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Jacob's Ladder
On Angels

PAPERBACK; Published: 11/16/2010
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6516-8
Price: $ 31.50
183 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6.14 x 9.21
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DESCRIPTION
Translated by Thomas Allan Smith

Few of the great Russian author Sergius Bulgakov's writings achieve the lyrical heights of Jacob's Ladder. In this book, originally published in 1929, Bulgakov explores the doctrine of angels and their importance for contemporary humanity. He frames his work with meditations on the meaning of love, not as a sentimental indulgence, but as a way of understanding the deep, tender, self-sacrificing, personal knowledge that is both at the heart of a Trinitarian God and in the midst of relationships between human beings and their guardian angels. These discussions on the creation, function, nature, appearances and incorporeality of angels lead also to reflections on the incarnation and human nature, especially the role of the sexes, death, and the Christian hope of resurrection.

Jacob's Ladder completes the development of Divine Sophia -- on the Wisdom of God in creation -- begun in The Burning Bush and The Friend of the Bridegroom, which together constitute Bulgakov's first dogmatic trilogy.

REVIEWS
Myroslaw Tataryn
"Bulgakov masterfully intertwines the multistranded Christian tradition into not simply a tract on angels but, more importantly, a profound and beautiful rhapsody on divine love as manifested in both the angelic and the human realm. This is not a simple book about angels but, rather, a radiant and hope-filled symphony beginning with words of love — 'God-Love created human beings for love' — and culminating in joy: 'How great is the joy bestowed on humankind knowing this!' No small recognition is owed Thomas Allan Smith for working a difficult Russian text into a flowing and enjoyably readable English translation."
Boris Jakim
"Written by Bulgakov after a near-death encounter with an angelic being who led him back to life, Jacob's Ladder possesses a mystical intensity almost beyond words. Using doctrinal, scriptural, liturgical, iconographic, and personal experiential data, Bulgakov provides a theological interpretation of the doctrine of angels. Its lyrical beauty and its profound speculative reflections make this book very difficult to translate, but Thomas Allan Smith has more than met the challenge, offering English-speaking readers what is undoubtedly the greatest work of angelology in the modern Orthodox literature."
Reviews in Religion and Theology
"A fascinating, often compelling, and deeply important contribution to an area of overwhelming theological neglect."
Anglican Theological Review
"Written in a warm, spiritual tone. . . . Will be a solid point of reference for those interested in Orthodox studies and for readers in search of an imaginative approach to angelology."
Theology
"An extraordinary combination of personal, pastoral concern, particularly in his discussion of the role and purpose of guardian angels, a profound liturgical sense, and highly developed philosophical analysis. . . . Immensely engaging."

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