Sergei Bulgakov

BulgakovSergei Bulgakov (1871-1944) – Longtime colleague and friend of Berdyaev, Bulgakov’s career followed a similar path, although more strongly tied to the Orthodox Church and economics. Bulgakov was also more politically engaged. In addition to contributing to Marxist theory, he was elected as a Christian socialist to Russia’s Second Duma (Parliament) and participated in the Great Sobor (Church Council) in 1917-1918.

Bulgakov was also targeted by Lenin in the arrests and expulsion of The 160 in 1922.

Son of an Orthodox Priest, Bulgakov became ordained in 1918 and was part of the Bratstvo sviatoi Sofii. In exile, he reconstituted the Bratstvo in 1923 and helped found St. Sergius Orthodox Seminary in Paris with financial help orchestrated by the YMCA. Like Solovyov, Bulgakov advocated ecumenism and worked for the reunification of the Christian Churches.

Of all the members of the Bratstvo (with the exception of Struve and Novgorodtsev), Bulgakov made economics his key field of focus and expertise. He may be better known today for his unusual brand of mystical theology wrapped up in Sophiology—a theological concept regarding the Wisdom (Sophia) of God—for which he was condemned as a heretic late in his life.

Bulgakov had no patience for “arm-chair thinkers” and made a very practical impact on the Russian ideas of Spiritual Philosophy. In his comprehensive critique of economic materialism and an alternative, authentically Russian way forward Philosophy as Economy: The World as Household (1918), Bulgakov placed their vision of humanity in concrete terms, both from a technical, economic standpoint and a global philosophical one.

  • The full list of Bulgakov’s writings may be found in: Naumov, Kliment. Bibliographie des oeuvres de Serge Boulgakov. Paris: Institut d’études slaves, 1984.
  • Bulgakov, Sergei, N. Avtobiograficheskie zametki. 2nd ed. Paris: YMCA-Press, 1991.
  • —. Sochinenia v dvukh tomakh. 2 Vols. Moscow: Nauka, 1993.
  • Evtuhov, Catherine. “Sergei Bulgakov: A Study in Modernism and Society in Russia, 1900-1918.” Diss. University of California at Berkeley, 1992.
  • Zander, Lev. Bog i mir. 2 Vols. Paris: YMCA-Press, 1948.

Thanks to the Sergei Bulgakov Online Library (no longer active) for the below citations.  A copy of this very valuable resource has been made here.

Selected Books and Articles by Bulgakov available Online:

Blogs:

  • Milbank on Sophiology – By Joel Garver in his blog, Sacra Doctrina. This relates to Professor John Milbank’s recent (2005) reflections on Sophiology, in Bulgakov and more generally. Milbank’s presentation was given at the Theology and Philosophy Cooperativemeeting on November 18, 2005, in Philadelphia.
  • Sophia – A report by Peter J. Leithart at his blog concerning the presentation by Professor John Milbank at the Theology and Philosophy Cooperativemeeting on November 18, 2005, in Philadelphia. This was in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion. Professor Milbank’s presentation touches on an approach to understanding Sophia in Bulgakov’s work and on the meaning and function of Sophia more generally.
  • Sergius Bulgakov on Church Unity – By Andrew Matthews on March 26, 2005, at his Unpopular Opinions: Challenging the status quo in church and stateblog
  • Thoughts on Fr. Sergius Bulgakov– Evlogite blog entry, from September 16, 2004
  • Wisdom Christology– OrthodoxChristianity.net blog thread from August 8, 2004, largely on Sergius Bulgakov
  • On The Eucharistic Dogma– Pontifications blog thread, from June 21, 2004, on this book by Sergius Bulgakov.
  • Running Off at the Keyboard: about the world seen through Catholic eyes– Blog entries for February 1-7, 2004, by Carrie Tomko. Although these are focused largely on Solovyov and Sophiology, there are numerious references to Bulgakov.
  • Should Catholics Follow the Utopian Vision of Modern Democracies? Part III-3 The Problems of Utopia– Blog entry (June 2007) by Henry Karlson at the on-line journal, Nova Vox. Contains reference to Bulgakov’s “Heroism and Asceticism” essay.
  • Sergius Bulgakov on the Incarnation – March 5, 2008, blog entry by Joe Rawls at his The Byzantine Anglo-Catholic blog.
  • Bulgakov Encyclopedia entries on-line:
  • Fr. Sergius Bulgakov– St. Pachomius Library entry by Norman Hugh Redington
  • Sergej Nikolajewitsch Bulgakow – Entry by Friedrich Wilhelm Bautz in the Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon(in German)
  • Sergey Nikolayevich Bulgakov- article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica Online (access to full article requires registration)
  • Sophia – article by Mikhail Sergeev in the Polish encyclopedic dictionary, Ideas in Russia: Russian-Polish-English Leksikon, ed. Andrzej de Lazari, vol. 4, Lodz, Poland, 2001, pp. 524-535.

Other web pages dedicated to Sergius Bulgakov:

Bibliographies:

Other resources (primary):

  • Problems of Idealism: Essays in Russian Social Philosophy– Book edited by Randall A. Poole. Contains essays by Bulgakov and others.
  • A Bulgakov Anthology: From Marxism to Christian Orthodoxy– Book edited by Nicholas Zernov and James Pain
  • Sophia, the Wisdom of God: An Outline of Sophiology (Library of Russian Philosophy)– By Sergius Bulgakov
  • The Holy Grail and the Eucharist– By Sergius Bulgakov, translated by Boris Jakim
  • The Virgin and the Saints in Orthodoxy – By Sergius Bulgakov, a chapter in Eastern Orthodox Theology(Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1995) edited by Daniel B. Clendenin
  • Orthodoxy and Modern Society – Book edited by Robert Bird, University of Chicago. Contains three important essays by Bulgakov: “Social Teaching in Modern Russian Orthodox Theology,” “Russian Society and Religion,” and “Sophia.” Supplemented by a bibliography of Bulgakov’s works in English. This and other relevant titles can also be purchased directly from the author/publisher (Variable Press).
  • Apocatastasis and Transfiguration – Book edited by Robert Bird, University of Chicago. The main part of the book comprises an essay excerpted from Bulgakov’s Bride of the Lamb, part of his sophiological trilogy, which gives a good introduction into Bulgakov’s theology. The essay is supplemented by a memoir of Bulgakov by Sister Joanna Reitlinger and an introduction by the translator, Boris Jakim. This and other relevant titles can also be purchased directly from the author/publisher (Variable Press).
  • “The Correspondence of Bulgakov and Florovsky: Chronicle of a Friendship.” Wiener Slavistischer Almanach (Munich) 38, Fall 1996, pp. 37-49 – By Catherine Evtuhov, Georgetown University. See Professor Evtuhov’s link for other related edited materials.
  • The Light that Never Sets – A book notice (in English) of a book (in Italian) by Sergej Bulgakov, as translated into Italian by Maria Campatelli and introduced by Piero Coda

Other resources (secondary):

  • The Cross and the Sickle: Sergei Bulgakov and the Fate of Russian Religious Philosophy, 1890-1920 – Book by Catherine Evtuhov, Georgetown University
  • Eastern Orthodox Thought: Sergius Bulgakov, Paul Evdokimov, Mother Maria Skobtsova – Chapter by Michael Plekon, Baruch College, that appeared in The Blackwell Companion to Political Theology(2003)
    • The Kenotic Theology of Sergius Bulgakov, Scottish Journal of Theology (August 2005) – Article by Paul L. Gavrilyuk, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota
    • Universal Salvation in the Eschatology of Sergius Bulgakov [DOC] – by Paul Gavrilyuk, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul. Subsequently published in the Journal of Theological Studies.
    • The Tragedy of Theology: Sergei Bulgakov – Article by Robert Bird, was to have appeared in Religion, State and Society(UK)
    • The Trinitarian Panentheism of Sergej Bulgakov – Article by John O’Donnel, S.J., in Gregorianum76/1 (1995), pp. 31-45.
    • Neither Humanism Nor Deep Ecology: Sophianic Environmentalism in Sergei Bulgakov’s Philosophy of Economy [PDF]– Keynote presentation by Bruce V. Foltz, Eckerd College, at Conference of International Association for Environmental Philosophy (2004)
    • Russian Religious Thought: Recovering the roots of Russian religious philosophy- Book edited by Judith Deutsch Kornblatt and Richard Gustafson. Contains essays on Bulgakov and others.
    • Book review of Russian Religious Thought by Kornblatt and Gustafson– Review by Tom Dykstra, University of Washington. This review provides further information about a book that attends particularly to the Sophiological concerns of Bulgakov and others.
    • I Love, Therefore I Am: The Theological Legacy of Archimandrite Sophrony- Book by Nicholas V. Sakharov. Has sections relating to Sergius Bulgakov.
    • A History of Russian Philosophy: From the Tenth to the Twentieth Centuries, edited by Valery A. Kuvakin, Ph.D.- Contains a chapter by Kuvakin on Sergei Bulgakov focusing on: His Legal Marxism, From Marxism to Idealism, From Religious Revolution to Monarchism, From Christian Philosophy to Dogmatic Theology, His Methodology and the Theory of Knowledge, Antinomism as a Principle of the Metaphysics of All-Unity, Word and Being, Sophiological Ontology, and The Historiosophy of All-Unity
    • A.I. Resnichenko. Category of Name and Ontology Experience: Bulgakov, Florovsky, Losev.– in Voprosy Filosofii, N 8 2004
    • Sergei Bulgakov: His Life and His Reflections in It: A Case Study for the Churching of the Russian Intelligentsia, an essay by A. M. Choufrine. This essay appears in Natalia Pecherskaya, editor, The Emancipation of Russian Christianity, translated by R. Coates. (Toronto Studies in Theology, Number 33, ISBN 0-7734-8871-5) Edwin Mellen Press, 1995.
    • Sergius N. Bulgakov: From Marxism to Sophiology- Article by Winston F. Crum in St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 27, no. 1 (1983): 3-26.
    • Essai sur le père Serge Boulgakov (1871-1944): Philosophe et théologien chrétien – Book by Antoine Arjakovsky, Catholic University of the Ukraine, Lviv, published by Parole et Silence(Paris), May 2006, ISBN 2845734123, 214 pages.
    • Sergius Bulgakov and His Teaching- Article by Rev. Stanley S. Harakas in Greek Orthodox Theological Review 7, Nos. 1-2 (1961): 92-105.
    • The Tragedy of Russian Religious Philosophy: Sergei Bulgakov and the Future of Orthodox Theology – Article by Robert Bird in Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Europe, Eds. Jonathan Sutton and Wil van den Bercken. Leuven-Paris-Dudley, MA: Peeters, 2003. 211-28.
    • The two Philosophies of the Divine Name: Alexei Losev and father Sergii Bulgakov vis-à-vis Pavel Florenskij: Hermeneutical and semiological meditations over the Byzantine hesyschast theology and Russian nominalism – Article by Dennis Ioffe in Kritika i Semiotika, Novosibirsk State University, Higher Education Support Program, Open Society Institute – Budapest, September 2007 (forthcoming).

    Dissertations and Theses:

    Bulgakov-Related Dissertations – A listing prepared in December 2004 by Kristi A. Groberg, Ph.D., Department of History and Religion, North Dakota State University

    Critical and Polemical:

    Temporarily Unclassified:

    • A Sergius Bulgakov Page – From the on-line Library of Landmark (In Russian). Babel Fish (AltaVista) translation of this resource.

    Conferences and Lectures:

    • Theologians in the Church: Fr. Sergius Bulgakov and Fr. Nicolas Afanasiev – Scheduled presentation to be given by Fr. Michael Plekon, Baruch College, City University of New York, as Track 2 (Living Icons: Persons of Faith from the Orthodox Church in the 20th Century), Session 3, in the Eagle River Institute, Eagle River, Alaska, August 3, 2006.
    • Living Tradition–Social theory working with theology: the case of Fr. Sergius Bulgakov – Presentation by Fr. Michael Plekon, Baruch College, City University of New York. Delivered on June 3, 2006, at a conference on Radical Orthodoxy: a Christian Answer to Postmodern Culture held at the Institute of Ecumenical Studies, Ukrainian Catholic University, L’viv, Ukraine. This paper is made available here by permission of the author.
    • The Eastern Orthodox Studies Group, which meets regularly during the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), dedicated one of its 2006 sessions to various aspects of S. Bulgakov’s theology.
    • The Dogmatics of Identity: Sergei N. Bulgakov’s Early Theological Writings- Presentation by T. Allan Smith, St. Michael’s College, Toronto, Canada, given at conference of the Association for the Study of Eastern Christian History and Culture (ASEC) at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, October 2005.
    • Soloviev’s Early Idealism and the Birth of Sophia- Presentation by Jonathan Seiling, Emmanuel College, Toronto, Canada, given at conference of the Association for the Study of Eastern Christian History and Culture (ASEC) at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, October 2005. Of relevance to the sophiological tradition as later re-worked by Bulgakov.
    • Sergei Bulgakov and Orthodox Civic Identity in Late Imperial Russia- Presentation by Scott Lingenfelter, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, given at conference of the Association for the Study of Eastern Christian History and Culture (ASEC) at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, October 2005.
    • Sophiology and Theurgy: The New Theological Horizon- Presentation by John Milbank, University of Nottingham. Delivered on October 1, 2005, at a conference on “Transfiguring the World Through the Word: An Encounter between Radical Orthodoxy and Eastern Orthodoxy” held at The Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies (IOCS), Wesley House, Cambridge, England. This paper, which is an early version that Professor Milbank expects to rewrite, is made available here by permission of the author and is copyright of the author and The Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies (IOCS).
    • Glorification of the Name and Grammar of the Wisdom: Serge Bulgakov and Jean-Marc Ferry- Presentation by Antoine Arjakovsky, Catholic University of the Ukraine, Lviv. Delivered on October 1, 2005, at a conference on “Transfiguring the World Through the Word: An Encounter between Radical Orthodoxy and Eastern Orthodoxy” held at The Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies (IOCS), Wesley House, Cambridge, England. This paper is made available here by permission of the author and is copyright of the author and The Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies (IOCS).
    • Kant’s Third Antinomy and Spinoza’s Substance in the Sophiology of Florenskii and Bulgakov– By Jonathan Seiling, University of Toronto – Final version of paper presented at Florensky conference in Moscow in September 2005.
    • Rublev’s Trinity in the Iconology and Triadology of Bulgakov- Presentation by Marina V. Vasina, Sankt-Petersburg, Russia, given at the Ecumenical Conference at Bose, Italy, on September 16, 2005.
    • Study Day on Holy Wisdom – As reported by Second Spring: A Journal of Faith and Culture, this study day is to be held at Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, Oxford, England, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 23, 2005. Invited speakers are Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, to speak on Creation, Creativity and Creatureliness: The Wisdom of Finite Existenceand Prof. Celia Deane-Drummond, to speak on “Ecology, Wisdom and Beauty in Bulgakov, Balthasar and Aquinas.” The study day is to be chaired by Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia. Contact for more information: warden@sttheosevia.org.uk
    • Sex in Russian Modernist Theology: Father Sergii Bulgakov and Others- Lecture by Professor Evgenii Bershtein (Russian, Reed College) in the Noontime Scholars Lecture Series at Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEC) at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Tuesday, March 29, 2005. At this link you will need to scroll to the lecture notice for March 29, 2005.
    • The epiclesis of life, a radical Orthodox approach– Presentation by Antoine Arjakovsky, Catholic University of the Ukraine, Lviv. Delivered on October 30, 2004, in Leuven. This paper is made available here by permission of the author and will be published with the proceedings of the Omnes Gentes conference organised by Missio and the Leuven Catholic University. Contains some references to Bulgakov.
    • Russian Theology in European Context – Conference on Bulgakov and Contemporary Western Religious Philosophical Thought, held at St. Andrew’s Biblical Theological College, Moscow, 9/29/04 – 10/3/04
    • The Reality of the Sophianic Dimension- Presentation (in German) by Elke Kirsten (Institut für Ökumenische Studien, Universität Fribourg/Schweiz) at the St. Andrew’s conference on Bulgakov, in Moscow (2004).
    • Les archetypes de la saintet dans la tradition orthodoxe– Presentation by Antoine Arjakovsky, Lviv, Ukraine, 4/10/04 (in French). Contains numerous references to Bulgakov.
    • Personne, Sagesse, Hypostase, une vision renouvelee de la divino-humanite– Presentation by Antoine Arjakovsky, Lviv, Ukraine, 2/9/04 (in French). Contains numerous references to Bulgakov.
    • Le heritage de l’ecclesiologie sapientielle de Vladimir Soloviev– Presentation by Antoine Arjakovsky, Lviv, Ukraine, 10/31/03 (in French). Contains numerous references to Bulgakov.
    • La Figura e l’Opera di P. Sergej N. Bulgakov– Conference, Padova, 3/29/03
    • Christ or Antichrist? The Political Economy of Fr. Sergius Bulgakov – Presentation by Daniel Payne, Baylor University, to the Ethics, Society and Cultural Analysis section of the 2003 Southwest Regional meetingof the American Academy of Religion (AAR)
    • Sergius Bulgakov and Christian Unity – University guest lecture given at Cambridge Theological Federation (UK) by Fr. John A. Jillionsin 2002.
    • The Christian Socialism of Fr. Sergii Bulgakov: Toward an Orthodox Political Economy – Presentation by Nikolas K. Gvosdev and Daniel P. Payne at the Christianity and Economics: Integrating Faith and Learning in Economic Scholarshipconference held November 7-9, 2002, at Baylor University.
    • Sacramentality of Creation: An Assessment of Recent Studies in the Theology of Creation in the Eastern-Oriental Tradition- Lecture by Kadavil Mathai (Faculty of Theology, K.U.Leuven, Belgium) at Leuven Encounters in Systematic Theology III, Theology and Conversation: Developing a Relational Theology, November 6-9, 2001. “Our study will briefly introduce the sophiological approach of Vladimir Soloviev, who tried to reconcile the pantheistic worldview with the Christian doctrine of the incarnation, and of his followers Paul Florensky, Sergius Bulgakov and Nicholas Berdyaev.” At this link you will need to scroll down to the lecture proposal by Kadavil Mathai.
    • Bulgakov’s Sophiology: A Post-Modern Hermeneutic – Presentation by Myroslaw Tataryn at the American Academy of Religion National Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, 2000

    Photographs and Drawings (subject to re-numbering):

    Undated

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