Chairman of the Editorial Board of OIKOYMENH: Ivan Chvatík
Editorial Board: A. Havlíček (†), M. Havlíčková, J. Chotaš, I. Chvatík, P. Kitzler, P. Kouba, J. Kuneš, M. Lyčka, V. Mikeš, V. Němec, A. Prázný, M. Šedina, Š. Špinka a J. S. Trojan.
Honorary members: M. Balabán (†), L. Hejdánek (†)
The OIKOYMENH Library was established in the 1970s as a samizdat series initiated by Ladislav Hejdánek. It aimed at a renewal of intellectual life which had long been left disrupted in the then Czechoslovakia.
It was only after the demise of the old regime in 1989, namely in 1991, that OIKOYMENH started publishing officially, first as part of the Institute for Central-European Culture and Politics, ISE. The publishing house gained the status of an independent legal personality in 1996.
The founding members of the association were Ladislav Hejdánek, Jakub S. Trojan, and Aleš Havlíček. The Publishing House continues in the tradition of the samizdat OIKOYMENH Library, its mission being to publish critical studies and books developing the greatest achievements of European philosophy and theology.
For several years, the production of the Publishing House has been systematically divided. The upcoming titles, and the already published ones, have been arranged in editorial series which provide a better idea of the scope of publication. Preparation of these noncommercial titles requires attentive specialist and linguistic work, necessitating considerable funds. Most of our titles have been supported by grants of various origins (be it the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the Šalda Programme, the Goethe Institute, the Open Society Fund, the Hus Foundation, and others) which help preserve an acceptable price level of the books, even for students.
Key works of outstanding thinkers are published in classical series: Library of the Classics, Library of the Early Christian Tradition, Library of the Medieval Tradition, Library of the Renaissance Thought, and the Library of Modern Tradition and the Present. Secondary literature and writings by authors not included in the classical series are published as the Oikoumene Library.
Philosophy benefits from the History of Philosophy series which sees a progressive publication of Czech translations of the best contemporary monographs on individual periods of the history of European philosophy. A unique series is made up by the Fontes Latini Bohemorum, a library of hitherto unpublished Latin opera of the Bohemian Middle Ages and Humanism, critically edited, with a Czech translation, notes, and an introductory study. Its primal content is the publishing of important theological, historical, and literary works, and also works of medieval professional literature (mathematics, medicine, etc.).
The publisher also publishes the Complete Works of Jan Patočka, as part of its Mathesis series edits collective monographs, dictionaries, and course books, and in its Philosophical Interpretations series publishes both original Czech and translated studies interpreting various philosophical and theological subjects.
Last, but not least part of the production of the publishing house is the Reflexe journal of philosophy and theology, published biannually.
The publishing success of OIKOYMENH depended for many years on the personal dedication and organizational skills of Aleš Havlíček. After his sudden death in July 2015, it became necessary to seek other ways to continue publishing despite the worsening situation on the book market.
The Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (FLÚ) provided just such an opportunity when it created a new publishing department (OIKOYMENH at FLÚ), that will carry on the publisher’s legacy as a separate imprint sharing an editorial board.
Since 2017 certain titles have been published by OIKOYMENH at FLÚ, which is organizationally part of the Jan Patočka Archive at the Center for Theoretical Studies, a joint facility of The Institute of Philosophy and Charles University in Prague.
The department launched its activity in early 2017 on the 40th anniversary of the death of philosopher Jan Patočka and the declaration of Charter 77. As a symbolic editorial act, the first book published by this new department was První skica k podobizně (First Sketch for a Portrait), a facsimile of the typewritten samizdat book containing Patočka’s texts about Charter 77, reports of Patočka’s funeral, and several important obituaries.