Spirituality Studies 9-1 Spring 2023 63 Ján Dolný, Róbert Lapko Ján Dolný, S.T.D. defended his doctoral dissertation in the area of systematic theology at the Catholic University of America in 2016. A Roman Catholic priest, Ján is collaborating with the Centre for the Study of the Biblical and Middle Eastern World in Košice, Slovakia. He can be reached at dolny.jan@abuke.sk. Prof. Róbert Lapko, ThD., PhD. defended his two doctoral dissertations in the area of Biblical Theology at Palacký University in Olomouc and Theory and History of Journalism at Catholic University in Ružomberok. He works as Senior Research Fellow in the Slavistic Institute of Ján Stanislav of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. He has moderated Centre for the Study of the Biblical and Middle Eastern World since its foundation. His email contact is robert.lapko@savba.sk. 1 Introduction Vladimir Sergeevich Soloviev (1853–1900) unquestionably belongs among the greatest intellectual figures in the history of Russia [1]. On the one hand, he is recognized by his readers and commentators as the author with a brilliant philosophical mind, strict logic and clear expression. Nikolai Lossky (1951, 133), for example, has characterized Soloviev as “the first to create an original Russian system of philosophy and to lay the foundations of a whole school of Russian religious and philosophical thought which is still growing and developing”; and Hans Urs von Balthasar (2004, 282) has described the Russian author in his art of philosophical synthesis “perhaps second only to Thomas Aquinas”. On the other hand, Soloviev is known as a mystic, a man with occult gifts and some strikingly real experiences of confrontation with evil (cf. Trubetskoi 1913, 1–34; Losev 2011, 433–443). Indeed, Soloviev’s broad personality encompassed both of these polarities expressed by Nikolai Berdiaev (1992, 244) in terms of the epithets “the daytime Soloviev” and “the Soloviev of the night” [2]. Behind both of these dimensions in Soloviev (1966b, 86), however, there was a single source – the experience that he called “the most significant thing that had ever happened in my life” – his mystical vision of Sophia, the divine wisdom [3]. This mystical experience both provided Soloviev with an overarching aesthetic and eschatological vision for his philosophical synthesis and generated his lifelong quest for Sophia in the broad realm of spiritual experience. Having had such crucial role in Soloviev’s life and work, what – or rather, who – is the Sophia of his mystical experience? ←← Portrait of Vladimir S. Soloviev by Nikolai Yaroschenko, 1895. From the collection of the Tretyakov Gallery.