Sergei Bulgakov

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Bulgakov, Sergei Nikolaevich

 

Born June 16, 1871, in Livny; died July 13, 1944, in Paris. Russian bourgeois economist, philosopher, and theologian. Professor of political economy in Kiev (1901-06) and Moscow (1906-18). In 1918 he entered the priesthood. He lived as an émigré after 1923 and became professor at the Russian Theological Institute in Paris in 1925.

Bulgakov began with “legal Marxism” (Markets in Capitalist Production, 1897; Capitalism and Agriculture, vols. 1-2, 1900) and erroneously asserted that the Marxist theory of capitalist development does not apply to small agricultural production in Russia. He tried to combine Marxism with I. Kant’s critical gnoseology; later he turned to religious philosophy and Christianity (the collection From Marxism to Idealism, 1903). From this position, which combined Christian teaching with the philosophical conceptions of F. Schelling (philosophy of nature and philosophy of identity) and VI. Solov’ev (system of absolute oneness and the teaching of godmanhood), Bulgakov attacked Marxism as well as positivism and atheism (the collections Landmarks, 1909, Two Cities, vols. 1-2, 1911). Bulgakov tried to solve sociopolitical problems with the help of religious metaphysics (The Philosophy of Economics, 1912). Bulgakov’s conceptions were given their final form in the book The Unfading Light, in which religious philosophy, which, in Bulgakov’s opinion, has “one universal problem—the problem of god and only of god” (Moscow, 1917, p. 76), has already developed into a theology. Bulgakov’s basic ideas are the system of absolute oneness and the teaching about holy Sofia, of whom Bulgakov considered the mother of god to be the embodiment. According to Bulgakov, the world is a revelation or embodiment of god and, therefore, life on earth has to be Christianized. Marxists sharply criticized Bulgakov’s economic and philosophical views and his political position (see V. I. Lenin, “Agrarnyi vopros i ‘kritiki Marksa,’ ” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 5; “O ‘Vekhakh,’ ” ibid., vol. 19).

WORKS

O bogochelovechestve, parts 1-3. Paris-Tallin, 1933-45.

REFERENCES

Plekhanov, G. V. “O tak nazyvaemykh religioznykh iskaniiakh v Rossii.” Izbr. filosofskie proizvedeniia, vol. 3. Moscow, 1957.
Zen’kovskii, V. V. Istoriia russkoi filosofii, vol. 2. Moscow, 1956. Chapter 6.
Istoriia filosofii, vol. 5. Moscow, 1961.
Istoriia russkoi ekonomicheskoi mysli, vol. 3, part 1. Moscow, 1966. Chapters 6, 7, 10.
References in periodicals archive ?
The first installment of the Status Quaestionis will feature an essay by Sergey Bulgakov (1871-1944), a renowned and influential Russian Orthodox theologian.
By the decade of the 1990s, except for a handful of specialists in Russian history of ideas, Sergey Bulgakov was hardly known even to Soviet and Russian intellectuals.
However, the intellectual and political pleas of Orthodox philosophers such as Vladimir Solovyov, Pavel Florensky, Sergey Bulgakov, and others, for higher public morals, church, and state value enhancement, had faced negative reception by all parties, including the Russian Orthodox Church.
However, the twentieth-century preoccupation with Russia's exceptionality--by Russian and non-Russian historians and commentators alike--has grossly underestimated the potential of its turn-of-the-century religious theorists, and of Sergey Bulgakov, for the modernization of Christian ethics and values.
Sergey Bulgakov was born in a priest's family in 1871, in the Orlov gubernia.
7) Sergey Bulgakov, Karl Marx as a Religious Type: His Relation to the Religion of Anthropotheism of L.
9) Sergey Bulgakov, "Philosophy of Economy, A Speech on Doctoral Thesis," 21 September 1912, p.