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Sophianism

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'''Sophianism''' (from Greek Σοφια "wisdom") is a [[heresy ]] which has been condemned by the [[Russian Orthodox Church]]. Sophianism has roots in Wisdom Theologytheology, nineteenth and twentieth century Russian Theologytheology, preeminently [[Sergius Bulgakov]] through the influence of [[w:Vladimir Solovyov (philosopher)|Vladimir Solovyov]], and contemporary feminism. Russian Orthodox Priest priest [[Georges Florovsky]] and Orthodox theologian [[Vladimir Lossky ]] opposed the interjection of the deity Sophia. [[w:Vladimir Lossky|Vladimir Lossky]] stated that it was a misguided uniting together of the [[Holy Spirit ]] and the [[Virgin Mary ]] into a single deity or hypostasis of [[God]].
==Official Pronouncements Condemning Sophianism==
===Decree of the Moscow Patriarchate dated 24 August, 1935, No.93.===
:"By our decision of 24 August, 1935, No.93 it was determined:
:ii) Those Orthodox Reverend Archpastors, clergy and laity who have indiscreetly embraced Bulgakov's teaching and who have promoted it in their preaching and works, either written or printed, are to be called upon to correct the errors committed and to be steadfastly faithful to "sound teaching"."
===Decree of ROCOR=== Decision of the Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad of the 17/30 October 1935 concerning the new teaching of Archpriest Sergei Bulgakov on Sophia, the [[Holy Wisdom|Wisdom ]] of God:
:"i) To recognize the teaching of Archpriest Sergei Bulgakov on Sophia the Wisdom of God as heretical.
:ii) To inform [[Eulogius (Georgievsky) of Paris|Metropolitan Evlogy ]] of this Decision of the Council and to request that he admonish Archpriest Bulgakov with the intention of prompting him to publicly renounce his heretical teaching concerning Sophia and to make a report about the consequences of such admonition to the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. :iii) In the event that Archpriest Bulgakov does not repent, the present Decision of the Council which condemns the heresy of Sophianism is to be made known to all Autocephalous Churches." <ref>[http://ecumenizm.tripod.com/ECUMENIZM/id17.html The Sophian Heresy and Attempts to Feminize God], December 13, 2007</ref>
The 1935 decision of the Church Abroad was based on Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Boguchar’s Novoe uchenie o Sofii (Sofia, 1935), as well as on the arguments of St. [[John Maximovitch|John (Maximovitch)]].<ref>Protopresbyter George Grabbe, ''Toward a History of the Ecclesiastical Divisions Within the Russian Diaspora'', Living Orthodoxy, Vol. XIV, No. 4, July-August, 1992, p. 38</ref> St. John, in his book ''The Orthodox Veneration of the Mother of God'', discusses at length why the [[sophianism]] of Sergius Bulgakov is [[heresy]], specifically one as destructive as [[Nestorianism]]. Speaking of those who attempt to deify the Theotokos, he wrote: :iii) In the event words [of Fr. Sergius Bulgakov], when the Holy Spirit came to dwell in the Virgin Mary, she acquired "a dyadic life, human and divine; that is, She was completely deified, because in Her hypostatic being was manifest the living, creative revelation of the Holy Spirit" (Archpriest Sergei Bulgakov does , The Unburnt Bush, 1927, p. 154). "She is a perfect manifestation of the Third Hypostasis" (Ibid., p. 175), "a creature, but also no longer a creature" (P. 19 1)....But we can say with the words of St. Epiphanius of Cyprus: "There is an equal harm in both these heresies, both when men demean the Virgin and when, on the contrary, they glorify Her beyond what is proper" (Panarion, "Against the Collyridians"). This Holy Father accuses those who give Her an almost divine worship: "Let Mary be in honor, but let worship be given to the Lord" (same source). "Although Mary is a chosen vessel, still she was a woman by nature, not to be distinguished at all from others. Although the history of Mary and Tradition relate that it was said to Her father Joachim in the desert, 'Thy wife hath conceived,' still this was done not without marital union and not without the seed of man" (same source). "One should not revere the saints above what is proper, but should revere their Master. Mary is not God, and did not repentreceive a body from heaven, but from the present Decision joining of man and woman; and according to the Council which condemns promise, like Isaac, She was prepared to take part in the Divine Economy. But, on the other hand, let none dare foolishly to offend the Holy Virgin" (St. Epiphanius, "Against the Antidikomarionites"). The Orthodox Church, highly exalting the heresy Mother of God in its hymns of Sophianism praise, does not dare to ascribe to Her that which has not been communicated about Her by Sacred Scripture or Tradition. "Truth is foreign to be made known all overstatements as well as to all Autocephalous Churchesunderstatements. It gives to everything a fitting measure and fitting place" (Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov)." <ref>The Sophian Heresy and Attempts to Feminize God St. John Maximovitch, [http://ecumenizmwww.tripodortodoks.com/ECUMENIZMdk/id17On_Orthodox_Veneration_of_the_Mary.htmlhtm ''The Orthodox Veneration of the Mother of God''], December 13(Platina, Ca: St. Herman Press, 20071978), p. 40f</ref>
==Notes==
==Bibliography==
* Sergei Bulgakov, ''Sophia, the Wisdom of God: An Outline of Sophiology (Library of Russian Philosophy)'', Lindisfarne Books, 1993. (ISBN-10: 0940262606, ISBN-13: 978-0940262607)
* Vladimir Lossky ''The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church'', SVS Press, 1997. (ISBN 0-913836-31-1) James Clarke & Co Ltd, 1991. (ISBN 0-227-67919-9)
* Oleg A. Donskikh, ‘Cultural roots of Russian Sophiology’, ''Sophia'', 34(2), 1995, pp38-57
* Mikhail Sergeev, ''Sophiology in Russian Orthodoxy: Solov’ev, Bulgakov, Losskii, Berdiaev'' (Edwin Mellen Press, 2007) ISBN 0773456090 and ISBN 9780773456099, 248 pages
==External links==
*[http://www.rocorstudies.org/2017/04/26/georges-florovsky-and-the-sophiological-controversy/ Alexis Klimoff, On the Sophiological Controversy of the 1930s] - ROCOR Studies, March 25, 2017
==See also==
[[w:Sophiology|Wikipedia: Sophiology]]
 
[[Sergius Bulgakov]]
 
[[Category:Heresies]]
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