DIVINE SIGNIFICANCE OF CHURCH SLAVONIC LETTERS
English / Russian editions
In Divine Significance of Church Slavonic Letters, the Russian-Maltese Orthodox scholar and linguist Larisa Dmitrieva Micallef reveals and conveys the meaning and outlook of each letter in the Church Slavonic alphabet, with their inherent divine wisdom and cognitive/educative functions. Church Slavonic is the proto-Slav language of Saints Cyril and Methodius, that significantly influenced Russian language, literature, and culture. It is also the old liturgical language of the Orthodox Church. Dmitrieva Micallef explores the origin and intersection of Russian and other Slavonic languages, expertly showing how sociocultural values in both Russia and Orthodoxy were formed through Church Slavonic. Similarities and differences between the Church Slavonic and Russian languages are clarified. Readers are introduced to Church Slavonic as a way of communicating with God, since the alphabet itself, combined together, results in a homily, with the divine wisdom found therein providing the Word of God for a deep spiritual journey.
Praise for Divine Significance
"Divine Significance of Church Slavonic Letters by Larisa Dmitrieva Micallef, Ph.D., is about the meaning and divine function of the Church Slavonic letters, which combined together produce a homily. Church Slavonic letters are also compared with modern Russian letters. The book reveals the significance of Church Slavonic. Despite the creed, it is the proto-Slavonic language which influenced Russian language, literature, and culture. For a non-native reader, the book provides information about the origin of Russian and other Slavonic languages, and shows how cultural values were formed in Orthodox society with the help of Church Slavonic. For an Orthodox reader, it introduces the reader to the Church Slavonic alphabet as a way of communicating with God. It preaches God’s words to those who have started to conceive God. One advantage of this book is that the author managed to reveal and convey the divine meaning of each Church Slavonic letter. She also explained the homily, which is a combination of the letters. Another advantage is in the comparison between the Church Slavonic and Russian letters, in finding the analogue of each Church Slavonic letter in the Russian language . . . Divine Significance of Church Slavonic Letters by Larisa Dmitrieva Micallef corresponds to the requirements established for such a work and is highly recommended for publication" - Archpriest Andrey Khokhlov, Senior priest, Saint John the Apostle’s Church, Bronnaya, Moscow.
"Dmitrieva Micallef, author of Divine Significance in Church Slavonic Letters, is a linguist and Ph.D. scholar who is also an assistant professor and researcher at the Leo Tolstoy Institute of Languages and Culture, Moscow, Russia. Her book contains interesting facts about the history and origin of the Russian language through the Church Slavonic alphabet. Most of the letters in Church Slavonic have meanings, which enable one to learn how to read Church-Slavonic in an easy way. The book is written in clear language for different readers: those who want to learn the basics of Church Slavonic, to read and understand Orthodox Scripture, and those who are interested in the Russian culture and language. Enjoy, therefore, your exciting journey through the history of the Russian language and culture through Church Slavonic" - Marina Tikhonycheva, Ph.D., Rector, Tolstoy Institute of Languages and Culture, Moscow.
"Compact volume eminently readable, educational and practical in assisting one in the reading of Church Slavonic. Written by a true scholar, Larisa presents the letters (visually printed) of the alphabet letter by letter, providing its pronunciation in sound and word context and as Church Slavonic is a phonetic language once one can pronounce the letters, one can easily read and pronounce the printed words and texts of liturgical books. Larisa also provides a history of the Church Slavonic language and letters, and their symbolic religious dimensions and associations, showing how the letters themselves form a kind of basic catechism or 'creed' of the faith, which become incorporated into every word one reads in the liturgical prayers and service books, and subtly communicate those truths with every word one reads. And so we have in addition to the texts of the prayers, we receive the message of each letter that forms the words of those prayers or Scripture passages . . Larisa shows that while vernacular, be it Russian or Ukrainian or other, will always be a reality and need, it can never supplant or replace Church Slavonic and the two can well co-exist to the benefit of the other . . . Larisa's work is a most helpful reference to actively read those prayers and liturgical texts, and i thank her for writing and making it available" - 5* review, Amazon