Antonenko Victoria

The development of the doctrine of apocatastasis and the problem of evil in the ""Big trilogy"" by archpriest Sergius Bulgakov

Antonenko Victoria (2021) "The development of the doctrine of apocatastasis and the problem of evil in the ""Big trilogy"" by archpriest Sergius Bulgakov ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia. Religiovedenie, 2021, vol. 95, pp. 88-105 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI202195.88-105


The article studies the doctrine of the apocatastasis in the Big Trilogy by Revd. Sergius Bulgakov. It outlines the evolution in this work of the concept of universal salvation and shows that the author specifi cally formulates his doctrine of apocatastasis in the final part of the trilogy on God-manhood, The Bride of the Lamb. The article traces how the Bulgakov’s sophiology is related to his eschatological ideas and to the doctrine of God-manhood in its direct connection with the concept of apocatastasis. A number of questions are examined as to how Bulgakov understood the place and meaning of Sophia in the divine creation, the correlation between Sophia the divine and the created. Particular attention is paid to the themes of the incarnation, kenosis and parousia. An important aspect of Bulgakov’s doctrine of apocatastasis is its connection with the problem of the evil and the theodicy because it is only the principle of overall salvation can be the prerequisite of the fi nal overcome of the evil. Speculating about the source of the true evil, Bulgakov assigns a signifi cant place in the doctrine of the apocatastasis to angelology. In the context of the doctrine of apocatastasis, Bulgakov explains such concepts as death, mortality, and immortality of a person. He connects the problem of death with the distinction between time as eternity and temporality as something non-existent. Distinguishing the two states: time and temporality, Bulgakov also considers the question of the eternity of torment in hell. To solve the question of possible universal salvation, he also reveals the following problems: the temporality of the eternal, the incommensurability of the divine and the created, the nature of the created freedom. The author of the article believes that the main signifi cance in understanding and revealing the concept of the apocatastasis of Bulgakov is his Christology, since it is in the image of the God-man that the philosopher fi nds the real basis for the possibility of universal salvation. The principle of the coexistence of two natures, which was manifested in the person of the God-man, is translated by Bulgakov onto humanity. He creates the doctrine of God-manhood understanding it as universal human salvation in Sophia.


S. N. Bulgakov, doctrine of apocatastasis, universal restoration, salvation, created freedom, created evil, eternity of torment, temporality of eternity, parousia, dying together


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Information about the author

Antonenko Victoria

Student status: Graduate student;
Place of study: St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University for the Humanities; 6/1 Likhov pereulok, Moscow 127051, Russian Federation;
ORCID: 0000-0002-8748-5973;
Email: lyubimayaviktoriya@mail.ru.