Mikhailov Petr

The problem of the development in theology and in dogmatics

Mikhailov Petr (2013) "The problem of the development in theology and in dogmatics ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia, 2013, vol. 50, pp. 9-23 (in Russian).


The author attempts to study the history of the concept of the development of dogma as it early was stated during the nineteenth century and later discussed in Europe and Russia during a period dating from near the end of the nineteenth and around the beginning of the twentieth centuries. To do this, the author adopts the method of defining the limit and the borderline of a dogma as two separate concepts. It seems sensible to include a discussion of this concept in theology in the context of such scientific ideas as progress and development. As the selection of literature provided by the author demonstrates, this concept is of capital importance and is presented in a variety of serious publications, which step into the role of dogmatic manifestos or statements of belief for various Christian confessions. The idea of the development of dogma is often used as a defining point which acts as an identification mark for a particular Christian confession. Two of the most notable examples are the spiritual biographies of Cardinal Newman who became a Roman Catholic in the middle of the nineteenth century and that of Jaroslav Pelikan who converted to Eastern Orthodoxy at the end of the twentieth. The discussion of this problem continued in a series of large scale research projects which demand serious reading but which are not without their own inherent difficulties. The second part of this article is devoted to a presentation and analysis of patristic texts dealing with this problem. The author suggests various ways in which patristic thought evolved and finally concludes that these patristic witnesses allow for border areas in theology in which evolution or movement may be acceptable but also place firm limits on the development of dogma and theology. Help with the interpretation of the early fathers of the Church may be found in the distinction which the pre-Nicene fathers make in the understanding of the concepts of pisiis and gnosis and which Gregory the Theologian makes between oikonomia and teleiotes.


dogma, development of dogma, Revelation, Cardinal Newman, A. von Har-nack, A. Loisy, S.V. Soloviev, A.L. Katansky, J. Pelikan, Irenaeus of Lyons, Origen, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, faith and knowledge.


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Mikhailov Petr