Vigen Guroian

Vigen Guroian is a permanent Senior Fellow of the Russell Kirk Center and Professor of Religious Studies in Orthodox Christianity at the University of Virginia. He is the recipient of the University of Virginia Student Council Distinguished Teacher Award for 2010–2011.

Vigen Guroian

His wife, June Vranian, works as an interior designer. They have two grown children, Rafi and Victoria. June and Vigen live in Culpeper, Virginia on five acres of rolling countryside where they enjoy tending their large perennial and vegetable gardens, keeping bees, and strolling down the wooded “Wordsworthian Walk” to Hungry Run.

Dr. Guroian received his B.A. from the University of Virginia in 1970 and his Ph.D. in Theology from Drew University in 1978. He has authored ten books and contributed nearly two hundred articles to books, journals, encyclopedias, magazines, and newspapers. His books have been translated into Greek, Russian, and Romanian.

Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child’s Moral Imagination, published in 1998, received national attention in newspapers and on radio, including NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” and “The Mark Steiner Show.” It has continued to be read and used as an educational resource by parents, homeschoolers, religious instructors, and classical school faculties.

Dr. Guroian has written two books of Christian meditations on gardening. Inheriting Paradise (1999) and The Fragrance of God (2006). These are by the author’s own admission his favorite writing. They have earned him invitations to speak and give readings from gardening groups and churches in America and Great Britain. Mars Hill Audio offers a complete recording of Inheriting Paradise read by the author. The Fragrance of God has been the subject of an interview with the author on the syndicated National Public Radio Program, “On Being” (previously “Speaking of Faith”).

In 2005, ISI Books issued a collection of Dr. Guroian’s essays on literature, politics, education, and ethics. The book’s title is Rallying the Really Human Things. It includes such chapters as “On Fairy Tales and the Moral Imagination,” “On the Office of Being a Good Son or Daughter.” “Huxley’s Mirror,” “Flannery O’Connor: The Art of Incarnation,” “Dorm Brothel,” and “Why Should Businessmen Read Great Literature?”

Over the years, Dr. Guroian has gained prominence as an Eastern Orthodox theologian and ethicist. His first book Incarnate Love: Essays in Orthodox Ethics (1987) is a favored text in college and seminary courses, and the University of Notre Dame Press published a second expanded edition in 2002. In 2004, Wipf and Stock Publishers reissued his second book on ethics in the Orthodox tradition, Ethics After Christendom: Toward an Ecclesial Christian Ethic (1994). His most recent book The Melody of Faith: Theology in an Orthodox Key was published in 2010.

In past years, Dr. Guroian has been active in both the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches. He has served for many years as an advisor to the Armenian Religious Education Council of the Prelacy of the Armenian Church of America.

He is Senior Fellow of the Center on Law and Religion of Emory University, Senior Fellow of the Trinity Forum, and an ongoing Fellow of the Wilberforce Forum under Prison Fellowship Ministries founded by the late Charles Colson.

Bibliography

Dr. Guroian is the author of several books as well as an edition of Russell Kirk's ghost stories, Ancestral Shadows: An Anthology of Ghostly Tales (Eerdmans, 2005):

Other resources

A culture is perennially in need of renewal. A culture does not survive and prosper merely by being taken for granted; active defense is always required, and imaginative growth, too.

Russell Kirk

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Highlights

Roots in Russian

Newsletter coverThe Spring 2018 Permanent Things Newsletter is now available. News items include an announcement of Russell Kirk’s The Roots of American Order recently published in Russian for the first time. Translator Dr. Marina Kizima, a professor at Moscow State Institute, was a Wilbur Fellow at the Kirk Center while researching and writing on American literature, culture, and intellectual traditions.

May 2018

In Memoriam: Sally Sluhan Wright (1947–2018)

Sally Wright, a long-time family friend of the Kirks and the Kirk Center, passed away on June 15, 2018. Her father Clyde Sluhan, founder of Master Chemical Company in Ohio, and his wife Marian were great friends of Russell Kirk. The Sluhans exchanged many visits with the Kirks and on one occasion brought Count Nikolai Tolstoy, the Russian-English writer and politician, to visit the Kirks.

Sally was a prolific writer of mystery novels and an Edgar Alan Poe Award Finalist. Sally’s Ben Reese series chronicles the investigations of a WWII Ranger turned academic archivist in six mysteries that unfold in Britain, the U.S., and Italy where he researches arcane artifacts while seeking some sort of justice for the victims of unsolved murders. In her Jo Grant mystery series, the story is driven by the conflicts and emotional connections in three family businesses in the horse industry in Kentucky in the early 1960s. The University Bookman reviewed both series in an essay called “The Moral Imagination in the Mystery Novels of Sally Wright” by Ashlee Cowles.

Reviewers have compared her work to that of Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Josephine Tey, Margery Allingham, and Ngaio Marsh. Sally said that her literary influences ranged from all of those to Tolstoy and Jane Austen. “And yet it’s C. S. Lewis who’s probably influenced me most, through the whole body of his work, as a thinker, a person, and a writer,” she wrote. “In his Chronicles of Narnia and his metaphysical novels, The Great Divorce and The Screwtape Letters, he uses popular fiction to talk about what T. S. Eliot called ‘the permanent things’—consideration of morality, of origin, and spiritual meaning. It was those books that started me thinking about writing mysteries to begin with.”

Sally and her husband Joe were stalwart supporters of the Kirk Center. In honor of her memory, the Kirk Center is featuring the extensive personal interview that Sally conducted with Dr. Kirk.

Jun 2018

Undergraduate and Graduate Student Seminars This Spring

For a long weekend in March, Hillsdale College Honors Students gathered at the Kirk Center to explore the theme “Man as Maker in Moral Perspective.” Professor of Classics Eric Hutchinson guided the students on the complex topics of transhumanism and cloning, followed by readings from Ray Bradbury’s science fiction stories. Although the March winds deterred students from an afternoon walk, they rounded out the weekend with piano-playing and singing at the Kirk house.

Hillsdale Seminar March 2018

On April 26–29, the Kirk Center welcomes this year’s recipients of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s prestigious Richard M. Weaver Fellowships for a seminar about Plato’s writings on education, sponsored by The Liberty Fund of Indianapolis. Since 1964, the Weaver Fellowship Program has identified and supported graduate students committed to freedom-oriented teaching at the college level. This year, fifteen students from across the country were selected as Weaver Fellows. Dr. David Corey, professor of Political Science at Baylor University, and Dr. Richard Gamble, professor of history at Hillsdale College, will lead the discussions.

Apr 2018