Russia Abroad: 100 Years After the "Philosophical Steamer"

Steila D.


The article provides a historical and philosophical analysis of the deportation of many Russian intellectuals abroad in 1922. It is known that such a vicious deed on the part of the Soviet authorities, in fact, turned out to be an act that saved many Russian intellectuals either from starvation or from repression and death in the camps. It is also widely known that the cultural activities of Russian emigrants after their arrival in the West were varied and intense. The article also emphasizes that expulsion and its significance for the destinies of the country and the emigrants themselves remained a "blank spot" for a long time. It was only in the 1990s that research into the events of the 1922 exile, both in Russia and abroad, started to change. The author draws attention to the fact that the very nature of examination of the expulsion of the Russian intelligentsia has also changed over the years. At the beginning of studies in the 1990s, it was purely archival works aimed at recovering emigrants' cultural heritage and returning "forgotten" names. Over the last decade, we may observe a more critical reading of this heritage, supposing a more precise reconstruction of facts and contexts and a broader analysis of the significance of events in the history of the early 1920s. The study of the various cultural activities of the Russian émigré intelligentsia allows us to strike a conversation on Russian philosophy, its peculiarity and originality, the mutual influences of the Russian and European philosophical traditions, and the meaning and significance of Soviet philosophy relevant again.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2022;26(1):7-14
pages 7-14 views

Georgii Fedotov as a Theologian of Culture

Mjør K.J.


The article discusses the notion of culture as it appears and is conceptualized in the works of G.P. Fedotov. The analysis focuses on two articles by Fedotov published in Russian émigré journals, "The Holy Spirit in Nature and Culture" of 1932 and "Eschatology and culture" of 1938, and in his magnum opus in a Western context, The Russian Religious Mind of 1946. The author proposes to analyze Fedotov's ideas as a theology of culture due to the profoundly religious meaning the Russian émigré thinker attributed to cultural products and production, regardless of their religious intention. By implication, Fedotov understood culture in a religious framework as the human experience of and response to the divine, though not necessarily as dependent on firm belief. Viewing Fedotov as a theologian of culture enables us, furthermore, to compare him with other thinkers across the West-East cultural gradient, most notably Paul Tillich. This approach contextualizes Fedotov in a post-Schellingian pan-European idealist tradition, to which Russian thinkers' analyses of religious experience and imagination have made seminal contributions, in particular from Vladimir Solov'ev on. The article discusses these issues within the framework of the perspectives of global intellectual history, entangled history ( histoire croisée ), and transnationalized Russian studies.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2022;26(1):15-29
pages 15-29 views

The Biblical Theme in the Historical Monographs of Georgy P. Fedotov

Gaponenkov A.A., Tsygankov A.S.


The article stresses that Georgy P. Fedotov's systematic reference to the Bible enabled him in his historical monographs (Abelard, St. Filipp Metropolitan of Moscow, Saints of Ancient Russia, Spiritual Poems ) to reconstruct the spiritual reality of past eras and symbolically perceive the present. Fedotov intended to know The Gospel in History, Russian religiosity, exploring it on the material of hagiographies of saints, spiritual poems, folk faith, apocrypha, and prologues. Fedotov considered the history of Russian culture in terms of a "living chain," an integral phenomenon existing due to the Holy Scriptures and Holy Tradition. However, "The sacred tradition of the Church is included in the general stream of historical tradition, all complex, always muddy, human weaving truth and falsehood." Fedotov raised the question of the relationship between scientific criticism and biblical exegetics: how can we reconcile exegetics of sacred texts, which assume that the Bible is an inspired book, and historical criticism, which by its very nature cannot share such a position, being aimed at comprehending objective historical reality? He solved it convincingly practically through hermeneutic religious analysis of hagiographic monuments and spiritual verses. In his Spiritual Poems Fedotov explores folklore material compared to biblical texts, hagiographies, and apocrypha, to comprehend the peculiarity of religious "Weltanschauung" and popular orthodoxy. In spiritual verses, there was a transformation of biblical images (Christ, the Virgin Mary, the Last Judgment) under the influence of folk faith with pagan features. In folklore texts, Fedotov reveals how Christ, from savior and redeemer, turns into a king and dreadful judge. The image of the Mother of God merges in the popular consciousness with the image of the mother earth, suffering from people. Eschatological prophecies are based on impressions from icons, frescoes, and lubok pictures. Fedotov's historical monographs illuminate various aspects of Russian religious consciousness regarding Holy Scripture, considering dogmatic biblical exegetics and historical criticism. All the mentioned facts allow us to assert that Fedotov was the leading secular biblical scholar of the Russian diaspora.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2022;26(1):30-40
pages 30-40 views

The Events of N.O. Lossky's "History of Russian Philosophy" and the Debate Around it in the 1950s

Serdyukova E.V.


The article presents the main stages of the N.O. Lossky's work on the book "History of Russian Philosophy", starting with the emergence of his interest in the works of Russian philosophers when writing an article for the journal "The Slavonic Review" about Vladimir Solovyov and his followers; preparing lecture courses on Russian philosophy for reading at foreign universities (including lectures on Slavic philosophy delivered at Stanford University in 1933) and ending with the publication of the book in the USA, England and France and his work on the future Russian edition. Particular attention is paid to the debate that arose after the publication of the book in America (1951) in the 50s and unfolds on the pages of American journals. The main claims of American critics (Sidney Hook, John Somerville, George L. Kline, etc.) to the content of the book are the uneven presentation of Russian philosophers’ teachings, the sketchiness and the absence of representatives of some schools of thought. N.O. Lossky's book also became the subject of discussion in the publications of the Russian émigré about Lossky's author's vision statement of the development of Russian philosophy and its specifics. As it follows from the correspondence of N.O. Lossky with D.I. Chizhevsky and with publisher A.S. Kagan, it was also planned to publish the book with additions in Spanish and German publishing houses. Up to and including 1956, N.O. Lossky continued to work on the Russian-language "History of Russian Philosophy", which was given to Russia for publication by his son Boris Nikolaevich Lossky only in the early 90s (it was published in 1994). New materials found in the Paris archive of N.O. Lossky (Lossky's text "Philosophy in Pre-Revolutionary Russia", S. Hook's review "They Looked to the West") complement the debate both about N.O. Lossky's "History of Russian Philosophy", and about the nature of Russian philosophy.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2022;26(1):41-60
pages 41-60 views

Philosophical Society at the Russian Free University in Prague: Based on the A.V. Florovsky's Materials in the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Sidorin V.V.


Based on some materials from the A.V. Florovsky's Foundation in the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the author of the article reconstructs a little-known page from the history of academic and philosophical life of the Russian émigré, that is the history of the Philosophical Society at the Russian Free University (Russian Scientific Academy) in the 1930s-1940s, including during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. It is justified that the reconstruction of the history of Russian philosophical institutions can set a new research perspective that allows us to consider the history of Russian philosophy as a process of formation and development of institutionalized forms of production, reproduction and translation of philosophical knowledge, which would allow to create a new historical and philosophical cross-section of Russian thought, complementing traditional approaches to the historiography of Russian philosophy. The article reveals new aspects of the scientific activity of N.O. Lossky and I.I. Lapshin, who played a key role in the work of the Philosophical Society. In addition, the analysis of archival materials made it possible to identify and reconstruct new facts from the creative biography of such thinkers of Russian emigration as S.L. Frank, E.V. Spektorsky, B.P. Vysheslavtsev, G.V. Florovsky. Russian Free University's Philosophical Society report for 1941 is given as an appendix to the article, as well as the reconstruction of the problems of the circle for the study of the Russian national idea (1939-1941). It is concluded that scientific and philosophical activity at the RSU was carried out through an extensive network of scientific societies, associations, circles and seminars, which allowed developing a wide variety of issues - aesthetics, the history of Russian and Western philosophy, philosophical problems of Russian literature and history, the Russian national idea.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2022;26(1):61-74
pages 61-74 views

The Birth of Christianity from the Spirit of the Roman Empire. A Paradoxical View of the Religious Development of Europe in the Works of F.F. Zelinski

Evlampiev I.I.


The article analyzes the original concept of the development of ancient religions and the emergence of Christianity set out in the six-volume work of F.F. Zelinski History of Ancient Religions. Zelnski refutes the well-established idea of the origin of Christianity from Judaism and proves that it was based on the Hellenistic-Roman religion of the early Roman Empire. In this religion, a idea of monotheistic and pantheistic God was formed, which is the basis of all world processes and human actions, at the same time the idea arose of the possibility of a "particle" of God entering a separate human personality (the personality of the emperor). According to Zelinski, it was these ideas that became the basis of Christianity, which radically rethought them, but nevertheless left them close to the beliefs of the majority of the citizens of the Roman Empire; that is why early Christianity quickly spread throughout the empire. The article suggests that Zelinski's flight from Bolshevik Russia in the 1920s and his life in the Polish Catholic environment led to the fact that he refused to develop his ideas to their natural outcome, which could conflict with Catholic teaching. The article reconstructs the result that Zelnski should have come to with the consistent implementation of his ideas: he would have to admit that the teachings of Jesus Christ and early Christianity which arose from the Roman religion and not from Judaism coincides with that religious tradition which the Catholic Church has persecuted in a story called the Gnostic heresy.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2022;26(1):75-93
pages 75-93 views

Simon L. Frank on J.W. Goethe’s Spiritual Personality

Rezvykh T.N.


The paper treats the character and significance of J.W. Goethe’s personality in Simon L. Frank’s interpretation. The study is based upon principles of historicism and development; it uses the methods of the unity of historical and logical, comparative-typological and textual methods. The paper demonstrates why the Russian philosopher turns to examine the works of the German thinker and the role of Goethe’s ideas in becoming of Frank’s philosophical system. It clarifies Georg Simmel’s influence on methodological approach to the definition of spiritual personality with respect to the conceptual distinction of objective and subjective culture. The paper also analyses Frank’s distinction between two types of genii - “pure genii of life” and “purely objective genii”, - and applying that method with respect to understand Goethe’s spiritual personality. Frank was very far from idealising the Goethe’s particular personality, but he had rather found in what he called the ‘Goethe’s type’ an aspiration for the harmonious unity of personal and sobornoye (catholic, universal, communal - Russ.) being. Accomplishing of such a type - as far as he had been capable - was considered by the Russian thinker not only the life purpose of any spiritual personality, but as well as a peculiar prescription against the crisis of the contemporary culture. The paper also reflects on Frank’s participation (publications and lectures) on occasion to 100 years anniversary, since Goethe’s death. In appendix, there are lecture notes of Frank’s lecture 1932, dedicated to Goethe’s spiritual personality that are published for the first time. The conclusion is made that considering Goethe’s impact on Simon Frank - as well as any influence, caused by not a systematic philosopher, but an artist-thinker in general - one should take into consideration not only the reception of separate ideas and concepts, but significance of the personality as a whole. It is said about the unique synthesis of living personal development and the objective creative work results.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2022;26(1):94-109
pages 94-109 views

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

Lagunov A.A., Baklanov I.S., Ivanova S.Y.


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.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2022;26(1):110-119
pages 110-119 views

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

Kolomiets G.G., Lyashenko P.V.


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.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2022;26(1):120-136
pages 120-136 views


The Era of Global Changes and Z.B. Simon's Project of a New Vision of History

Gubman B.L., Anufrieva K.V.


The article is focused on the project of a new vision of history by Z.B. Simon, who proposed his own strategy for creating a "critical ontology" of the historical process and the epistemology of comprehending the past associated with it in the light of the radical challenges of the scientific-technological development. It reveals that the works of this author can be considered as a response to the crisis of substantialist theories of historical development and the situation of the overwhelming dominance of the narrativist attitude in the approach to the study of the past today. Reflecting in a meta-critical way on the importance of the emergence of a new type of "quasi-substantial" ontology of history that should reject the "evolutionist" paradigm and the idea of the movement of humanity as a single subject towards a teleologically predetermined goal of social development, Simon outlines the contours of this kind of "radical break" with the past and its pluralistic understanding in the light of the future. Unprecedented breakthroughs of scientific knowledge can, in his understanding, give rise to many new subjects of history, who, in their aspiration to the future, should also offer radically different horizons of the past interpretation. In this perspective, Simon considers it possible to revive the role of the universalist vision of the past on the basis of its various critically justified reconstructions. In the works of this author, an attempt to justify the importance of creating a "critical ontology" of history within the boundaries of the analysis of knowing the past, characteristic of the contemporary stage of the evolution of Western thought, is clearly revealed. His new epistemology of history, emphasizing the role of "insight" inspired by individual and collective "sublime" historical experience, can be interpreted as an attempt to synthesize the views of A. Badiou with a narrativist platform combining the strategies of hermeneutics and analytical philosophy of history.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2022;26(1):137-152
pages 137-152 views

Existential Foundations of the "Mystical Experience"

Naidysh V.M., Naidysh O.V.


In the existing philosophical interpretations of mystical experience (constructivism, essentialism, etc.), its essence is usually seen in the features of "mystical knowledge". At the same time, the value-semantic foundations of mystical experience and its existential aspect remain in the shadows. In this article, the mystical experience is analyzed from the standpoint of the theories of the subject's objective activity - the theory of activity (developed in Russian psychology), enactivism, and the concept of the "life world". It is shown that the essence of mystical experience is manifested not in cognitive, but in value-semantic, existential attitude to the world, which is represented by two groups of value-semantic viewpoints. In the first, the dependence of the subject on the sacred object of mystical experience is expressed, in the second - the volitional focus of the subject on overcoming such dependence, "mastering", "acquiring" the sacred object. These attitudes reflect the duality of the need-motivational sphere of consciousness, which gives the activity of the subject, on the one hand, activity, energy, and on the other, meaning. In mystical experience, the subject of active "development", "acquisition" (which can be both real and virtual) is an imaginative "otherworldly reality". The analysis allows us to conclude that mystical experience is one of the forms of motivational states of consciousness. Its peculiarity is that it is aimed at realizing the need for the harmonization of the subject's relations with the natural and social environment, the subject's finding the meaning of the "existence of his self" in an always open to the future, incomplete life world. It is the motivational basis that gives the mystical experience an improvisational character, as well as a creative, renewing potential (within the boundaries of the sensory-emotional experience of the world by the subject). The article also analyzes the concept of semantic reality. It is shown that the semantic foundations of mystical experience reflect the individually unique aspects of human life, are the result of the interactions of many factors of socio-cultural, individual-personal nature (psychological, medical, pharmacological, gender, psychiatric, etc.).

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2022;26(1):153-165
pages 153-165 views

The Formation of a New Confucianism in the 40s of the XX Century in the Framework of the Discussion of "Westernizers" and Post-Confucians

Chernykh V.I.


The article is devoted to the review of the most significant provisions of philosophical thought in China, starting from the XIX century and up to the 40s of the XX century. The author examines the views of both Western and Chinese intellectuals who have contributed to the formation of the new or modern Confucianism main issues. One of the most important aspect is the influence of historical events that have occurred since the XIX century. For example, the two Opium Wars (1840-1842 and 1856-1860) and the policy of self-isolation pursued by the Manchu court, the Qing dynasty challenged the trade interests of the European colonial powers, and the crushing defeats suffered by China during these wars marked two important phenomena: the conclusion of unequal treaties with the victorious powers and the ruling dynasties discrediting. Such circumstances forced Chinese society to pay attention to the current state of affairs and therefore ask relevant questions, even more urgent from the fact that the results of the Opium Wars changed the usual ideas of the Chinese about their statehood. As a result - China faced a crisis that needs to be overcome (some of the intellectuals in China still try to find the most comprehensive way to effectively overcome it). Gradually, a different perception of the Chinese tradition begins to take shape in the XX century. The author notices a gradual break from blind imitation of Western thought patterns to a further rethinking of the main Chinese philosophy provisions that already proceeding from the established modern discourse and the search for common points of contact in the East-West intercultural dialogue.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2022;26(1):166-177
pages 166-177 views


In the Problem Field of Public Philosophy

Kozlova N.Y.


This article focuses on public philosophy, the main approaches to interpreting it, current ways for philosophy to reach the public, and obstacles to this. A major hindrance is that philosophy is an area of professional expertise. This circumstance has both conduced to the development of a large close-knit academic community and enfeebled its already weak communication ties with society and other fields of scientific knowledge. It is argued that, on the one hand, publicness has been immanent in philosophy from the very beginning, and, on the other, philosophy needs a public ‘upgrade’ and a new experience of a constructive dialogue with society. This new publicness of philosophy may be the way to ‘recovery’ it. It is also shown that tendency towards greater publicness, which is distinctive of modern academic sciences, is a response to the new economic situation. Sciences are becoming engaged in an info-struggle for the attention of the state and society. This is affecting philosophy as well, although the value and importance of philosophical knowledge have been traditionally recognised and emphasised in culture and by the education system. It is stressed that the idea of ‘recovering’ philosophy is closely linked to what function the philosopher has in the life of society. The contribution considers various possible ‘types’ of public philosophers. It is concluded that, contrary to the common belief, society needs not an expert philosopher or a mediator in the field of science but a ‘professional consultant’ capable of ‘calibrating’ the thinking routines of people and helping them adopt a rational attitude towards themselves, that is, acquire an ability to think critically, form a conscious judgement of their life, and take responsibility for their decisions.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2022;26(1):178-193
pages 178-193 views

Remote Learning Versus Traditional Learning: Attitudes of University Students

Darginavičienė I., Šliogerienė J.


The years 2020 and 2021 brought new challenges to teaching and learning in the institutions of tertiary education due to the global COVID-19 Pandemic. They have been the devastating years for many teachers. Innumerable difficulties in professional and personal life increased the stress - striving to survive with the least losses. Temporary measures for remote teaching/learning in spring of 2020 extended until summer of 2021 worldwide and seem unlikely to stop in the nearest future. New challenge of novel online activities made teachers reconsider their teaching philosophy due to an overall lack of students’ engagement in spite of the usual and familiar learning procedures. The current crisis outlines the following framework to teaching philosophy: capability, reliability, inability, suitability, ingenuity, and sustainability. This article aims at researching University students’ attitudes to remote and traditional learning of English for Specific Purposes. A specially designed survey was administered to 180 full-time students (9 groups, 20 students in each group). Their responses were statistically processed by a means of the SPSS software to compute the Means and Standard Variations and compare the estimates of the between-group and within-group variances. Statistical processing of multiple samples reveals whether observed differences in responses occur at random, i. e. are due to chance, or they are significant, real and meaningful. The scientific analysis of computation data might allow drawing conclusions about students’ preferences: which mode of learning - remote or traditional - is beneficial and how much is each of them supportive.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2022;26(1):194-210
pages 194-210 views


Contemporary Russian Philosophy: An Experience of Anthology

Malinov A.V., Rybas A.E.



RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2022;26(1):211-220
pages 211-220 views

Bridges" and "Crossroads" of the Philosophy of the Russian Diaspora

Zagumennov A.V.



RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2022;26(1):221-224
pages 221-224 views

Modern Humanitarianism and Societal Security in African Countries

Ivleva M.L., Glaser M.A., Mbina J.C.



RUDN Journal of Philosophy. 2022;26(1):225-229
pages 225-229 views

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