Georges Florovsky and the Russian Religious Renaissance (Changing Paradigms in Historical and Systematic Theology)

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9780198701583: Georges Florovsky and the Russian Religious Renaissance (Changing Paradigms in Historical and Systematic Theology)

Georges Florovsky is the mastermind of a "return to the Church Fathers" in twentieth-century Orthodox theology. His theological vision--the neopatristic synthesis--became the main paradigm of Orthodox theology and the golden standard of Eastern Orthodox identity in the West. Focusing on Florovsky's European period (1920-1948), this study analyzes how Florovsky's evolving interpretation of Russian religious thought, particularly Vladimir Solovyov and Sergius Bulgakov, informed his approach to patristic sources. Paul Gavrilyuk offers a new reading of Florovsky's neopatristic theology, by closely considering its ontological, epistemological, and ecclesiological foundations.

It is common to contrast Florovsky's neopatristic theology with the "modernist" religious philosophies of Pavel Florensky, Sergius Bulgakov, and other representatives of the Russian Religious Renaissance. Gavrilyuk argues that the standard narrative of twentieth-century Orthodox theology, based on this polarization, must be reconsidered. The author demonstrates Florovsky's critical appropriation of the main themes of the Russian Religious Renaissance, including theological antinomies, the meaning of history, and the nature of personhood. The distinctive features of Florovsky's neopatristic theology--Christological focus, "ecclesial experience," personalism, and "Christian Hellenism"--are best understood against the background of the main problematic of the Renaissance. Specifically, it is shown that Bulgakov's sophiology provided a polemical subtext for Florovsky's theology of creation. It is argued that the use of the patristic norm in application to modern Russian theology represents Florovsky's theological signature.

Drawing on unpublished archival material and correspondence, this study sheds new light on such aspects of Florovsky's career as his family background, his participation in the Eurasian movement, his dissertation on Alexander Herzen, his lectures on Vladimir Solovyov, and his involvement in Bulgakov's Brotherhood of St Sophia.

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About the Author:


Paul L. Gavrilyuk holds the Aquinas Chair in Theology and Philosophy at the Theology Department of the University of St. Thomas. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, he studied physics at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in Russia. He was one of the first scholars from the former Soviet Union to come to the United States to pursue graduate work in theology. An Eastern Orthodox historian and theologian, Gavrilyuk specializes in early Christian theology and Russian religious thought. Translated into five languages, his books include The Suffering of the Impassible God: The Dialectics of Patristic Thought, Histoire du catechumenat dans l'eglise ancienne [A History of the Catechumenate in the Early Church], and The Spiritual Senses: Perceiving God in Western Christianity, co-edited with Sarah Coakley.

Review:


"Paul Gavrilyuk's meticulously documented book is a model study of the intellectual development of one of the most significant and intriguing personalities of modern Orthodoxy, a masterly undertaking which will influence any further reflection on the complex development and interrelationships among the various strands of modern Orthodox theology. The book does justice to Florovsky, not as uncritical hagiography, but as a lucid, informed account of his intellectual development and his place in the history of modern Orthodox thought." --Paul Ladouceur, St Vladimir's Theological Quarterly


"It will not be possible, from now on, to read Russian theologian Georges Florovsky's work or for that matter, anything about him without reference to Paul Gavrilyuk's truly groundbreaking study and reassessment." --Michael Plekon, Logos


"Gavrilyuk's study provides us with the most comprehensive, broad, and critical consideration of the complex and not yet fully understood relationship between Florovsky and the Renaissance movement." --Nikolaos Asproulis, Journal of Theological Studies


"In short, Gavrilyuk's monograph is an indispensable study of the Russian religious
renaissance and certainly a welcome corrective to a facile anti-westernism that
oft en characterizes Orthodox thought." --Slavic Review


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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Georges Florovsky is the mastermind of a return to the Church Fathers in twentieth-century Orthodox theology. His theological vision-the neopatristic synthesis-became the main paradigm of Orthodox theology and the golden standard of Eastern Orthodox identity in the West. Focusing on Florovsky s European period (1920-1948), this study analyses how Florovsky s evolving interpretation of Russian religious thought, particularly Vladimir Solovyov and Sergius Bulgakov, informed his approach to patristic sources. Paul Gavrilyuk offers a new reading of Florovsky s neopatristic theology, by closely considering its ontological, epistemological and ecclesiological foundations. It is common to contrast Florovsky s neopatristic theology with the modernist religious philosophies of Pavel Florensky, Sergius Bulgakov, and other representatives of the Russian Religious Renaissance. Gavrilyuk argues that the standard narrative of twentieth-century Orthodox theology, based on this polarization, must be reconsidered. The author demonstrates Florovsky s critical appropriation of the main themes of the Russian Religious Renaissance, including theological antinomies, the meaning of history, and the nature of personhood. The distinctive features of Florovsky s neopatristic theology-Christological focus, ecclesial experience , personalism, and Christian Hellenism -are best understood against the background of the main problematic of the Renaissance. Specifically, it is shown that Bulgakov s sophiology provided a polemical subtext for Florovsky s theology of creation. It is argued that the use of the patristic norm in application to modern Russian theology represents Florovsky s theological signature. Drawing on unpublished archival material and correspondence, this study sheds new light on such aspects of Florovsky s career as his family background, his participation in the Eurasian movement, his dissertation on Alexander Herzen, his lectures on Vladimir Solovyov, and his involvement in Bulgakov s Brotherhood of St Sophia. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780198701583

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Georges Florovsky is the mastermind of a return to the Church Fathers in twentieth-century Orthodox theology. His theological vision-the neopatristic synthesis-became the main paradigm of Orthodox theology and the golden standard of Eastern Orthodox identity in the West. Focusing on Florovsky s European period (1920-1948), this study analyses how Florovsky s evolving interpretation of Russian religious thought, particularly Vladimir Solovyov and Sergius Bulgakov, informed his approach to patristic sources. Paul Gavrilyuk offers a new reading of Florovsky s neopatristic theology, by closely considering its ontological, epistemological and ecclesiological foundations. It is common to contrast Florovsky s neopatristic theology with the modernist religious philosophies of Pavel Florensky, Sergius Bulgakov, and other representatives of the Russian Religious Renaissance. Gavrilyuk argues that the standard narrative of twentieth-century Orthodox theology, based on this polarization, must be reconsidered. The author demonstrates Florovsky s critical appropriation of the main themes of the Russian Religious Renaissance, including theological antinomies, the meaning of history, and the nature of personhood. The distinctive features of Florovsky s neopatristic theology-Christological focus, ecclesial experience , personalism, and Christian Hellenism -are best understood against the background of the main problematic of the Renaissance. Specifically, it is shown that Bulgakov s sophiology provided a polemical subtext for Florovsky s theology of creation. It is argued that the use of the patristic norm in application to modern Russian theology represents Florovsky s theological signature. Drawing on unpublished archival material and correspondence, this study sheds new light on such aspects of Florovsky s career as his family background, his participation in the Eurasian movement, his dissertation on Alexander Herzen, his lectures on Vladimir Solovyov, and his involvement in Bulgakov s Brotherhood of St Sophia. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780198701583

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