Christian Eschatology and Social Utopias: To the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann

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The relevance of the article is due to the fact that in the modern world, various utopian concepts do not lose their ideological strength, which for more than two centuries have significantly influenced public consciousness and have caused significant transformations in the socio-cultural life of mankind. The connection among social utopias and Christian eschatology has been noticed for a long time, and the thoughts expressed on this occasion by Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann in articles and diary entries can contribute to a better understanding of deep cognitive processes that largely determine modern social realities. The purpose of the study was based on the analysis of the works of this worthy representative of the philosophy of the Russian diaspora, comparing the traditional religious eschatological "prototype" and later views on the "end of history". These views contributed to the development of utopianism and ideologism in the public mind. The authors focus attention on the antinomical nature of Christian eschatology, in contrast to the various socio-utopian modifications that define social ideals in a field transcendental to everyday human activities. The striving of religious thinking towards the "non-worldly" ideal, as Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann believed, made it possible to form a Christian's attitude to earthly life, which inevitably required a qualitative transformation corresponding to the notion of the ultimate goal. However, over time, the Christian faith paid less and less attention to the eschatological dimension of human life, which contributed to the formation of new eschatologies seeking their social ideals in the immediate givenness of earthly life and affirming the belief in the possibility of their empirical achievement. The authors of the article come to the conclusion that the most important factor in the formation and development of the "ideological faith" in the public consciousness, the concept of which is defined in the most general terms in the works of Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann, was the isolation of the dominant ideological structures based on social utopian ideas, from traditional faith grounds. Thus, ideologies ceased to be functional aspects of concrete historical religions, lost their official character and themselves became the foundation for pseudo-religious creativity.

About the authors

Aleksey A. Lagunov

North Caucasus Federal University

Author for correspondence.
Doctor of Philosophy, Professor, Professor of the Department of Social Philosophy and Ethnology, Humanitarian Institute 1 Pushkin St., Stavropol, 355000, Russian Federation

Igor S. Baklanov

North Caucasus Federal University

Doctor of Philosophy, Professor, Professor of the Department of Philosophy, Humanitarian Institute 1 Pushkin St., Stavropol, 355000, Russian Federation

Svetlana Yu. Ivanova

North Caucasus Federal University

Doctor of Philosophy, Professor, Head of the Department of Social Philosophy and Ethnology 1 Pushkin St., Stavropol, 355000, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2022 Lagunov A.A., Baklanov I.S., Ivanova S.Y.

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