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Russian Icon, Sophia, the Holy Wisdom, 1812.
Sophiology (from Greek Σοφία "Sophia ") (in Russian София) is a philosophical concept regarding wisdom, as well as a theological concept regarding the wisdom of God. Sophiology has roots in Hellenistic tradition, Platonism, Gnosticism, Christian mysticism (Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), Jakob Böhme (1575–1624), Jane Leade (1624-1704)), Esoteric Christianity (Rosicrucianism), Orthodox Christianity, Wisdom Theology, nineteenth and twentieth century Russian Theology (Sergei Bulgakov through the influence of Vladimir Solovyov), New Age spirituality, as well as contemporary feminism. Some see Sophia as a deity in her own right, others see her as representing the Bride of Christ (Revelation 19), others as a feminine aspect of God representing wisdom (Proverbs 8 and 9), and others as a theological concept regarding the wisdom of God.


  • Sergei Bulgakov, Sophia, the Wisdom of God: An Outline of Sophiology (Library of Russian Philosophy), Lindisfarne Books, 1993. (ISBN 0940262606, ISBN 978-0940262607)
  • Oleg A. Donskikh, ‘Cultural roots of Russian Sophiology’, Sophia, 34(2), 1995, pp38–57
  • Priscilla Hunt, "The Wisdom Iconography of Light: The Genesis, Meaning and Iconographic Realization of a Symbol" due to appear in “'Spor o Sofii' v Khristianskoi Kul’ture", V.L. Ianin, A.E. Musin, ed., Novgorodskii Gos. Universitet, forthcoming in 2008
  • Priscilla Hunt, "Confronting the End: The Interpretation of the Last Judgment in a Novgorod Wisdom Icon", Byzantino-Slavica, 65, 2007, 275-325
  • Priscilla Hunt, "The Novgorod Sophia Icon and 'The Problem of Old Russian Culture' Between Orthodoxy and Sophiology", Symposion: A Journal of Russian Thought, vol. 4-5, (2000), 1-41
  • Priscilla Hunt "Andrei Rublev’s Old Testament Trinity Icon in Cultural Context", The Trinity-Sergius Lavr in Russian History and Culture: Readings in Russian Religious Culture, vol. 3, Deacon Vladimir Tsurikov, ed., Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Seminary Press, 2006, 99-122
  • Caitlin Matthews, Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom (London: Mandala, 1991) ISBN 0044405901
  • Brenda Meehan, ‘Wisdom/Sophia, Russian identity, and Western feminist theology’, Cross Currents, 46(2), 1996, pp149–168
  • Thomas Schipflinger, Sophia-Maria (in German: 1988; English translation: York Beach, ME: Samuel Wiser, 1998) ISBN 1578630223
  • Mikhail Sergeev, Sophiology in Russian Orthodoxy: Solov’ev, Bulgakov, Losskii, Berdiaev (Edwin Mellen Press, 2007) ISBN 0773456090 and ISBN 9780773456099, 248 pages [338134]
  • Arthur Versluis, Theosophia: hidden dimensions of Christianity (Hudson, NY: Lindisfarne Press, 1994) ISBN 0940262649
  • Arthur Versluis, Wisdom’s children: a Christian esoteric tradition (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1999) ISBN 0791443302
  • Arthur Versluis (ed.) Wisdom’s book: the Sophia anthology (St.Paul, Min: Paragon House, 2000) ISBN 1557787832

See also

On-line resources

Icons and images of Sophia (Holy Wisdom)


Essays related to Sophia or Sophiology

In other traditions


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