Conversation with a Mystic – Dr. Charles Ashanin

Book: Mystic in the Graveyard: The Exile of Charles Bozidar Ashanin
by Peter Denbo Haskins

Dr. Ashanin’s great love and awareness of God gave him rare insight into the souls and spiritual needs of others. He saw and felt things of the spirit in ways that most people cannot.

Though he never claimed to be so, Dr. Ashanin was a true mystic, combining an all-consuming devotion to the Presence of the Holy with gifts of clairvoyance, wisdom and a profound understanding of Scripture and of the writings of the early teachers of the Faith.

As a scholar of early Church History, he inspired many students with his genuine living out of the Gospel through his care of their souls. At the university of Ghana in Lagos, Africa, at Allen and Claflin Universities in South Carolina, and finally for 23 years at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana, Dr. Ashanin was more than a professor  -  he was a mentor, beloved friend and companion on the spiritual journey.

Dr. Ashanin’s deep life of prayer and compassion also committed him to ecumenism, to the Body of Christ in all its manifestations. As a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church with twelve hundred years of Slavonic spirituality in his soul, he worked closely with students studying for the Protestant ministry, enriching their traditions and perspectives of the Gospel in the manner of a true “staretz” (spiritual guide).

This ecumenical commitment cost him greatly. For its sake, he suffered the disdain and persecution of colleagues whose “modern” Christianity mocked and rejected his devotion to the transforming spirituality of the early Church.

A dialogue with Dr. Charles Ashanin, a beloved professor of Early Church History, a clairvoyant friend, and a passionate Orthodox from Montenegro. Though he was “born into Heaven” in 2000, Charles remains very much present in the hearts and minds of his many friends. A book on his life was just released this year (2006) entitled “Mystic in the Graveyard”

This studio conversation was taped years ago, but the wisdom of Dr. Ashanin and the tradition he represents is alive and well.

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