A new edition of the late Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann’s classic book, For the Life of the World, has just been released by Saint Vladimir’s Seminary Press.
In celebration of SVS Press’ 50th Anniversary this year, the Press has launched the updated edition as the first volume in its new Classics Series. The volume includes a new foreword by Dr. Edith M. Humphrey, along with new explanatory notes and an index. Additionally, For the Life of the World is now available in paperback and hardcover editions. Other classic SVS Press titles will be updated and released as part of the new series over the coming months and years.
“It’s 50 years later, and we have seen almost 50 reprints of this book!” said Ted Bazil, Director of SVS Press from 1973 until his retirement in 2012. “It continues to be incredibly popular after all these years. I remember being overwhelmed by the power of Father Schmemann’s words as a young seminarian at Saint Vladimir’s, and it’s wonderful we are still able to share them with future generations.”
In July 2018, the book’s title, For the Life of the World, served as the theme for the Orthodox Church in America’s 19th All-American Council and the inspiration for His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon’s work, Of What Life Do We Speak: Four Pillars for the Fulfillment of the Apostolic Work of the Church, which made its debut at that time. Metropolitan Tikhon’s work builds upon a passage from Father Alexander’s book: “Of what life do we speak, what life do we preach, proclaim, and announce when, as Christians, we confess that Christ died for the life of the world?”
Father Alexander was a prolific writer, brilliant lecturer, and dedicated pastor. Former Dean and Professor of Liturgical Theology at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, his insight into contemporary culture and liturgical celebration left an indelible mark on the Christian community worldwide. For over half a century, For the Life of the World has challenged, illumined, and inspired readers from many backgrounds. For some, it is an introduction to the Orthodox Church, while for others it is a call to plunge more deeply into the life of the Kingdom, both manifested and anticipated here and now in the liturgy of the Church.