I have made a new discovery whilst looking through my notifications on Facebook. I found some comments mentioning my writings, but of a singular shallowness. The original poster of the thread gave a link to a page of a site that I had not yet seen.
I am still discovering this site and its keeper, who appears to be a man in his 60’s living the good life in Michigan with his family. He resonates with my own thought and intuitions through his interest in Romanticism, Jakob Böhme, Berdyaev and the general movement in reaction to modernism and technocracy. This site is worth discovering at the same time as I unearth articles of a rare lucidity.
Sometimes, Facebook, with the shallow ideas of some about what clothes they wear to Mass, can reveal treasures. Above all, I have the impression of being a dim light among others for a new movement of thought and art in a world that flattens humanity under the weight of viruses, lockdowns and prospects of “great resets”.
I will be looking through this website with great interest.
Michael Martin is certainly an interesting author to read into. I purchased his book on sophiology over a year ago and was pleased to find ( and share) his website a while ago. He caught my attention when I learned he wrote a chapter on Sergius Bulgakov – an author I have been reading for 20 years now – and Martin seemed to integrate sophiology from a Western rather than Eastern perspective. I am glad you have also taken an interest in sophiology. I hope to read your own interaction with this line of thought as you continue to explore Martin’s website and its contents!
Fr. Gregory Wassen
I first read about sophiology in the works of the founder of the Russian Catholic Church Vladimir Soliviev, when I was studying for a BA sub majoring in Religious Studies. His writings seem rare to get now. As it was I could only get his THE ANTICHRIST which was part of another story. Take care, Father Chadwick.
The first work of Soloviev I read was The Great Controversy and Christian Politics in its French translation from Russian. My discovery of Russian sophiology was a game-changer for me as a student at Fribourg. It was through Soloviev that I discovered Berdyaev and Bulgakov. Unfortunately I don’t read Russian, so am limited to reading translations into English or French. I had a friend who was studying Dostoyevsky for his Licentiate mémoire. This is a vision that removed me from the scholastic Catholic paradigm and nationalist politics.
Like Michael Martin, I discovered a similar way of thinking in western mysticism, German Idealism and Romanticism. The terms and words were different, but there was an idea in common between those brought up in Russian Orthodoxy and those raised in Roman Catholicism, Lutheranism and Anglicanism. I think it is important to seek wisdom in a cultural expression that is our own.
Soloviev had a seducing theory of the convergence of Orthodox mysticism, Catholic intellectual rigour and political organisation together with Protestant freedom. Unfortunately, history has not vindicated such an idea, and the fate of Christianity is its further division and dissolution. The notion of a Christian church has to be based on something other than constraint, institution and politics. Orthodoxy is more resilient because of its decentralisation, but I imagine that the intolerance between local churches can be quite suffocating.
Sophiology, theosophy (cf. Jakob Böhme) – not Leadbeater and the crowd of late 19th century charlatans – and mysticism could give a new chance to the Christian ideal and our understanding of the Gospel teachings of Christ. But, it is not an “evangelising” approach but something to be discovered for its truth, goodness and beauty.