Synopses & Reviews
Thinking Orthodox in Modern Russia
illuminates the significant role of Russian Orthodox thought in shaping the discourse of educated society during the imperial and early Soviet periods. Bringing together an array of scholars, this book demonstrates that Orthodox reflections on spiritual, philosophical, and aesthetic issues of the day informed much of Russias intellectual and cultural climate.
Volume editors Patrick Lally Michelson and Judith Deutsch Kornblatt provide a historical overview of Russian Orthodox thought and a critical essay on the current state of scholarship about religious thought in modern Russia. The contributors explore a wide range of topics, including Orthodox claims to a unique religious Enlightenment, contests over authority within the Russian Church, tensions between faith and reason in academic Orthodoxy, the relationship between sacraments and the self, the religious foundations of philosophical and legal categories, and the effect of Orthodox categories in the formation of Russian literature.
Perhaps no Russian social class has been more colorfully and crudely pigeonholed than the ecclesiasticsfrom the nihilistic seminary student through the village priest, exotic sectarian, and high-ranking but obscurantist religious bureaucrat. This path-breaking volume corrects the picture with fascinating unexpected histories: of a Russian Orthodox Enlightenment, of miracle-verification in a Marxist era, of academic churchmen developing theism out of Kant and legal philosophers insisting on a religious base for human dignity, of Pushkin (and Pasternak) read through a sacred lens and Vladimir Solovev through a liberal one. A treasure-house of solid research and intellectual rigor, in which we see the believing Russian mind working together with the Russian heart.”Caryl Emerson, Princeton University
Whereas scholarship has focused on Church history, the clergy, and popular Orthodoxy, it has largely neglected Russian religious thought. This volume examines leading figures, from Platon (Levshin) to Pavel Florenskii, as well as critical issues, such as Imiaslavie
and miracles; its impressive erudition, original research, and critical rethinking of key texts and figures make this a major contribution to our understanding Russian Orthodoxy.”Gregory Freeze, Brandeis University
Recovering the roots of Russian religious philosophy
This collection of essays on Russian religious thought focuses on the extent to which Russian culture and ideology has been informed by the nations roots in Orthodox Christianity.
As Russia entered the modern age in the nineteenth century, many Russian intellectuals combined the study of European philosophy with a return to their own traditions, culminating in the novels of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky and in the religious philosophy of their younger contemporary, Vladimir Soloviev. This book explores central issues of modern Russian religious thought by focusing on the work of Soloviev and three religious philosophers who further developed his ideas in the early twentieth century: P. A. Florensky, Sergei Bulgakov, and S. L. Frank. The essays place these thinkers in the contexts of both Western philosophy and Eastern Orthodoxy, presenting a substantially new perspective on Russian religious thought.
The work of these four philosophers, this volume demonstrates, influenced virtually all aspects of twentieth-century Russian culture, and indeed, many aspects of Soviet culture as well, but also represents a rich philosophical tradition devoted to issues of divinity, community, and humanity that transcend national boundaries and historical eras.
Included in Russian Religious Thought is an introduction, brief biographical information on Soloviev, Florensky, Bulgakov, and Frank, and an Afterword by scholar James Scanlan, who elaborates on the volume’s aim to provide a thoughtful corrective, both to unexamined assumptions of past scholarship and to nationalist readings currently popular in post-Soviet Russia.
"Russian religious philosophy, banned under the Soviets, has been marginalized in the Western academy as well. This interdisciplinary volume helps explain why this body of thought has remained for so long at the center of Russian culture."—Caryl Emerson, Princeton University
About the Author
Judith Deutsch Kornblatt is associate professor of Slavic languages and literatures at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and author of The Cossack Hero in Russian Literature and Doubly Chosen, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press. Richard F. Gustafson is the Olin Professor of Russian at Barnard College and Columbia University. Among his many books is Leo Tolstoy, Resident and Stranger.
Table of Contents
Patrick Lally Michelson and Judith Deutsch Kornblatt
Part I Thinking Orthodox in the Church
1 Orthodoxy and Enlightenment in Catherinian Russia: The Tsarevich Dimitrii Sermons of Metropolitan Platon
Elise Kimerling Wirtschafter
2 Theology on the Ground: Dmitrii Bogoliubov, the Orthodox Anti-Sectarian Mission, and the Russian Soul
Heather J. Coleman
3 Archbishop Nikon (Rozhdestvenskii) and Pavel Florenskii on Spiritual Experience, Theology, and the Name Glorifiers Dispute
Scott M. Kenworthy
Part II Thinking Orthodox in the Academy
4 V. D. Kudriavtsev-Platonov and the Making of Russian Orthodox Theism
5 The Struggle for the Sacred: Russian Orthodox Thinking about Miracles in a Modern Age
6 "The Light of the Truth": Russia's Two Enlightenments, with Reference to Pavel Florenskii
Part III Thinking Orthodox in Society and Culture
7 Written Confession and Religious Thought in Early Nineteenth-Century Russia
8 Anagogical Exegesis: The Theological Roots of Russian Hermeneutics
9 Kant and the Kingdom of Ends in Russian Religious Thought (Vladimir Solov'ev)
Randall A. Poole
10 Religious Thought and Russian Liberal Institutions: The Case of Pavel Novgorodtsev
11 What Is Beauty?: Pasternak's Adaptations of Russian Religious Thought
Martha M. F. Kelly