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Offenbarung, Philosophie, und Theologie’: Karl Barth and Georges Florovsky in dialogue

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 July 2015

Matthew Baker*
(1977–2015) Formerly Fordham University and Holy Trinity Parish of Norwich, CT,


Karl Barth and Georges Florovsky interacted in several contexts, beginning in 1931 and then later within the ecumenical movement. Although some have noted a ‘Barthian’ accent in Florovsky's Christocentric theology, in fact both theologians remained critical of the other. Making use of extensive historical sources, this article attempts to reconstruct the meeting between Barth and Florovsky, and to pinpoint the areas of fundamental reservation and disagreement between the two. As will be shown, at the heart of their disagreement lay the role of eschatology in its impact on ecclesiology, a difference finally Christological in foundation. This fundamental disagreement shows itself likewise in relation to the two theologians' ideas concerning history, the relationship of philosophy to theology and the place of Hellenism in Church tradition. The role of Florovsky's opposition to the sophiology of Bulgakov in his interpretation of Barth, and Florovsky's stance vis-à-vis the debate between Barth and Brunner on natural theology, will also be considered. Uniquely, Florovsky anticipated the contemporary debate concerning Barth's doctrine of election, and drew crucial connections between Barth and Bulgakov on this point – an issue which for him was related to the question of the role of German Idealism in modern theology. Notwithstanding these disagreements, this article concludes by highlighting crucial areas of convergence between Barth and Florovsky concerning Christocentrism, revelation and theology as an enterprise in fides quaerens intellectum. Florovsky's ideas on analogy, naming and realism in theology will also be illumined, in relation to Barth and with reference to Bulgakov and Torrance.

Research Article
Copyright © Scottish Journal of Theology Ltd 2015 

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1 Janzen, Vladimir (ed.), ‘Materialy G.V. Florovskogo v Bazel'skom arkhiv F. Liba (1928–1954)’, in Kolerov, M. and Plotnikov, N. S. (eds), Issledovaniia po istorii russkoi mysli: Ezhegodnik 2004/2005 (Moscow: Modest Kolerov, 2007), pp. 475596Google Scholar.

2 The reason for this multifaceted study was a book on Sophia which Florovsky planned and had already begun working on in August 1928. Unfortunately, the book was never finished or published; extensive materials, however, can be found in the Florovsky archives at Princeton University.

3 Janzen, ‘Materialy’, p. 534.

4 Barth, Karl, Protestant Theology in the Nineteenth Century (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002), pp. 1011Google Scholar.

5 See Baker, Matthew, ‘Neo-Patristic Synthesis and Ecumenism: Towards the “Reintegration” of Christian Tradition’, in Bremer, Thomas and Krawchuk, Andrii (eds), Eastern Orthodox Encounters of Identity and Otherness: Values, Self-Reflection, Dialogue (Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013), pp. 235–60Google Scholar.

6 See Florovsky, ‘The Ethos of the Orthodox Church’, Ecumenical Review 12/2 (Geneva, 1960), pp. 183–98.

7 Florovsky, ‘Spor o nemetskom idealizme’, Put' 25 (Dec. 1930), pp. 51–80; German version in two parts: ‘Die Krise des deutschen Idealismus: I. Der “Hellenismus” des deutschen Idealismus’, Orient und Occident 11 (1932), pp. 1–8; ‘Die Krise des deutschen Idealismus: II. Die Krise des Idealismus als die Krise der Reformation’, Orient und Occident 12 (1932), pp. 2–12. English trans. in Florovsky, Philosophy: Philosophical Problems and Movements (Vaduz: Büchervertriebsanstalt, 1989), pp. 23–41.

8 Janzen states that the proposed article on Barth never appeared. However, Florovsky's comments on how ‘contemporary Protestant rigorists’ paradoxically resemble Ritschlian liberals in their attitude towards Christian history undoubtedly have Barth and Brunner in mind: ‘Crisis of German Idealism (II)’, in Florovsky, Philosophy, p. 39.

9 ‘The Crisis of German Idealism’, in Philosophy, pp. 31–41.

10 This original was probably a French version of the text later published by Florovsky under the title ‘Bogoslovskie otryvki’, Put' 31 (Dec. 1931), pp. 3–29.

11 Janzen, ‘Materialy’, pp. 556–7.

12 Ibid., pp. 558–9. ‘Bogoslovski otryvki’ contains comments referring to the 1st Vatican Council and its definition of papal infallibility which are lacking from later versions of the text.

13 Later published as ‘O smerti krestnoi’, Pravoslavnaya Mysl’ 2 (1930), pp. 148–87. See Matthew Baker, ‘Georges Florovsky (1893–1979): Agon of Divine and Human Freedom’, in Ernst Conradie (ed.), Creation and Salvation: A Medley of Recent Theological Movements (Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2012), pp. 29–35. In addition to an argument with Antony Khrapovitsky's ‘moral redemption’ theory, evidence suggests that behind Florovsky's writing on atonement was an argument with Brunner.

14 Janzen, ‘Materialy’, p. 559. In later letters, Florovsky repeatedly asks Lieb to help him publish a German version.

15 Florovsky, Review of Emil Brunner, Der Mittler, Put' 13 (Oct. 1927), pp. 112–15 (112).

16 Barth would soon register his own objection to the same work of Brunner in CD I/2 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1956), p. 184: ‘Brunner's denial of the Virgin birth is a bad business . . . it throws an ambiguous light over the whole of his Christology.’

17 ‘Offenbarung, Philosophie und Theologie’, Zwischen den Zeiten 9/6 (Dec. 1931), pp. 463–80; ET: ‘Revelation, Philosophy and Theology’, in Florovsky, Creation and Redemption (Belmont, MA: Nordland Publishing, 1976), pp. 21–42.

18 ‘Revelation, Philosophy and Theology’, pp. 21–2.

19 See also Barth, ‘The Need and Promise of Christian Preaching’, in Barth, The Word of God and the Word of Man (Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1978), pp. 97–8.

20 Barth, CD I/2, p. 50.

21 ‘Revelation, Philosophy and Theology’, pp. 25–6. Contrast Barth, CD I/2, p. 194: ‘Willing, achieving, creative, sovereign man as such cannot be considered as a participator in God's work. For as such he is the man of disobedience.’

22 Ibid., p. 26.

23 Ibid., p. 31.

24 Ibid., pp. 27–8. The phrase ‘philosophy of Revelation’ derives from Schelling's 1841–3 lectures, Philosophie der Offenbarung. In spite of his criticisms of Schelling's influence on Russian theology, Florovsky also expressed admiration for this late work of Schelling.

25 ‘Revelation, Philosophy and Theology’, p. 33.

26 Blane, Georges Florovsky (Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1993), p. 69.

27 Barth to Thurneysen, 2 July 1931, Karl Barth–Eduard Thurneysen Briefwechsel, vol. 3: 1930–1935 (Zurich: Theologischer Verlag Zürich, 2000), p. 160.

28 Barth, Church Dogmatics, I/1: The Doctrine of the Word of God (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1975), p. 481.

29 Buboff, Nicolai and Ehrenburg, Hans (eds), Östliches Christentum Dokumente, vol.2(Munich: C. H. Becksche, 1925)Google Scholar, cited in Barth, CD I/1, p. 479.

30 While the infamous ‘partim-partim’ formula referring to scripture and tradition did not find its way into the final documents of the Council of Trent, the idea of tradition as source was made influential through the De Locis Theologiae of the Spanish Dominican Melchior Cano (1509–60), who read the formula back into the Tridentine decree. In his arguments against Bulgakov, Lossky stressed tradition as a mode of reception, as opposed to a set of independent historical ‘sources’: see Lossky, Vladimir, Spor o Sofii (Paris: E.I.R.P. 1936)Google Scholar.

31 See Sadler, Gregory, Reason Fulfilled by Revelation: The 1930s Christian Philosophy Debates in France (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2011)Google Scholar. An unpublished text of Florovsky from the 1950s, titled ‘The Prospect of Christian Philosophy’, indicates that Florovsky was well aware of these debates. Florovsky's essay on ‘The Crisis of German Idealism’ bears a dedication to the Russian-Jewish philosopher Lev Shestov, who was a participant in these dialogues; aside from Barth and Brunner, it seems that Shestov's Jerusalem-against-Athens scheme was a key target behind Florovsky's argument for Christian Hellenism around this time. For further references, Baker, ‘Neo-Patristic Synthesis and Ecumenism’, n. 23.

32 See especially Florovsky, ‘Ad Lectorem’, unpublished preface to ‘In Ligno Crucis: The Patristic Doctrine of the Atonement’, typescript, 1939/1948, pp. 5–6, Princeton CO586, Box 2, f1/Box 3, f4.

33 Barth, ‘Schicksal und Idee in der Theologie’, in Theologische Fragen und Antworten (Zurich: publisher, 1929), pp. 54–92. Letters to Lieb indicate that Florovsky had read Pzrywara's book Das Geheimnis Kierkegaard (Munich: R. Oldenbourg, 1929); Janzen, ‘Materialy’, p. 552.

34 Barth, CD I/1, p. 165.

35 Rather, for Barth it is a matter of symbols or veils which God picks up and puts down at will – an act of revelation that never becomes ‘revealedness’, CD II/1, p. 118.

36 Oakes, Kenneth, Karl Barth on Theology and Philosophy (Oxford: OUP, 2012), especially pp. 244CrossRefGoogle Scholar and 255ff.

37 ‘[T]heological perspective and theological pattern of interpretation differ from philosophical. Christian theology is a historical theology. It depends upon historical sources – the Bible. It depends upon a historical event – the Incarnation, Cross, and Resurrection. Philosophy is a realm of ideas which are somehow related to reality, but have their independent relevance’: Florovsky, ‘The Renewal of Orthodox Theology – Florensky, Bulgakov and the Others: On the Way to a Christian Philosophy’, unpublished manuscript, pp. 1–2; Andrew Blane archive. See also Florovsky, ‘Religion and Theological Tensions’, Church Leader 136/7 (1950), pp. 237–9 (239).

38 On Barth and Dostoevsky, see Paul Brazier, Barth and Dostoevsky: A Study of the Influence of the Russian Writer Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky on the Development of the Swiss Theologian Karl Barth (Paternoster Theological Monographs, Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2008), and Tolstaya, Katya, Kaleidoscope: F. M. Dostoevsky and the Early Dialectical Theology (Leiden: Brill, 2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

39 See Peterson, Michael, ‘Georges Florovsky and Karl Barth: The Theological Encounters’, American Theological Library Association Proceedings, 47 (1993), pp. 141–65Google Scholar, and Payne, Daniel, ‘Barth and Florovsky on the Meaning of “Church”’, Sobornost 26/2 (2004), pp. 3963Google Scholar.

40 CD I/1, p. 464. Contrary to common Protestant misconceptions, the Orthodox notion of theosis entails no change in creaturely substance, but only its mode (tropos) of existence. In Florovsky's emphasis, theosis is wrought through participation in the humanity of the one high priest and mediator, Jesus Christ; it is the mystery of adoption by God in the Spirit of Christ, by the twofold way of sacramental incorporation into Christ's body, the church, and personal conformity to the crucified Jesus in ascetic struggle to live the Gospel commandments.

41 McCormack, Bruce, Karl Barth's Critically Realistic Dialectical Theology (Oxford: OUP, 1997), pp. 1419CrossRefGoogle Scholar, 328.

42 Florovsky, Vizantiiskie Ottsy V–VIII (Paris: YMCA Press, 1933), pp. 27, 123–6, 242; ‘Lamb of God’, Scottish Journal of Theology 4 (1951), pp. 13–28.

43 Janzen, ‘Materialy’, pp. 560–1.

44 Hodgson, Leonard (ed.), The Second World Conference on Faith and Order Held at Edinburgh, August 3–18, 1937 (New York: Macmillan, 1938), pp. 125–6Google Scholar.

45 Künkel, Christoph, Totus Christus: Die Theologie Georges V. Florovskys (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1991), p. 63CrossRefGoogle Scholar, n. 161.

46 Florovsky, ‘The Predicament of the Christian Historian’, in Florovsky, Christianity and Culture (Belmont, MA: Nordland Press, 1974), pp. 31–64, 233–6, at 63.

47 Barth, ‘Ob Jesus gelebt hat? Eine nachträgliche Osterbetrachtung’, in Barth, Gesamtausgabe, III: Vorträge und kleinere Arbeiten (Zurich: Theologischer Verlag Zürich, 1993), pp. 37–45; Florovsky, Zhil li Khristos? (Paris: YMCA Press, 1929).

48 Florovsky, Ways of Russian Theology, part II (Vaduz: Büchervertriebsanstalt, 1987), p. 298.

49 Barth, ‘Die Kirche – die lebendige Gemeinde des lebendigen Herrn Jesus Christus’, in Barth, Die Schrift und die Kirche (Zollikon-Zurich: Evangelischer Verlag, 1947), pp. 21–44.

50 World Conference on Faith and Order, The 1947 Meeting of the Continuation Committee held at St George's School, Clarens, Switzerland, August 28–September 1, 1947 (Oxford and Washington, CT: The Committee, 1947), p. 28.

51 See Florovsky, ‘Le corps du Christ vivant’, in Jean-Jacques von Allmen (ed.), La Sainte Église Universelle: Confrontation oecuménique (Neuchâtel: Delachaux et Niestlé S.A., 1948), pp. 9–57.

52 For instance, Ratzinger, Joseph, ‘Faith, Philosophy and Theology’, in The Nature and Mission of Theology (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1995), pp. 1329Google Scholar; more broadly, Dahlke, Benjamin, Die katholische Rezeption Karl Barths: Theologische Erneuerung im Vorfeld des Zweiten Vatikanischen Konzils (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010)Google Scholar, chs 1 and 2. Balthasar would be an exception.

53 However, as Veselin Kesich recalls in his description of Florovsky's teaching at St Vladimir's Seminary (1948–1954): ‘Fr. Florovsky was in constant touch with theological literature and trends and never missed an opportunity to evaluate or refer to them in class lectures. To speak about the Patristic Age and the Fathers of the Church without referring to theologians and thinkers of our age would be quite impossible. As he explained views of Origen, for example, he would turn to Paul Tillich, or when speaking about Tertullian, to Karl Barth.’ Veselin Kesich, ‘Seminary Recollections of the Fifties’, in Meyendorff, Johnet al. (eds), A Legacy of Excellence 1938–1988 (Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1988)Google Scholar.

54 Florovsky, ‘The Message of Chalcedon’, Ecumenical Review 4/4 (July 1952), pp. 395–6.

55 CD I/2, pp. 122–36.

56 Barth, Church Dogmatics, III/2: The Doctrine of Creation (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1960), pp. 283–5.

57 Florovsky's lectures on ascetic theology, Byzantine Ascetic and Spiritual Fathers (Vaduz: Büchervertriebsanstalt, 1987), were framed in terms of a response to Nygren's book Eros and Agape (1930/1936; first English trans. vol. 1, 1932, vol. 2, 1938).

58 Florovsky, ‘Ad Lectorem’, p. 3.

59 On Origen and Dionysius, ibid., p. 4.

60 Florovsky, ‘The Predicament of the Christian Historian’, at p. 236, citing the original German CD III/2, pp. 524–780.

61 In an unpublished text found in the archives of Princeton University, ‘The Ecumenical Institute for Advanced Theological Studies in Jerusalem: Notes and Comments by Georges Florovsky, Princeton University’, p. 2, Florovsky urged that ‘the whole range of problems which are usually associated with the name of Bultmann should be included in the program of the institute at once, but in a much wider context, and indeed without any uncritical commitment’. Florovsky's view of Bultmann is reflected in ‘The Predicament of the Christian Historian’, as well as in his review of Thornton, Lionel S., Revelation and the Modern World, in Sobornost 9 (ser. 3) (Summer 1951), pp. 412–15Google Scholar.

62 Florovsky, ‘The Predicament of the Christian Historian’, p. 61.

63 See ‘The Lost Scriptural Mind’, in Florovsky, Bible, Church, Tradition: An Orthodox View (Belmont, MA: Nordland Press, 1972), pp. 14–15.

64 Florovsky, ‘The Renewal of Orthodox Theology – Florensky, Bulgakov and the Others: On the Way to a Christian Philosophy’, pp. 5–6.

65 Letter of 30 Oct. 1973, Thomas F. Torrance Papers, Princeton Theological Seminary Libraries. See Baker, Matthew, ‘The Correspondence between T. F. Torrance and Georges Florovsky (1950–1973)’, Participatio: The Journal of the T. F. Torrance Fellowship, 4 (2013), pp. 287323Google Scholar.

66 For the most important recent contributions to this debate, see the essays included in Dempsey, Michael T. (ed.), Trinity and Election in Contemporary Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2011)Google Scholar.

67 Florovsky, ‘The Idea of Creation in Christian Philosophy’, Eastern Churches Quarterly 8/3 (1949), pp. 53–77, and ‘The Concept of Creation in Saint Athanasius’, Studia Patristica 6 (1962), pp. 36–57.

68 Blane, Georges Florovsky, p. 139.

69 Elsa Breen, ‘Det gamle budskap i ny emballasje?’, Familien (Oslo), 3 Jan. 1968, pp. 14, 47.

70 Unpublished notes of Andrew Blane and Maria Vorobiova; Andrew Blane archive.

71 Florovsky, ‘Christ and his Church: Suggestions and Comments’, in L'Eglise et les Eglises, vol. 2 (Chevetogne: Editions de Chevetogne, 1955), pp. 158–70. For elaboration, see Matthew Baker, ‘The Eternal “Spirit of the Son”: Barth, Florovsky and Torrance on the Filioque’, International Journal of Systematic Theology 12/4 (2010), pp. 382–403.

72 Williams, Rowan, ‘Eastern Orthodox Theology’, in McGrath, Alister (ed.) The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Thought (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995), pp. 120–6 (122)Google Scholar.

73 Williams, Rowan, ‘Eastern Orthodox Theology’, in Ford, David F. (ed.), The Modern Theologians: An Introduction to Christian Theology in the Twentieth Century (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005), pp. 499513 (508)Google Scholar.

74 For an early critical reference to ‘natural theology’, see Florovsky, ‘Metafizicheskie predposylki utopizma’, Put' 4 (June–July 1926), pp. 27–53 (52). For a later testimony on revelation and ‘religion’, see his review of Lionel S. Thornton, Revelation and the Modern World, cited n. 61.

75 Janzen, ‘Materialy’, pp. 568–9. This version of the paper was published as ‘The Work of the Holy Spirit in Revelation’, Journal of the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius 17 (Summer 1932), pp. 5–16.

76 Florovsky, ‘The Work of the Holy Spirit in Revelation’, p. 7.

77 Dated 3 Mar. 1959, ‘My dear friend . . .’, Andrew Blane archive. Florovsky had reviewed Brunner's book, The Eternal Hope, in The Pastor 18/5 (1955), pp. 39, 41. He also contributed an essay to a festschrift on Brunner: ‘The Last Things and Last Events’, in Kegley, Charles W. (ed.), The Theology of Emil Brunner (New York and London: Macmillan, 1962), pp. 207–24Google Scholar.

78 See Brunner, Emil and Barth, Karl, Natural Theology: Comprising ‘Nature and Grace’ by Professor Emil Brunner and the Reply ‘No!’ by Dr. Karl Barth (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2002)Google Scholar.

79 ‘Revelation and Interpretation’, in Florovsky, Bible, Church, Tradition: An Eastern Orthodox View (Belmont, MA: Nordland, 1972), p. 27; see also, ‘The Darkness of Night’, in Florovsky, Creation and Redemption, p. 90. Lewis Shaw comments: ‘Both Florovsky and Brunner lay great stress on humanity's natural capacity for speech and for elementary rationality as a precondition for any response to God’. F. Lewis Shaw, ‘An Introduction to the Study of Georges Florovsky’ (Ph.D. dissertation, Cambridge University, 1992), pp. 194–5. In reality, neither laid ‘great stress’ on natural capacity. But it is true that Florovsky sees in man's creation according to the image a natural capacity for receiving revelation not entirely destroyed by sin, and here he agrees with Brunner over against Barth. Preference for Brunner over Barth was quite typical in English-speaking theology at this time. Florovsky, an Anglophile, was in close contact with British theology.

80 Florovsky invokes the concept of ‘value’ (Wert) to indicate the sphere of history and the orientation of the person as distinct from non-human organic life in his essay ‘Evolution und Epigenesis (Zur Problematik der Geschichte)’, Der Russische Gedanke 1 (1930), pp. 240–52; here he relies on the thought of Heinrich Rickert (1863–1926), of the Baden school of Neo-Kantianism.

81 See Scotus, Ordinatio 1 d. 3 p. 1. Thomas' treatment of analogy deals not with concepts, but with the ratio of naming across a transcendental range of perfections.

82 See Boulgakov, Serge, La Philosophie du Verbe et du Nom (Lausanne: Editions l'Age d'Homme, 1991)Google Scholar.

83 Florovsky, letter to Chizhevsky, dated 20 Mar. 1954 (in Russian). I rely here on Vladimir Janzen's soon-to-be published edited text of the full Florovsky–Chizhevsky correspondence.

84 Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, A598/B626.

85 Recent attempts to rehabilitate Bulgakov tend to focus on issues of modernity and tradition, authority, creativity and freedom in theology, but have not adequately faced up to the metaphysical problems at stake. As Brandon Gallaher admits: ‘“Sophia” is a difficult, highly problematic notion in Bulgakov due to its extreme polyvalence . . . Sophiology . . . often seems like a fog obscuring the form of Christian teachings whose contours once were crisp and luminous. For if the divine is already in some sense human and the human is in some sense divine then what need is there for God to become man as man is already in some sense God in his foundation. Bulgakov's sophiological panentheism, it must be admitted, often seems on the verge of collapsing into a pantheistic and deterministic monism. At its nadir it is, indeed, as Met. Sergii (Stragordskii)'s 1935 Ukaz put it, “alien to the Holy Orthodox Christian Church” in its novel and arbitrary distortions of the dogmas of the faith.’ Brandon Gallaher, Review of Bulgakov, Sergius, The Lamb of God, abridged trans. and ed. Jakim, Boris (Grand Rapids, MI/Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2008)Google Scholar, in Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies 50/3–4 (Dec. 2009), pp. 543–48 (547–8).

86 See La Montagne, D. Paul, Barth and Rationality: Critical Realism in Theology (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books/Wipf & Stock, 2012)Google Scholar. The critical element is especially evident in Florovsky's historiographical work: see Florovsky, ‘Types of Historical Interpretation’, in Schein, Louis J., Readings in Russian Philosophical Thought: Philosophy of History (Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1977), pp. 89108Google Scholar.

87 Florovsky explicitly put the problem in these terms in his Czech article, ‘Náboženská zkušenost a filiofické vyznání’, Ruch filosoficky 3/9–10 (1923), pp. 298–306. Florovsky's reading of the German Idealist tradition is similar to the interpretation argued recently by Frederick Beiser in his German Idealism 1781–1801: The Struggle Against Subjectivism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002): a philosophical trajectory resulting in an ultra-realism of an almost Neoplatonic kind.

88 Athanasius, Contra Arianos 1.20.

89 Florovsky, ‘Creation and Creaturehood’, in Florovsky, Creation and Redemption, p. 62.

90 See Florovsky's important 1924 essay, ‘On the Substantiation of Logical Relativism’, in Philosophy, pp. 142–69.

91 Florovsky, ‘The Idea of Creation in Christian Philosophy’, p. 69.

92 See Florovsky, Eastern Fathers of the Fourth Century (Vaduz: Büchervertriebsanstalt, 1987), pp. 164–8.

93 See the essays in Lenka Karfíková, Scott L. Douglass, and Johannes Zachhuber, Gregory of Nyssa: Contra Eunomium II (Leiden: Brill, 2007).

94 See the texts cited in my article, ‘“Theology Reasons”: Neo-Patristic Synthesis and the Renewal of Theological Rationality’, Θεολογία 81/4 (2010), pp. 81–118, as well as Florovsky, ‘Opravdanie znanija’, Vestnik Russkogo Studencheskogo Dvizhenija 7 (July 1928), pp. 1–6; Sophrony, Archimandrite, Perepiska s protoiereem Georgiem Florovskim (Essex: Monastery of St. John the Baptist, 2008)Google Scholar, pp. 78–9; and Hodgson, Second World Conference on Faith and Order, pp. 74–5.

95 Of the three, the realist thrust is strongest (even overpowering) in Torrance, whereas it is tempered by a certain dialectical apocalyptic in Barth, and in Florovsky, there is a much stronger ‘critical’ note, emphasising the active construction of the mind in knowing, as well as an ascetic stress on the transformation of the subject required in the knowledge of God.

96 Torrance, Thomas F., Transformation and Convergence in the Frame of Knowledge: Explorations in the Interrelations of Scientific and Theological Enterprise (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1984), p. 320Google Scholar.

97 See ‘The Lost Scriptural Mind’ in Florovsky, Bible, Church, Tradition, pp. 15–16, and ‘Religion and Theological Tensions’, p. 238.

98 Andrew Parlee, The Epistemology of Georges Florovsky (Glenside, PA: Westminster Theological Seminary, 2006), argues from a Reformed presuppositionalist viewpoint that Florovsky is guilty of falling into an univocal concept of freedom for both God and man, and a equivocal theory of theological language, thereby failing in both cases to maintain proper analogical relation.

99 Barth, Church Dogmatics, II/1: The Doctrine of God (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1957), pp. 237–8.

100 Journet, a Thomist, whom Florovsky knew from the late 20s, was among the first Roman Catholic theologians to engage seriously with Barth, and warned against the temptation of a ‘univocal metaphysic’ in Barth's theology. See Florovsky, Review of Lossky, Vladimir, Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, in Journal of Religion 38/3 (July 1958), pp. 207–8Google Scholar.

101 See again the references in my article “Theology Reasons”.

102 See Barth, Anselm: Fides Quaerens Intellectum (Cleveland: Meridian Books, 1960). Florovsky, ‘The Work of the Holy Spirit in Revelation’, p. 16: ‘Father Sergius Boulgakoff expressed himself very adequately when he said: “He who has once met Christ, His Savior, on his own personal path, and has felt His Divinity, has, in that very moment, accepted all fundamental Christian dogmas – Virgin Birth, incarnation, Second Glorious Advent, the Coming of the Comforter, the Holy Trinity”. . . . To this I want to add: “Or else he has not yet met Christ, or, at any rate, has not recognized him”.’

103 Barth, Anselm, pp. 27–8.

104 Florovsky, Ways of Russian Theology, vol. 1 (Belmont, MA: Nordland Press, 1979), p. 208; see also my article, “Theology Reasons”.

105 Florovsky, ‘Lamb of God’, p. 21: ‘We may not deal with abstract possibilities, actually unrealised and frustrated, nor build the doctrinal synthesis on the analysis of possibilities, in fact of a causa irrealis . . . we have to deal with the fact of the Incarnation, and not with its idea.’ See, more generally, Florovsky, ‘Filaret, Mitropolit Moskovskii’, Put' 12 (Aug. 1928), pp. 3–31. The common emphasis in Florovsky and Barth on the priority of ‘actuality’ over ‘possibility’ may owe something to a shared indebtedness to Kierkegaard. Although Kierkegaard is named perhaps only twice in Florovsky's published texts, Florovsky's extensive study of Kierkegaard is evident both from his letters to Lieb as well as from notes on the German trans. of Kierkegaard's Philosophical Fragments in the Florovsky archive at Princeton.

106 ‘Creation and Creaturehood’, in Florovsky, Creation and Redemption, p. 62.

107 Blane, Georges Florovsky, p. 107.

108 This article was offered as a paper at the conference ‘Karl Barth in Dialogue: Encounters with Major Figures’, 16–19 June 2013, co-sponsored by the Center for Barth Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary and the Karl Barth Society of North America. Thanks are owed to George Hunsinger, Paul Molnar and Iain Torrance.