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The Comforter ❴PDF / Epub❵ ☂ The Comforter Author Sergius Bulgakov – Sergius Bulgakov is widely considered to be the twentieth century's foremost Orthodox theologian and his book The Comforter is an utterly comprehensive and profound study of the Holy SpiritEncyclopedi Sergius Bulgakov is widely considered to be the twentieth century's foremost Orthodox theologian and his book The Comforter is an utterly comprehensive and profound study of the Holy SpiritEncyclopedic in scope The Comforter explores all aspects of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit as they are viewed in the Orthodox tradition and throughout church history The book has sections on the development of the doctrine of the Spirit in early Christianity and on the development of the doctrine of procession in the patristic and later Byzantine periods It also touches on the place of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity and explores Old and New Testament notions of the Spirit of God A concluding chapter deals with the mystical revelation of the Holy Spirit Made available in English through the work of Boris Jakim today's premier translator of Russian theology and philosophy into English Bulgakov's Comforter in this edition is a major publishing event.

  • Paperback
  • 414 pages
  • The Comforter
  • Sergius Bulgakov
  • English
  • 28 May 2015
  • 9780802821126

About the Author: Sergius Bulgakov

Sergei Nikolaevich Bulgakov bʊlˈɡɑːkəf; Russian Серге́й Никола́евич Булга́ков; July OS July – July was a Russian Orthodox Christian theologian philosopher and economist.

6 thoughts on “The Comforter

  1. Susan Susan says:

    This will take time to read That said there is much to process Good historical background into trying to explain what could be thought of as unexplainable Also good how these thoughts can be brought into one's own spiritual journey I may not always agree with some of the authors conclusions yet there are several points I would love to have a discussion with the author but alas not to be

  2. Jacob Aitken Jacob Aitken says:

    Bulgakov begins with a survey of how the early fathers understood the Holy Spirit He goes a step beyond the typical statements that no one called the Spirit God not even Basil Bulgakov's point is that no father had an in depth pneumatology of any sort and this would be a huge problem for Orthodoxy in the Filioue debates He chides Roman Catholic thinkers for reading Filiouist doctrines into early Fathers for example when the Fathers say the Spirit is ek tou hiou or dia from and through It's a highly strained reading to think they are advocating what was taught at Florence and Lyons And again this underscores the problem what did the Fathers mean by these statements? We really don't know since they don't sayMonarchia of the Father Dangerous and UndefinedBulgakov is insistent we maintain the doctrine of monarchia the Father as the principle of the Godhead He notes though that when guys like John of Damascus refer to the monarchia it's not clear what they mean How does John use the term cause? He oscillates between two positions cause of the other two persons of the Godhead but this moves close to Arianism which John rejects He maintains the eui eternity of the persons One cannot get past the idea though that John is using cause in terms of originationAn Inadeuate TraditionA few years ago Jay Dyer critiued Anchoretic Christianity on the grounds of an inevitable doctrinal development this is problematic for Orthodoxy than it is for Rome This is particularly evident in the doctrine of the Holy Spirit Someone could respond via Basil that Basil said the unwritten tradition always said the Holy Spirit was God Besides begging the uestion that's not really what Bulgakov is getting at The early Fathers did not develop a thorough doctrine of the Holy Spirit leaving a lot of prepositions unualified which later Latin writers would exploit For example when Photius argued that the spirit proceeded ek patre monou and claimed that such was the tradition of the Fathers Latin writers uickly made short work of that numerous Fathers said at the very least that the Spirit proceeded through the Son I don't think that's a Filiouist reading but neither does it line up with what Photius saidA Shared ProblematicBulgakov points out that both sides had the same presupposition whatever one may discuss about the Holy Spirit and his relation to the other persons of the Godhead it will be primarily in terms of his origination from either one or both persons In either case one is left with a dyad and never a triad if the Father alone generates both Son and Spirit then we have Father and SonSpirit; or if we take the Filiouist route we will have FatherSon and Spirit Bulgakov notes that no side really got to the intratrinitarian relationsOusia as Spirit LoveBy contrast Bulgakov sees the essence of God in a new way free from Hellenistic constraints God is Spirit John 4 God is Love 1 John and Bulgakov suggests that God's being is love This definition points to three ness and here Augustine was on the right track Love implies than one and stop the analogy right there Therefore God's essence is Spirit Love Bulgakov 61Christianizing HegelThe Hegelian overtones are heavy in the next few pages and is my favorite part of the book Bulgakov writes The Son then is the hypostatic self revelation of the nature of tthe Father Hebrews 13the self consciousness or hypostatization of the divine ousia of the Father; the Son is present before the Father as his Truth and Word 63 Bulgakov notes that these hypostases are mutually defined through their relation in the divine ousia The Father is not only revealed in his ousia through the Son but he lives in said ousia by the Holy SpiritI know that sounds weighty but it's really not In biblical revelation we understand God the father to be the first person of the to be yet revealed Trinity In the New Testament we see Jesus saying If you've seen me you've seen the Father Jesus seems to be making positive affirmations about knowing God contra the later tradition We know that when Jesus ascends the divine life lives in the church through the Holy Spirit At this point this is simple Sunday School stuff and Bulgakov has nicely tied it together Doesn't this make a lot sense than simply speaking about ousias and essences in an abstract Greek way? Yeah I spoke of ousia but I defined it the way the Bible defines it as Spirit and Love Spirit Love

  3. Dwight Davis Dwight Davis says:

    Overall a very good work on pneumatology Bulgakov has some interesting and provocative things to say about the filioue But I'm not convinced by his doctrine of Sophia and he really goes off the rails on Eros and sexuality This is a dense work but worth wading through

  4. Brandon Kertson Brandon Kertson says:

    Sergius Bulgakov often considered a preeminent Orthodox theologian of the twentieth century wrote The Comforter while exiled from Russia and teaching in Paris This volume on the Holy Spirit is the second book of the trilogy “On Divine Humanity” which includes The Lamb of God Christology and The Bride of the Lamb ecclesiology and eschatology Only recently translated into English Bulgakov’s work is still somewhat new to American audiences thought it has initially been well received and in its emphasis on pneumatology provides an indirect dialogue partner for renewal theologians In The Comforter Bulgakov is trying to fill a hole left by the Patristic literature that established the Trinity based on Trinitarian relationships involving the Father but did not unify the Son and the Holy Spirit 50 51 In response he develops a series of dyads Father Word; Father Spirit; Word Spirit that demonstrate the Trinity’s united nature While his work is a pneumatology for Bulgakov one must not understand the persons of the Trinity “on the basis of themselves alone but on the basis of their Trinitarian union” 141 Given this he does not give as thorough a treatment on the uniue person of the Spirit as might be expectedThroughout his work Bulgakov is willing to expand and even correct Orthodox theology rather than rehearsing the patristic Fathers like many of his predecessors One area where he is critical of both Orthodox and Catholic theology is on the filioue clause He sees both sides as stuck in the idea of relation through origination which leads to the subordination of the Spirit rather than dyadic and complementary nature of Son and Spirit Bulgakov does recognize a hierarchy within the Trinity but only based on revelation not origination 69 70 All three persons are co eternal and inseparable from each other making origination superfluous 150 By moving the conversation beyond its previous sticking point Bulgakov demonstrates a new way to think of the interrelation of the TrinityOne other uniue contribution by Bulgakov was his discussion of the Spirit’s kenosis within the economy of salvation particularly sanctification 221 This kenosis takes the form of the Spirit coming down and interacting with the creaturely world lifting it up toward the divine being a realization of what he calls “Divine humanity” 222 This hints towards Bulgakov’s sophiology which has been deemed the most problematic aspect of his theology for its imposition of a philosophy seen as foreign to the gospel a problem Bulgakov himself later admitted The primary problem I see here is the separation of the Spirit’s hypostasis from the Spirit’s work even at Pentecost 267 While his distinction is helpful in asking what the biblical authors are referring to by the generic term pneuma a renewal theology would ask if the two can be so easily sundered and uestion Bulgakov’s assertion that humanity does not truly experienced the hypostasis of the Spirit in the Pentecost experience but only in the eschaton

  5. Saffron Rose Saffron Rose says:

    Doing my best but really struggling with this one I think the message is a good one but the way it is delivered I just don't know most of the wordsThere are a lot of words in here I don't know I know some of the Greek ones but other words I have never heard of at all and can't even work out what they are of the words i can understand I've picked out Latin and Greek so far but I have no idea about the rest maybe some of them are Russian transposed into English? No idea and the Translator isn't helping me out anyStill going doggedly maybe I will have to come back to this one when I'm a million and three but even then I don;t think I'd know all the words I finally waded through the part I was having trouble with and discovered it was just the introduction and I wasn't even on chapter 1 yet the cruelty Got to the point where I was getting frustrated n thinking of taking it back to the library Asked for guidance n hey presto the reason I suspect I was meant to read this book is on pages 120 through 147 I admire Mr Bulgakov's bravery in telling the Eastern n Western churches that they're both wrong And he seems to make some excellent points as to why So I'm glad I read this part of the book at least n still doggedly trying to flick through some of the rest really need like a 3 month loan to do the reading of this book justice it's not a very thick book just heavy going in understanding that's all

  6. Lainie Lainie says:

    He is a profound yet difficult theologian to read Wonderfully deep theology of Sophia wisdom of God Excellent thought on the Holy Spirit Great book for a deeper Orthodox view

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