Author: JING Jianfeng, Inner Mongolia University
The Eastern Orthodox Church (православное исповедание) is the traditional church passed down from the Byzantine Empire, and one of the three big divisions within Christianity besides the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Church. After the Middle Ages, the Eastern Orthodox Church gradually declined in Byzantium, but flourished in Eastern Europe and Russia. The theology of the Eastern Orthodox Church concerns itself largely with the relationship between God and the cosmos, and is famous for its spiritual practice and speculations. In its theology, the tradition of Sophia, regarding the wisdom of God, is one of the important attributes of Eastern Orthodox theology, permeating philosophy, literature and the believers’ daily life. In particular, Russian Orthodox theologians since the 19th century like Solovyev took its discussion and research to new heights, triggering a series of theoretical disputes and doctrinal conflicts at the turn of the 20th century. Beginning with the “Sophia Controversy” in the Russian Orthodox Church, this paper tries to clarify the origin, development, and distinctive of the Sophia tradition in Eastern Orthodoxy, and explore its metaphysical dilemma.
Eastern Orthodox Church; Sophia; trinity; metaphysics
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