Studies in East European Thought

, Volume 64, Issue 3, pp 183–204

Different concepts of personality: Nikolaj Berdjaev and Sergej Bulgakov


DOI: 10.1007/s11212-012-9168-0

Cite this article as:
Zwahlen, R.M. Stud East Eur Thought (2012) 64: 183. doi:10.1007/s11212-012-9168-0


The main concern of both Berdjaev’s and Bulgakov’s philosophical strivings consists in developing a concept of the person as the foundation of human dignity and creativity within a Christian worldview. Once attracted by Marxism with its emphasis on human dignity and social justice, they started to struggle against Marxism’s atheist materialism because of its lack of a concept of person. However, the same concern will lead both thinkers down very different paths with different consequences. This paper argues that, even though Berdjaev has become famous as a philosopher of the person and a herald of creative ethics, Bulgakov developed a more solid Christian justification of the same claims. Both systems are presented by means of comparing some crucial notions within their concepts of personality—potentiality, trinity and autonomy.


PersonalityAutonomyGodmanhoodCreativityTrinitySergej BulgakovNikolaj BerdjaevPotentialitySophiologyHuman DignityKantFeuerbachSolov’ëvJacob BoehmeUngrundMeontology

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Ökumenische Studien, Forschungsstelle Sergij BulgakovUniversität Freiburg SchweizFribourgSwitzerland