God, Man and the Church: The Spiritual Foundations of Life

By Vladimir Solovyev and Donald Attwater (translator)

A classic work of ecclesiological theology by one of the leading Russian theologians of the late 19th-century.

ISBN: 9780227176283


God, Man and the Church is a penetrating examination of man’s relationship – both as an individual and in society – with God. For Solovyev, personal religion can only be satisfied in social religion. Private prayer finds its fulfilment in the Church’s liturgy, and the Church is the highest expression of man’s religious aspirations. Solovyev’s mystical understanding of the Church provides the basis for a fundamental analysis of the idea of the state from a Christian viewpoint.

During the years after its first publication in Russian in 1885, God, Man and the Church rapidly established a reputation as a seminal work of Russian theology. Donald Attwater’s translation, first published in 1937, made the work available in the English language for the first time, and has become a classic in its own right.

Additional information

Dimensions 216 × 138 mm
Pages 192

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Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Vladimir Solovyev was born in 1853, the son of the historian Sergius Mikhailovich Solovyev. At the age of twenty-one he was made junior professor in the University of Moscow, where he remained for seven years until his lectures gave the authorities the excuse they needed to dismiss a man whose western sympathies had made him unpopular. The rest of his life was spent writing and travelling. In 1896 he was received into the Roman Catholic Church and died four years later in 1900.


Translator’s Preface
Author’s Preface

Part One
Introduction: Nature, Death, Sin, Law, Grace
I. Prayer
II. Sacrifice and Alms-Deeds
III. Fasting

Part Two
I. Christianity
II. The Church
III. The Christian State and Christian Society

Conclusion: Christ’s Example as the Guide of Conscience


Endorsements and Reviews

… Solovyev disentangled essential Orthodoxy from Slavophilism and developed a critique of the social order of the age of Alexander III, basing his arguments on the Bible and tradition. He thus offers an alternative both to Tsarist reaction and to socialist revolution … we can be grateful that it is available again in this reprint of Donald Attwater’s English translation of 1937.
John Arnold, in Theology, Vol 79, Issue 49