Bosnia & Herzegovina | Serbia | United States
His Grace the Right Reverend MAXIM (Vasiljevic) Bishop of Western America, The Serbian Orthodox Church, earned his doctorate from the University of Athens in the field of dogmatics and patristics in 1999. He is a professor of Patristics at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Belgrade. He entertained a one-year post-doctoral course on Byzantine History and Theology at the Sorbonne in Paris from 2003-4. At the same time, as a visiting professor at the French Academy of Fine Arts (Beaux-arts) in Paris he dealt with the theory and practice of painting. He was the editor of Bogoslovlje (Theology), the official organ of the Orthodox Theological Faculty in Belgrade. In 2006, he was elected bishop of the Western American Diocese. His research interests include Holy Fathers, Saints, and iconography. Besides numerous books and scholarly articles, his bibliography includes three recently published books: History, Truth, Holiness (Los Angeles, Sebastian Press: 2011), Holiness: Divine and Human (Belgrade: 2010, in Serbian), Theology as a Surprise (New York, St. Vladimir Seminary Press: 2018). He speaks Serbian, Greek, Russian, English and French.
A definition of truth must point to the “relationality” or referentiality of the common ground of existence that we share (truth in existential terms). The iconic approach of the Church presupposes that one accepts the existence of a presence to which one can relate. Truth in art does not simply correspond to the mind or reality. This encounter with the divine, in paradox and ambiguity, is a matter of relation rather than logical argumentation. Consequently, an iconographer interprets the event of the resurrected life not in an individualistic way; rather, he or she paints icons with a brush tuned to the vibration of the earthquake that raises the dead and does away with hell.
French Academy of Fine Arts (Beaux-arts) in Paris, visiting professor, studies in the theory and practice of painting (2003-4)
Sorbonne in Paris, Post-doctoral course on Byzantine History and Theology (2003-4)
The University of Athens, doctorate (1999)
The University of Belgrade, undergraduate studies (1993)