"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Friday, October 2, 2020

Pavel Florensky's Idealism

Angelico Press continues to have some of the most interestingly diverse lists of contemporary Catholic publishers, and continues their admirable interest in the Christian East by publishing both new works and translations of classics, as in this case: Pavel Florensky, The Meaning of Idealism: The Metaphysics of Genus and Countenance, trans. Boris Jakim (Angelico, Sept. 2020), 108pp.

About this book the publisher tells us this:

The Meaning of Idealism is a journey: from Plato and Aristotle to Neoplatonism to Medieval theories of being and knowing, from these to Orthodox spirituality, to Vedic mysticism, from Vedic mysticism to astrology, from astrology to modern science-including relativity, the mathematical theory of invariants, and the multidimensional universe.

And about its celebrated author we are told this:

Arguably the greatest Russian theologian of the early 20th century, Pavel Florensky (1882-1937) also did original work in such fields as liturgical aesthetics, iconographic theory, the philosophy of names, theoretical mathematics, and even electrical engineering. He became a Russian Orthodox priest in 1911, while remaining deeply involved with the cultural, artistic, and scientific developments of his time. Arrested by the Soviets in 1928, he returned to his scholarly activities until 1933, when he was sentenced to ten years of labor in Siberia. There he continued his scientific work and ministered to his fellow prisoners until his death four years later.

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