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Florovsky, Georges


Subject Religion » Christianity

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631232032.2001.x


(1893–1979) Russian philosopher, theologian, patrologist, historian of Russian thought and spiritual culture, ecumenist. Florovsky was born into a clerical family from Odessa. He had a long and distinguished academic career, teaching philosophy at Odessa University before leaving Russia because of the Bolshevik revolution. After that he held a string of academic posts, at St Sergius' Academy in Paris, St Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary in New York, and at Harvard and Princeton universities. He was ordained priest in 1932. Florovsky was active in the ecumenical movement, in the Orthodox–Anglican Fellowship of SS Alban and Sergius, the Commission on Faith and Order and the World Council of Churches, where he was viewed as an authoritative voice of Eastern Orthodoxy ( see ecumenism ). He wrote extensively on what he referred to as the ‘challenge of disunity’. In his opinion, every local church can contribute its own particular experience, but the Orthodox church's unique mission is to witness to the common heritage of all Christians, because, he argued, Orthodoxy is the true, though not perfect, manifestation of the living tradition of the universal church. Florovsky never tried to construct a systematic theology and indeed was very critical of any attempt to do so. Yet his writings give the impression of unity, consistency and coherence. At the centre of his project is a concern to ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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