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The Digital Scholar: Philosopher's Lab

Volume 1, Issue 2, 2018

Oleg V. Parilov, Ruslan V. Sobko
Pages 160-170

The concept of spiritual wisdom of Joachim Florsky and its connection with Russian Christian epistemology

The purpose of the article is to study the original Christian epistemology of the medieval Italian thinker-mystic Joachim Florsky. The tasks are to consider the attitude of the official Catholic Church to the Florian abbot; Joachim's views on scholasticism, his conception of spiritual wisdom (spiritual understanding); the connection of the epistemological constructions of the Calabrian abbot with the Eastern Christian tradition and Russian religious philosophy of the 19th century. The methodological basis of the article is the totality of the following methods: hermeneutical method (author's interpretation of modern foreign and medieval Latin texts), comparativehistorical method, historical and logical unity, analysis and synthesis, analogy. The results obtained and the main findings of the study. Joachim's work demonstrates the vivid variety of epistemological doctrines of the late European Middle Ages. As opposed to scholasticism, he understands the concept of spiritual knowledge (doctrina spiritualis), first of all, as an experience of experiencing faith. Joachim's scientific method and goal of cognition result from his monastic life: discussing the subject of love (dissertatio caritatis), he puts the wisdom of the monks (sapientia monachorum), above the wisdom of doctors and scholastics (sapientia doctorum). The source of the religious thought of the Calabrian abbot is the Liturgy: not the reading and exercise of the mind, but prayer, praise to God in the singing of the psalms is the true origin of truth. The connection between Joachim's epistemological constructions and his key historiosophical ideas is evident, in particular, the end of history – the era of the Holy Spirit – will reveal the transfiguration of man and discover the fullness of his spiritual knowledge. Thus, the shortest path to true knowledge is monastic practice. The ontologism of cognition, the interpretation of true knowledge as the experience of living faith, the assertion of epistemology on the foundation of liturgical practice, love and perfection of the spirit – in these features Joachimism's connection with the Eastern Christian and Russian religious traditions is evident.

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