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By Bernice Glatzer-Rosenthal, Martha Bohachevsky-Chomiak

The religious revival that's sweeping the Soviet Union this present day had its genesis within the spiritual renaissance of the early twentieth century. In either instances, it was once lay intellectuals, upset with simplistic positivism and materialism, who tailored Russian orthodoxy to trendy lifestyles. Their principles reverberated, not just in faith and philosophy, yet in paintings, literature, portray, theater and movie. Banned by way of the Soviet executive in 1922, the writings of the non secular renaissance have been rediscovered within the Brezhnev period by way of a brand new iteration of Soviet intellectuals disappointed with Marxism. Circulating from hand at hand in unlawful typewritten variations (samizdat), they exerted an evergrowing impact on Soviet society, from the very most sensible right down to usual humans. less than the hot coverage of glasnost, the govt itself is at the moment reprinting their works. the decisions integrated during this quantity replicate the profundity and breadth in their suggestion and are provided in English for the 1st time. the popularity of the common desire and value of religious values and beliefs united this differently heterogeneous workforce and bears witness to the variety in their method of the elemental 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 . so as of visual appeal, the choices are: VLADIMIR SOLOVYOV, The Enemy from the East, The Russian nationwide excellent; NIKOLAI GROT, at the real initiatives of Philosophy; SERGEI DIAGHILEV, advanced Questions; VASILLY V. ROZANOV, On Sweetest Jesus and the sour culmination of the area; NIKOLAI BERDIAEV, Socialism as faith; SERGEI BULGAKOV, An pressing job; VIACHISLAV IVANOV, situation 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 recognition; 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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The enduring power of religion, the recurrent search for spiritual meaning, the abiding quest for philosophy and inner meaning to explain if not to justify events have forced us to look at the views not only of people who emerged in the forefront of events, but also of those who were overshadowed by the events. In the Soviet Union, the pre-Revolutionary past of Russia, as well of the other Soviet republics, has refused to remain subsumed under a socialist-realist present. The Moscow-Tartu school of semiotics has shown the enduring impact of religious signs and symbols on Russian culture and has in turn influenced Western students Page ix of Russian literature.

Even after they became critical of Marxism, the inspiration remained the Western Europeans, especially the neo-Kantians Mach, Avenarius, and Rudolf Stammler. Broadly speaking, neo-Kantians emphasized ethical and moral dimensions of law and assumed an epistemological unity of science and knowledge. The influence of neo-Kantians was not confined to former Marxists for whom Kantian ethics turned out to be a way-station on their path from Marxism to idealism. Neo-Kantianism also inspired theorists of natural law such as Novgorodtsev and sociologists such as Bogdan Kistiakovsky, who contributed to Vekhi.

The search of the mystical anarchists for a society that would combine individual freedom and loving commonality still goes on, and the question of what exactly constitutes a Christian society, Christian politics, a Christian economy continues to be discussed. The stress upon the inner life of the individual has renewed the interest in nationalities, in cultural characteristics, and in the enduring tradition of the past. We again see an interest in philosophy for its own sake, not as a blueprint for change.

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