Memory Eternal!!
Memory Eternal

Professor Veselin Kesich Reposes in the Lord


[SVOTS Communications—Yonkers, NY] On Tuesday morning, June 26, 2012, Dr. Veselin Kesich, who was Professor of New Testament emeritus at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, reposed in the Lord. Professor Kesich was beloved by generations of seminary alumni, not only for his academic expertise but also for the hospitality and love he demonstrated to students, along with his wife, Lydia (+ 2006), over the several decades they lived on the seminary campus.

Professor Kesich was born in Bosnia, Yugoslavia, March 12, 1921. After finishing his gymnasium education in Banja Luka, he started studies at Belgrade University. At the end of the Second World War he lived in a Displaced Persons Camp in Italy until he was selected to study theology at Dorchester College in England. In 1949 he came to New York to continue his studies at Columbia University, St. Vladimir's Seminary, and Union Theological Seminary, receiving his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1959. 

From 1953–1991 he served on the Faculty of St. Vladimir's, focusing on New Testament Studies, and from 1983–1984 he served as Acting Dean. His other academic appointments included: 1966–86, Faculty Member, Comparative Religion, Sarah Lawrence College; 1965–1974, Adjunct Professor, Serbo–Croatian Literature, New York University; 1962–1963, Visiting Associate Professor, Dept. of Slavic Languages, University of California, Berkeley; and 1959–1963, Visiting Faculty, Comparative Religion, Hofstra University. When time permitted, he taught elective courses in Serbian Church History, which resulted in several journal articles and essays in books: “The Martyrdom of the Serbs: The Church in the Ustashe State, 1941–1945,” “The Early Serbian Church as Described in the Earliest Serbian Biography,” “Bosnia: History and Religion,” and “Kosovo in the History of the Serbian Church.” 

Always Orthodox in his perspective and a willing witness to his faith, he participated as the Orthodox member of several ecumenical dialogues with Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, and served as the President of the Orthodox Theological Society. Additionally, he lectured, participated in panel discussions, and served as a retreat leader to college groups and church gatherings throughout the country. 

His most recent book, Formation and Struggles: The Birth of the Church AD 33–200 (2007) fulfilled his desire to re-activate and contribute to The Church in History series published by St Vladimir’s Seminary Press (SVS Press), a series designed to present a view of church history from the Orthodox Christian scholarly and theological point of view. His other works, all published by SVS Press, include: with Lydia W. Kesich, The Treasures of the Holy Land (1985); The First Day of the New Creation (Crestwood: SVS Press, 1982); The Gospel Image of Christ: The Church and Modern Criticism (1972; second enlarged edition, 1991); and The Passion of Christ (1965; new introduction 2004). 

A funeral service for Professor Kesich will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m., Monday, July 2, 2012, at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 133 Pleasant Street, Portland, Maine.

Read the full article on St. Vladimir’s Seminary’s Website, here.


May his memory be eternal!

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