Pavel Florensky


Pavel Florensky

Pavel (Paul) Alexandrovich Florensky (also P.A. Florenskiĭ, Florenskii, Florenskij, _ru. Павел Александрович Флоренский, OldStyleDate|January 21|1882|January 9 - December 1937 by some sources) was a Russian Orthodox theologian, philosopher, mathematician, electrical engineer, inventor and "Neomartyr" [ [http://content.cdlib.org/xtf/view?docId=ft8h4nb55x&doc.view=content&chunk.id=d0e2864&toc.depth=1&anchor.id=0&brand=eschol Flight from Eden "d0e2864" ] ] sometimes compared by his followers to Leonardo da Vinci. [ [http://www.euclidconsortium.eu/euclid/en/pf-name.asp Florensky School of Theology and Ministry on Euclid University Consortium] ] [ [http://archive.sptimes.ru/index.php?action_id=100&story_id=8228 article" 'Russian da Vinci' May Be Among Remains" ib The St. Petersburg Times] ]

Biography

Pavel Alexandrovich Florensky was born on January 21 1882 into a family of a Railroad engineer in the town of Yevlakh located in western Azerbaijan. His father came from a family of Russian Orthodox priests while his mother Olga (Salomia) Saparova (Saparashvili) was of the Georgian-Armenian nobility [ [http://zhurnal.lib.ru/k/kolesnikow_o/mflorensk00.shtml Oleg Kolesnikov "Pavel Florensky"] ru icon ] [ [http://nasledie-rus.ru/podshivka/7312.php Pavel V. Florensky, Tatiana Shutova "Pavel Florensky"] "Nashe Nasledie" ru icon ] . After graduating from Tiflis gymnasium he entered the Department of Mathematics of Moscow State University, and simultaneously studied Philosophy.

After graduating from Moscow State University in 1904, Florensky refused to accept a teaching position at the University. Instead, he proceeded to study theology at the Ecclesiastical Academy in Sergiyev Posad. Together with his fellow students Ern, Svenitsky and Brikhnichev he founded a society, the "Christian Struggle Union" (Союз Христиaнской Борьбы), with the revolutionarly aim of rebuilding Russian society according to the principle of Vladimir Solovyov. Subsequently he was arrested for membership in this society in 1906. However, he later lost his interest in the Radical Christianity movement.

During his studies at the Ecclesiastical Academy his interests included Philosophy, Religion, Art, Folklore. He became a prominent member of the Russian Symbolism movement, started his friendship with Andrei Bely, and published works in the magazines "New Way" (Новый Путь) and "Libra" (Весы). He also started his main philosophical work "The Pillar and Ground of the Truth: An Essay in Orthodox Theodicy in Twelve Letters". The complete book was published only in 1924 but most of it was finished at the time of his graduation from the Academy in 1908.

Princeton University Press: "The book is a series of twelve letters to a "brother" or "friend," who may be understood symbolically as Christ. Central to Florensky's work is an exploration of the various meanings of Christian love, which is viewed as a combination of philia (friendship) and agape (universal love). Florensky is perhaps the first modern writer to explore the so-called same-sex unions, which, for him, are not sexual in nature. He describes the ancient Christian rites of the adelphopoiesis (brother making), joining male friends in chaste bonds of love. In addition, Florensky is one of the first thinkers in the twentieth century to develop the idea of the Divine Sophia, who has become one of the central concerns of feminist theologians." [ [http://press.princeton.edu/titles/6223.html "The Pillar and Ground of the Truth:An Essay in Orthodox Theodicy in Twelve Letters" Princeton University Press] ]

After graduating from the Academy, he taught philosophy there and lived at Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra until 1919. In 1911, he was ordained into the priesthood. In 1914 he wrote his dissertation "About Spiritual Truth". He published works on Philosophy, Theology, Art Theory, Mathematics, Electrodynamics. Between 1911 and 1917, he was the chief editor of the most authoritative Orthodox Theologian publication of that time "Bogoslovskiy Vestnik". He was also a spiritual teacher of the controversial Russian writer Vasily Rozanov, urging him to conciliate with the Orthodox Church.

After the October Revolution he formulated his position as: "I am of a Philosophical and scientific world outlook developed by me, which contradicts the vulgar interpretation of communism... but that does not prevent me to honestly work for the state service". After the closing down, by the Bolsheviks, of the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra (1918) and "Sergievo-Posad Church" (1921), where he was the priest, he moved to Moscow to work on the State Plan for Electrification of Russia. (ГОЭЛРО) Under the recommendation of Leon Trotsky who strongly believed in Florensky's ability to help the government to electrify rural Russia. According to contemporaries, Florensky in his priest's cassock, working alongside other leaders of a Government department, was a remarkable sight.

In 1924, he published a large monograph on Dielectrics, as well as his "The Pillar and Ground of the Truth An Essay in Orthodox Theodicy in Twelve Letters". He also worked simultaneously as the Scientific Secretary of "Historical Commission on Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra" and published his works on Ancient Russian Art. He was also rumored to be the main organizer of the plot to save the relics of St. Sergii Radonezhsky that had been ordered destroyed by the government.

In the second half of the 1920s, he mostly worked on physics and electrodynamics, publishing his main "hard science" work "Imaginary numbers in Geometry" devoted to the geometrical interpretation of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. Among other things, he proclaimed that the geometry of imaginary numbers predicted by the theory of relativity for a body moving faster than light is the geometry of the kingdom of God.

In 1928, Florensky was exiled to Nizhny Novgorod. After the intercession of Ekaterina Peshkova (wife of Maxim Gorky), Florensky was allowed to return to Moscow. In 1933 he was arrested again and sentenced to ten years in the Labor Camps by the infamous article fifty eight of Stalin's criminal code (clauses ten and eleven - "agitation against the Soviet system" and "publishing agitation materials against the Soviet system"). The published agitation materials were the monograph about the theory of relativity.

He served at the Baikal Amur Mainline camp, until 1934 when he was moved to Solovki, there he conducted research into producing iodine and agar out of the local seaweed. In 1937 he was transferred to Saint Petersburg (then known as Leningrad) where he was sentenced by an extrajudicial NKVD troika to execution. According to a legend he was sentenced for the refusal to disclose the location of the head of St. Sergii Radonezhsky that the communists wanted to destroy. The Saint's head was indeed saved and in 1946, the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra was opened again. The relics of St. Sergii became fashionable once more. The Saint's relics where returned to Lavra by Pavel Golubtsov, later known as archbishop Sergiy.

Official Soviet information stated that Florensky died December 8 1943 somewhere in Siberia, but a study of the NKVD archives after the disbanding of the Soviet Union have shown that information to be false. Florensky was shot immediately after the NKVD troika session in December 1937. Most probably he was executed at the "Rzhevsky artillery range", near Toksovo, which is located about twenty kilometers north-east to Saint Petersburg and was buried in a secret grave in "Koirangakangas" near Toksovo together with 30,000 others who were executed by NKVD at the same time. [Antonio Maccioni, "Pavel Aleksandrovič Florenskij. Note in margine all'ultima ricezione italiana", "eSamizdat", 2007, V (1-2), pp. 471-478 [http://www.esamizdat.it/rivista/2007/1-2/pdf/rass_maccioni_eS_2007_(V)_1-2.pdf] ]

References and Notes

ee also

*Vladimir Sergeyevich Solovyov
*Sergei Bulgakov
*Theophilus of Antioch
*Sophiology
*Imiaslavie

External links

Biography

*ru icon [http://www.vehi.net/florensky/ Site devoted to Florensky]
*ru icon [http://www.pereplet.ru/avtori/florenskiy.html - Biography]
*ru icon [http://websib.ru/pravoslavie/agiograh/chud_pole_kulikov.htm - Church biography]
*it icon [http://digilander.iol.it/ortodossia/Florensky.htm - Biography, by Abate Herman and Padre Damascene]

Works

*en icon [http://www.eucliduniversity.org/euclid/en/school-pf.asp The Pavel Florensky School of Theology and Ministry]
*it icon [http://www.disf.org/Voci/139.asp DISF: P.A. Florenskij] - Voice by N. Valentini
*it icon [http://www.esamizdat.it/rivista/2006/recensioni/maccioni1.htm Paper about some Florenskij's book]
*it icon [http://www.esamizdat.it/rivista/2007/1-2/pdf/rass_maccioni_eS_2007_(V)_1-2.pdf Florenskij in Italy - Article by A. Maccioni]
*gr icon [http://www.indiktos.gr/index.php?manufacturers_id=86 Page devoted to Florenskij]

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

*it icon dmoz|World/Italiano/Societ%c3%a0/Filosofia/Filosofi/Florenskij,_Pavel_A./|Florenskij, Pavel A.

*
*
*
*
*

*
*
*
** Article and photos of Florensky's Russian home
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pavel Florensky — Paul Florensky Pavel (Paul) Alexandrovitch Florensky (aussi appelé P.A. Florenskiĭ, Florenskii, Florenskij, russe : Павел Александрович Флоренский, janvier 1882 décembre 1937 selon certaines sources) était un théologien orthodoxe russe,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Florensky — Paul Florensky Pavel (Paul) Alexandrovitch Florensky (aussi appelé P.A. Florenskiĭ, Florenskii, Florenskij, russe : Павел Александрович Флоренский, janvier 1882 décembre 1937 selon certaines sources) était un théologien orthodoxe russe,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Florensky — can refer to:People*Pavel Alexandrovich Florensky (1882 1937), Russian Orthodox theologian, philosopher, mathematician and electrical engineer. *Kirill Pavlovich Florensky (1915 1982), Russian geologist. Places*Florensky crater, on the Moon,… …   Wikipedia

  • Florensky, Pavel Alexandrovich — ▪ Russian theologian born Jan. 21 [Jan. 9, old style], 1882, Yevlakh, Yelizavetpolskaya Province, Russian Empire died Dec. 15, 1943, Siberia       Russian Orthodox theologian, philosopher, and mathematician.       In 1904 Florensky received a… …   Universalium

  • Pavel Florenskij — Pawel A. Florenski Pawel Alexandrowitsch Florenski (russisch Павел Александрович Флоренский, wiss. Transliteration Pavel Aleksandrovič Florenskij; * 9.jul./ 21. Januar 1882greg. nahe Jewlach …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Paul Florensky — Pavel (Paul) Alexandrovitch Florensky Philosophe et Scientifique Paul Florensky Naissance 22 janvier …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Imiaslavie — Schema monk Illarion. Imiaslavie (Russian: Имяславие) or Imiabozhie (Имябожие), also spelled imyaslavie and imyabozhie, and also referred to as onomatodoxy, is a dogmatic movement which was condemned by the Russian Orthodox Church, but that is… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Russian people — The Millennium of Russia monument in Veliky Novgorod, featuring the statues and reliefs of the most celebrated people in the first 1000 years of Russian history …   Wikipedia

  • Sofiología — Ícono ruso, Sofía, la Sagrada Sabiduría, 1812. La sofiología (del griego Σοφία Sofía (sabiduría) ) (en ruso София) es un concepto filosófico relacionado con la sabiduría, como también un concepto teológico relacionado con la sabiduría de Dios.… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Anexo:Artistas de Rusia — Esta página o sección está siendo traducida del idioma inglés a partir del artículo List of Russian artists, razón por la cual puede haber lagunas de contenidos, errores sintácticos o escritos sin traducir. Puedes colaborar con Wikipedia …   Wikipedia Español


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.