|Birthname||Pavel Alexandrovich Florensky|
|born on||9 January 1882 Jul.Cal. (21 Jan 1882 greg.) at 19:00 (= 7:00 PM )|
|Place||Yevlakh, Azerbaijan, 40n3702, 47e09|
|Timezone||LST m49e45 (is standard time)|
|Astrology data||01°34' 29°25 Asc. 23°08'|
Russian Orthodox theologian, priest, philosopher, mathematician, physicist, electrical engineer, inventor and Neomartyr.
During his studies at the Ecclesiastical Academy in Sergiyev Posad, Florensky's interests included philosophy, religion, art and folklore. He became a prominent member of the Russian Symbolism movement, together with his friend Andrei Bely and published works in the magazines New Way (Новый Путь) and Libra (Весы). He also started his main philosophical work, "The Pillar and Ground of the Truth: an Essay in Orthodox Theodicy in Twelve Letters." The complete book was published only in 1914 but most of it was finished at the time of his graduation from the academy in 1908.
After graduating from the academy, he married Anna Giatsintova, the sister of a friend, in August 1910, a move which shocked his friends who were familiar with his aversion to marriage.
He continued to teach philosophy and lived at Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra until 1919. In 1911, he was ordained into the priesthood. In 1914 he wrote his dissertation, "About Spiritual Truth." He published works on philosophy, theology, art theory, mathematics and electrodynamics. Between 1911 and 1917 he was the chief editor of the most authoritative Orthodox theological publication of that time, "Bogoslovskiy Vestnik." He was also a spiritual teacher of the controversial Russian writer Vasily Rozanov, urging him to reconcile with the Orthodox Church.
In 1924, he published a large monograph on dielectrics. In the second half of the 1920s, he mostly worked on physics and electrodynamics, eventually publishing his paper "Imaginary numbers in Geometry" devoted to the geometrical interpretation of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. Among other things, he proclaimed that the geometry of imaginary numbers predicted by the theory of relativity for a body moving faster than light is the geometry of the Kingdom of God. For mentioning the Kingdom of God in that work, he was accused of agitation by Soviet authorities.
In 1928, Florensky was exiled to Nizhny Novgorod. After the intercession of Ekaterina Peshkova (wife of Maxim Gorky), Florensky was allowed to return to Moscow. On the 26 February 1933 he was arrested again, on suspicion of engaging in a conspiracy to overthrow the state and restore with Nazi assistance a fascist monarchy. He defended himself vigorously against the imputations but was sentenced to ten years in the Labor Camps by the infamous Article 58 of Joseph Stalin's criminal code.
He served at the Baikal Amur Mainline camp, until 1934 when he was moved to Solovki, where he conducted research into producing iodine and agar out of the local seaweed. In 1937 he was transferred to Saint Petersburg (then known as Leningrad) where, on 25 November, he was sentenced by an extrajudicial NKVD troika to death. Florensky was transported in a special train together with another 500 prisoners to a location near St. Petersburg, where he was shot dead on the night of 8 December 1937 in a wood not far from the city.
Sy Scholfield quotes him in "Souvenirs d'une enfance au Caucase" by Paul Florensky (L'AGE D'HOMME, 2007), p. 16: "Evlakh ... C'est donc là, en pleine steppe sauvage, que je suis né le 9 janvier 1882, le soir, vers sept heures, une heure que j'aime entre toutes."
Translation: Evlakh ... It was here, on the wild steppe, that I was born on 9 January 1882 in the evening about seven o'clock, the hour of the day that I love most of all.
- Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (One)
- Lifestyle : Work : Mentor/Tutor
- Lifestyle : Work : Skills - Multi-faceted (Polymath)
- Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Philosopher/ Humanist
- Vocation : Education : Teacher
- Vocation : Engineer : Electrical
- Vocation : Religion : Ecclesiastics/ western (Priest)
- Vocation : Religion : Other Religion (Russian Orthodox theologian)
- Vocation : Science : Mathematics/ Statistics (Mathematician)
- Vocation : Science : Physics (Physicist)
- Vocation : Writers : Religion/ Philosophy