chapter  5
78 Pages

Bulgakov’s Mariology

ByWalter Nunzio Sisto

Drawing primarily from his books The Burning Bush, The Comforter, and The Bride of the Lamb, this chapter explains the salient features his Mariology. This chapter begins with an examination of Bulgakov’s doctrine that Mary is the pneumatophoric hypostasis and theology of synergy relevant to this study. Because Bulgakov juxtapositions his Mariology against the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, the author evaluates Bulgakov’s interpretation of this dogma and his alternative expression of Mary’s sinlessness in more detail. Although Mary becomes the pneumatophoric hypostasis at the Annunciation, she does not fully realize her new existence until her glorification that required a series of personal trials. Therefore, the author also addresses the stages of Mary’s development into the pneumatophoric hypostasis. This will include a discussion of these themes: Mary’s templification, betrothal to St. Joseph, virginity, Annunciation and the Cross, the Pentecost, and Mary’s Dormition and Glorification. The chapter then moves to discuss Mary’s relationships with Sophia, the angels, the Church, the ecumenical movement, and the final judgment. The chapter ends with a discussion of the pneumatological implications of Bulgakov’s Mariology for Christian discipleship as well as the criticism that Bulgakov’s Mariology insufficiently considers Christ’s relationship to the Holy Spirit.