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Modern Russian Theology: Ortholdox Theology in a New Key: Bukharev, Soloviev, Bulgakov - Orthadox Theology in a New Key Hardcover – 1 Nov 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 454 pages
  • Publisher: Continnuum-3PL (1 Nov. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0567087557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0567087553
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,355,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

Paul Valliere is McGregor Professor in the Humanities, Butler University, Indianapolis.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 14 Jan. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Paul Valliere states that the study of modern Russian theology through the works of Bukharev, Soloviev, and Bulgakov gives a representative view of early, middle and late periods. The Russian Orthodox theologians began the approach to modernity much earlier than others in the Orthodox world; as such, they were pioneers, without guides. Interrupted by the Soviet experiment, it has only been in the past few decades that the work of such theologians has again come to the forefront.
Valliere states that Bukharev was Russian Orthodoxy's first modern theologian, but that he was building on the work of early philosophers and thinkers. It was Bukharev, however, who brought the problem of modernity into the church context – Bukharev's education was fairly typical of Russian Orthodox clerics, without great exposure to the body of ideas from Western sources as the other thinkers would undoubtedly have had. Also, Bukharev's thought was through Orthodoxy, not as a dispassionate and separate system, but as 'the' system.
Soloviev represents a middle point, not merely on a chronological scale, but also because he is a mediator of sorts between Russian Orthodoxy and modern critical thought. Soloviev was not a student or disciple of Bukharev, yet there is a resonance at the core of their ideas, expressed in different ways, Soloviev's the more modern and sophisticated philosophically.
Bulgakov, on the other hand, did have a direct association with Soloviev – they were not colleagues or collaborators, but rather Bulgakov belonged to the generation of thinkers inspired by Soloviev's ideas and methods.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Archer on 18 Aug. 2011
This product arrived in excellent condition and I am very pleased indeed to have it. It is well and clearly written and I shall value what it says.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Coming out of the winter... 14 Jan. 2004
By FrKurt Messick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Paul Valliere states that the study of modern Russian theology through the works of Bukharev, Soloviev, and Bulgakov gives a representative view of early, middle and late periods. The Russian Orthodox theologians began the approach to modernity much earlier than others in the Orthodox world; as such, they were pioneers, without guides. Interrupted by the Soviet experiment, it has only been in the past few decades that the work of such theologians has again come to the forefront.
Valliere states that Bukharev was Russian Orthodoxy's first modern theologian, but that he was building on the work of early philosophers and thinkers. It was Bukharev, however, who brought the problem of modernity into the church context - Bukharev's education was fairly typical of Russian Orthodox clerics, without great exposure to the body of ideas from Western sources as the other thinkers would undoubtedly have had. Also, Bukharev's thought was through Orthodoxy, not as a dispassionate and separate system, but as 'the' system.
Soloviev represents a middle point, not merely on a chronological scale, but also because he is a mediator of sorts between Russian Orthodoxy and modern critical thought. Soloviev was not a student or disciple of Bukharev, yet there is a resonance at the core of their ideas, expressed in different ways, Soloviev's the more modern and sophisticated philosophically.
Bulgakov, on the other hand, did have a direct association with Soloviev - they were not colleagues or collaborators, but rather Bulgakov belonged to the generation of thinkers inspired by Soloviev's ideas and methods. Bulgakov, raised in an Orthodox clerical family, threw off for a time this calling for more secular pursuits (he became a first-rate economist), until eventually accepting ordination in the fateful time at the end of the first world war, when the modern Russian Orthodox theological school was effectively at an end, or at least in a deep hibernation until the late twentieth century.
This text is not a history, or a biography, or a literature survey, although it contains elements of each of these areas. What Valliere does is to trace out the development of theological content in the Russian Orthodox theological encounter with modernity, from its beginnings to the last days immediately prior to the Soviet revolution. In his final chapter, Valliere looks at the developments after Bulgakov, who had no direct heirs in the dogmatic theological task. Other Russian exiles and interested persons of the West helped to keep the memory of this school (and other Eastern European intellectual endeavours) alive; important persons such as Schmemann and Meyendorf (both of whom were teachers of this author, Paul Valliere) have brought Orthodoxy into the Western view; perhaps inevitably, the influences of the West were going to be felt and become shaping and interpreting forces on the theological school in exile, even as it returns to Mother Russia.
There is an extensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources; one needs a familiarity with Russian for many of the references, as Valliere works largely from original texts. He offers his own translations, some of which are at odds with more standard conventions - he explains some of his concerns with traditional translation and his own methods in the introduction
This is a fascinating work, introducing ideas that may seem at first obscure and difficult to grasp, yet show a side of Christendom both foreign and familiar to those in the Anglo-Catholic-Protestant West. Valliere's style is academic, and one might be forgiven for feeling that one has wandered into a Tolstoi or Dostoevsky novel at times due to the names and places (and, occasionally, the narrative of the lives of the theologians). However, for the theologically adventurous and historically curious, this is a good introduction to a school of thought that promises to influence the newly-freed Orthodox churches in the vast lands of Russia, and for that reason (if no other) it is worthy of consideration for those in the West who wish to understand them.
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