Tolstoy's spiritually powerful story, How Much Land Does a Man Need, summarized in the East-West Church & Ministry Report 5 (Winter 1997), 16, is available for $10 in a collection of short stories published by Penguin and separately for $5, with a forward by Os Guinness, from the Trinity Forum. Other materials on Russia from Trinity include Tolstoy, Two Old Men; Fyodor Doestoevsky, The Grand Inquisitor; Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Oak and the Calf (excerpt); and Solzhenitsyn, One Word of Truth. $5 each or five for $20. Contact: Trinity Forum, 5210 Lyngate Court, Suite B, Burke, VA 22015-1631; tel: 800-585-1070 and 703-764-1070; fax: 703-764-0993; e-mail: MAIL@TTF.org.

Joseph Ton (pronounced Tson), president of the Romanian Missionary Society, has published his 1996 doctoral dissertation from the Evangelical Faculty of Theology, Heverlee, Belgium, under the title Suffering Martyrdom, and Rewards in Heaven (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1997), 516 pp. Dr. Peter Beyerhaus, Tubingen University, Germany, describes the volume as "a penetrating investigation into the biblical and historical theology of martyrdom, unique in this century." Dr. Ton, a Baptist pastor and lecturer who studied theology at Oxford University, was exiled from Romania in 1981 after harassment, house arrest, and repeated interrogations by Ceaucescu's security police. The cost is $48.50 by check or money order (plus $6.50 for shipping and handling). Contact: RMS, Box 527, Wheaton, IL 60189; tel: 630-665-6503; fax: 630-665-6538; e-mail: RMSda@aol.com.

The second edition of The Russian World: Life and Language, by Genevra Gerhart (Fort Worth, TX, and London: Harcourt Brace, 1995), 419 pp, includes Russian language terminology with English descriptive material on the Easter season, other Orthodox feast days and saints' days, fasts, church architecture, the iconostasis, icons, the cross, church bells, various aspects of Orthodox worship, including the Divine Liturgy, the clergy, and the sacraments. Contact: Harcourt Brace and Company, 6277 Sea Harbor Dr., Orlando, FL 32887-6777; tel: 800-782-4479 or 407-345-3800 (international); fax: 800-874-6418 or 407-345-4060 (international); e-mail: hbintl@harcourtbrace.com. The cost is $44.

The Washington-based Center for Communications, Health, and the Environment (CECHE) produces a quarterly NIS Health Promotion Bulletin, distributed via the Internet. Its purpose is "to assist the newly established democracies of Central Europe and the former Soviet Union by assessing, initiating, implementing, and supporting programs to improve health and alleviate the adverse effects of environmental pollution in the region." The Spring 1997 issue included articles on tobacco, alcohol, and drug use by Slovak youth; a list of web sites with international medical and health information; sources for Russian-language documents on such subjects as breast-feeding and detecting breast cancer; occupational health hazards in Cluj, Romania; and a University of Rochester medical education project in Russia and Ukraine. For a gratis e-mail subscription, contact: Nina Halper, editor, CECHE, 3333 K St., NW, Suite 110, Washington, DC 20007; tel: 202-965-5990; fax: 202-965-5996; e-mail: spalmer.ceche.dc@worldnet.att.net.

CECHE (see above) also publishes the Central European Health and Environmental Monitor, reported in the East-West Church & Ministry Report 2 (Winter 1994), 13. The Spring/Summer 1996 issue of Vol. 5 treats maternity care in Ukraine; diarrheal and respiratory diseases in Central Asia; troublesome demographic trends in Central and Eastern Europe; and means to decrease infant mortality in post-Soviet societies. The Monitor is available free of charge by mail. Back issues are posted on the CECHE web site: www.igc.apc.org/ceche.

"Resources," East-West Church & Ministry Report, 5 (Fall 1997), 11-12

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