The Burning Bush: On the Orthodox Veneration of the Mother of God

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Apr 10, 2009 - Religion - 191 pages
The first component in Bulgakov s minor theological trilogy . In this book Sergius Bulgakov refutes the Roman Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception and discusses the Orthodox veneration of the Mother of God. The Burning Bush is a consideration of the personal sinlessness of Mary, the truth of which Bulgakov fi nds grounded in both Gospel witness and the liturgical tradition of the church. Though his most controversial legacy to the theological community, Bulgakov s Sophiology nevertheless is critical to understanding his Mariology. This volume is more than mere sophiological speculation, however, as anthropology, eschatology, original sin, human sanctity, and sexuality all fi nd their way into Bulgakov s exploration of the mystery of the woman chosen by God to give birth freely to the Christ. / In this book, unique in the Russian Orthodox literature, the great theologian Sergius Bulgakov illuminates various aspects of the Church s veneration of the Mother of God. Like all of Bulgakov s devotional books, this is not a work of abstract theologizing, but a work of prayer, opening up a vision of the mystical reality that forms the foundation of our relations to the Ever-Virgin and her relation to us. Thomas Allan Smith s translation is superb, and in his first-rate introduction he does an excellent job of elucidating Bulgakov s sophiological approach. Boris Jakim / Thomas Allan Smith and Eerdmans deserve an immense debt of gratitude for providing a long-awaited English translation of this pivotal work of the leading Russian Orthodox theologian of the twentieth century. Even more, Smith s translation is careful, nuanced, and yet preeminently readable. . . . Western Christians and non-Christians alike often see Orthodoxy as a fascinating, exotic, and mysterious form of Christianity. The Burning Bush, in Smith s translation, helps the reader recognize both Orthodoxy s inner coherence and rationality and its rootedness in a profoundly sublime appreciation of creation s beauty and magnificence. . . . Smith s list of Bulgakov s sources is a simple yet indispensable tool for the scholarly reader. This translation will serve us all well for decades to come. Myroslaw Tataryn
 

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Contents

Introduction
xi
From the Author
3
The Burning Bush
5
The Absence of Personal Sin in the Mother of God
7
The Power of Original Sin for the Mother of God
15
The Catholic Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God
47
The Glorification of the Mother of God
65
On the Glory of God in the Old Testament
117
The Old Testament Doctrine of the Wisdom of God
131
The Doctrine of the Wisdom of God in St Athanasius the Great and Other Church Fathers
143
Endnotes
157
Index
184
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Sergius Bulgakov (1871 1944), the twentieth century's leading Orthodox theologian, left the Soviet Union in 1923 and spent the rest of his academic career as dean and professor of dogmatic theology at Saint Sergius Theological Institute in Paris. His major works include The Philosophy of Economy, The Unfading Light, The Friend of the Bridegroom, The Burning Bush, The Lamb of God, and The Comforter.

Thomas Allan Smith is associate professor of the history and theology of Eastern Christianity at the University of St. Michael s College, Toronto.

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