Providence & Dialogue: Review of Legeev (2019)
This review article examines the second part of a trilogy devoted to the theology of history by the Russian theologian Fr. Michael Legeev. This ambitious and sophisticated work has recently come under severe criticism in a review by Archpriest Georges Ashkov, who labels it a “hack-job”. While some elaboration and correction in Fr. Michael’s system is needed, we demonstrate that critics simply do not understand the nature of his project. This leads to reflection on what distinguishes the history of theology from the theology of history, the Systembildung of the latter, the role of ecclesiology and politics, and how this effort might become the type of scientific inquiry its author wishes to make it. We conclude that a patristic approach could lead to progress in the study of history in general and praise Fr. Michael for attempting to synthesize a theology of history that can not just account for the past, but for the present and, to wit, the future.