Publications and talks by Dr. Gavrilyuk found on Academia.edu
Dr. Gavrilyuk on University of St. Thomas website
The Suffering of the Impassible God
This book provides a major reconsideration of the issue of divine suffering and divine emotions in the early Church Fathers. Patristic writers are commonly criticized for falling prey to Hellenistic philosophy and uncritically accepting the claim that God cannot suffer or feel emotions. Gavrilyuk shows that this view represents a misreading of evidence. In contrast, he construes the development of patristic thought as a series of dialectical turning points taken to safeguard the paradox of God’s voluntary and salvific suffering in the Incarnation.
Georges Florvosky and the Russian Religious Renaissance
Georges Florovsky is the mastermind of a “return to the Church Fathers” in twentieth-century Orthodox theology. His theological vision—the neopatristic synthesis—became the main paradigm of Orthodox theology and the golden standard of Eastern Orthodox identity in the West. Focusing on Florovsky’s European period (1920-1948), this study analyzes how Florovsky’s evolving interpretation of Russian religious thought, particularly Vladimir Solovyov and Sergius Bulgakov, informed his approach to patristic sources. Paul Gavrilyuk offers a new reading of Florovsky’s neopatristic theology, by closely considering its ontological, epistemological, and ecclesiological foundations.
It is common to contrast Florovsky’s neopatristic theology with the “modernist” religious philosophies of Pavel Florensky, Sergius Bulgakov, and other representatives of the Russian Religious Renaissance. Gavrilyuk argues that the standard narrative of twentieth-century Orthodox theology, based on this polarization, must be reconsidered. The author demonstrates Florovsky’s critical appropriation of the main themes of the Russian Religious Renaissance, including theological antinomies, the meaning of history, and the nature of personhood. The distinctive features of Florovsky’s neopatristic theology—Christological focus, “ecclesial experience,” personalism, and “Christian Hellenism”—are best understood against the background of the main problematic of the Renaissance. Specifically, it is shown that Bulgakov’s sophiology provided a polemical subtext for Florovsky’s theology of creation. It is argued that the use of the patristic norm in application to modern Russian theology represents Florovsky’s theological signature.
The Spiritual Senses: Perceiving God in Western Christianity
Is it possible to see, hear, touch, smell and taste God? How do we understand the biblical promise that the ‘pure in heart’ will ‘see God’? Christian thinkers as diverse as Origen of Alexandria, Bonaventure, Jonathan Edwards and Hans Urs von Balthasar have all approached these questions in distinctive ways by appealing to the concept of the ‘spiritual senses’. In focusing on the Christian tradition of the ‘spiritual senses’, this book discusses how these senses relate to the physical senses and the body, and analyzes their relationship to mind, heart, emotions, will, desire and judgement. The contributors illuminate the different ways in which classic Christian authors have treated this topic, and indicate the epistemological and spiritual import of these understandings. The concept of the ‘spiritual senses’ is thereby importantly recovered for contemporary theological anthropology and philosophy of religion.