Georgi Vasilev, Ph.D., D.Litt, is a Senior Research Fellow and Expert at the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad at the Council of Ministers, Bulgaria. He is a member of the Bulgarian Society for British Studies and the European Society for the Study of English.
Dr. Vasilev s painstaking, well-documented work represents a solid and at times brilliant contribution to European cultural history, to the study of medieval English literature, as well as to the field of comparative religion. I am familiar with his earlier writings on Orphism and its relation to Bulgarian Bogomilism, in particular to the myth of Christ s descent into hell and his freeing of the imprisoned souls there (portrayed unforgettably in one of the frescos at Boyana Church). Vasilev s discussion - in his book - of the tenth-century Bulgarian priest Jeremiah s Story of the Tree of the Cross, of the earlier, apocryphal Nicodemus s gospel, as well as of works like Cursor Mundi, supports his thesis that such works conveyed dualistic and Bogomil ideas to the English heretical movement called the Lollards. Dr. Vasilev points out the Bulgarian contribution to the popular myth of Christ s return to earth as a plowman in a gesture of love to all mankind. Vasilev s book is a masterful work which well deserves to be presented to the professionalist s milieu as well to a larger public interested in old cultural and civilizational interactions... Dr. Vasilev s bibliography is very thorough and offers a guide to all who want to delve into these clouded waters.
Professor Thomas Butler, Harvard University