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Fr Pavel Florensky






Born in 1882, Fr Pavel Florensky was a brilliant philosopher, theologian, scientist and art historian who, in 1911, became an Orthodox priest. By the time of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, Fr Pavel had become a leading voice in Russia’s great movement in religious philosophy, a movement whose roots lay in the rich ground of 19th century Russian monasticism and whose branches included the work of Bulgakov, Berdiaev and Solovyev. In the late 1920s and 1930s the Soviets violently destroyed this splendour of Russian religious thought. In 1922, Fr Pavel was silenced and after a decade of forced scientific work for the regime, he was arrested on false charges, tried, imprisoned and in 1937, murdered by KGB directive.

Iconostasis is Fr Pavel’s final theological work. Composed in 1922, it explores in highly original terms the significance of the icon: its philosophic depth, its spiritual history, its empirical technique. In doing so, Fr Pavel also sketches a new history of both Western religious art and the Orthodox icon: a history under the direct operation of the Holy Spirit. The work is original, challenging and profoundly articulate. This translation is the first complete English version. — Backcover


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