ESSAYS ON ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY AND CHURCH HISTORY
by Charles B. Ashanin
Paperback (August 2006)
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These essays were written at intervals during Dr. Ashanin's teaching career of thirty-five years. They were published in various publications as a response to the theological challenges which his generation had to face. He wrote them to elucidate the historical issues of my time from the Christian perspective. Although these essays were written in particular periods of time, they have present day relevance, because he tried to interpret the issues discussed in them under the aegis of the recurring, underlying themes. A Christian historian, while he observes all rules of the historical method and deals with his subject sub specie temporis, cannot escape awareness that there is another dimension which he cannot ignore, a dimension in all human aff airs to which he must pay attention in his writings, that of sub specie Aeternitatis. He must combine epis temology, the knowledge of things, with eschatology, the divine goal to which everything is guided by divine wisdom. In philoso phy, this aspect is known as teleology, the aim to which every thing leads. While these may not be found explicit in his writings, they are implicit in them, because his intellectual consciousness is imbued with this orientation, and it is inevitable that it is embodied in his work.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charles Bozidar Ashanin was born in Yugoslavia on November 15, 1920. He was educated in his native country and graduated from Cetinje Orthodox Seminary in 1943. The Nazi occupation the victory of Communism convinced him that, if he were going to live by Christian principles and values, voluntary exile was his only choice. In 1945, he left for Italy, moving in 1947 to England to study at Dorchester and Selly Oak Colleges. In the fall of 1949, he began study at Glasgow University in Scotland where he received his B.D. degree. He was recommended by the faculty of Divinity to the Senate of the University which awarded him the Faulds Fellowship, enabling him to do graduate work. He received his Ph.D. from the University in 1955 and was appointed in the same year to an assistant professorship at the University College of the Gold Coast, now Ghana, West Africa.
He immigrated in 1960 to the United States where he served as a professor and department chairman of Philosophy and Religion, first at Allen University and, then, at Claflan University, both in South Carolina. He also studied in Switzerland at the University of Basel with Karl Barth and philosopher Karl Jaspers. He did postgraduate study at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1957 and at Harvard Divinity School, 1963–64, on a Lilly Postdoctoral Fellowship. In 1967, he was named Associate Professor, and then Professor in 1974, of Early Church History at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, where he taught until his retirement in December 1990.
Apart from teaching and writing, he participated in Orthodox Spiritual Renewal led by the Brotherhood of St. Symeon, the New Theologian, of which he was a founding member. He was active in several learned societies. He was also a great letter writer and, until his death in 2000, maintained a substantial correspondance with persons of high and low degree around the world. He is survived by his wife Natalie and four children, Lydia, Marina, Valerie and Michael.