Sergius Bulgakov is widely considered to be the twentieth century's foremost Orthodox theologian, and his book The Comforter
is the most comprehensive and profound book about the Holy Spirit ever written by a Russian theologian--perhaps by anyone anywhere. Bulgakov explores all aspects of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in encyclopedic fashion, both as they are viewed in the Orthodox tradition and throughout church history. The book has sections on the development of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in early Christianity and on the development of the doctrine of procession in the patristic and later Byzantine periods. It also touches on the place of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity and explores Old and New Testament notions of the Spirit of God. A concluding chapter deals with the mystical revelation of the Holy Spirit.
An important virtue of The Comforter is Bulgakov's treatment of the filioque question. In fact, his discussion of this question may be the most important modern contribution to filioque studies from the Orthodox perspective. Examining the writings of the chief theoreticians on both sides of the dispute, Bulgakov finds that each side is wrong in its own way. He concludes that the filioque question is not an insuperable obstacle to the reunification of the churches. Finally available in English through the work of Boris Jakim, today's foremost translator of Russian theology and philosophy into English, The Comforter is a major publishing event.
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