Chinese Orthodox Church
English translation by Katherine Ilachinski
With the blessing of His Grace Maxim, Bishop of Barnaul and Altai, Barnaul seminary rector, on October 13, as part of the Open House of Barnaul Theological School, in the auditorium of the seminary, a quiz was held for students from China studying in the Altai State University.
Since there were tours of the Orthodox churches already conducted for these students, the purpose of the quiz was to introduce the Chinese to how the name of hierarchical degrees of clergy, vestments and items used in church are written in their own language. A crucial role in the quiz was played by teacher Tamara Zlobin, who has great teaching experience, and communicating in the Altai State University with these students, initiated this unique quiz. Important role in the preparation and conduct of the quiz was played by 5th year exchange student – Hierodeacon Seraphim (Belikov), who is working on the final qualifying project in Barnaul seminary, associated with the experience of missionary work in China. Monk Seraphim is studying the Chinese language, the knowledge of which he used in the quiz. A group of Chinese students were accompanied by Kinzel Alena Vasilievna and Sorokina Marija Olegovna, teachers of Altai State University.
In preparation for the quiz they used religious terminology dictionary, sent by Fr Dionisy Pozdnyaev (Orthodox Brotherhood of St. Peter and Paul in Hong Kong). This Sino-Russian dictionary-theological vocabulary, the main compiler of which is Marina Vitalevna Rumyantsev, is designed primarily for those Chinese who would like to get an idea of Orthodoxy. It is absolutely obvious that without this knowledge it is not only impossible to define their attitude to accept baptism and participation in church life, but it is impossible to study Russian culture, and translate texts, and not only the church related. Preparation of such a dictionary proved to be very time consuming, not only because of the lack of accurate Chinese equivalents, no special vocabulary and existing debris of Buddhist terminology, but also because of different approaches to translation of necessary concepts by professionals. First of all, the authors sought to choose the option of translation, which does not lead to distortion of the meaning and would be understood by the modern Chinese people, without specific theological education.
Unfortunately, the Chinese translations, done by Russian missionaries in the early twentieth century, in most cases, do not meet this objective precisely because of its incomprehensibility by modern Chinese people. To solve this problem required a whole number of specialists.
The first steps to establish the glossary have been made by Professor Zhang Baichun (PRC), in later work priest Peter Adamek and Professor Zbigniew Veselovsky (Poland) from Fu Jen Roman Catholic University in Taiwan took part, and without their support it would be difficult to imagine the possibility of bringing a dictionary to the next stage at which a great help was provided by Greek translator Ioannis Chen, student of the Theological Faculty of the University of Thessaloniki (Greece). He has made a significant contribution to the explanatory part of the vocabulary and helped clarify a number of terms, which are treated differently in the Catholic and Orthodox traditions. Also employees of the Department of calendar Publishing Council of the ROC, including Alexander Vladimirovich Shishkin made a number of revisions and clarifications to Russian part of the vocabulary. Finally, in the final stage of the dictionary work it has been fully proofread and corrected for the fifth time with the help of Chen Yiting – postgraduate student of the Russian language in Chengchi University (Taipei), who has chosen a translation of liturgical texts of the Russian Orthodox Church as an object of research for her master’s thesis.
The Chinese students quite successfully completed their task and almost all of the questions were answered correctly. Let’s hope that the grace of God touches their hearts and help them select the right path in their life journey.
At the end of the quiz, the guests were invited to familiarize with the seminary, with numerous presentations prepared for the Open House Day. Chinese students have expressed curiosity, asking questions. Accompanying teachers and Chinese students were presented with gifts. The event was ended by taking a picture in front of the seminary. Guests have promised to come again.
We thank the organizers of the event. Thank you for participating in the quiz 5th-year seminary students Alexei Inchina, Alexei Shipilov, Nikita Shetel, 4th-year pupil Vasily Polezhaev, and 2nd-year pupil Alexander Devjatich.
(Materials in the dictionary are also on the website: www.orthodox.cn)
Training part of Barnaul seminary
5th-year exchange student of Barnaul Seminary
Hierodeacon Seraphim (Belikov)