Leo Tolstoy and Russian religious philosophy. Trans. from German by A.S. Tsygankov

Abstract


The Ideas of Leo Tolstoy are one of the key catalyzers for the emergence of the “new religious consciousness” and religious philosophy at the beginning of the XX century in Russia. Many religious philosophers who, unlike Leo Tolstoy, believed in the possibility of reforming the Russian Orthodox Church, developed detailed arguments both for and against Tolstoy’s moral doctrine. As for faith in Christ resurrection, art of understanding, attitude to “this world”, progress and culture, many of them followed the ideas of Vladimir Solovyov, who had sharply criticized the views of Leo Tolstoy. In 1912 the publishing house called “The Way” released a book “About Leo Tolstoy’s religion”, it was dedicated to the memory of the deceased Count in 1910, which would serve as “his own great task” - “religious awakening of modern society” - and at the same time to deal with the errors of Tolstoy. The results of debate with the Tolstoy’s religion had given a good basis for the projections of the key issues of Russian philosophy: first, the relationship between faith and reason, and secondly, the relationship between spirit and nature, and thirdly, the conflict between the individual and society, fourthly, purpose and meaning of human creativity and culture. In view of the different interpretations of the ideas of Leo Tolstoy Russian religious philosophy revealed itself not as a homogenous unity, but they demonstrated diversity of personal aspirations of its members. What they have in common are the appreciation of the literary work of Russian writer and his lofty moral claims, but at the same time, they separated themself from him, in order to remain faithful to Church dogmas.

Regula M Zwahlen

regula.zwahlen@unifr.ch
Institute of Ecumenical Studies of the University of Freiburg Europe Str., 20, Freiburg, Switzerland, 1700

A S Tsygankov

m1dian@yandex.ru
RAS Institute of Philosophy Goncharnaya Str., 12/1, Moscow, Russia, 109240

References in Roman alphabet are in a PDF file of the article

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