Week One : introduction

Sergei Nikolaevich Bulgakov (1871–1944)

For this first week in Lent, we have excerpts from a sermon by Sergei Bulgakov: "Luminous Sorrow: in preparation for Lent".[1]

Sergei Bulgakov

Sergei Nikolaevich Bulgakov (1871–1944) was a Russian Orthodox theologian, philosopher and economist. He followed his seminary studies with law and political economy at Moscow University. Bulgakov eventually became convinced of the impotence of Marxism and, influenced by Russian religious thinkers such as Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Solovyov, rediscovered Christian faith. After some years in politics and as an important writer on economics, Bulgakov returned to the Orthodox Church in 1918 and was ordained.

In 1922, the Bolshevik government expelled some 160 prominent intellectuals, Bulgakov among them. In 1925, Bulgakov helped found St Sergius' Orthodox Theological Institute, in Paris, where he remained until his death in 1944.

Bulgakov published many fine works on dogmatic theology, as well as a collection of sermons. Some of his views were controversial, but the breadth and depth of his writing made him one of the greatest Orthodox theologians of the twentieth century.

Music for this first week, mostly from the Renaissance, is by Christóbal de Morales (1550-1553), Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611), John Taverner (c.1490-1545) and Urmas Sisask (Estonia, 1960- )

[1] S. Bulgakov. Luminous Sorrow: in preparation for Lent, in Churchly joy: orthodox devotions for the church year. Translated by Boris Jakim. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008. (First published in Russian in 1938)

St Philip's Anglican Church, cnr Moorhouse and Macpherson Streets, O'Connor, ACT 2602