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Pavel Aleksandrovich Florenskii

philosopher , priest , scientist , theologian

Pavel Florenskii, USSR Orthodox priest, theologian, philosopher, scientist.


Florenskii, Pavel was born in 1882. Son of a railway engineer.


Educated at Tiflis High School. Graduated from Moscow University as a mathematician. Graduated from Moscow Theological Academy, 1908.


A pupil of Bugaev, Andrei Belyi’s father. Orthodox priest, 1911. Became a professor of philosophy at the Theological Academy.

His dissertation, ‘Stolp i Utverzhdenie Istiny’, 1914, gave him the reputation of one of the most interesting religious thinkers of his time. Known for his ‘superhuman erudition’, according to N. Losskii, and described by V. Rozanov as the Russian Pascal. Continued his scientific studies with the same energy.

One of the main authors of the Soviet Technical Encyclopaedia (1927-1936). Used to appear in his priest’s cassock at specialist conferences of the Institutes of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, scandalizing the new Soviet elite. Arrested in 1928, exiled to Nizhnii-Novgorod (now Gorkii), but soon released.

Re-arrested in 1933, and spent the rest of his life in different camps in the Gulag, including the notorious Solovki camp.


Religion is always aggressive against any new scientific ideas.


Marxism–Leninism as the only truth could not, by its very nature, become outdated.