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The Liturgical Heritage of Father Alexander Schmemann

Olga Meerson, Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky, trans. . "The Liturgical Heritage of Father Alexander Schmemann." St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 53.2-3 (2009): 353-368.

The article addresses Very Rev. Fr. Alexander Schmemann's understanding of poetry and poetics as key to liturgical life in the Orthodox Church. Schmemann's claim, made in his Journals, in 1979, that Russian (secular) poetry is at times more conductive to Salvation than many volumes of theologians, is explored not as a paradox but rather as something revealing a deep connection existing between prayer and poetry, within Orthodox liturgical poetics, in Russian secular poetry, and in Schmemann's vision of both. The question of tradition vs. innovation in prayer directly related to the main antinomy in poetry as such: how can another poet's words express my own innermost personal experience and aspirations, better than my own?

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