Pavel Alexandrovich Florensky , born Jan. In Florensky received a degree in philosophy and mathematics from Moscow University, and four years later he obtained his graduate degree from the Moscow Theological Academy, where he eventually taught. Ordained a priest in , he went into exile during the Russian Revolution. When he returned to Moscow in to resume his work, he refused to renounce or conceal his priesthood in the face of official atheism. During the reign of Stalin in the s, he was imprisoned several times and was banished to Siberia. According to Florensky, rationalistic analysis separates man from creation because it objectifies the external world rather than unifying it.

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Qty : Please note there is a week delivery period for this title. With a profound knowledge of his cultural and religious world, Pyman enables us to hear the authentic voice of the martyred priest who is now gaining an audience in Orthodoxy and beyond.

No one could be better equipped to write this first biography in English of a man whom the epithet 'polymath' fits like no other. Mathematician, philosopher, linguist, applied physicist, inventor - and, above all, priest - Florensky could, in another place and time, have achieved an unparalleled reputation in a multitude of areas.

In the event, his life ended, in the fateful year of , after four years of exile and imprisonment, with a bullet in the back of his head. His writings on mathematics, philosophy and theology, although never completed in the way they were planned, confirm the immense originality of his thought.

They are described in this book in a way that makes them accessible to readers without specialist knowledge. What emerges as the guiding thread of the whole is the depiction of a uniquely integrated personality, foreseeing and withstanding one crisis after another, and living out to the utmost degree the religious faith at which he arrived in his twenties through study and reflection, and which provided thenceforth the underpinning of his entire life.

Avril Pyman's book brings to the attention of English-language readers for the first time a neglected cultural figure of immense importance. The book is the culminating achievement of a distinguished scholar. The book should be of special interest for those engaged in both theology and science.

In the first instance, it is a great source of inspiration of a life well lived. Avril Pyman's study, the first full-length intellectual biography of him in English, is a rich guide to his life and thought. She refers to him as Russia's 'da Vinci' to capture the extraordinary range of his intellectual interests, which spanned philosophy, theology, mathematics, physics and other sciences, electrical engineering, aesthetics and art history, philosophy of language, and literature.

She masterfully shows how Florensky combined these various areas into an 'integral worldview,' a quest characteristic of the best minds of the Silver Age. She succeeds admirably. While the biography itself is relatively short less than two hundred pages , it is supplemented by a significant timeline based upon his life, and a glossary of names which will help the average reader unfamiliar with the Silver Age of Russian thought.

It is not, as Pyman points out, a comprehensive biography - much of the material which would be needed for that is still being released, but it does provide a needful introduction to a man who could just as well have had the greatest mind in the twentieth century. It shows the complexities of his life, and shows that he was a man, with his own foibles, and they too must be understood in order to understand his writings as a whole.

Avril Pyman's fine biography-the first of Florensky in English-must surely redress the situation. It is possible, and greatly to be desired, that its publication will become the defining moment when the study of Florensky breaks out of Russian studies into all the disciplines in which he himself worked at the highest level: aesthetics, art history, geology, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy, physics and theology.

She sympathetically conveys the emotional content of her protagonist's life story. She successfully eschews hagiography for which many readers will be grateful and instead crafts a living portrait out of the many strengths and weaknessess of one of the complex minds of his time, a mind that was idiosyncratic, humble, proud, stubborn, enigmatic, vulnerable, unconventional, endlessly curious, tenacious, and soaring--all at the same time.

Pyman has been most judicious in her recourse to primary sources and has truly culled important facets from the vast Florenskiana that is at hand as well as from the personal reminiscences of those closely associated with him Pyman's biography is especially praiseworthy. Over the past thirty years Florensky has emerged as a giant of European culture of his day, but his lifelong intellectual project to a large degree remains poorly understood which is understandable given the breathtaking variety and spectacular ambition of his endeavours.

With Avril Pyman's book Florensky has finally begun to receive his due. With the deft touch of a seasoned biographer Dr Pyman uncovers the intricate and poignant design that lies at the base of Florensky's various intellectual activities and engagements. Displaying a complete command of her subject Avril Pyman draws on the vast corpus of Florensky's published writings, most of which have never been translated into English, on the memoirs and correspondence of his family and friends, and on the constantly expanding body of scholarly literature on him.

Eminently readable and authoritatively precise, Dr Pyman's biography will be a touchstone for all future work on Pavel Florensky. She succeeds in uncovering the underlying unity of experience and vision that informed the myriad strands of Florensky's journey of discovery, and skilfully relates her subject to the broader historical and cultural context of those tragic times.

Eschewing hagiography, Pyman examines Florensky's remarkable life as scientist and priest, mathematician and mystic, Renaissance man and Russian patriot of the early decades of 20th century. Her book tells the story of an extraordinarily gifted individual whose intellect, empathy, and understanding even the Stalinist purges could not eclipse. The first major biography of Florensky in English, Pyman's work brings his extraordinary life to the attention of the wider readership it deserves.

He was a polymath of a kind that may seem almost impossible in the modern age. One of the brilliant school of young mathematicians who pushed at the boundaries of the subject at the beginning of the 20th century, he was convinced by his work on set theory and discontinuities that we live in a non-deterministic universe, and this faith led him not only in the direction of religion, but to becoming an Orthodox priest - a humble and devoted one.

Until Avril Pyman's volume we have lacked any biographical study - no doubt because such a protean figure is daunting for any specialist scholar. Fortunately Dr Pyman, after a lifetime's involvement with the intellectual history of the Russian 'Silver Age', and a deep knowledge of Russian Orthodoxy, is just the right person to tackle Florensky as the culminating project of her distinguished career.

Here at last is a biography based on extensive study of Florensky's correspondence as well as his books and essays. It should establish his reputation definitively, both as a thinker and as a Christian martyr. It will bring a figure of cardinal importance, hitherto scarcely known in the West, to the attention of a wide reading public. Those who have already encountered Florenskii's name will find this reliably researched book invaluable in its sympathetic, yet sober, approach,which dispels legends and inaccuracies that have accumulated around the thinker, who is often revered as a martyr to Orthodoxy Pyman's book is a timely and valuable contribution to the emerging field of Florenskii studies.

It is an excellent starting ground for any reader in the West who would like to learn about one of Russia's foremost minds. You can unsubscribe from newsletters at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in any newsletter. For information on how we process your data, read our Privacy Policy.

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Pavel Florensky’s Theory of Religious Antinomies

We'd like to understand how you use our websites in order to improve them. Register your interest. Pavel Florensky — , a Russian theologian, philosopher, and mathematician, argued that the religious discourse is essentially contradictory and put forward the idea of the logical theory of antinomies. Recently his views raised interesting discussions among logicians who consider him a forerunner of many non-classical logics.


Pavel Florensky

Pavel Alexandrovich Florensky was born on January 21 N. His father, a railroad engineer, was from a family of Russian Orthodox priests and his mother was from Armenian nobility. His education included attendance at the gymnasium in Tiflis, Georgia where he displayed unusual aptitude in science and mathematics. After graduating from the gymnasium, Pavel entered the Department of Mathematics of Moscow State University graduating in with degrees in mathematics and physics. In the meantime he developed a profound religious outlook and a desire to seek a career in the Orthodox Christian priesthood instead of science. There, he developed for a while an interest in a radical Christian movement and created with three fellow students the society of Union of Christian Struggle.

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