John Mikitish

John Mikitish's picture

Major Field: Church Slavonic Literature


Minor Field: Classical Tibetan Literature


Research Interests: The Church Slavonic literary tradition, from origins to the present day; hymnography; hagiography; poetry and poetics across languages and literatures; translation; meaning and usage of “scripture” in the Church Slavonic literary tradition; traditional philological methods and practice; contemporary literary theory and pre-modern reading and hermeneutics; ecclesiastical book culture (including both manuscript and printed books); prayer books; and the Russian Orthodox Church in Asia, especially East Asia. As far as artistic literature written in modern Russian is concerned, I have a burgeoning interest in Chekhov, Viacheslav Ivanov, and A. M. Remizov. I am dedicated to reading Orthodox Slavic sacred writers as part of the Eastern Orthodox Patristic heritage. I also have an academic interest in Tibetan Buddhism, especially as practiced in Siberia and Mongolia.




M.Div., 2016, St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, co-valedictorian, summa cum laude, commendation for thesis

B.A., Russian and Eastern European Studies, 2013, Yale University, summa cum laude and honors in major

Programs Abroad:


Yale Summer Session in Saint Petersburg, Summer 2012.

Harvard Beijing Academy, Summer 2010.

Degree Projects:


M.Div. thesis: A Liturgical and Devotional History of Akathist Hymns. Advisor: Alexander Rentel.

B.A. senior essay: Three Letters of the Archpriest Avvakum. Advisor: Harvey Goldblatt.

Awards, Programs, and Fellowships:


Directed Independent Language Study: Mongolian, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

Nani Deb Memorial Prize in Asian Religions, 2017

As an undergraduate:

Warren Memorial High Scholarship Prize, 2013

Scott Prize in Russian, 2013

Wolfgang Leonhard Prize, co-winner, 2013

Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha of Connecticut, Fall 2012

Directed Independent Language Study: Georgian, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012

Richard U. Light Fellowship, Summer 2010

Directed Independent Language Study: Colloquial Tibetan, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010

Editorial Positions:

Series Editor, Treasures of Orthodox Spirituality, St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2017–



Encyclopedia articles:

“Ivan Vishens’kyi.” The Literary Encyclopedia, August 1, 2019. Co-written with Harvey Goldblatt.


As translator:

Jesus Crucified: The Baroque Spirituality of Saint Dimitry of Rostov. Yonkers, NY: Saint Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2017. (materials for a second, revised edition have been submitted to the publisher)

As editor and translator:

Orthodox Christian Prayers. Co-edited with Hieromonk Herman. South Canaan, PA: Saint Tikhon’s Monastery Press, 2019. (now on its third printing, with corrections)

Current and future projects: Among my current projects is a long-running and extensive translation project, a collection of Russian hymns and prayers tentatively titled Have Mercy on Me. Additionally, I am working with Harvey Goldblatt on a translation of the complete writings of Saint John of Vishnia, the Athonite, and a programmatic article on Church Slavonic literature. In the meanwhile, I am independently engaged in writing two articles concerning the Primary Chronicle entry for 1037 and the Slavonic versions of the Book of Jeremiah. For Saint Tikhon’s Monastery Press, in collaboration with Hieromonk Herman, I am compiling and editing the liturgical services to the Orthodox Christian saints of North America, beginning with Saint Herman of Alaska. Also in the works are a translation of Viacheslav Ivanov’s play Prometheus and an article on Chekhov’s short story “The Student.” I always have a many more projects in the early stages of planning and work. Among them now are a translation of A. M. Remizov’s book-length essay Nicholas the Wonderworker.


As teaching fellow (TF):

RUSS 228/RUSS 628/RLST 390: Russian Religious Culture (TF20), Fall 2019

RUSS 145: Intensive Intermediate Russian (TF20), Spring 2020

Other professional experience: I have worked variously as a copy editor, researcher, peer reviewer, and translator on a freelance basis, primarily for Saint Vladimir’s Seminary Press and Saint Tikhon’s Monastery Press. Also, I have served as a research assistant for two professors at Yale: Professor Emeritus Edward Stankiewicz, from 2009­–10, and Professor Harvey Goldblatt, 2017–present. Finally, I served as assistant librarian for the American Oriental Society, working under Professor Emeritus Stanley Insler, from 2010 to 2013.

Languages: Native English; fully proficient Slavonic, Russian, Ancient Greek, and Latin; some proficiency in Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish; reading skills in Mongolian, Classical Tibetan, French, German, and Italian. I have also studied Georgian, Colloquial Tibetan, Avestan, Vedic Sanskrit, Hittite, and Old English in a formal or semi-formal setting. I have worked with texts in still other languages, including Serbian and Polish.