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.


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 “conservative character [is] suspicious of doctrinaire alteration, respectful toward history, preferring variety over uniformity, acknowledging a moral order composed of human persons, not of mere political and economic atoms subservient to the state.”

Russell Kirk, A Program for Conservatives, 1954

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A new issue of Studies in Burke and His Time

SBHT24 Cover The Edmund Burke Society of America announces a new issue of their journal, Studies in Burke and His Time, Volume 24. The issue features articles on Burke’s identity, and also includes a report on the 2015 conference on Burke held at Villanova University. Articles from Matt Salyer, Michael Brown, and Ian Crowe accompany several book reviews, including a review of Yuval Levin’s Great Debate. The journal is being released as a PDF and is now available for download.

Nov 2015

Russell Kirk as a Midwestern Writer

A panel on “Russell Kirk as a Midwestern Writer”  took place at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature on June 2, 2015 at Michigan State University. Jon Lauck was the moderator and presentations were made by Gleaves Whitney, James Person and James Seaton. The session was recorded and is available here.

Jul 2015

Spring Newsletter

The latest number of the Russell Kirk Center newsletter (Spring 2015) has just been posted. It features news on the recent Edmund Burke Society conference and other recent visitors and scholars at the Kirk Center. You can download it, and past issues, here.

Jun 2015