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