Author Topic: Fr. Sergius Bulgakov and St. Augustine  (Read 324 times)

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Offline minasoliman

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Fr. Sergius Bulgakov and St. Augustine
« on: November 09, 2013, 01:29:05 AM »
I read an interesting blog about how the English translations of Fr. Sergius Bulgakov is missing tons of footnotes, especially ones related to the theology of St. Augustine.  It would be exciting indeed if his famous trilogy would be re-included with footnotes (although I've only read "The Friend of the Bridegroom", which gave me a profound love, respect, and admiration of the Forerunner, and a good use of research for my philosophy of Diogenes class).  At the very least, I would love to understand what was Fr. Sergius' thinking into St. Augustine's theology?

Quote
I happened to find myself next to Boris Jakim at a dinner reception a few years ago. He is a delightfully irreverent man (which he readily admits), especially after a couple of glasses of wine, but something he said during our conversation made me want to toss my own glass of Merlot across the room, head the bar, and start taking swigs straight from the bottle. The thing about Vanderbilt is that, at the time, J. Patout Burns was there, turning a lot of us Ph.D. students into Augustinians. (Burns wrote his dissertation under Jaroslav Pelikan, by the way. I am not trying to name-drop, but I thought I should give my Orthodox readers a bit of context.) So I was having these intense seminars with Patout at the same time as I was reading a lot of Bulgakov in preparation for my comprehensive exams.  That is when I first began to notice the mysterious presence I am talking about in this short post. Having Boris right next to me, I decided to ask him about my hunch. Anyone who has ever read Boris Jakim’s introductions to his translations of Bulgakov knows that he left out Bulgakov’s footnotes. Boris said to me that Bride of the Lamb actually contained several pages of footnotes in which Bulgakov engages the thought of Augustine. Mein Gott!

from http://www.davidjdunn.com/2013/11/08/the-mysterious-disappearance-of-st-augustine-from-sergei-bulgakovs-theology/
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 01:29:57 AM by minasoliman »
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Offline Maria

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Re: Fr. Sergius Bulgakov and St. Augustine
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2013, 01:32:54 AM »
Why are you reading Fr. Sergius Bulgakov?

Frankly, I do not trust his works.
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Fr. Sergius Bulgakov and St. Augustine
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2013, 01:44:40 AM »
He's a brilliant thinker, and very deep.  I know he has his issues with his Sophiology, but otherwise, I would have never found anyone better to write about St. John the Forerunner than he.
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

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Offline Maria

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Re: Fr. Sergius Bulgakov and St. Augustine
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2013, 01:47:27 AM »
He's a brilliant thinker, and very deep.  I know he has his issues with his Sophiology, but otherwise, I would have never found anyone better to write about St. John the Forerunner than he.

Have you read the Homilies of St. Gregory Palamas?
His sermon on St. John the Forerunner is brilliant.

In fact, all his sermons are awesome!
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 01:48:12 AM by Maria »
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Fr. Sergius Bulgakov and St. Augustine
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2013, 01:53:31 AM »
He's a brilliant thinker, and very deep.  I know he has his issues with his Sophiology, but otherwise, I would have never found anyone better to write about St. John the Forerunner than he.

Have you read the Homilies of St. Gregory Palamas?
His sermon on St. John the Forerunner is brilliant.

In fact, all his sermons are awesome!

Thank you for the suggestion.  I'll take a look into it  :)

Now about how Fr. Sergius engages the thought of St. Augustine. That would be something to look out for.
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Maria

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Re: Fr. Sergius Bulgakov and St. Augustine
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2013, 02:05:22 AM »
He's a brilliant thinker, and very deep.  I know he has his issues with his Sophiology, but otherwise, I would have never found anyone better to write about St. John the Forerunner than he.

Have you read the Homilies of St. Gregory Palamas?
His sermon on St. John the Forerunner is brilliant.

In fact, all his sermons are awesome!

Thank you for the suggestion.  I'll take a look into it  :)

Now about how Fr. Sergius engages the thought of St. Augustine. That would be something to look out for.

Not really. I did study St. Augustine in college, but as some posters here have already mentioned (in other threads), Augustine's passions and thinking were tarnished due to his immoral background as a youth. Yes, during his time, baptism was delayed so that a youth could sin and then be cleansed with the waters of Baptism with the hope that an adult would keep their baptismal robes spotless. However, that thinking backfired, as youth without the Grace of God develop bad habits and their godless passions cannot be healed overnight with a triple immersion. Thus, the practice of withholding baptism until adulthood was discontinued. Unfortunately, Baptist Protestants still do not get the point.

Reading the two biographies of St. Seraphim of Sarov has been so much more profitable than reading some of the works of St. Augustine.

The only phrase of St. Augustine that stays with me is: Our hearts are restless, until they rest in Thee.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 02:08:30 AM by Maria »
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Offline Gunnarr

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Re: Fr. Sergius Bulgakov and St. Augustine
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2013, 02:54:14 AM »
I read Bishop Augustine's (there I will play a neutral ground) Imitation of Christ and Confessions

It was actually the first theological book I ever read


Anyway, I have nothing to say except to also say something that I will always remember from the book:

"Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet."  ;D
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Offline Nephi

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Re: Fr. Sergius Bulgakov and St. Augustine
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2013, 03:45:57 AM »
He's a brilliant thinker, and very deep.  I know he has his issues with his Sophiology, but otherwise, I would have never found anyone better to write about St. John the Forerunner than he.

I don't know about his works on St. John, but I have to agree. I think he's neat, Sophiology aside. Sadly, the only books by him I have are Sophia: The Wisdom of God and The Comforter so I can't really comment on his interaction with St. Augustine.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Fr. Sergius Bulgakov and St. Augustine
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2013, 10:29:28 AM »
He's a brilliant thinker, and very deep.  I know he has his issues with his Sophiology, but otherwise, I would have never found anyone better to write about St. John the Forerunner than he.

Have you read the Homilies of St. Gregory Palamas?
His sermon on St. John the Forerunner is brilliant.

In fact, all his sermons are awesome!

Thank you for the suggestion.  I'll take a look into it  :)

Now about how Fr. Sergius engages the thought of St. Augustine. That would be something to look out for.

Not really. I did study St. Augustine in college, but as some posters here have already mentioned (in other threads), Augustine's passions and thinking were tarnished due to his immoral background as a youth. Yes, during his time, baptism was delayed so that a youth could sin and then be cleansed with the waters of Baptism with the hope that an adult would keep their baptismal robes spotless. However, that thinking backfired, as youth without the Grace of God develop bad habits and their godless passions cannot be healed overnight with a triple immersion. Thus, the practice of withholding baptism until adulthood was discontinued. Unfortunately, Baptist Protestants still do not get the point.
Although true, a lot also can be attributed to his mother forcing to give up the woman he loved for the marriage she arranged for him.

Reading the two biographies of St. Seraphim of Sarov has been so much more profitable than reading some of the works of St. Augustine.

The only phrase of St. Augustine that stays with me is: Our hearts are restless, until they rest in Thee.
I like his "For my part, I should not believe the gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church."  He has a lot more.
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