"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, April 29, 2022

Plested on Sophiology

If you don't know the works of Marcus Plested, you need to remedy that immediately. I've interviewed him on here and discussed some of his other landmark works. 

Coming out the end of June is his latest book, Wisdom in Christian Tradition:The Patristic Roots of Modern Russian Sophiology (Oxford University Press, 2022), 288pp.

About this book the publisher tells us this:

Following a survey of the biblical and classical background, Wisdom in Christian Tradition offers a detailed exploration of the theme of wisdom in patristic, Byzantine, and medieval theology, up to and including Gregory Palamas and Thomas Aquinas in Greek East and Latin West, respectively. Three principal levels of Christian wisdom discourse are distinguished: wisdom as human attainment, wisdom as divine gift, and wisdom as an attribute or quality of God. This journey through Wisdom in Christian Tradition is undertaken in conversation with modern Russian Sophiology, one of the most popular and widely discussed theological movements of our time. Sophiology is characterized by the idea of a primal pre-principle of divineâhuman unity (âSophiaâ) manifest in both uncreated and created forms and constituting the very foundation of all that is. Sophiology is a complex phenomenon with multiple sources and inspirations, very much including the Church Fathers. Indeed, fidelity to patristic tradition was to become an ever-increasing feature of its self-understanding and self-articulation, above all in the work of its greatest exponent, Fr Sergius Bulgakov (1871-1944). This âunmodern turnâ (as it is here christened) to patristic sources has, however, long been fiercely contested. This book is the first to evaluate thoroughly the nature and substance of Sophiologyâs claim to patristic continuity. The final chapter offers a radical re-thinking of Sophiology in line with patristic tradition. This constructive proposal maintains Sophiologyâs most distinctive insights and most pertinent applications while divesting it of some its more problematic elements.

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