Home Works Broadcasts Guestbook In Russian
Biography Gallery Memories Feedback  
  Leonid I. Vasilenko
Cosmism and Evolutionism
in the Russian Religious-Philosophical Tradition

Helleman, Wendy, ed. The Russian Idea: In Search of a New Identity. Bloomington, IN: Slavica, 2004,
151–163. (L. I. Vasilenko, “Kosmizm i evollutsionizm v russkoi religiozno-filosofskoi traditsii,” in: Russkii
kosmizm i sovremennost´, ed. L. V. Fesenkova (Moscow: IFAN, 1990), 70–86.)

As a scholarly perspective, cosmism regards the world as a whole in terms of balance, harmony, and beauty; it is full of light and organized according to reason. Cosmism looks for vivifying, creative sources in the world. Although we may be overwhelmed by depressing contemporary problems, cosmism regards the world and its history without a sense of tragedy; it is a fairly optimistic outlook. Cosmism considers the world from a variety of angles, distinguishing “visible nature,” which is studied empirically and theoretically, from “invisible nature,” which lies somewhere in the depth of visible nature. Only with the latter do we recognize the vivifying, creative powers of the universe, arranged in hierarchical order; these can be personified. They endow natural life and human culture with soul, and ennoble it. These powers can promote human spiritual growth, and this in turn becomes another factor of cosmic significance.

As a scholarly approach cosmism can easily be joined with evolutionism, since the latter also emphasizes the role of significant processes of ascent, complication, development, and world-formation, whether as a whole or in its separate parts. For cosmic-evolutionary thought “invisible nature” or the interior universe becomes a creative source and moving power of the process of world formation, determining its possible ways and aims.

Within the context of such an approach, evil is regarded in terms of disharmony, disorder, disfunctionality, or a state of chaos. The solution to these problems, accordingly, is to be found via incorporation within the framework of cosmic organization, and through the evolution of all that has somehow fallen outside of this framework. Nothing is unnecessary in the cosmos, nothing useless or malicious. Everything should have its own place to fulfil its own destiny, without pretension to anything beyond. With all its problems humanity is saved by returning to its lawful place.

These ideas are not complex, and are becoming more popular nowadays. Yet a number of theoretic problems hide beneath their outward simplicity. Let me point out three of them:

1) Is the cosmos self-sufficient? If we assume that the sum of what appears in our world is attracted in its relationship to unseen nature, and we use conceptions related to “invisible nature” to explain what is most valuable, most beautiful and most enduring in terms of evolution, would it then not be necessary to explain the “invisible nature” once more by a “more invisible nature”? And how far are we to go with such an explanation, to the very Source of life as such?

2) Evolutionary processes, generally speaking, go in different directions in our world. How do all these processes going in different directions contribute to the general process of world-formation? Is it directed towards one unified aim? And what is that aim?

3) Every person has a tendency to exceed the boundaries of their present condition, an aspiration to surpass their own nature, to go beyond their social and cultural conditions, even beyond cosmic being as a whole. Is this tendency evidence of disfunctionality, and thus to be suppressed; or, on the contrary, does it manifest freedom of human spirit, without which there could be no creative renewal of the world? Is this the human factor in evolution?

Russian religious philosophy at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries regarded these as key questions. In answering them they investigated the problems of cosmism and evolutionism. Isolation from the results achieved by these scholars has greatly impoverished the work of Soviet authors writing on questions of the correlation between global evolution and problems of anthropology, ethics, and culture, as well as questions connected with the “noosphere.”[1]

1. Some Comments on the Cosmism of Florenskii

P. Florenskii can rightly be linked with the tradition of “Russian cosmism.” He wrote inspired works on the “ideal affinity” of the world with humanity, their interpenetration and interrelationship. He followed the pattern of ancient Greek philosophy in correlating the world and humanity in terms of a relationship of macrocosm (i.e., the Cosmos, the world on a grand scale, our surroundings) and microcosm (the world on a small scale, in terms of particulars or individuals). The latter he regarded as “the image and likeness of the Universe,” bearing within itself everything existing in the macrocosmic world. Such a cosmic approach to the question of humanity, however, diminishes the fullness of personal being. To address this difficulty Florenskii claimed that both the world and human beings are equally complicated and inwardly eternal; this is why they can be regarded as parts one of another. Biologically we may consider the world to be the universal body of man; and from an economic point of view we regard the world as the sphere of human economics. “The world is the unfolding of man, a human projection.”[2]

Florenskii examined such a “cosmic-anthropological union of two in one” within the context of traditional Platonic dualism, distinguishing the divine and the human in terms of “mountains and valleys” or the “higher and lower.” That other world opposite our own is symbolically half-revealed within the realities of earthly being. According to Florenskii, this dualism can only be overcome in the Church, where reality is spiritualized, consecrated, and becomes godlike. Theosis, “becoming like God,” is the final result of the salvation of the entire world through human salvation, accomplished in the Church by the power of Christ and his Spirit. Salvation overcomes the conflict of humanity versus the world. Here we note the “cosmic aspect of Christianity.” [3]

Florenskii gave an ontological interpretation of salvation, using Christianized Platonic two-world dualism. Historical modes of Christianity influencing the world culturally or socially did not attract his attention very much. In his research on Florenskii S. S. Khoruzhii points out that this left him outside the main channel of Christian thought (of the time), which portrayed the existence of the world as a process of incarnation of God in humanity, through actual ontological growth and transformation of the world, proceeding to unity with God. This incarnational process was started and actualized by the creative activity of human beings, with the grace of God. Indeed, in freedom the human being, at the head of the council of all creatures, can lead this assembly to God-likeness, when acting by grace; but may also lead other creatures to death, through loss of grace.[4]

Unfortunately, Florenskii has a static picture of life, as did many Platonists. Dynamic processes like evolution or history have no ontological meaning. Any history of the world is evaluated negatively, as darkness, or “night, only one awful dream that lasts through the centuries.”[5] Florenskii’s philosophy reveals a cosmism without evolution; “transformation of the world” does not get beyond the walls of separate church centers, nor does it penetrate the density of the life in the universe, or human social activities.

2. World-Unity and World-Formation in the Work
    of Vladimir Solov´ev

Vladimir Solov´ev did examine the world in terms of historical process, with special emphasis on questions of the significance and aims of that process, the source of variety in the world, how it shows itself, and the inner coordination of various processes of formation and development. It is also important that, unlike Florenskii, Solov´ev did not stop at interpreting man as a microcosm, but turned to the idea of the supercosmic nature of personality. This idea was taken up also in the 20th century by Christian personalists, who did not reduce the person to any forms of its present being, whether natural, individual, or social. The Christian tradition settles this on its own terms, recognizing that man is created in “the image and likeness of God,” and that God transcends the cosmos.

In the second place, Solov´ev supported organic thinking; he thought it necessary to consider any subject in its all-round integrity and inner connection with all other subjects. Evolutionism is a natural feature of such thought. Furthermore, he regarded the world in its entirety as an organic entity, a total unity (vseedinstvo) of great cosmic variety. He believed that any organic unity includes its own unified source, or has an acting principle causing that unity; when unity is accomplished, it becomes the image of that principle. In other words “an idea of total-unity must be its own definition of the unified central creature.”[6] Here he alludes to a personification of cosmic total-unity, giving it a divine character with features of immanence and transcendence.

Thus Solov´ev provides the basis for inclusion of the Logos and World Soul — Sophia — in his conception, for these are the sources and foundation of universal total-unity. The Logos is the principle of being for formation of its structures. According to Solov´ev, Sophia also includes within herself ideal, perfect humanity. It is, as it were, the body of God in the world, an eternal soul of the world, and its dynamic principle. Real humanity and the world as it really exists belongs to Sophianic total-unity only in part; for the greater part it is beyond Sophianic total-unity. And natural being is connected with the supreme total-unity through humanity, which bears responsibility for total-unity in our world.

At the dawn of history, however, humanity broke away from the original, ontologically indissoluble total-unity. This falling away provided the primary impulse for all world history. And this history reveals the consequences of the fall as the world from time to time is plunged into a deep state of crisis; but people also strive to get themselves free so they can establish a new existence. Solov´ev writes that “the world broke away from God through a free act of the world-soul that united it, and itself disintegrated into a great number of mutually hostile elements; all the multiplicity which arose must become reconciled with itself and with God, and must be revived in the form of the absolute organism by a long sequence of free acts.”[7]

The world organism which fell apart nonetheless left something behind, preserving a certain ideal kernel for future total-unity in a hidden and potential form. Universal total-unity exists ontologically in eternity as the base of world integration, which must be accomplished in history. The gradual accomplishment of this process, first in the separate fragments of universal being, and then in the whole, provides the goal and meaning of the world process.

Solov´ev searched eagerly for manifestations of unifying powers in the human world, and also in various other parts of cosmic life. In his works we find references to the law of gravity in physics, to the chemical affinity of bodies, and to the structure and life of plants and animals. Here the world-soul opposes the process of chaos and disintegration. In humanity nature realizes and even outstrips itself as it attains to spheres of absolute being, for man is able to understand the inner connection and significance of all that exists, representing cosmic total-unity within himself: “humanity is the single mediator between God and material being, bearing the unifying divine principle into elemental multiplicity — as arranger and organizer of the universe.”[8]

But humanity has broken away from God as the source of total-unity. This resulted in two variants of a cosmic worldview: naturalistic cosmism, as a consequence of the above-mentioned falling away as it enslaves man, and spiritual cosmism, as a deliverance from what is naturalistic, and entry into the transphysical structure of the cosmos as a whole, connected with Sophia and Logos. The second type of cosmism recovers the dignity of the human being, but as one already redeemed; it recognizes the human right to be spiritual focus of the universe, and gives humanity the power to embrace all nature in the soul and live one life with it, love and understand it.

These two kinds of cosmism also oppose one another in history: the first gives birth to every kind of idolatry and attracts demons that oppress the human soul. It takes revenge by means of magic, occult knowledge, and other forms of self-affirmation, for it can possess independent sides of natural life, at least in part. The second, on the other hand, longs especially for restoration of the inner unity of the human soul through restoration of its roots in the Sophianic foundations of the universe, and in the Logos. In this way a genuine spiritual direction of the deeper aspects of world life is possible; through labor and creativity it also allows for the real possibility of assisting the historical-evolutionary process of recreating and opening up cosmic total-unity.

This approach differs radically from the attitude to the world prevalent in the modern scientific-technological mentality, which cultivates a forced capturing of the world and an ego-centered structure of the human soul dominating its living environment. The tasks set by Solov´ev oppose the increasing powers of the ego, and the rational knowledge needed to expand and strengthen its domination. Solov´ev’s “Sophianic” task serves the “supreme” project for the world and humanity, and requires a totally different structure of the human soul. Solov´ev remained faithful to the Christian tradition affirming humanity as bearer and co-worker of the power of grace spiritualizing the world only as it becomes renewed according to the image of Christ.

Solov´ev devoted special attention to the cultural-historical side of this process. He analyzed different world cultures and religions from the perspective of their affirmation of total-unity in the world. Solov´ev also made a thorough study of the history of philosophical thought from the same perspective, not excluding criticism of socialism, revolutionary movements, and their social projects.

A fundamental culturological opposition recurring in Solov´ev’s work is that of “East-West.” From Solov´ev’s point of view, the battle between East and West helps explain the course of historical development, first within the Mediterranean cultural region, and then the whole world. In a small work, Three Powers (Tri sily), Solov´ev opposes the Western approach on questions of the organization of life (with priority given to self-affirmation and creative realization of personal abilities) to Eastern impersonal social organization and religion as it limits human freedom and creative powers. When taken to an extreme and realized consistently, both approaches bring human progress to a deadlock. “The first excludes the free plurality of separate forms and personal elements, free movement, and progress, while the second has just as negative an effect on unity and the general supreme principle of life; it breaks the solidarity of the whole.”[9]

The struggle between these powers can be pursued for a long time with variable success, but without any substantial accomplishment. A “third force” is needed to create world total-unity; this force will not cease acting in the world but, according to Solov´ev, does need a special historical mediator for effective realization in history. The people called to that task should be able to “impart a living soul, to give life and integrity to a broken, dying humanity through its union with the eternal divine principle.”[10] Acting not in its own interest or from of its own conviction, that people must rise above the oppressed creative and moral energy of the elements with their small, humble passions and interests, and must also avoid getting too greatly affected by Western or Eastern principles of life-organization.

Solov´ev says that the Slavonic and Russian people have a special historic mission as bearer of a collective power that creates a new path for human development in history; this path is to avoid the deadlock of brutal tyranny and spiritual stagnation of the East, as well as the absence of spirituality in Western civilization. Russia receives a special cosmic role in accomplishing total world unity. This has been a constant theme at the center of attention for Russian cosmism. In the 20th century the Rerikhs turned to it, interpreting it from their own point of view, as did Daniil Andreev in his main work, Rose of the World, which has now finally been published.

To sum up, we may conclude that Vladimir Solov´ev developed his own cosmist-evolutionist understanding of the world, with a strong emphasis on thorough integration of everything in the world, and struggle to overcome chaos and collapse. He did not pay much attention to the simple “struggle for existence” in the biosphere or social life; he was more interested in overcoming that kind of life, to raise it to its highest level of being. Questions of differentiation and selection were also secondary, although in Solov´ev’s time scientific evolutionism attached fundamental significance to these phenomena.

This emphasis can be explained in terms of Solov´ev’s organicist understanding of development; had he devoted more attention to different biological processes, he might have regarded world evolution as a differentiation of an organic whole along different, opposing poles, around which processes of integration would be organized in terms of growth. But he did not have such an organic view of the world; Solov´ev was so focused on overcoming the spiritual disruption of humanity that he would not seek another picture of future development. And he was not alone: this approach was shared by other early 20th-century philosophers, like S.  Bulgakov.

3. Sergei Bulgakov’s “Philosophy of Economy”

As a philosopher Sergei Bulgakov regarded all concrete questions from a cosmic perspective. Like Solov´ev, he interpreted cosmic being in its entirety as “an organism in potential,”[11] the universal human body. Just as Teilhard de Chardin made a re-thinking of modern natural-scientific evolutionism from a Christian point of view the aim of his life, so Bulgakov took as his goal a spiritual rethinking of contemporary economism, the aggregate of socio-economic concepts, all typically saturated with a spirit of economic utilitarianism, pragmatism, and materialism. Bulgakov posited the ontological value, spiritual importance and cosmic role of human labor, independent of social, state, or party interests. Labor is called upon to serve in establishing life on earth, to oppose the powers of disintegration and death, to ennoble life, and open up the riches of its creative potentialities in their highest form. But this calls for a discovery of ontological and cosmological aspects of Christianity that are still only weakly actualized, if at all.

“Justification of the world is a basic motif in Bulgakov’s philosophical thought, expressed with an often emotional affirmation of the value of thisworldly being and the material cosmos.”[12] Our world, moreover, represents itself as a struggle between powers of Life and Death. This struggle is necessary for world development and cosmic formation; it means the undaunted seizure and revival of huge masses of dead matter by the powers of Life. As a result, life penetrates where formerly there were no manifestations of it, reviving the power of life inherent, but oppressed by an enslaving death in matter. Death led to the collapse of the world as a whole, but Bulgakov affirms that the collapse could not prevent the revival of the world as a kind of organism and living whole: its true reality is maintained in potential form, hidden under the cosmos visible to us. Human labor and creative work must help to uncover this reality.

This view provides the impetus for Bulgakov’s understanding of the cosmic human mission, which he shares with Solov´ev, namely to shift the balance of powers of life and death in that struggle towards fullness of life and a positive direction in the global evolutionary process. “Reaching self-consciousness and an ability to work on itself in man, nature enters a new stage of existence. Proprietary labor represents a new power of nature, a new cosmogonic factor in world-formation, fundamentally different from nature’s other powers.”[13]

Nature attains its salvation through human salvation, and that in turn is given through Christ. Both Florenskii and Solov´ev discussed such a cosmological meaning of Christianity. Bulgakov thus joins an older European tradition, regarding the human being as a “Messiah of nature” (Novalis) or “redeemer of nature” (Schelling). By “redeeming the sin of the original corruption of nature, through labor” humanity must cure the world “of cosmic disease,” i.e., nature’s isolation from the supernatural “soul of the world,” and make the visible world transparent for the work of invisible creative powers.[14] Bulgakov assigns a special role to knowledge in transforming the world. For him knowledge is not primarily a means of capturing nature, but rather a support, defense and expansion of life and its partial resurrection. To return life to its genuine condition, scientific study of nature is not as important as an inner comprehension of its deeper aspects.

For Bulgakov Divine Sophia, the eternal Beauty and harmony of the divinely created cosmos, and ontological centre of universe, was also the source of inner comprehension of the world. She endows economic activity, religious and cultural creative work, philosophical and scientific knowledge, and even social progress in history with her Sophianic qualities.

Whether we consider Sophia in terms of true insight, mythological inclination within Christianity, or mystified expression of urgent historical needs, a significant ethical power is hidden within Bulgakov’s sophiology. In this power a sense of distance with respect to the transience of life is combined with a sense of protecting and preserving it. In loving the world he does not regard it as a source for the “satisfaction of needs,” but as a priceless artistic creation; such love proposes asceticism, self-restraint, and rejection of the vampire syndrome of the present civilization. Such are the practical results of Bulgakov’s sophiology, the essence of his “dogmatic basis of culture.”[15]

4. Berdiaev: Cosmos, History, and Eschatology

With the rise of technical civilization the world somehow “moved” irreversibly along a dangerous path toward the breakdown of the organic and spiritual foundations of life. This is one of the main themes of Berdiaev’s work. He did not believe that it was possible to restore old forms of social and religious life, and the corresponding relationships between man and the cosmos. Admitting that the past with its endless constraints was certainly no paradise, the human spirit must go forward, freely and fearlessly, rather than retracing old ways for salvation from contemporary troubles. This is why Berdiaev rejects Bulgakov’s concept of history as a sacred necessity, Solov´ev’s concept of world development as an organic process, and also Florenskii’s attraction to the static cosmology of the Middle Ages and Antiquity; for him the end of the organic epoch has already come.

All of Berdiaev’s philosophy is marked by his sense of the eschatological End; it is presented as a perfection of history, a summing up of all things, and Judgment. It also covers cosmic life. Judgment on humanity includes nature; the industrial-technological civilization, so pernicious for every living being, represents a realization of this judgment, at least in part.

The machine has crucified the world’s flesh; its fragrant flowers and singing birds have ascended onto that cross. This is the Golgotha of nature. In the inevitable process of the artificial mechanization of nature, there is a kind of redemption of the sin of inner constraint and enmity. The natural organism must die in order to be resurrected to new life. As the monstrous machines destroy natural organic integrity, they indirectly and tortuously set the spirit free from its natural connectedness.[16]

History as a tragedy of being must end in catastrophe, and has a transcendent path. Reliance on any historical determination is useless and deceptive; face to face with that End, it is necessary, rather, to enter the free spirit and creativity of the person.

The Earthly spirit of humanity, proceeding along the path of the Snake, has hypnotized humanity with its tempting idea of progress toward an earthly paradise. Thoroughly seduced, human beings have not noticed the madness of such service to progress and submission to the fortunes of an approaching paradise. Progress flourishes in the cemetery, and the entire culture of such a perfected humanity is poisoned by a deadly venom. All the flowers of life belong to the burial ground.[17]

Humanity must obtain inner freedom to serve the cause of salvation and thereby liberate the world from sin. This is a key role for human beings as the cosmic center of being, the highest point of its compass. It is also in humanity that the power of God has created a special seed by which to implant the cause of salvation. “Incarnated as a human being and appearing on Earth, Christ is the absolute center of the cosmos. Through Christ humanity has gotten a cosmic significance; in him the soul of the world returns to God.”[18] The human duty is to become free, and spiritual creative work is one of the important ways for becoming free.

Berdiaev anticipates the beginning of a new world epoch, a religious-cosmic epoch of creativity to be realized by a redeemed and spiritually free humanity. A new life is to be created, one that steps far beyond the frames of culture; in fact it implies a conversion of culture, revelation of the godlikeness of human nature, continuation of the creation of the world, as well as revelation of the cosmic character of humanity, its spiritual growth and ascent to truth, to goodness, beauty, and to the Origin. With its roots creativity extends to transphysical mysteries, the mystery of human freedom. Authentic freedom has a cosmic character, and is not chaotic. It has an inner connection with the hierarchical harmony of the Universe, and is almost unknown to modern humanity in its enslavement to natural and social necessity and loss of its original place in the hierarchy of universal being.

5. Conclusion

We have presented only a general sketch of fundamental directions in cosmist thought, but these open up a spectrum of ways to understand the problems of cosmism and evolutionism. They also pose the question of the future development of the ideological and spiritual foundations of cosmism. Problems of world development, for example, are not considered by Florenskii, whose cosmist views can be traced back to antiquity. The philosophical systems of Solov´ev and Bulgakov led them to more organically intertwined ideas of cosmism and evolutionism, each of them developing directions in cosmism according to the specific material foundations from which they preferred to work. And finally, we noted the mystical historicism of Berdiaev, in which the ideas of cosmism and evolutionism have lost independent significance, subjecting their energy to a powerful historical and eschatological mysticism.

These distinguished representatives of Russian philosophy arrived at conclusions which for them were not philosophical abstractions, far distant from real life, but ideological foundations giving direction for new paths in social and cultural development. They recognized an opposition between such a spiritualized and spiritually conditioned development and the basic direction of contemporary Western social thinking, which assigned little significance to spirituality. In the present epoch of global crisis, however, Western models have gotten exhausted, and lack positive ideas. At this point the long-forgotten Russian heritage can be revived, to initiate the search for future directions.

In response critics may point out that Russian religious-philosophical cosmism simply revitalizes an ancient mythology, reproducing an archaic worldview which is poverty-stricken and merits no serious attention. In fact, even though “mythological” forms of thought may be out of step with modern rationalist culture, they still have important advantages over the latter in addressing questions of critical aspects of man’s being in the world. Even developed cultures maintain a tradition which builds on its more ancient spiritual content; this is also illustrated by the concepts explained above. Indeed, if we examine modern culture closely, we will find it presents a different kind of mythologizing, of a quality much lower than that found in Russian philosophy.

The fundamental problem is not one of the continuity of a tradition from the past, in spirit and form. It would actually be strange if this were not the case, for human beings remain the same in most aspects throughout history, no matter how great the changes in the natural, social, and cultural contexts of their activities. Problems arise from primitivization of the cultural-historical mythology and the spiritual content born of religion. Authentic interpretation is maintained by the fundamental spiritual traditions of the world. However, simplification of content inevitably occurs beyond the limits of these traditions, through socio-ideological use, for aims connected with such use.

We find an example of this process in the technocratic reduction by Soviet philosophical publicists of the term “noosphere,” first suggested by Teilhard de Chardin and V. I. Vernadskii. Another clear example is the politicized socio-collectivistic propaganda of Slavophiles on ideas of sobornost´ as an element of the Russian national consciousness. However, before the idea was politicized, A. S. Khomiakov and other authors discussed the fundamental significance of a communal (sobornyi) spiritual unity of the people, as a bearer of truth in its fullness. They affirmed the existence of such a mystical form of “collectivity” in the early Muscovite period of Russian history; so their attempt to create a “collectivized Russia” seemed to them a restoration of what had already existed in history. As a result, both history and the social project were mythologized. Fortunately they managed only to create a Utopia needed not for scientific history, but to oppose the myth of Western civilization. Instead of a search for truth, ideological struggle arose and led to the degradation of Slavophilism to national arrogance and political utility.

Science has certainly rejected the Slavophile myth, but strictly speaking, it has a right only to reject the historical link. The content of the myth can be rejected only on the basis of nonscientific concepts, for myth appears and exists outside of a rationalist culture. Myth carries with itself a figurative-symbolical understanding of things, not rationally founded knowledge. It demands research from a hermeneutical perspective, in comparison and contrast with other myths of greater depth of spiritual meaning, and must be criticized on the basis of such comparison.

For Russian cosmism, things are different. It arose in reaction to the lack of spirituality of Western forms of civilization and scientific culture, and thus defended the idea of the universe, history, and the human soul having an inner depth which cannot be contained in any rational schemes. It also insisted that the realization of certain superhuman tasks in the world, like the cosmic mission, be entrusted to man. Of course, it was right in claiming that Western European culture had lost an understanding of such things.

Moreover, unlike the Slavophile myth, Russian cosmism defended the ideal of cultural universalism and spiritual openness, and this represents its value for us today, when trends of anti-cultural fanaticism and spiritual isolationism are very strong. If one wishes to argue with Russian cosmism it is first necessary to admit its truth and value, and in response propose a truth even deeper, more foundational. But it is much easier to reject cosmism in other ways, and it can certainly be rejected as something that is “not ours,” “useless,” or “irrational”; others may try to utilize it, and will hardly escape debasement. Those who witness such profanation will blame not those (or at least not only those) who effect it, but those profaned. The fruitlessness of it all is evident enough; even so, the creative development and intensification of Russian cosmism is possible, in service to the search for truth in different directions.

  1. I. N. Moiseev, “Logika universal´nogo evoliutsionizma i kooperativnost´” [The logic of universal evolution and principle of cooperation], Voprosy filosofii [Philosophical questions], no. 8 (1989): 52–66.  
  2. P. Florenskii, “Makrokosm i mikrokosm” [Macrocosm and microcosm], in Chelovek i priroda [Man and nature], no. 9 (1989): 71.  
  3. P. Florenskii, Stolp i utverzhdenie istiny [The pillar and ground of truth] (Moscow: Put´, 1914), 733 n. 478; cf. the French translation of Constantin Andronikof, La colonne et le fondement de la verité (Lausanne: L’Age d’Homme, 1975), 454. Florenskii’s work has also recently been translated into English by Boris Jakim, The Pillar and Ground of Truth (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997).  
  4. S. S. Khoruzhii, “Kosmos — Chelovek — Smertnost´: Florenskii i orfiki” [Cosmos, man, mortality: Florenskii and the orphics], in P. A. Florenskii: Filosofiia, nauka, tekhnika [P. A. Florenskii: Philosophy, science, technology] (Leningrad: Akademiia nauk. Institut istorii estestvoznaniia i tekhniki, 1989), 14.  
  5. S. S. Khoruzhii, “Filosofskii simvolizm Florenskogo i ego zhiznennye istoki” [Florenskii’s philosophical symbolism and its life sources], in Istoriko-filosofikii ezhegodnik [Historical-philosophical annual] 88 (Moscow: Nauka, 1988), 199.  
  6. V. S. Solov´ev, Sochineniia v dvukh tomakh [Works in two volumes], vol. 2, Chteniia о Bogochelovechestve: Filosofskaia publitsistika [Lectures on God-manhood: Philosophical writings on current affairs] (Moscow: Izdatel´stvo “Pravda,” 1989), 66. Cf. Vladimir Solovyev, Lectures on Godmanhood (London: Dennis Dobson, Ltd., 1948), 119.  
  7. Solov´ev, Chteniia о Bogochelovechestve, 137; cf. Lectures on Godmanhood, 179.  
  8. Solov´ev, Chteniia о Bogochelovechestve, 140; cf. Lectures on Godmanhood, 181.  
  9. Solov´ev, Sochineniia v dvukh tomakh, 1: 19.  
  10. Ibid., 29.  
  11. S. Bulgakov, “Mir kak khoziaistvo,” pt. 1 of Filosofiia khoziaistva (Moscow, 1912), 80; trans. by C. Evtuhov as Philosophy of Economy: The World as Household (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000), 132.  
  12. S. S. Khoruzhii, “Sofiia — Kosmos — Materiia: Ustoi filosofskoi mysli otsa Sergiia Bulgakova” [Sophia, Cosmos, Matter: Foundations of the philosophical thought of Fr. Sergei Bulgakov], Voprosy filosofii, no. 12 (1989): 74.  
  13. Ibid., 107.  
  14. Ibid., 123.  
  15. I. Rodnianskaia, “Sergei Nikolaevich Bulgakov,” Literaturnaia gazeta [Literary newspaper], 27 September 1989, p. 6.  
  16. N. A. Berdiaev, Sud´ba Rossii: Opyty po psikhologii voiny i natsional´nosti [The fate of Russia: Essays on war psychology and nationality] (Moscow, 1918), 236–37.  
  17. N. A. Berdiaev, Filosofiia svobody: Smysl tvorchestva [Philosophy of freedom: The meaning of creativity] (Moscow: Pravda, 1989), 123.  
  18. Ibid., 141.  

Translated by Natalia Petrova

Home Works Broadcasts Guestbook In Russian
Biography Gallery Memories Feedback