Pavliuchenkov Nikolai

Reception by P. A. Florensky of V. S. Soloviev’s heritage: from philosophy to teology of pan-unity

Pavliuchenkov Nikolai (2021) "Reception by P. A. Florensky of V. S. Soloviev’s heritage: from philosophy to teology of pan-unity ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia. Religiovedenie, 2021, vol. 96, pp. 41-60 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI202196.41-60


The article deals with the fi rst stage of the philosophical and theological work of priest Pavel Florensky. At this stage, Florensky turns to the heritage of V.S. Solovyov and makes an attempt to give a theological interpretation of his main concepts, i.e. the doctrine of the Sophia the Wisdom of God and “God-manhood”. The author pays special attention to Florensky’s attempt to introduce the very metaphysics of pan-unity into Orthodox theology. According to the author, the task of studying the metaphysics of unity in Florensky’s philosophy and theology can be divided into two components: features of Florensky’s understanding of V. Solovyov’s heritage and Florensky’s application of new concepts that appeared in Russian academic theology in the late XIX — early XX centuries. In this connection, the process of gradual rethinking of Solovyov’s ideas is traced. This process was accompanied by the use of the teachings of Archimandrite (later bishop and metropolitan) Antony (Khrapovitsky). This teaching was new to academic theology in Russia. Khrapovitsky considered the “multi-unity” of humanity as a refl ection of the Trinity of the Deity. Florensky translated this teaching from the moral fi eld to the fi eld of ontology. From this point of view, the author analyses Florensky’s early work “The Concept of the Church in Holy Scripture”, which, in its main provisions, formed the basis of his most famous work, “The Pillar and the Ground of Truth”. It is noted that Florensky creatively reworked the ideas of V. Solovyov and Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky). As a result, he carried out the experience of building a concept that can be called the theology of unity. At a later stage of his work, Florensky only corrects this metaphysics. In accordance with the theology of St. Gregory Palamas, he replaces the concept of the communion of the creature of the Divine essence on the communion of the Divine energy and considers it from a new point of view. He develops the energy concept of the symbol and the ontology of the concentric levels of being. In this ontology, the philosophical and theological interpretation of church worship and the performance of church sacraments is embedded.


Florensky, Solovyov, Khrapovitsky, unity, philosophy, theology, Church


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Information about the author

Pavliuchenkov Nikolai

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in Philosophy;
Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in Theology;
Academic Rank: Associate Professor;
Place of work: St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University for the Humanities; 6/1 Likhov pereulok, Moscow 127051, Russian Federation;
ORCID: 0000-0002-7778-139X;
Email: npavl905@mail.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.