Etna, California, U.S.A.

Seminary News

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Dr. Ernest Hargreaves Latham, Jr., Awarded Prestigious Book Prize and Honored

In December 2017, Dr. Ernest Hargreaves Latham, Jr., the American historian and diplomat and an Adjunct Professor at the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary, was awarded the George Ionescu-Gion Prize for Modern History for one of his latest books, What Strange Fate: J. Breckinridge Bayne, an American on the Romanian Front (1916–1919), which was published by Editura Vremea, the Bucharest publishing house, in a bilingual English–Romanian edition in 2016. The Romanian text of the book was translated by his wife, the poet and writer Ioana Ieronim-Latham. The book recounts the efforts of Dr. Bayne, a decorated naval officer, to aid their war effort, as a surgeon, when the Romanians entered World War I in 1916. Professor Latham, who lectures at the Foreign Service Institute of the United States Department of State, is a graduate of Dartmouth College, received his M.A. degree at Roosevelt University, and holds a doctorate in history from the University of Bucharest. He has held numerous diplomatic posts throughout the Middle East, the Balkans, and Eastern and Western Europe and has taught in the United States of America and at a number of European universities.

Dr. Latham is also the subject of a book published in October 2016 by the Romanian publishing house Editura Militară, Dosarul de securitate al unui diplomat american: Ernest H. Latham Jr., 1979–1987, containing a redaction of the mammoth five-volume, 3,000-page collection of files on him, during his diplomatic assignment at the United States Embassy, by the Romanian Communist Securitate, the dreaded secret police organization under the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu. The book, edited by the Romanian military historian Vadim Guzun, contains an introduction by Professor Latham, describing his four years of diplomatic service in Communist Romania.

We congratulate Dr. Latham on these two significant honors, which are a tribute to his scholarly and diplomatic career and which bring great pride to our Seminary and to his fellow faculty.

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Harvard- and Oxford-Trained Classics Scholar to Speak at Seminary

Professor John C. B. Petropoulos, Director of Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Nafplion, Greece, will deliver a short lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 6, 2017, at the auditorium of the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary in Etna. The lecture is free of charge and open to the community. He will speak on the relationship between ancient Greek culture and early Christianity and how these two factors in the development of Western Civilization confronted one another.

Dr. Petropoulos, an Adjunct Professor at the Seminary, has been in Etna for several weeks, teaching a seminar for graduate students. He has kindly consented to offer a public lecture on the eve of his departure for Greece, where he also holds a Professorship in Ancient Greek Literature at the Democritean University of Thrace.

A graduate of Harvard University, Professor Petropoulos earned his doctoral degree in Classics at Oxford University. His latest book, published by the Harvard University Press, is Kleos in a Minor Key: The Homeric Education of a Little Prince. He also recently co-authored a book on the Classics and Christianity, The Sculptor and His Stone: Selected Readings on Hellenistic and Christian Learning and Thought in the Early Greek Fathers, published by Pickwick Books, with the Most Reverend Metropolitan Dr. Chrysostomos of Etna, Emeritus, and two other professors at the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary.

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Board Member Advanced to Full Professor and Department Chairperson at Macalester College

Dr. Nadezhda Nedelsky, a member of the Board of Directors of the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary, was advanced in the spring of 2017 to the rank of Full Professor and a second appointment as Chairperson of the Department of International Studies at Macalester College, a highly-ranked four-year undergraduate college in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she has taught since 2002. Professor Nedelsky, a former Fulbright Scholar, received her doctoral degree at the University of Toronto.

Her most recent book is Defining the Sovereign Community: The Czech and Slovak Republics, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. She has also co-edited and contributed chapters to several volumes for the Cambridge University Press, several entries for Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice, and numerous refereed articles in professional and academic journals.

The Seminary is honored to have Dr. Nedelsky as an active and much-valued member of its Board of Directors.

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Seminary Participation in the First Northern California Koha Summit

Two Teaching Assistants at the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary, the Very Reverend Archimandrite Father Gregory and Schemamonk Father Vlasie, participated in the First Annual Northern California Koha Summit at the Martha Riley Community Library in Roseville, California, on April 5, 2017. The day-long seminar centered on Koha, an integrated library system used by public, academic, and special collections libraries to manage their resources and serve their students and users. The Seminary is presently cataloguing its holdings, which consist of over twenty thousand volumes and periodicals, in the Koha integrated library system. The two attendees represented the Seminary Library Director, the Very Reverend Archimandrite Father Dr. Patapios, at the summit.

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Seminary Lecture by the American Poet Christopher Merrill

On April 1, 2017, the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary, which will shortly complete its first academic year of operation, hosted, as part of its public lecture series, an evening with the celebrated American poet Christopher Merrill. Merrill has been described by one of this country’s senior poets, W. S. Merwin, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, as “gifted, audacious, and accomplished.” His wonderful readings, commentaries, and exchanges with the small, intimate gathering at the Seminary clearly averred Merwin’s assessment, and then some. The audience was enthralled by the presentation.

Merrill, Director of the prestigious International Writing Program and Professor of English at the University of Iowa, is internationally renowned, not only for his six collections of poetry, one of which, Watch Fire, was awarded the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets, but also for his five books of non-fiction, including his masterful and engrossing work on Mount Athos, Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain, a place to which he has made frequent visits.

Professor Merrill is also a veteran of cultural diplomacy, having visited, lectured, and taught, primarily under the sponsorship of the United States Department of State, in more than fifty countries. He is a member of the United States National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and received a presidential appointment under the Obama Administration to the National Council on the Humanities. In addition to such recognition for his work and many prizes for his poetry and books, which have been translated into some fourteen languages, Merrill was knighted by the French government into the Order of Arts and Letters.

Following his lecture, Professor Merrill spent several days at the nearby Saint Gregory Palamas Monastery, attending Divine Services and visiting with the Most Reverend Metropolitan Dr. Chrysostomos of Etna, Emeritus, whom he met through the State Department’s Fulbright Program almost two decades ago, whereupon the two established a personal friendship and longtime correspondence.

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