Sergei Nikolaevich Bulgakov

1871-1944. Russian philosopher, theologian, and economist. Son of a priest, he studied at a seminary in Orel, the University of Moscow where he was graduated in 1894, and then at Berlin, Paris, and London, before receiving his doctorate from Moscow in 1912. He taught at the Kiev Polytechnic Institute (1901-6), at Moscow (1906-18), and was elected a Cadet delegate to the second Duma. In 1918 he was ordained priest and because of Soviet disapproval went to teach at the University of Simferopol in the Crimea. He was expelled from Russia in 1922, and went to Prague, then in 1925 to Paris where he was dean and theology professor at the Orthodox Theological Institute which he helped to found. Bulgakov's ideas were strongly influenced by the philosophy of Soloviev* and Pavel Florensky. His thinking developed from Marxism to idealism and then to mysticism. He believed that the world or cosmos was an organic whole, animated by a world soul. God created the world out of nothing and as an emanation of His own nature. Mediating between God and the cosmos and uniting them is a third being, the Sophia or Divine Wisdom. A prolific writer, his many works include The Unfading Light (1917), Jacob's Ladder (1929), Agnus Dei, The God-Manhood (1933), and The Comforter (1936).

L. Zander, God and the World, the World Conception of Father S. Bulgakov (1948); N.O. Lossky, History of Russian Philosophy (1951); V.V. Zenkovsky, A History of Russian Philosophy, vol. II (1953).