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Anthony Khrapovitsky Church. Personalities John of Shanghai

Hieromonk Anton Bulatovich

Born: 26 September 1870; Oryol, Oryol Governorate, Russian Empire
Died: 5 December 1919; Lutsikovka village, Kharkov province

Father Antony (отец Антоний) was a Russian military officer, explorer of Africa, writer, hieromonk and the leader of the imiaslavie movement in Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

In 1907 after reading the book On Caucasus Mountains by the schema-monk Ilarion, he became one of the leaders of the imiaslavie movement within the Russian Orthodox Church. When the movement was proclaimed a heresy and disbanded by a Russian military force in 1913, he was in St. Petersburg pleading the cause of monks.

He continued his fight for the recognition of imiaslavie, published many theological books proving its dogmas, obtained an audience with the Tsar and eventually managed to secure some sort of rehabilitation for himself and his imiaslavtsy comrades. They were allowed to return to their positions in the Church without repentance "since there is nothing to repent about". On August 28, 1914 Antony Bulatovich received permission to join the Russian Army as an Army priest. During World War I Father Antony not only served as a priest but on "many occasions led soldiers to attack" and was awarded the Cross of St. George.

God is both immutable and ever-moving

The first act of God was addressed to God Himself: “and the Word was to God” (καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρός τὸν θεόν) (Jhn 1:1).

Let us dwell on the definition of the concept — “Action of the Divine”. God is immutable, but also ever-moving. The movability of God is expressed in the manifestation by Him of the properties of His Being. Before the creation of angels and men, God's action was directed to God Himself: “and the Word was to God” (Jhn 1:1). But now God turned His action partly to the creature, and in creation began to manifest His Divine properties, and, firstly, being Himself an unapproachable Light, poured out His Divine Light on the ranks of the angels, making them luminous to varying degrees; and this Light by which the angels shine is God Himself. The primordial people in Paradise once shone with the same Light, but the Fall deprived them of this Light.

The life of a hesychast does not fit in theology

I am reading Bulatovich's book and I feel more and more to what extent the essence there is not in theology, which is weak and inept among them, but in life, which is deep, sublime and absolutely does not fit in this theology. To come closer to this life is where it is warm and joyful.

E.N. Trubetskoy to M.K. Morozova
[428] 3.04.1913. Бегичево — Москва

The vision of God, theoptia (θεοπτία), is a conversation with God and hence the appeal to Him by His Name.

Palamas, after he had reflected much on natural and theological theognosia, came to the conclusion that the achievements realised in the second way are far more notable than those realised in the first. But in the end he sees that another way opens up, a way that leads to immensely more precious benefits: the way to the vision of God, to θεοπτία. Theology is a discourse about God, while theoptia is in some way a conversation with God. There is a great difference between the two, as there is between knowledge of a thing and possession of it [xlv]. Isaac Syrus, speaking about two psychical eyes, the one for seeing the wisdom of God and the other for seeing the glory of his nature [xlvi], expresses with an image what Palamas describes analytically.


[xlv] Defensio Hesychastarum, 3, 2, 12
[xlvi] Sermo 72, ed. SPETSIERIS, 281

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