SOPHIA & THE RUSSIAN TRADITION
Sophia and the Russian Mystical Tradition
Awareness of Wisdom (Sophia) is not unique to the Western tradition. Relatively little attention has been given to the origins of the Russian understanding of Sophia. I propose in this essay that there were in fact two sources: the understanding of Sophia as divine Wisdom in Byzantium; and the later introduction to Russia of the Boehmian theosophical understanding of Sophia. I then present and discuss the visions of Vladimir Soloviev (1853-1900) whose understanding of Sophia was so influential on later writers. The importance of Sophia for the young poets and painters of the Symbolist movement is considered. The essay concludes with an examination of the influence of Soloviev’s understanding of Sophia on contemporary and later writers in the Orthodox tradition.
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