Nicholas Afanasiev

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Nicholas Afanasiev (1893-1966) (НИКОЛАЙ НИКОЛАЕВИЧ АФАНАСЬЕВ) was a prominent Russian priest and theologian.

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Afanasiev was born in Odessa on September 4, 1893. After studying mathematics at university, he served in the White Army artillery during the civil war following the Russian Revolution. He married his wife, Marianne, in 1925.

Afanasiev pursued graduate studies under A. P. Dobroklonsky, the noted historian of the Russian Church, at the University of Belgrade, receiving his doctorate in 1927. He taught at the Orthodox seminary in Skopije from 1925-1930, and then began teaching church history and canon law at the St Sergius Institute in 1930. Afanasiev was ordained a priest on January 6, 1940, and took up pastoral work in the south of France until returning to St Sergius in 1947. He died December 4, 1966.


  • Trapeza Gospodnia (Lord’s Supper). Paris: YMCA Press, 1952.
  • The Church of the Holy Spirit. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007. (ISBN 978-0268020309)
  • ”The Church Which Presides in Love” in John Meyendorff, ed., The Primacy of Peter: Essays in Ecclesiology and the Early Church, new ed. Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1992. (ISBN 978-0881411256)


  • Aidan Nichols, Theology in the Russian Diaspora: Church, Fathers, Eucharist in Nikolai Afanas’ev (1893-1966). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. (ISBN 978-0521365437)