Sophiology in Russian Orthodoxy

Author: Sergeev, Mikhail
This book represents an inquiry into the nature, genealogy, and evolution of the religious-philosophical concept of Sophia in the Russian thought of the 19th and 20th centuries. The first chapter discusses the purpose and relevance of the project, describes the methodology of research, and the scope and overall structure of the work. The second chapter analyses the historical background of Russian sophiology. The third chapter focuses on the beginnings of modern Russian sophiology. The fourth chapter is devoted to the development of sophiological doctrines in the field of theology. The fifth chapter discusses Russian sophiological thought in the context of modern philosophical discourse. The sixth and final chapter continues the study of sophiology in the philosophical context. The conclusion of the book summarizes the discussion of the modern Russian sophiological movement in the 19th and 20th centuries.


“ ... One of the most attractive features of this book is the author’s appreciation for how much remains to be discovered about sophiology. The book is an invitation to join a discussion that is only beginning, not a verdict on debates that ended long ago ... Dr. Sergeev aptly observes that the steady stream of publications on religious philosophy in contemporary Russia makes it plausible to argue that we are in the midst of a new Russian religious-philosophical renaissance in our own day.” – (From the Foreword) Professor Paul Valliere, Butler University

“This book offers a careful and intellectually rigorous treatment of a central concept in Russian religious thought. Dr. Sergeev shows clearly the adventures of the concept and image of Divine Sophia, and traces the relevance of this tradition to current questions of tolerance and ecumenism with the 'liberal' wing of the Russian Orthodox Church. – Professor George L. Kline, Bryn Mawr College

“ ... Owing to his advanced work in Western and Asian philosophy, Dr. Sergeev’s book expresses a unique blend of Western academic training and personal familiarity with Russian philosophical traditions. His work has the potential to contribute to one of the important cultural challenges of the coming century – the future direction of Russian thought in the context of a new era of East-West dialogue, international cooperation, and globalization.” – Thomas J. Dean, Professor Emeritus, Temple University

"Readers and scholars of Russian religious thought and philosophy will find much that is provocative and richly rewarding in these pages. If the greatest strength of Sergeev's work is his thoughtful exposition of the history of Russian sophiology in a comparative European dimension, an additional bonus is the author's vivid and insightful portraits of some of the most celebrated Russian religious thinkers. Valliere describes these quite aptly "not [as] biographical sketches but line-drawings, so to speak, of conceptual worlds" (p. iii). Sergeev's treatments of Vladimir Solov'ev, Sergei Bulgakov, Nikolai Berdiaev, and the understudied Nikolai Losskii are fresh and welcome takes on familiar figures. In all, Sergeev's is a volume that will be read with great interest and benefit by those interested in Russian religion, philosophy, and cultural and intellectual studies." Prof. Robert H. Greene, University of Montana for The Russian Review

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Foreword by Paul Valliere
Part I
1. Introduction
2. Historical Background
3. Beginning of Russian Sophiology
Part II
4. Sophia in Theology
5. Sophia in Philosophical Discourse
6. Sophia as the Disclosure of Creativity Conclusions