Olga Sevastyanova

Research interests

Olga’s research focuses on the mystery of the human encounter with God, especially human love for God and God’s love for humanity. Her particular areas of focus are the paradigm of mystical ascent, especially the ascent of Moses to the mount Sinai as it is described in the Patristic tradition, as well as pneumatology, asceticism, covenantal and ‘conjugal’ aspects of the divine-human relationship, the process of human growing “to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph 4:13). Olga’s research interests lie primarily in the field of systematic theology. Her early research interests include the history of Novgorod as the principal city of Byzantine religious (not political) conquest which served as a background to the widespread influence of art and ecclesiastical culture. She used to have a particular interest in the fifteenth-century manuscripts of the archbishop Evfimij II in the ecclesiastical reforms of the Novgorod bishops and the semantics of bishop’s clothing in the fourteenth century.

Olga holds a summa cum laude PhD from the University of Zurich, an MTh in Systematic Theology and an MTh in Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Aberdeen, where she was particularly influenced by the late professor John Webster who was my supervisor in 2011-2013.

Olga’s welcome speech at the ORIC Third Theological Conference Holiness, Perfection, Theosis

Publications

Books:

Ex Patribus Lux: Essays on Orthodox Theological Anthropology and Georges Florovsky’s Theology: Volos Academy & St. John Chrysostom Institute Theology Series #2, edited by Olga Sevastyanova and Nikolaos Asproulis. Volos Academy Publishing, 2021. 121 pp.

Understanding Orthodox Spirituality today: Insights from Patristic and Contemporary Theology: Volos Academy & St. John Chrysostom Institute Theology Series #2, edited by Olga Sevastyanova and Nikolaos Asproulis. Volos Academy Publishing, 2019. 158 pp.

Novgorod or the forgotten Russia (Novgorod ou la Russie oubliée), edited by Philippe Frison and Olga Sevastyanova. Paris: Le Ver à Soie, Virginie Symaniec éditrice, 2015. 461 p. 

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Old Novgorod: the Relationship of the People of Novgorod with the Princes from the Twelfth to the Fifteenth century. Moscow-St. Petersburg: Allianz-Archeo, 2011. 408 pp. 

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Novgorod the Great: The preconditions of the Novgorod political freedom from the Twelfth to the Fifteenth century. Lambert Academic Publishing: Saarbrücken, 2012.

 

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Academic Articles and Book Chapters: 

“Celibate or Celebrate? The Fight for Christian Authenticity: Theological Dialogue between Fr Georges Florovsky (1893-1979) and Rev Anders Nygren (1890-1978)”. In Ex Patribus Lux: Essays on Orthodox Theological Anthropology and Georges Florovsky’s Theology: Volos Academy & St. John Chrysostom Institute Theology Series #2, edited by Olga Sevastyanova and Nikolaos Asproulis. Volos Academy Publishing, 2021.

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“In Fight for the Words: Introduction.” In Ex Patribus Lux: Essays on Orthodox Theological Anthropology and Georges Florovsky’s Theology: Volos Academy & St. John Chrysostom Institute Theology Series #2, edited by Olga Sevastyanova and Nikolaos Asproulis. Volos Academy Publishing, 2021.

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“‘Come and See, Lord’, ‒ They Replied. Jesus Wept.” On Love: A Theological Response to the Pandemic.” In Communio Viatorum (2020), 1-LXII.

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“In Search of the Truth”. In: Understanding Orthodox Spirituality today: Insights from patristic and contemporary theology, edited by Olga Sevastyanova, Nikolaos Asproulis, 7-10. Volos Academy Publishing, 2019.

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“Christian Spirituality as the Work of the Holy Spirit and within the Holy Spirit: The Theology of St. Basil as an Antidote against the Secular Outlook.” In: Understanding Orthodox Spirituality today: Insights from patristic and contemporary theology, edited by Olga Sevastyanova, Nikolaos Asproulis, 29-39. Volos Academy Publishing, 2019.

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“The trading routes, the situation of Novgorod”. In Novgorod ou la Russie oubliée, edited by Philippe Frison and Olga Sevastyanova, 17-41. Paris: Le Ver à Soie, Virginie Symaniec éditrice, 2015.

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“The foundation of Novgorod”.  In Novgorod ou la Russie oubliée, edited by Philippe Frison and Olga Sevastyanova, 41-45. Paris: Le Ver à Soie, Virginie Symaniec éditrice, 2015.

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“Novgorod, a stepping stone to supreme power in Rus’”. In Novgorod ou la Russie oubliée, edited by Philippe Frison and Olga Sevastyanova, 109-125. Paris: Le Ver à Soie, Virginie Symaniec éditrice, 2015.

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“Novgorod as an object of rivalry between the grand principality of Vladimir and Lithuania”. In Novgorod ou la Russie oubliée, edited by Philippe Frison and Olga Sevastyanova, 125-131. Paris: Le Ver à Soie, Virginie Symaniec éditrice, 2015.

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“A theory of veche, an integral part of Russian culture”. In Novgorod ou la Russie oubliée, edited by Philippe Frison and Olga Sevastyanova, 141-159. Paris: Le Ver à Soie, Virginie Symaniec éditrice, 2015.

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“Novgorod, a myth of Russian thought, or Novgorod’s changing image from Catherine the Great to Putin”. In Novgorod ou la Russie oubliée, edited by Philippe Frison and Olga Sevastyanova, 363-383. Paris: Le Ver à Soie, Virginie Symaniec éditrice, 2015.

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“Novgorod Veche: A Deviation from the Republican Theory”. In Recent Discussions on the Novgorod “Veche”: An Interdisciplinary Dialog: Proceedings of the “Round Table” held on September 20th, 2010, edited by M. Krom. ST. Petersburg: EUSP Press, 2012.

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“In the Quest for the Key Democratic Institution of Medieval Russia: Was the Veche an Institution that Represented Novgorod as a City and a Republic?”. Heft 1 of the Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 58 (2010): 1–23.

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“The Fourth Novgorod Chronicle as a Source of the study of Political Views of Novgorod Archbishop Evfimij II”. Drevniaja Rus‘: Voprosy mediavistiki Moskva: RFK-Image Lab, (2010): 56-74.

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“The Semantics of the Novgorod White Klobuk and the Ecclesiastic Policy of the Novgorod Archbishop Basil (1331-1352)”. In The Khoroshie (=Good) Days. In Memory of Aleksander Stepanovich Khoroshev, 485-501. Great Novgorod‒ Saint-Petersburg ‒Moscow: Leop Art. 2009.

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“Problemy organizatsii russkikh shkol za rubezhom”. In 2-oi Mezhdynarodnyi forum rukovoditelej i pedagogov russkich zarubezhnych shkol. 16-17 marta 2009 g. London. 2009.

“The Social Conflict in Novgorod in the Second Third of the XII century as a Manifestation of the Novgorod “Republican” Identity”. In Herzen’s Reading:

Social sciences. St. Petersburg: RGP University Press, 2007.

“The Resistance of the People of Novgorod to the Grand Princes of Kiev as a Manifestation of the City Identity”. In Herzen’s Readings: Social sciences. St. Petersburg: RGPU Press.  2007.

“The Post Modernity in the Russian Culture”. In Philosophy and Civilization, Proceedings of the congress “Philosophy and Civilization”, October 30-31, St.- Petersburg: Kafedra, 1997.

Book reviews:

Valentin L. Janin, Očerki istorii srednevekovogo Novgoroda, Moskva: Jazyki Slavjanskich Kulʹtur, 2008, in: Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas / jgo.e-reviews, jgo.e-reviews 2013, 2, p. 3-4, http://recensio.net/r/126b642049fb4945bd3aaf753b796893

First published: Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas / jgo.e-reviews, jgo.e-reviews 2013, 2

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“Die Gerichtsurkunde von Pskov”, by Günter Baranowski. Peter Lang. Frankfurt an M, 2008. 440 pp., in Heft 3 of the Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 59 (2011): 429–430.

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“International Conference: “Writing and Rewriting Russian History from Ivan the Terrible to Vasily Kliuchevsky”: Paris, 9-11 May 2012” in the Heft 3 of the Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas  60 (2012): 469–472.

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Conference Talks

‘The Fight for Christian Authenticity: Theological Dialogue between Fr. George Florovsky and Rev. Anders Nygren.’ Orthodox Research Institute of St John Chrysostom Second International Conference in Cooperation with the Theological Faculty of Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj, Cluj-Napoca, December 2018

‘Discovery of Freedom and Dumitru Staniloae’s account of the logoi of Creation.’ 5th International Conference Religion, Knowledge, Society: Conceptions of Freedom in a ‘Post-Truth’ World: Religious and Philosophical Perspectives 1-3 July 2019, Constanta, July 2019

‘Novgorod Veche as Political Mythology.’ University of Heidelberg, Eurasian Parliamentary Practices and Political Mythologies: Imperial Legacies, Diversities, and Representations in the 20th and 21st Century, Heidelberg, June 2019

‘Work of the Holy Spirit or Hellenistic Spiritualisation? To Florovsky’s Defence of Orthodox Ascetic Spirituality.’ IOTA Inaugural Conference, Iasi, January 2019

Medieval Mystical Theology. In Dialogue With Contemporary Thought. An International Conference On The Occasion Of The 750th Anniversary Of The Death Of Beatrice Of Nazareth (1200-1268), KU Leuven, June 2018

‘Salvation as the Work of the Spirit and in the Spirit: Theology of St. Basil as an Antidote against the Secular Outlook.’ Orthodox Research Group of St John Chrysostom in cooperation with the Charles University Centre of Excellence: International Theological Conference: Understanding Orthodox Spirituality, Prague, December 2018

‘Mutual ministry or Grace of Detachment: Byzantine Divine Liturgy of John Chrysostom vs Mystagogyby Maximus the Confessor.’ Society for the Study of Theology Annual Conference. University of Nottingham,  April 2017

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‘Writing and Rewriting Russian History: From Ivan the Terrible to V. O. Kliuchevskii.’ Colloque International: Foundation Singer-Polignac, Paris, May 2012

‘The Demythologization of the Veche of Novgorod.’ Fitzwilliam College. BASEES Annual Conference, Cambridge, March 2011

‘Novgorod Veche: A Deviation from Republican Theory.’ Round Table: Recent Discussions on Novgorod Veche: An Interdisciplinary Dialog; as a part of the International Conference “Novgorodica—2010”. St. Petersburg – September 2010

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‘The Symbolic Significance of the White Klobuk and the Police of the Bishops of Novgorod in the Fourteenth Century.’ Fitzwilliam College, BASEES Annual Conference, Cambridge, March 2010

‘Establishment of Novgorod as a Republic.’ Fitzwilliam College, BASEES Annual Conference, Cambridge, March 2009

‘Establishment of Novgorod as a Republic.’ SEEMSG Annual Meeting, London, November 2009

‘The Problems of Organization of the Russian Schools Abroad.’ 2-nd International Forum of the leaders and teaches of the Russian schools abroad, March 2009

‘The Problem of the Identity Building of the Post-Soviet Russians.’ 2-nd Forum of the Russian-Speaking Community in the UK, November 2008

‘Selbstwahrnehmung und Selbstdarstellung der Novgoroder im Spaetmittelalter (Self-awareness and self-presentation of the Novgorodian in the late middle-ages).’ Zeit-Stiftung Seminar: Germany and its Neighbours, Hamburg, April 2004

‘The building of Novgorod’s Identity: to the Study of Mental Structures.’ Zeit-Stiftung seminar Germany and its Neighbours, Warsaw, April 2003

‘Building of Self-Identity in Post-Soviet Russia.’ Congress Philosophy and Civilization, St.Petersburg, October 1997