The Submerged Reality: Sophia

by Andrea Elizabeth

the Introduction

“On the one hand, Sophia seems to bring out the best in those who have claimed immediate experience of this divine reality. This was the case with … and Sergius Bulgakov, for example, who were all noted for their kindness, maganimity, and even, saintliness. On the other hand, their respective sophilogies have often brought out the worst in their critics and continue to do so. I expect no less from this book.

This book is not a cultural history of Sophia. Even though, as a poet, I find the Gnostic mythos of Sophia and her metaphysical kidnapping a fascinating story, to be honest, the theologians and critics who tend to view anything remotely sophiological as flirting with “Gnostic heresy’ bore me. Nor am I at all interested in the conspiratorial projections of the vast number of unstable individuals and groups who hold out Sophia as “the goddess who was erased” from Judeo-Christian consciousness, a neurotic sensibility that internalizes the Gnostic mythos to an almost surreal degree. There is something inherently ugly about the hermeneutics of suspicion and the scholarship of heresy hunting. Likewise, myth-making steeped in paranoia proves an especially sterile enterprise… Other ways, I think, are more useful. So I say again: Let us start a war.” (P. 2)

I will defer the defense and distinguishing characteristics of his position to the rest of the Introduction, as I am not interested in engaging the detractors.