Sunday, May 11, 2014

Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception:

"Florovsky, Georges"






Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception
Offprint / Volume OP
Editor(s): Dale C. Allison, Jr., Christine Helmer, Volker Leppin, Choon-Leong Seow, Hermann Spieckermann, Barry Dov Walfish, Eric J. Ziolkowski
De Gruyter (Berlin, Boston) 2014


Florovsky, Georges
Jennifer Wasmuth

Protopresbyter Georges V. Florovsky (Georgij Vasil’evič Florovskij), one of the most influential Orthodox theologians of the 20th century with a strong commitment to the ecumenical movement, was born on August 23 (or 28), 1893, in Odessa (Ukraine). Due to political circumstances, he was forced to emigrate in 1920. Playing an important role in the Russian Diaspora in Sofia and Prague, he became professor for patristics at the St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris in 1926. Besides two volumes on the church fathers, his main work, The Ways of Russian theology(1937), was published during this time. In 1948, he moved to the United States where he continued his academic work at different places, among others, in New York (St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary; 1948–55), Harvard (1956–64), and Princeton (1964–72), where he died on August 11, 1979.
Questioning the Western influence on Russian Orthodox theology for being a phenomenon of “pseudomorphosis,” Florovsky outlined a concept of “neo-Patristic synthesis.” In reception and positive reversal of Adolf von Harnack’s (1851–1930) criticism of “Hellenizing of Christianity,” he called for a “return to the Fathers” as the essential condition for any renewal of Orthodox theology. In this conceptual frame, the tradition of the church gained an important role: In contrast to the Protestant understanding of “sola scriptura,” Florovsky emphasized that the revelation of God in Christ, being the center of history, is preserved in the church in a twofold manner: first by tradition and then by Scripture. Tradition, therefore, has to be the guiding principle and criterion of scriptural interpretation, even if tradition cannot add anything to Scripture. Florovsky, thereby, not despising modern methods of historical-critical exegesis in general, favored a type of typological exegesis: A combination of the school traditions of Alexandria and Antiochia.

Bibliography
Primary
o    Baker, M./N. Asproulis, “Secondary Bibliography of Scholarly Literature and Conferences on Florovsky,”ΘΕΟΛΟΓΙΑ 81/40 (2010) 357–96.
o    Florovsky, G., Collected Works, 14 vols. (Belmont, Mass. 1972–89).
Secondary
o    Blane, A. (ed.), Georges Florovsky: Russian Intellectual – Orthodox Churchman (Crestwood, N.Y. 1993).
o    Künkel, C., Totus Christus: Die Theologie Georges V. Florovskys (FSÖTh 62; Göttingen 1991).
o    Williams, G. H., “Georges Vasilievich Florovsky: His American Career (1948–1965),” GOTR 1 (1965) 7–107.





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