15 August 2008
A shameless plea for money
In reading Khomiakov's On the western confessions of faith, I found an intriguing reference to a book by one Adam Zernikav. Khomiakov writes, "...I mention the fact that the work of Adam Zernikavius, in which it is demonstrated that all the testimony drawn from the works of the holy fathers in support of the addition to the Creed was intentionally altered or misquoted, still stands unrefuted."
Fr. Georges Florovsky seconds Khomiakov's assessment. He says, "Of a somewhat different mold than these Kievan scholars was Adam Zernikav of Chernigov. He deserves mention because of his special place in the ranks of religious leaders at that time in the south of Russia. Born in Konigsberg, and trained in Protestant schools, Zernikav came to Orthodoxy through scholarly study of the early Christian tradition. After a long period in the West, primarily in study at Oxford and London, he turned up in Chernigov. There he made his mark as the author of the treatise, De processione Spiritus Sancti, which after its belated publication in Leipzig in 1774-1776 by Samuil Mislavskii, Metropolitan of Kiev, gained him wide renown. It appears to have been Zernikav's only work, but it is the work of a lifetime. There is manifested in it an enormous erudition and a great gift for theological analysis. To this day Zernikav's work remains a skillful compilation of valuable materials, one of the most comprehensive studies on the subject ever made. It still deserves to be read."
When I tried to find this work by Interlibrary loan, I was unsuccessful. The librarian at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto pointed me to the State Library of Vienna, which seems to be one of the few places to find the work.
Thanks to some help from a Lutheran friend, I have been able to secure a microfilm copy of the text. I wish to do a Latin/English edition of the text. It will probably take the rest of my life to accomplish it, since the work is hundreds of pages long, and I have only spare time. (Yes, I am selfish, and want to do the whole thing myself, rather than farming it out.)
In any case, the bill I must pay for the microfilm is about 253 Euros, or around 375 US dollars. I am making a shameless plea for anyone interested, if you're willing, to help defray the cost. (I also plan to sell my English edition of Luther's works--nearly complete--to help pay as well.) Any help, however small, would be greatly appreciated. (Even more important, remember me in your prayers.)
From what I gather so far, it appears that Zernikav was a Lutheran convert to Orthodoxy--at a time when such things were unheard of. That makes the text all the more intrinsically interesting to me. If the text lives up to Khomiakov's billing, it should prove very helpful in the ongoing discussion of the filioque.