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Emel'ianov Aleksei, archpriest

«The John’s Pentecost» in Cassian Bezobrazov and Sergei Bulgakov


Emel'ianov Aleksei (2013) "«The John’s Pentecost» in Cassian Bezobrazov and Sergei Bulgakov ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia, 2013, vol. 49, pp. 7-25 (in Russian).

Abstract

The author deals with a remote discussion about interpretation of Jn 20. 19–23 (Christ’s appearance after Resurrection and sending down the Holy Spirit to the apostles) which took place between archpriest Sergei Bulgakov and archimandrite Cassian (Bezobrazov). Reasoning of both theologians for their opposite interpretations is reconstructed relying on two never published texts from the Archive of the St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris. Both authors had been united in bonds of close friendship and long-term collaboration at the Saint-Serge. However, since the outbreak of the Sophia controversy archim. Cassian became a forced opponent of his senior colleague and spiritual father at once. Still his objections never were public and hostile. Fr. Cassian sought for a positive alternative to Bulgakov’s sophiological constructions. His exegetical reflections brought him to a hypothesis of the John’s Pentecost, substantiation of which followed his specific understanding of pneumatology of the fourth Gospel. While prejudicing the established opinion that Jn 20 relates a preliminary or preparatory bestowal of the Holy Spirit by Jesus, which precedes the foundation of the Church on the day of Pentecost, fr. Cassian endeavors to depict a particular approach of St. John to the mystery of Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension. Both theologians treated the same Gospel text differently when speaking about revelation of Christ’s dwelling in the world in the Holy Spirit. The author states that Bulgakov underestimated exegetical argumentation of his opponent. Fr. Cassian’s theological statement of appearance of the Son and the Spirit in unity was devoid of disputable sophiological component. Fr. Cassian pinpointed the Christ-centered aspect of the gift of the Holy Spirit. The discussion reviewed in the article permits to better understand positions of both authors and provides with additional information about the history of the so called “Paris theology”

Keywords

Cassian (Bezobrazov), Archpriest Sergei Bulgakov, Pentecost, Gospel of John, Ascension, pneumatology, Paris theology, sophiology, Sophia controversy, St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute, Archive of the St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute.

References

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Emel'ianov Aleksei, archpriest

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