Conceptualization of a holistic man in christian philosophy (to the thoughts of bishop Theophanes (Govorov))

Author(s):  P.A. Olkhov, Dr., Prof., Belgorod National Research University, Belgorod, Russia, olkhov@bsu.edu.ru

I.V. Goncharenko, no, no, Belgorod National Research University, Belgorod, Russia, igor1@yandex.ru

Issue:  Volume 45, № 1

Rubric:  Thesis

Annotation:  The character of thinking of Bishop Theophanes is primarily practice oriented, integrated patristic ideas about a person, learned wisdom and the ascetic practices of Christian cultivation. A study of the works of the Russian thinker allows us to characterize his thinking style as conceptually holistic, defragmenting philosophical and anthropological reflections on a person in the context of the intellectual history of the XIX century as well as of Christian tradition. This makes possible to understand that the thought of Bishop Theophanes is involved in a little studied anthropological movement (teologia anthropologica) perceived in the encyclopedic circle of Metropolitan Filaret (Drozdov) at the beginning of the 19th century. The analysis allows us to interpret the anthropological attitudes of Bishop Feofan in connection with the holistic Platonism of Russian philosophical and religious identity rooted in the doctrinal confession of Eastern Christian tradition. The concept of a holistic man in the writings of Bishop Feofan is manifested in his interpretations of man's involvement in the Divine and Supernatural (theophany and theosis). A holistic man is not only ontologically possible, but forever new: the thinker interprets his individuality as fundamentally unequal, personal, reborn in community (ecclesially) and communicating with the Logos by his own aspiration in conjunction with the uncreated Divine energies. The thorough thoughts of Bishop Feofan about a holistic man are productively correlated with the contemporary problems of philosophical and religious (Christian) anthropology and the prospects of their solutions.

Keywords:  philosophical and religious anthropology, Christian philosophy, individuality, personality, communication, kenosis, ecclesia.

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