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