Sergius (Serge) Bolshakoff, both the author and the translator of Russian Mystics, was born in Saint Petersburg in 1901 and died in retirement at the Cistercian abbey of Hauterive, Switzerland, in 1990. His life spanned not only the Russian Revolution...
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Sergius (Serge) Bolshakoff, both the author and the translator of Russian Mystics, was born in Saint Petersburg in 1901 and died in retirement at the Cistercian abbey of Hauterive, Switzerland, in 1990. His life spanned not only the Russian Revolution and the fall of Communism, but also the Christian Ecumenical Movement, in which he took an active role. Dedicated to the cause of Christian unity throughout his life and intimately familiar with the Orthodox, the Roman Catholic, and the Anglican traditions and their monastic expressions, he was personally acquainted with the great leaders of the ecumenical movement: Pope John XXIII, the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, Archbishop William Temple of Canterbury, and the abbe Paul Couturier. Exiled from his homeland for most of his life, he lived in England--where he received a doctorate in philosophy from Christ Church, Oxford--or France and traveled and wrote extensively.
Bolshakoff studied civil engineering. In 1919, after the Russian Revolution, he moved to Estonia where he studied economics, sociology, and theology. He traveled widely in Europe in the cause of ecumenism and of social justice based on Christian ethics. In 1943, he received a doctorate in philosophy at Christ Church, Oxford. After his fiancee died in a car accident in 1951, he went from monastery to monastery for a few weeks or months at a time writing, praying, and interviewing spiritual masters. He stayed at Hauterive Abbey in Switzerland from 1974 until his death in 1990. A