The Submerged Reality: Sophiology and the Turn to a Poetic Metaphysics

by Andrea Elizabeth

by Michael Martin

To me it sounds like a personalization of the Divine Energies, perichoresis, or even the Holy Spirit, whom I think is often neglected, so I’m giving this a shot.

“What emerges from [Martin’s] synthetic reading of this tradition is the sense that divine wisdom is the supreme cosmic power – a personal agent that mediates grace and helps each creature fulfill its being. Instead of lapsing into pantheism or panentheism, Romantic sophiology articulates the analogical co-inherence of Creator and creation whereby the invisible, mysteriously appearing through the visible, discloses God’s presence in the world.” (Forward by Adrian Pabst, p.v)

“Most importantly of all, wisdom is neither a tertium quid nor a fourth divine person, but rather the very middle between divine transcendence and created immanence – as the Russian tradition of sophiology teaches. For nothing can subsist outside God, whether between humanity and God, or between God who was made man and mankind that is destined to be deified. Likewise, Sophia is no third term between the three divine persons or between the essence of the Godhead and the persons of the Trinity – for otherwise persons, relations, and essences would be specific instances of something more general and fundamental than God.

At the same time, there is a middle or metaxu (the term used by Sergei Bulgakov), because without mediation the relations within the Trinitarian Godhead would dissolve either into independent univocal substances or into a self-founded monism. Moreover, mediation cannot be an endless dialectical oscillation, either between such substances or within a monistic ground of being, for dialectics would then be reducible to the opposing poles or an ontological extra that too remains unexplained. Therefore, sophianic mediation is best understood as something that is coextensive wit the divine essence, the persons and their substantive relations – an ineffable communication between them that exceeds the grasp of human cognition and is accessed experientially.” (p. vii)