Sofiologiczna koncepcja ikony

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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza; Wydział Teologiczny

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The Sophiological Concept of Icon


The article looks at sophiology as a phenomenon integral to Eastern Christianity, presented here as a fundamental notion needed for the understanding of what an icon is. Sophia points to a certain type of wholeness and meaning while remaining as an intermediate sphere between God and the world (creation). Reference to Sophia has become important for Russian thinkers at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries (V. Solovyov, S. Bulgakov, P. Florensky). Fundamentally, the notion of Sophia remains a reality which is personal, spiritual and dialogical in nature. This made it a difficult issue to contend with in the course of analytical research concerning this reality on the basis of rational notions. The approach to this reality from a unitive and dialogical perspective allowed for the appraisal of Sophia from the stand point of the New Testament, while recognizing in it a synthesis of apparently conflicting currents which are sensual, rational and spiritual in nature. This synthesis has found its particular reflection in the mystery of the Incarnation as the foundation for all iconology. God entrusted His own image and likeness to man in an irrevocable way, and in facing the tarnishing of this image by sin, the Creator appears in the midst of His creation in a totally unexpected manner as the God-Man. The renewal of God’s image in man takes place through service, suffering and the cross, while introducing creation once again into the perspective of the Triune God’s love.The image of God exists and remains in man, then, as the mystery of dignity and calling. This mystery is turned into a palpable reality by man in his enormity by getting closer to Christ, especially through the sacraments in the Church. The community of persons alone bears witness to the iconic dimension of mankind when human society patterns itself after the image of Most Holy Trinity.From this perspective of the Christian understanding of Sophia which is bound mainly to the Incarnate Word of God – Jesus Christ – Russian sophiologists make references to various depictions of beauty, as seen in icons. An icon constitutes for those thinkers a symbolic concretization of the ideal of beauty which directs the observer toward the Unseen. While an icon is read and interpreted under the categories of artwork, it actually also constitutes a revelation of God, a form of prayer and a means for prayer, as a way of dialogue and agreement with God. An icon, as a work of eschatological realism, basically shows forth the image and likeness of God in man. It also points to the impossibility of man’s annihilation. It brings to mind the source, the sense and the purpose of the world and mankind, as well as the role played by spaces (houses of worship) and actions (the liturgy), where icons are present. By finding (thanks to the icon and its presence) God’s mark and sense in man’s personal and universal history, the icon allows mankind to participate in the foretaste of the heavenly liturgy. The unequivocal understanding of the notion of Sophia by these Russian sophiologists as well as the posing of questions concerning the freedom of the human person in one’s encounter with Sophia have brought about some concerns already present in the works of thinkers living in the same era as the above mentioned intellectuals (E. Trubiecko, among others) .



Publikacja dofinansowana z Funduszu na działalność statutową Wydziału Teologicznego UAM


Sofiologowie rosyjscy, Russian sophiologists, Ikona, icon, icono, Wcielenie, Incarnation, Sophia, Τη σοφία του Θεού, Божья мудрость, Bogoczłowieczeństwo, Świątynia, Ikonostas, Iconostasis, Symboliczna struktura, Symbolic structure, आइकन, アイコン, 아이콘, 圖標, 图标, ソフィア


P. Rossa, Sofiologiczna koncepcja ikony, w: B. Kochaniewicz (red.), Wokół teologii ikony, Poznań 2011, s. 81-92.




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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego