The Cross and the Redemption: Some Old English and Modern Russian Parallels
'For the Jews require a sign and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness.'
(I Cor. 1, 22-23)
'The Fathers had the Holy Spirit, but we do not.'
(Abelard, in the Prologue from 'Sic et Non' PI, 178.)
'All social and intellectual changes are dependent on the existence of a spiritual force without which they would not have been.'
(C. Dawson, Religion and the Rise of Western Culture.)
'It is far more reasonable to suppose that in 1058 a great revolution in world history took place.'
(G. Tellenbach, Church, State and Christian Society.)
'Between the end of the 11th century and the end of the 12th everything changes in the West.'
All secular historians are in agreement in saying that the great events which took place in Western Europe during the 11th century transformed the religious outlook, indeed the very nature and function of religion, in the West. The Roman Catholic historian, Christopher Dawson, insists that: 'Early medieval culture (of the West) and Byzantium (sic) were closely akin - the West from the early 12th century is different from all else'. A. N. Whitehead, the great historian of science, writes in his 'Science and the Modem World' that the development of the West is due to 'the medieval insistence on the rationality of God'.
Non-Orthodox historians view the external consequences of the 11th century transformation of Christianity in the West but are incapable of explaining its spiritual origins. This is because they are themselves in thrall to post-11th century Western cultural reflexes. Orthodox Christian historians escape this conditioning and are therefore interested in the internal reasons and processes behind this religious, intellectual and social transformation, in the revolution in the theological understanding of the world at the tune. We believe that these external changes are due to spiritual decline, the loss of spiritual knowledge and understanding of God and the world, as so excellently summed up above by the Scholastic Abelard, who was writing in about 1120.
In fact the statements of secular historians can be explained by the new filioque theology, officially adopted in the West and actually defended for the first time on dogmatic grounds in the 11th century. This theology, concerning the nature of God the Holy Trinity, stands at the heart of all that separates the Western denominations from the Orthodox Church. The filioque represents a loss of spiritual understanding and experience, an isolation from the life of the Church and therefore Her mystical-dogmatic teachings. The filioque, by locking up the Holy Spirit, the 'Comforter, the Spirit of Truth', in a relationship between God the Father and God the Son, means that all human life and activity are distanced from the source of sanctification and spiritual vitality. Man, spiritually deprived, separated from God, is left to his autonomous reason to live his life. With the filioque, God and spiritual knowledge are pushed back from man and he falls backwards into a neo-pagan renaissance of Greco-Roman humanistic rationalism, a Judeo-Christianity into which Arius, Nestorius, Pelagius and countless others had fallen before. In the filioque, man's direct spiritual relationship with God is cut off and the Holy Spirit, in the words of Aquinas, is reduced to the mutual love of God the Father and God the Son. The filioque error leads to despiritualisation.
Once it is accepted, man's relationship with God is left to be conducted on intellectual, philosophico-scholastic, or emotional, psycho-pietistic, planes. The experiential understanding of God's grace and the soul, as expressed in Church teaching, is abandoned. New teachings are formulated by human intellect and emotion, to which are given the name 'humanism'. By affirming that the Holy Spirit was no longer in the world, the rationalists implied that Christ was no longer present in the world through the Holy Spirit. From this point it was only a short step to replace Christ by a 'Vicar', a substitute, the Pope of Rome.
Through the centuries of spiritual decline, but worldly greatness, in the West, the Divine Presence has gradually been eliminated from almost every sphere of human life. We have now arrived at the ultimate consequence of filioque theology: contemporary Western culture, made world-wide, in which a forgotten God has been shut up m a distant heaven amid preaching that 'God is dead'. A godless and aimless mankind yearns for a 'saviour' who will approve of man-worshipping humanism, that same humanism which has led to World Wars, concentration camps, the Atomic Bomb and ecological catastrophe. The name of that 'saviour' whom man awaits is 'Antichrist'.
The consequences of the filioque and the process by which the 11th century West went from Orthodox theology to Scholasticism can be seen most clearly if we examine the theological understanding of the central events of the life of Christ. We shall look specifically at the changes in the understanding of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection and how we are thus brought to Redemption and Salvation. We shall compare the views of Old English theologians, especially Abbot Aelfric of Eynsham. and Wulfstan, Bishop of London, later Archbishop of York, with those of Anselm of Aosta.
Old English Parallels
This Anselm lived at the end of the 11th century and was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury a few years after the success of the papally-sponsored Invasion of England by William of Normandy in 1066. The first conscious defender of the filioque 'against the Greeks', he is known to history as 'the Father of Scholasticism'. In 1098 Anselm wrote a treatise called 'Cur Deus Homo', in which he set forth his views concerning the Redemption. According to this, our Redemption was brought about by Christ's death on the Cross, for only the death of a God-Man could make reparation for man's sins. Man could not make any reparation for all that he did was sinful. The damage caused by man's sin could only he repaired by one who owed God nothing, who was similar to God.
In Anselm's view, since God's 'rights' had been damaged by Adam at the Fall, the Incarnation was required to make reparation. 'The heavenly city must be completed by men, but this could not prevail unless the prescribed satisfaction was made, which could not be done except by God, and was not owed except by man. A God-Man (Deus-Homo) had to do it (1). In other words restitution of God's 'rights' had to be made by one who had no sin and could therefore pay a debt he did not owe. The 'satisfaction' offered by God the Son to God the Father was expressed by God's death, according to Anselm. From this legalistic and feudal logic of the 'satisfaction theory', it is clear that in Anselm's scheme of things, the Resurrection of Christ had no value - only His death counted, for only Its suffering through death could bring 'satisfaction'. From an Orthodox viewpoint this theory seems to have more significance for its sociological or anthropomorphic value than its theological value. It reflects the encastled Norman baron as God the Father who demands his 'rights' from his feudal serfs or slaves.
All this represented a revolution in theological thought in the West. Nobody had ever spoken in this way before. It was in fact the beginning of the dismantling of the Orthodox Christian heritage of the first millennium of the West, a heritage which had still been alive until the first half of the 11th century.
The Old English, for instance, Abbot Aelfric and Bishop Wulfstan, had a totally different understanding of the Redemption. For them Christ's death was not an end in itself, what mattered was Christ's Passover from death to life. Christ was presented in their thought, as in the iconography of the period, in both His Divine and His human natures. He was presented as God and King of Creation, Victor over the Devil and at the same time as the Son of Mary, the Mother of God, suffering and dying on the Cross. Christ's Death and Resurrection were seen as two aspects of a single event - God's salvation of man. For instance on Holy Friday, the Old English Church mourned Christ crucified but also already recalled His Resurrection in this antiphon sung during the veneration of the Cross:
'We adore Thy Cross, O Lord, and praise and glorify Thy holy Resurrection; for behold through the Cross joy came into the whole world.' (2)
In the same way on Easter Day the Church sang thus:
'In the taking on of mortality we recognise Him as the God of majesty, and in the glory of His divinity we confirm as God and man Him Who destroyed our death by dying and restored our life by rising.' (3)
For Old English theology the significance of Christ's death was that it defeated death, which is why Christ's Crucifixion is never separated from Its Resurrection. For example in the famous Old English poem 'The Dream of the Rood' (7th or 8th century), the poet, perhaps Cynewulf, refers to Christ's Death and Resurrection, Ascension and future Return to judge, all at the same time. The preacher Abbot Aelfric spoke of Easter as the Feast of Christ's Passover from death to life, from suffering to glory again all at the same time. The Bishop of London, Wulfstan, describes Christ showing His authority over life and death, freeing man from eternal death and granting him eternal life:
'They named this day the day of victory, this name betokens that victory in which the victorious Lord withstood the Devil, in overcoming eternal death by His death' (4)
In the Easter Day Sermon of the Blickling Homilist (written at the end of the 10th century) the reason for the Incarnation is expressed as follows:
'He was not compelled by any necessity, but came down to earth of His own will .... and He endured death for us because He wanted to give us everlasting life. And He utterly broke the gates of Hell and their bronze bolts. And through Christ's Cross all the rejoicing of the princes of darkness has been turned to grief.' (5)
This clearly implies that Christ's sacrifice was made not out of coercion by God the Father who wanted justice for His 'rights' but out of love for humanity.
For Anselm, on the other hand, God was obliged in 'justice' to demand reparation for Adam's sin, for it was a sin against Him, God. In this anthropomorphic view of God, Anselm saw man as responsible for an offence, the offence of sin. Man had angered God. For Aelfric, on the other hand, sin is something that man suffers and Christ is the co-suffering God:
'We behold Christ's death so that death may not harm us; we behold life's death; who is life except Christ? ... Christ is life and yet He was hung upon the Cross .... He is true life yet He died in His humanity, not in His divinity. By Christ's death, death was destroyed.' (6)
The attitudes to suffering are clearly quite different. For Anselm Christ's sufferings were necessary to satisfy an offended God; for the Old English Christ's sufferings were a sign of Its love and humility. (7) Like the angels these writers expressed wonder at God's suffering, for how could the sinless suffer for the sinful? There is no hint of an 'offended' God, a proud God, but a clear indication of the immensity of God's love for man who suffers on account of his sins.
What is also quite striking, even in this brief study, is that the Old English writers saw Christ as both God and man, whereas Anselm, like those who followed him, see Christ only as a man, only in His human nature: 'A man hanging on the Cross suspends eternal death oppressing the human race.' (8)
Anselm's theology is a humanistic theology, or rather philosophy, in which man is separated from God, a gulf fixed between them. Christ is a weak human-being. The Son seeks to satisfy the Father by offering Himself on the Cross. The Father is satisfied with the victim of His demand for justice after being offended. The Old English homilists present Christ as God, at the same time as He appears to be but a man suffering on the Cross: 'Then the young Hero - He was God Almighty .... mounted on the High Cross .... I saw the God of Hosts violently stretched out .... All Creation wept, lamenting the death of the King; Christ was on the Cross.' (9)
Thus speaks the author of 'The Dream of the Rood', that masterpiece of Old English Orthodox literature. Christ is the suffering God and man, rather than a mere suffering man. This is perfectly illustrated in surviving Old English iconography, where Christ wears a crown as a symbol of His divinity, or where the Sun and Moon bow down before the Creator stretched out on the Cross, suffering in his human body and nature. Creation and Redemption are one. Redemption is seen as Re-Creation. Christ's death was no reparation for an offence. Man was created and then redeemed by the same God:
Afterwards (after the Creation), truly the Creator hung on the Cross on the sixth day (Holy Friday) and freed Its handiwork, Adam's offspring, through His own death, and afterwards lay waiting in the grave on the seventh day, which you call Saturday.' (10)
True, Anselm is conscious of Christ's divinity, but he cannot partake of it. In his 'Oratio ad Christum', Anselm considers his exile from the presence of the Risen Christ and his inability to share in Christ's life. (11) Nowhere is there a clearer reference to the effects of the filioque, the separation of man from the Holy Spirit, his spiritual deprivation. This is most strange in view of the Scriptures, which invite us to be 'partakers of the divine nature' (2 Peter 1, 4). Anselm looks on at human suffering in despair; Abbot Aelfric in the Patristic tradition sees divine victory - and human and divine are never separated. Anselm sees tragedy, Abbot Aelfric the tokens of victory - both see the Cross, but their understanding of it and our salvation and redemption are totally different. For Anselm the Cross is the source of tragedy, for Ae1fric the Crucified is bathed in the light of the Resurrection - He is the source of victory.
The implications of the theological revolution of the 11th century, of which Anselm is one of the foremost representatives, are far-reaching. Through it thought was separated from piety, intellect from faith, the Church on Earth from the Church m Heaven. Iconography became decorative and not grace-giving. For the Anglo-Saxons, iconography had the function of making Christ present. Thus Aelfric:
'Truly Christians should bow down to the holy cross in the Saviour's name, because we do not possess the cross on which He suffered; however its likeness is holy, and we always bow down to it when we pray, to the mighty Lord Who suffered for men; and that cross is a memorial of His great Passion, holy through Him, even though it grew in a forest. We always honour it, to honour Christ, Who freed us by it with His love; we always thank Him for that in this life.' (12)
This theological revolution, as we shall see, has by no means yet been outlived in the West; its implications are still very much with us.
Modern Russian Parallels
At first sight it may seem rather extraordinary to draw parallels between churchmen at opposite ends of Europe and nine centuries apart. On reflection, however, it should seem natural since Old English Theology and contemporary Russian Church Theology draw on the same common Patristic mind, on the same heritage, the personal experience of the Holy Spirit in the Church context of Tradition. In drawing a parallel with the modem Russian theology of the Redemption, I am inevitably drawn to the interpretation of the Redemption as set forth by the saintly (13) Patristic figure Metropolitan Antony (Khrapovitsky), without doubt the greatest Russian theologian of the 20th century. He attempted to revive the Patristic theology of the Redemption at a time when the Scholastic satisfaction theory, imported wholesale from Catholic seminaries in the 17th century, still predominated in Russian theological institutions. (14) There is an extensive literature on this subject, (15) but it is clear today that the Patristic understanding of the Redemption is once, more predominant in the Orthodox world. That this is so is largely due to the tireless efforts of Metropolitan Antony and one who worked under him, Blessed Justin (Popovich). For them, as for the other Church Fathers of earlier centuries, the Redemption is the work of the co-suffering God of Love, accomplished through the Incarnation and the whole life of Christ, culminating in the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.
What is noteworthy in this context is that those who opposed Old English redemption theology would have had much in common with those 'neo-Scholastics' who opposed Metropolitan Antony in the 1920's and 1930's and even today.
Firstly those who opposed the early medieval tradition, that of the first millennium, of the Fathers, were in fact opposing the Church. True they officially still outwardly belonged to the (Western) Church, but in reality this 'Church' was in the process of becoming a State. The Medieval Church, that of the beginning of the second millennium, was directing military campaigns, invading England, Ireland, the Holy Land, massacring Jews in the Rhineland, slaughtering heathen and Orthodox alike in Lithuania and Belorussia. This 'Church' had become a 'Church-State', having assumed all the functions of a State. Its 'theology', if we may call it that, therefore reflected this state of mind. Its theology was more a sociological and psychological reflection of feudalism, of papocaesarism. At its crudest, this was a religion of fear, in which an offended God exercised totalitarian authority in the name of divine 'justice'.
Now among those who opposed the revival of Patristic theology, led by Metropolitan Antony, most were simply indifferent to spiritual realities, and simply swain with the tide set by the State. These were those who accepted the Protestant model of the State-Church, introduced into Russia by Peter I ('the Great') and all the Western 'theology', or rather ideology, that went with it. They rejected the traditional ascetic and monastic theology of the Church in favour of the Erastianism of Protestantism, rejecting the Orthodox teaching of 'symphonia' which regulated Church State relationships on the basis of the Patristic theology of the Incarnation. They also dismissed the Patristic view of the Redemption and adopted 'the satisfaction theory'. After the Revolution, this Erastian view was pursued to its logical extreme by the Patriarchal Church in Russia, many of whose senior bishops were simply KGB agents in cassocks, used by the State to promote atheism! (16) When found out, they justified themselves by declaring they were doing this 'to save the Church'. Is there not here a mystical link between their understanding of the Redemption and the practical consequences of such a belief?
'Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword; thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?'
(Matt. 26, 52-53)
The offended God was neither Norman baron, nor Pope of Rome, but the all-saving Soviet State, in the name of which the adaptionism of Sergianism (the subservience of the Church to the State) was developed. Our redemption and salvation, according to this, comes about by serving the demands of the Great Dictator, not by keeping the Gospel commandments of love, of Him Who went of His own will to the Cross in love and humility. By death He destroyed death, just as the New Martyrs in Russia went to their deaths and thus destroyed the spiritual death brought on the Church by those in high places who betrayed Her to militant atheism.
To this day there are still a few representatives of the Patriarchal Church in Russia who attack the Patristic understanding of the Redemption, as revived by Metropolitan Antony. Deliberately distorting what he meant, they accuse him of despising the Cross and its central importance in the work of our salvation. In reality, what the Metropolitan said is that our redemption and salvation come about not only, though chiefly, through the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, but also through the whole life of Christ, starting from the very beginning. (See the Orthodox troparion for the Annunciation: 'Today is the beginning of our salvation....') We would suggest that their real motivations are not theological but political; otherwise they would be obliged to reject the Fathers, including the theologians of Old England. For example the Bishop of London, Wulfstan says that Christ's whole life was an offering to God, his death was only one part of that offering, to be competed by His Resurrection. (17)
There was also another group who strongly criticised and deliberately deformed the Patristic revival led by Metropolitan Antony. These were a small group of intellectuals and free-thinkers, who in no wise wanted to see a return to the authentic ascetico-patristic theology of Church Tradition. These were the modernists of the 'Paris School', the new Alexandria with its new Origens, who wanted to develop a syncretistic ideology in pursuit of the old myth of combining 'East and West'. They wished to combine Orthodoxy with the Western humanism in which they had been brought up before the Revolution and then in Paris. Adherents of this modernist grouping combined Western-style academic knowledge of Patristic thought with the humanism of the West.
One of the main fruits was the 'Sophiology' of Archpriest Sergius Bulgakov. According to this Gnostic and Humanist speculation, man is somehow already saved. The importance of the cross and all the redemptive work of Christ throughout His whole life is put in the background. This speculation, condemned as heresy throughout the Russian Church, both in Russia and outside, is very much the result of a reaction to the satisfaction theory, a reaction to the old image of an offended God demanding a victim. Sociologically it corresponds to the reaction to this same theory in modernist Catholic circles. The tragedy is that, having rejected Medieval Catholic 'theology', these Russian philosophers chose not to return to Orthodox theology, but to devise their own ideology, inspired by Gnosticism.
Although universally condemned, the now elderly disciples of this school are still active. The practical results of their modernism is a type of Pelagianism, teaching that less effort is required for salvation, that we are already incorporated into the Divinity, that somehow our fallen nature is already redeemed. (18) As a result fasting, vigils, prayer, the Church calendar, the sacrament of confession, repentance, penances, ascetic practices and traditional monasticism itself are all neglected or openly despised. This too is swimming with the tide, worldliness, for it is simply adapting to the Western way of life in which such people live. It not only accepts but also justifies the laxity of Western life, rather than combating it ascetically. Here too there seems to be a mystical link between their 'theology' of the Redemption and their everyday working out of salvation. If, by reaction to the old satisfaction theory, we assert that somehow we are all already saved, then why work for salvation at all?
The real and terrible irony of the Paris modernists, however, is that they could much more easily have achieved their ambition of combining East and West if they had not identified the West with modem humanism and Orthodoxy with a mere Orientalism. There is another West which in their ethnocentrism and cultural narrowness they ignored - the pre-Schism West of the first millennium. The 'Paris School' sought after wisdom ('sophia') but they did not look to the Church of Christ (Christ, the Wisdom of God) to find it. East and West were long ago combined and reconciled in the Person of Christ, the Wisdom of God.
This is so absolutely clear in the remarkable coincidence of thought and expression, sometimes word for word, between the liturgical texts and theology of the Old English Church and those of the Russian Orthodox Church and the theology of its theologians. Thus the spiritual unity of Kiev and London, of Metropolitan Antony and Bishop Wulfstan, of East and West. One cannot help thinking that a knowledge of Old English or a Russian emigration to debate with village greybeards from Abbot Aelfric's Oxfordshire Eynsham might have served this part of the Russian Church much better than a knowledge of French and German philosophy and emigration to Paris.
Conclusion: Towards Spiritual Freedom
Spiritual leaders such as Metropolitan Antony Khrapovitsky attempted to lead Russian Orthodox theology out of its captivity to the post-Schism philosophy of the West, as represented by Anselm. Those who attacked the Metropolitan, wilfully deforming his teachings and reading into them what was not there, and not genuinely misunderstanding them, (19) seemed to have led Russian theology even deeper into captivity to the post-Schism West, out of captivity to Medieval philosophy, into captivity to either humanism or else Erastianism, to either the fruit of the Renaissance or else to the fruit of the Reformation. In the case of the Patriarchal Church in Russia, it was to the captivity of Protestant-style Erastianism, taken to its logical but absurd and ignominious extreme, the physical captivity of 'a State-Church in an atheist State'. (20) In the case of the Paris School, a philosophy later exported to the United States, Constantinople and all through modernist 'Orthodox' thinking, it was into the intellectual and spiritual captivity of the humanism of Roman Catholic modernism.
Spiritually inspired, Metropolitan Antony and those who followed after, expressed purity of theological teaching because of the purity of their lives. They shared the common Patristic and ascetic mind which was also expressed by the Old English preachers at the beginning of the 11th century. Nowhere is this clearer in their shared belief that our redemption comes about as a result of Christ's whole life, especially His Crucifixion and Resurrection, which are inseparably connected, as are His divine and human natures. Our Redemption was not brought about by Christ's death in itself, as Anselm. considered, but by 'His Suffering and Resurrection', exactly as Abbot Aelfric had written in England one thousand years ago. (21) This is the exact parallel to Metropolitan Antony's view in which he emphasised the redemptory meaning of the whole of Christ's life. This theme was taken up and developed by another 20th century Church Father, Blessed Justin (Popovich), basing himself solely on the Fathers.
In an age of ever-decreasing spiritual purity, it is with gratitude that we look to those who helped revive Orthodox theology with the unquenchable source of spiritual life and tradition of the Orthodox Church. For they showed that the Cross, the source of the Resurrection, is the source of our salvation. It is neither a stumbling-block, as it appears to 'Orthodox' modernists, nor foolishness, as it appears to those who resort to the 'help' of an atheist State to 'save the Church'. (22) Contemporary 'Jews' and 'Greeks' have been shown that the Redemption is the work of the God of Love, who suffers together with man by assuming his human nature.
Glory be to Thee, O God, Glory to Thee!
1 Cur Deus Homo fl, vi. (Edited by Schnitt).
2 Regularis Concordia, iv, 44. Edited and translated by Symons, 1953. This 'Monastic Concord' was compiled by St. Dunstan of Canterbury in about 970.
3 Missal of Robert of Jumieges (Edited by Wilson, P. 102). A work from the early 11th century.
4 The Blickling Homilies, No. vi (Edited by Morris, p. 67). See Hosea XIII, 14. Catholic Homilies of Aelfric 1, xv. (Edited by Thorpe, p. 224). The Homilies of Wulfstan, Nos. vi, vii, xi (Edited by Bethurum, Pp. 154, 160 and 227).
5 The Blickling Homilies, Easter Day. (Pp. 82 and 83 in Morris).
6 Catholic Homilies II, xiii. (Edited by Godden, Pp. 135-6).
7 Anselm: Meditation on the Redemption of Man. (Schmitt III, 84); Wulfstan, Homilies No. vii (Bethurum, P. 159); Aelfric, Homilies No. xiii (Edited by Assman, P. 152); Catholic Homilies I, xv (Thorpe, P. 224); Wulfstan, Homilies No. xiii (Bethurum, P. 227); Blickling, Homilies, No. ii (Morris, Pp. 15-17 and 23).
Anselm: Meditatio Redemptionis Humanae (Schmitt 111, 84-85).
10 Catholic Homilies II, xiv. (Edited by Godden, Pp. 148-9) and I, i and xx (Thorpe, Pp. 24 and 292).
11 Anselm: Orationes ii (Schmitt III, 6-9).
12 Catholic Homilies 11, xviii (The Invention of the Cross) Godden (Pp. 175-6).
13 To my knowledge his canonisation was first publicly suggested by Bishop Nathanael (L'vov) in 'The Orthodox Observer', June 1978. (In Russian)
14 See especially 'The Turning-Point in Ancient Russian Theology' by Hieromonk Tarasius, reprinted in Montreal in 1979. (In Russian)
15 For a full discussion of the subject, see 'The Collected Works of Metr. Antony, Vol. VII. His 'Dogma of the Redemption' was translated into English in 1979 (Montreal). 'There is also a very informative discussion of the subject in 'The Dogmatics of Archim.. Justin Popovich' in Vol. I of 'The Church and Her Teaching in Life' (Pp. 68-102) by Protopresbyter George (now Bp. Gregory) Grabbe. (In Russian)
16 All the facts were revealed in recent articles in the Russian Press. (see: Argumenty i Fakty No. 1/1992; Priamoi Put' No. 1 and 2/1992; Izvestia, 22/01/92, 'The Eternal Slave of the Cheka', Moscow News 09/02/92; 'Riddles of the Holy Synod'; Russkaia Mysl', 28/02/92, 'The Only Way for the Church; To Tell the Whole Truth'.)
17 Homilies, No. vi (Bethurum, Pp. 152-3).
18 See especially 'The Doctrine of Sophia, the Wisdom of God' by Blessed John (Maximovich) and also his 'The Veneration of the Mother of God and St. John the Baptist and the New Direction of Russian Philosophico-Religious Thought' (Reprinted in 'The Chronicle of the Veneration of Archbishop John, Platina, CA, 1980). Blessed John makes clear the Gnostic links of such thought. The same theme is taken up in a 'catechism' called 'Dieu est Vivant', Paris 1982?, translated into Russian as 'Zhyv Bog', London 1990. Strong Origenistic tendencies are present here. For an excellent survey of Gnosticism in Russian 'religious' thought, see 'La Gnose Universelle' by Etienne Couvert. This work (Chire 1992) explains clearly how 20th century Russian thinkers (Bulgakov, Florensky, Berdiaev) following Soloviev, came to distort the thinking of the Church Fathers under the influence of German Gnosticism.
19 There seems to be one genuine case of a tragic misunderstanding, that of Archbishop Theophan (Bystrov). See the article by Archbp. Averky in 'Pravoslavny Put', 1973, Pp. 102-126.
20 An expression first used, I believe, by Lev Regelson in 'The Tragedy of the Russian Church'.
21 Catholic Homilies I, xxii (Thorpe P. 312).
22 The fact that Patriarch Sergius, the founder of this Erastian notion, in his youth opposed the satisfaction theory in brilliant academic work shows the danger of academic theology. However Orthodox it might appear to be, it is not Orthodox if it is not lived. Orthodox Christianity is not a set of intellectual values, but a way of life. True theology is always applied theology.
More details of the book "Orthodox Christianity and the English Tradition" and where to buy it, can be found on
The English Orthodox Trust page of this site.