After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY


New edition of St. Tikhon Biography

2nd edition 2015
Chosen for His People: A Biography of Patriarch Tikhon
by Jane Swan and Scott M. Kenworth, 150 pages
 printed with the blessing of Metr. Hilarion ROCOR-MP, Jordanville

Ist edition 1964
A Biography of Patriarch Tikhon
by Jane Swan, 112 pages
Abe books has a hardcover copy for $95
• This book is serialized in Orthodox Life magazine in 1964 and 1965.
• 1st edition can also be borrowed through the inter-library loan system.

Kenworth changed the name of St. Tikhon's cell attendant, from Jacob Sergievitch Ostroumoff to Yakov Anisimovich Polozov (chapter 5).  

St. Tikhon (January 18, 1865 - March 25, 1925, Julian calendar), the Patriarch of Moscow, sought to preserve the Church and the Faith against the onslaughts of the Bolsheviks and their tool, the ‘Living Church’. He  feared that one of his successors would fall and sign the Church over to the Bolsheviks as did in fact happen with Metropolitan Sergius.  (Chapter 5, pp. 102 - 103 of the revised version.)  He did not seek unity with the ‘Living Church’.  On the contrary, in the Patriarch’s statement, p. 90-93, he spoke of how the ‘Living Church’ group had separated themselves from the true Church.  He roundly condemned them. He declared all the arrangements that they had made were ‘null and void, and all actions and sacraments performed by bishops and clergymen who have forsaken the Church, are devoid of the grace of God while the faithful taking part in such prayers and such sacraments shall receive no sanctification thereby, and are subject to condemnation for participation in their sin.’

Jane Swan’s biography documents an important part of recent Russian Church history that is grossly misunderstood in the West.  I have the original biography of Patriarch Tikhon by her and was hopeful that this version would include updated information. This ‘revised’ version, however, leaves something to be desired.  I went through and compared the original and Kenworthy’s revision.  He should have written his own biography instead of playing copy editor to Jane Swan.

He couldn't resist adding words here, subtracting words there or rearranging J. Swan's sentences or rephrasing.  He replaced words with synonyms. But, he faithfully copied typos from the original! Sometimes for pages, he copied the original wording with no changes. A good copy editor wouldn’t have copied the typos and would have left Jane Swan’s style alone.

He replaced Sobor with Council but then put in podvorye in place of Hotel (chapter 2) which is capricious.  He replaced klobuk with kukol (chapter 2) with no explanation for the change.   He changed the name of St. Tikhon's cell attendant from Jacob Sergievitch Ostroumoff to Yakov Anisimovich Polozov (chapter 5) without explanation. If it was a correction, he should have so noted it.  At least in the end notes, he indicated which were his and which ones were original.

Kenworthy didn’t include any information about the glorification of the saint by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad on October 19, 1981 (Julian calendar) along with the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russian or even mention that St. Tikhon’s feast day is celebrated on Nov. 5/18 or the reason for that choice.  It so happens that Nov. 5/18 is the day on which St. Tikhon was selected as the new patriarch.  J. Swan did not include that date, but Kentworthy could have.  He has added very little to our knowledge of the Saint beyond lamenting that this is the only biography in English.  He has taken advantage of little of the resources that his preface claims have become available.

He did add some photos, including one from the burial service and two of the finding of the saint's relics and one of a full length icon.  The photo of the Patriarch in the original biography was not included.  It is, however, available on the internet here:
Reviewed by ROCA layman

S. Kenworthy's Preface in his new edition


Joanna said...

So, with this thorough examination of the two editions, what can we surmise is the reason for the ROCOR-MP to publish a 2nd edition at this time? This 2nd edition is not the ROCOR-MP usual rewriting of history that has been going on since the Laurus synod. I have a guess, based on an observation made by the GOC Protopsaltis.

"ROCOR Russians often neglect St Tikhon as a missionary Saint and focus heavily on his status as a New Martyr."

Yes, ROCOR has always emphasized St. Tikhon as a martyr and confessor, while the OCA focuses on his missionary labors towards Americans. It occurred to me that since the ROCOR-MP union, along with the ROCOR-MP humiliating itself and degrading itself by going into communion with the OCA; the OCA has this belief that the ROCOR finally came out of schism and by joining them has now become canonical. The ROCOR-MP understandably does not like that. So, to help gain back some esteem, they want to point out to the OCA that the OCA's beloved Saint Tikhon was first a confessor - first he was a founder of the very ROCOR that they erroneously believe was a schism before it joined world-Orthodoxy. Maybe this was the reason for the 2nd edition of his biography at this time...


John Peter Presson said...

St Tikhon is an interesting and frequently misunderstood and misinterpreted figure in early American Orthodox Church history much as Blessed Raphael of Brooklyn.

Both ROCOR and the Metropolia (OCA) inflated aspects of his sanctity often to the exclusion of others when both his martyric and missionary spirit are part of his being a Confessor and Doctor of the faith. Often misinterpreted is his "blessing" of the so called "Western Rite" in the form of a modified Episcopalian Book of Common Prayer rite. He did not actually bless it but blessed a commission to look into the possibility of its use amongst new converts --basically scouring it for heresies. In the end it was never actually implemented for a host of theological, teleturgical and historical reasons, one could presume. He is also misinterpreted as pro-ecumenical largely because of his dalliances with various Anglicans. One has to remember that times and attitudes were very different and Orthodoxy in this country innocently saw various liturgically minded Protestants as potential converts not as equals as they do now.

All in all, he is amongst one of my favourites amongst both Russian and American hagiography.

Joanna said...

Some selected links:

Kenworthy spoke at this conference last fall
Start at the bottom of p. 5 for start of the section about Pat. Tikhon:
Interesting piece of history from the Episcopalian viewpoint

Pat. Tikhon youtube

St.Met. Philaret about Anathema of St. Tikhon
Can someone translate it to English, please?

Joanna said...

Scott M. Kenworthy, Associate Professor of Comparative Religion, Miami University (Oxford, OH)
Before the Patriarchate: The Life and Times of St Tikhon of Moscow Before 1917

What do we make of this conference?

This event might suggest that rather than the ROCOR-MP wanting to educate the OCA about the truth about ROCOR, maybe the ROCOR-MP wants to re-educate their Russians to accept the OCA (?)

Why did the ROCOR-MP come out with this 2nd edition of St. Tikhon's biography at this time? They must have a reason, and it can't be willy nilly.

Post a Comment