Boris Jakim here translates two major theological essays by Russian Orthodox theologian Sergius Bulgakov in English translation for the first time.
"On Holy Relics," a 1918 response to Bolshevik desecration of the relics of Russian saints, develops a comprehensive theology of holy relics, connecting them with the Incarnation and showing their place in sacramental theology. The second essay, "On the Gospel Miracles," written in 1932, presents a Christological doctrine of miracles, focusing on how human activity relates to the works of Christ.
Both essays are suffused with Bulgakov's faith in Christian resurrection--and with his signature "religious materialism," in which the corporeal is illuminated by the spiritual and the earthly is transfigured into the heavenly.
Boris Jakim has uncovered two gems by Sergei Bulgakov, both of which provide strong and eloquent statements of Bulgakov's fundamental belief in the central place accorded to humanity in creation. Bulgakov's phenomenological approach is animated by acute historical concern (in the case of his 1918 essay on relics) and thoughtful reading of the Gospels (in his later essay on miracles). As Jakim points out in his enlightening introduction, throughout these essays Bulgakov joins philosophical and theological problems to profound pastoral counsel.
University of Chicago
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