Donnerstag, 9. April 2009

Orthodox German: Hieromonk Clement (Sederholm)

Thanks to Ручьёв of the Incendiary blog, I have found a book I have long been looking for. Of course, it's in Russian - which I don't read - but I at least know that the book has been published in this century rather than the turn of the last (like, 1902).

Православный немец. Иеромонах Климент (Зедергольм) [Orthodox German: Hieromonk Clement (Sederholm)] was published in 2005 by Московское подворье Свято-Введенской Оптиной Пустыни [the Moscow dependency of the Holy-Entry Optina Hermitage].

It contains letters to his father (a Lutheran pastor, thus my interest), two biographies of Fr. Clement (one of which was written by Konstantin Leontiev and is available online here and here [also, John Hogg has begun an English translation of it in the combox here]) and six other articles of his. Two works of his have appeared in English - Elder Leonid of Optina and Elder Anthony of Optina - both published by St. Herman Press.

I am eager to see this text translated into English and would be thankful for any help at all in even a rough translation into English.

I shall also append Leonard Stanton's brief overview of Fr Clement's life in his wonderful book, The Optina Pustyn Monastery in the Russian Literary Imagination (NY: Peter Lang, 1995), p. 152:

The author [of the Life of Elder Leonid of Optina], Karl (later Father Kliment) Zedergol'm, died in 1878, before Dostoevsky's last visit to Optina. Zedergol'm was a cantakerous man of great culture and learning. He was at home both in a monastic setting and in the inner circles of Russia's literary beau monde. He graduated in classics from Moscow University in 1853, having written a master's thesis on Cato the Elder that [Konstantin] Leont'ev, his biographer, called both stimulating and controversial. In the same year, Zedergol'm converted from Lutheranism to Orthodoxy. (His father was the head Lutheran pastor in Moscow at the time.) Zedergol'm was at home in the brilliant Moscow salons, particularly Mrs Elagin's with its erudite ferment of German Romantic thought and Slavophilism. He was a protégé of Ivan Vasil'evich Kireevskii, Russia's first original philosopher, and counted among the friends of his youth some of the leading lights of the Moscow literary intelligentsia, including Tertii Filippov and the 'young editors' of The Muscovite. After a brief career as a layman working in the Holy Synod, Zedergol'm entered Optina Pustyn in 1862 and soon became a monk and a priest as well. He was never himself an elder, nor was he possessed of a sufficiently irenic disposition ever to have been considered for elderhood. He devoted himself to literary endeavors at Optina, as a translator of spiritual works from Latin and Greek into Russian, as the author of the elders' biographies, and as secretary to Elder Amvrosii.