Maximus the Confessor and Georgia – Official book launch

Maximus the Confessor and Georgia
, (Iberica Caucasica Volume III, edited by Tamila Mgaloblishvili and Lela Khoperia, English editor Nick Awde, Bennett&Bloom, London, 2009)

The event was held on March 18, 2010 at 18:00 at Georgian University of St. Andrew.

This new book is the third volume of the series Iberica Caucasica, which was established in London in 1998 with the purpose of providing international scholars with the sources and original research pertaining to the history and culture of Georgia.

Participants: The book presentation was organized by the Center for the Exploration of Georgian Antiquities at the Georgian University of St. Andrew and World Vision International Georgia F&D coordinator.
The presentation was attended by the religious authorities and by the public, scholar representatives. Lot of people from different scholarly institutions and international organizations came; some media channels have covered the event as well.

World Vision Georgia was presented by the WVG National Director, Paolo Ferraris and other colleagues from different departments.
Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II promised to come, but unfortunately he had to leave the city, but he called at the end of the day of the presentation to congratulate.

The Metropolitan Daniel was representing the Georgian Orthodox Church and other church people came as well.

It was a great joy that Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III has also sent the letter to the editors and congratulated on the publication of the book.
The primary objective of this presentation and the whole project, besides its academic importance, was to raise awareness on activities of WV Georgia (as a main funder of the preparation and publication of the book) and to show our attitude to serve the Georgian Church and to raise its international profile.

The project was initiated by the regional director for Faith & Development, Danut Manastireanu, who was not able to attend the book presentation, but was presented virtually at the conference.

The presentation was opened by the rector of the St. Andrew’s University. The first speech was given to the book editor Tamila Mgaloblishvili. Next speech was given to WVG ND Paolo Ferraris, who talked about the organization and its collaboration with church and importance of the project (See the attachment for the whole speech). Next was the Power Point presentation from Lela Khoperia about Maximus and his relation to Georgia.

Several honorable guests expressed the willingness to talk about the book and its importance, namely, the Metropolitan Daniel, who blessed us for our input in this important work; the British Ambassador in Georgia, European Commission representative, and other scholars and scientist (translator of the articles, several authors of the book, etc.)

The editors and university representatives expressed their deepest gratitude to World Vision for all our assistance and expressed the hope that our collaboration will continue.

* * *

Discourse of Paolo Ferraris, National Director of World Vision Georgia

Your Grace and distinguished guests,

Good evening and thank you for joining us in the presentation of this important book.

My name is Paolo Ferraris and I am the National Director of World Vision Georgia. It is with great joy and pride that I speak to you today on behalf of World Vision Georgia who helped in the publication of this book, working in partnership with Saint Andrew Georgian University’s Centre for the Exploration of Georgian Antiquities.

World Vision is an international Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families, and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. We work in over 100 countries across the globe and are dedicated to working with the world’s most vulnerable people, serving all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.

World Vision has been in Georgia since 1994 working with children and the communities they live in to give them hope for the future. We currently run 27 projects in Georgia, making it one of the largest NGOs in the country.

Under our Church and Public Relations Program, we collaborate with Georgian church leaders and support various activities, including helping develop Youth Bible Curricula, opening and supporting Sunday Schools, and holding Christian Summer Camps implemented in partnership with the Georgian Orthodox Church.

The idea of publishing a book exploring the contributions of Saint Maximus originated more than two years ago by World Vision’s Regional Director for Faith and Development, Danut Manastireanu, who is a theologian with a Ph.D. in Orthodox Studies. He became interested in Saint Maximus when he heard of two academic conferences organized by a Georgian bishop and realized that these Saint Maximus’ works had never been widely published in English before, thus leaving scholarly circles largely unaware of these works.

Maximus the Confessor is closely linked with Georgia. After the church father was exiled from Byzantium in 662 with two of his disciples, he spent his last days in Lazica, Western Georgia, and died there. The memory of this ‘holy old man’ is still alive in this part of Georgia and local inhabitants preserved legends concerning his last days and death. The ancient monastery located there is called ‘The Monastery of Maximus’ and is believed to be the place of his burial.

The publication of this book, as part of the Iberica Caucasica series, will help let others know of the work of this important saint. I would like to add that publishing this book was made possible through the hard work of the editors, support of the publisher, in cooperation with the Georgian Orthodox Church, and with the financial support of World Vision.

We hope this book will contribute to a better understanding of Georgian Orthodoxy in the theological world and to promote the Georgian Orthodox Church, and the culture and history of Georgia.

Thank you.

(Report prepared by Nana Danelia, Faith & development coordinator for World Vision Georgia.)

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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