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By Bernice Glatzer-Rosenthal, Martha Bohachevsky-Chomiak

The non secular revival that's sweeping the Soviet Union at the present time had its genesis within the non secular renaissance of the early twentieth century. In either circumstances, it used to be lay intellectuals, disappointed with simplistic positivism and materialism, who tailored Russian orthodoxy to fashionable existence. Their principles reverberated, not just in faith and philosophy, yet in artwork, literature, portray, theater and picture. Banned by way of the Soviet govt in 1922, the writings of the non secular renaissance have been rediscovered within the Brezhnev period through a brand new new release of Soviet intellectuals dissatisfied with Marxism. Circulating from hand at hand in unlawful typewritten versions (samizdat), they exerted an evergrowing effect on Soviet society, from the very best all the way down to usual humans. below the recent coverage of glasnost, the govt. itself is presently reprinting their works. the decisions integrated during this quantity replicate the profundity and breadth in their inspiration and are awarded in English for the 1st time. the popularity of the common desire and importance of non secular values and beliefs united this another way heterogeneous staff and bears witness to the variety in their method of the fundamental problems with the human . The centrality of those lay intellectuals' matters transcends the specifics of the historic state of affairs in early twentieth century Russia and makes their writings suitable to the common human situation. so as of visual appeal, the decisions are: VLADIMIR SOLOVYOV, The Enemy from the East, The Russian nationwide perfect; NIKOLAI GROT, at the real initiatives of Philosophy; SERGEI DIAGHILEV, complicated Questions; VASILLY V. ROZANOV, On Sweetest Jesus and the sour culmination of the realm; NIKOLAI BERDIAEV, Socialism as faith; SERGEI BULGAKOV, An pressing job; VIACHISLAV IVANOV, challenge of Individualism, GEORGII CHULKOV, On Mystical Anarchism; DMITRI S. MEREZHKOVSKY, Revolution and faith, The Jewish query As a Russian query; GEORGII FLOROVSKY, on the planet of Quests and Wanderings; PAVEL NOVGORODTSEV, The Essence of the Russian Orthodox attention; PETR STRUVE, The Intelligentsia and the nationwide Face; ANDREI BELY, Revolution and tradition; ALEKSANDR BLOK, Catiline; EVGENY TRUBETSKOI, The Bolshevist Utopia and the spiritual flow.

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Primarily we must credit Solovyov with helping to reconcile political liberalism with philosophical idealism and religion with patriotism in Russia. Above all, he inspired some members of the Russian intelligentsia to realize the danger of maximalism and the limitations of political involvement. He has gone down in the annals of Russian thought as a philosopher, a poet, and a prophet. His originality in these three areas, underscored by the dramatic eccentricity of his lifestyle, made him and his views a landmark in the reorientation of Russian thought at the turn of the century.

The consciousness of good and evil was inherent in mankind and not dependent on religious upbringing, Solovyov maintained. Progress was based on moral freedom, which could be gained only by laborious and slow experience. Solovyov considered that the major malaise of the educated, the alienation of the individual from society, was the result of the faulty perception of the educated, not the reflection of reality. He tried to prove that the social organization of mankind was an extension of its physical makeup and that eventually humanity would be able to transcend humanity itself.

Above all, he inspired some members of the Russian intelligentsia to realize the danger of maximalism and the limitations of political involvement. He has gone down in the annals of Russian thought as a philosopher, a poet, and a prophet. His originality in these three areas, underscored by the dramatic eccentricity of his lifestyle, made him and his views a landmark in the reorientation of Russian thought at the turn of the century. Solovyov could become a prophet because the climate of opinion in the Church, among certain philosophers, and among the socially and politically committed, was changing.

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