Vaganova Natal'ia

The Will to Sophia and ecclesiasticism in the work of Father P. Florensky

Vaganova Natal'ia (2014) "The Will to Sophia and ecclesiasticism in the work of Father P. Florensky ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia, 2014, vol. 55, pp. 81-91 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI201455.81-91


The Sophiology features the mystical and poetic intuition of the so-called “femme éternelle” as one of the basic concepts of its doctrine. However, the analysis of concrete sophiological concepts shows that this trend in thought was characterized by a fairly strong internal competition of projects. Trying to build up such sophiology as would, in the eyes of its creators, correspond to the Orthodox ecclesiastical tradition, individual authors attempted to purify their constructions from certain aspects of Solovyov’s sophiological ideas. But an unbiased examination of certain sophiological doctrines shows that the struggle for a truly “ecclesiastical” Sophia in reality led to a re-thinking of the very notions of ecclesiasticism and tradition - on the basis of theoretical refl ection over the data provided by immediate religious experience which was perceived by its subjects as a personal revelation. The Sophiology of Father P. Florensky constitutes one of such attempts. In his book “The Pillar and Ground of the Truth” Sophia represents a carefully thought-over philosophical and theological concept representing an onto-symbolic representation of the Truth, which is not so much conceived rationally as by way of religious praxis. Central for such conceiving is the notion of “ecclesiasticism”. The experience of building-up a religious and philosophical synthesis found in the book of Florensky in reality presupposed (in view of the alleged traditional character of his constructions and his appeals to the archaically stylized medieval imagery and symbols) the emergence of a substantially new style of religiousness which found wide recognition in the quickly modernizing Russian society of the beginning of the 20th century.


Sophiology, religious experience, mystical Eros, friendship, ecclesiasticism, asceticism, symbol, method, Truth, Beauty, Sophia, modernism


1. Volkov S. A. 1996 “P. A. Florenskij”, in P. A. Florenskij: pro et contra, Saint-Petersburg, 1996, pp. 141–161.
2. Zen'kovskij V. V. Istorija russkoj filosofii (History of Russian Philosophy), Leningrad, 1991.

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Vaganova Natal'ia