From Russian Theurgical Aesthetics to the Utopian Theurgy of Beauty and Art in the Russian Diaspora Philosophy

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The paper is devoted to the analysis of theurgic aesthetics in relation to the concept of utopia that initiates a different understanding of the philosophy of the Russian diaspora representatives through the prism of utopian theurgy of beauty and art. Introducing the idea of utopian theurgy of beauty and art the authors emphasize its meaningful, axiological component. The authors interpret the utopian theurgy of beauty and art in the Russian diaspora philosophy of the first third of the 20th century as an aesthetically mystical experience of the imperfection of human earthly existence that causes a gap with socio-historical reality with direct co-existence of the creative individual with God who is considered to be the true Beauty, the cosmic Harmony, and the universal Love. The meaning of the utopian theurgy of beauty and art is in achieving the goal of possible union with the deity, as well as in affirming person’s actions as a co-creator of the world process. The utopian theurgy of beauty and art of an optimistic nature, associated with the light of hope directed to the transformation of earthly existence is reflected in N.S. Arsenyev's idea of spiritual joy achievable in the mystical experience of "longing for Beauty in God"; in B.P. Vysheslavtsev's reflections about the artistic and creative embodiment of eros as thirst, the birth of the God-Man in beauty, as well as in I.A. Ilyin's philosophy, in which, despite disappointments in social changes, the faith in art as the Mystery, as "a service and a joy" always following sacred traditions is preserved. The aesthetic and pessimistic foundations of utopian theurgy are realized in the aesthetic views of V.V. Weidle, according to which art has lost its orientation to high objective spirituality; in S.L. Frank's idea of unrealized Beauty as a dream of the ultimate transformation of the world that is opposed by the bitter reality of the split of being; as well as in the philosophy of N.A. Berdyaev, who postulates the tragedy of earthly existence caused by the unattainability of the full realization of the cosmic Beauty that considers as the goal of the world process. N.O. Lossky's metaphysics, intuitionism and value system are of particular importance, as the utopian theurgy of beauty and art consists in the following: there always remains a share of the absolute truth in art that is the world of illusions and artist’s imagination; the absolute value of beauty universally valid for all substantial personalities is affirmed.

About the authors

Galina G. Kolomiets

Orenburg State University

Author for correspondence.
Doctor of Sc. in Philosophy, Professor 13, Pobedy avenue, Orenburg, 460018, Russian Federation

Pavel V. Lyashenko

Orenburg State University

Candidate of Philosophy, Associate Professor 13, Pobedy avenue, Orenburg, 460018, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2022 Kolomiets G.G., Lyashenko P.V.

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