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On December 7, 2018, the presentation of the Chinese version of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia’s book ‘In His Own Words’ took place at President Hotel in Moscow.

The book was presented by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, and Metropolitan Tikhon of Pskov and Porkhov, head of the Patriarchal Council for Culture.

Present at the event were: Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Apostolic Nuncio to Russia; Mr. Ye. Tomikhin, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs ambassador-at-large; Mr. Gong Jiajia, counsellor for culture of the Chinese embassy in Russia; Bishop Nikolay of Balashikha, Moscow Patriarchate Publishers editor-in-chief; Hegumen Serapion (Mitko), deputy head of the synodal mission department; Archpriest Igor Zuev, rector of the Chinese Patriarchal methochion in Moscow; Archpriest Dionysy Pozdnyaev, rector of the church of Ss Peter and Paul in Hong Kong; Prof. Sun Yue, translator of the book, Qinghua University Institute of Russian-China Strategic Cooperation; Mr. A. Semenov and Prof. T. Semenova, editors of the book, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diplomatic Academy and Higher Course of Foreign Languages, respectively; as well as Russian orientalists and Chinese specialists in Russian philology.

In his speech, Metropolitan Hilarion stressed that the book offered to the Chinese reader represents a living word about Christ, born from Patriarch Kirill’s own reflections and personal experience of the faith. He also said that the book was already translated into 14 languages – a fact showing that its reflections are relevant for the modern man who thinks about the meaning of human life regardless of where he lives – in Russia or in China, in Europe or in Asia.

Bishop Tikhon of Pskov and Porkhov, who spoke next, said that the voice of Patriarch Kirill is especially important because he, together with his generation and parents, went through the Church’s whole way of confession in the 20th century. Through his book Patriarch Kirill speaks about his faith, the faith of his compatriots, ancestors and all the Russian people and about their lofty ideals. ‘We hope’, he said, ‘that the interest in the study of Russian history and culture will grow and that more books about the soul of the Russian people will come out in the Chinese language’.

Mr. Tomikhin described Patriarch Kirill’s book as a contribution to Russian sinology and Chinese Russian studies. ‘Both in China and Russia, most people share the same values – these are social values, moral values, moral family values. This book and other similar works in Russian and Chinese will deepen mutual understanding, friendship and peace between our nations’.

Prof. Sun Yue, the translator of the book, stressed that ‘In His Own Words’ is a modern Christian work of educational significance. ‘Intertwined in the book are several genres: theology, history, philosophy, psychology and publicism’ and noted that, as compared to the TV talk-show of the same name, it is much richer in contents due to additional topics and unexpected interpretations of famous biblical stories.

Ms. Semenova, head of the chair of oral translation of the MIA Higher Course of Foreign Languages, said that the Chinese version of Patriarch Kirill’s book will be of interest not only to Chinese readers as a religious and philosophic work, but also to Russian sinologists who study the Chinese language in all its manifestations. ‘Written in a simple, intelligible language, the book will encourage the reader to look anew at events which happened over two thousand years ago and realize that all that happened at that time has a direct bearing on the present and on our life today. It is very important that Prof. Sun Yue managed to convey the letter and spirit of the book’, she said.

In conclusion of the presentation, Metropolitan Hilarion thanked Metropolitan Tikhon as chairman of the Patriarchal Council for Culture and Prof. Sum Yue as the translator of the book and all those who worked to publish it and expressed hope that the book published in Chinese will find a way to the hearts of Chinese believers.

DECR Communication Service