BOOK LAUNCH: ‘Two Martyrs in a Godless World’

BOOK LAUNCH: ‘Two Martyrs in a Godless World’

We are delighted to invite you to the launch of this important translation by our doctoral researcher Jeremy Ingpen of Michel Evdokimov’s book ‘Two Martyrs in a Godless World’. The virtual book launch will take place on 7 July 2021, from 18.30 to 19.30 (BST). The event will feature a conversation with the translator with a Q&A session for the participants. The book launch will allow us to explore Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Father Alexander Men – the two personalities on whom Michel Evdokimov’s focuses – and also Father Michel himself, as well as Olivier Clément, whose ‘Common Mission of Christians in the Secular City’ is the Afterword to this edition. The book is available online in the UK through The Book Depository.

The Zoom link for the event is:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81584385408

You can find an excerpt from the first 30 pages of the book at this link: https://www.newcitypress.com/media/downloads/webpreviews/Preview_Two_Martyrs.pdf

In the words of our Vice-Principal, Dr Razvan Porumb:

‘It is in some way providential that this wonderful book comes to an English-speaking readership at this junction of history, bringing with it the prophetic vision of two great martyrs of the 20th century: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Alexander Men. Michel Evdokimov (himself an accomplished and audacious contemporary theologian) has brought together the witness of these two theologians, in an inspiring ecumenical interchange. Despite belonging to different Christian traditions, despite speaking from anguished contexts of persecution, tyranny and death, Bonhoeffer and Men bring a message of hope and optimism to the secular world. To their witness Evdokimov adds his own prophetic voice, in systematizing and interpreting their rich thematic universe.

‘Neither Bonhoeffer nor Men (nor indeed Evdokimov) is disheartened by the secular crisis of the modern world. This is for them, paradoxically, a sign that the world is in fact closer to God. The world has ceased to be ‘juvenile’: for Bonhoeffer it has ‘come of age’, for Men ‘the “leavening” of the Gospel has only just begun its transforming work’. In this ‘world-come-of-age’, each person takes control of their destiny, in order to live a plenary life in the freedom in which they were created. In Evdokimov’s interpretation, people should not shirk the responsibility for their autonomy and decisions and actions in the world – but they should welcome it. Contemporary science and culture are now empowering tools for the Church, as they are continuously (re)interpreted and understood in the light of Christ’s revelation.

‘Now, when the world seems to be faced again with increasing division, the message of the two theologians serves as reassurance that, despite appearances, now is not the time for mourning or resignation, but for engagement in faith with the world as it is, where we meet God in our everyday lives in the form of our neighbour. For Evdokimov the witness of the two martyrs is meant ‘to set on fire the hearts of those who remain faithful’. The book is marvellously complemented by the editor’s addition of an inspiring coda from another great theologian, Olivier Clement – a close friend of the author’s and theologically a kindred spirit – touching on the same themes (‘The Common Mission of Christians in the Secular City’).

‘This book is open to a wide readership as it avoids theological jargon and philosophical intricacies, and themes are presented tidily in a discursive, clear and concise way. Indeed, this would be the first book I would now recommend to all those who feel confused, unsettled or distraught in a rudderless world – to all those who struggle to understand how they can live as Christians in today’s world without God.’