1. Edie, James M. et al. Russian Philosophy. University of Tennessee Press. 1976, vv.1,3 (paper). ISBN 0-87049-200-4. $14.95 (each volume). The most representative collection of sources.

2. Schmemann, Alexander, ed. Ultimate Questions: An Anthology of Modern Russian Religious Thought. Saint Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1977. ISBN 0-913836-46-X $9.95.

3. Berdiaev, Nicolas. The Russian Idea. Hudson (NY): Lindisfarne Press1992, ISBN 0-940262-49-5. $16.95.

4. Lossky, Nikolas O. History of Russian Philosophy.International University Press,1969. ISBN 0-8236-8074-6. $17.95.

5.Zenkovsky V. V. A History of Russian Philosophy, vv. 1-2, transl. by George L. Kline. London: Routledge&Kegan Paul Ltd, 1953.

5. Copleston, Frederick. Philosophy in Russia: from Herzen to Lenin & Berdiaev. University of Notre Dame, 1988. ISBN 0-268-01569-4. $15.95.



1. God is All in Everything.
2. God posits his Otherness - the World.
3. God posits his Oneness with the World - his son, Godman Jesus Christ, and his Oneness with his Son - Holy Spirit.
4. Godmanhood is not only the essence of Christ but also the historical process designed to unite God and world.
5. This union cannot be a single act imposed by God on humanity because humanity must unite itself with God freely.


6. Freedom is the likeness of God in man, while perfection is the image of God in man.
7. The achievement of perfection through freedom is the task of humanity.
8. Freedom presupposes the free choice between good and evil and thus creates the possibility of evil.
9. Evil cannot be eradicated otherwise than through man's own free will for good.
10. Freedom leads a human being away of God, but only through freedom s/he can return to God.
11. Evil manifests itself in egoism and suffering.
12. In egoism, person opposes oneself to other entities; in suffering person experiences their externality as the obstacle for the attainment of one's own goals and desires.
13. Egoism and suffering are the two aspects of one process of alienation.


14. To overcome suffering, one must overcome one's own egoism.
15. Sexual love is the the way to overcome egoism by recognizing the absolute significance of another personality; the salvation of individuality through the sacrifice of egoism.
16. No other kind of love - mystical, parental, patriotic love - can lead to a real unification of two personalities comprising one full personality, the image of God.
17. Sexual love is not a means for the larger quantity or better quality of the progeny, since its goal is not multiplicity, but the creation of ideal personality . The true human being cannot be merely a man or a woman but the higher union of the two. (Schmemann, 122)
18. Both exclusively physical and exclusively spiritual love are degradation of love and the triumph of death, since death disintegrates human wholeness and separates soul from the body.(Schmemann,124)
19. The goal of love is the transformation of divided mortal beings into integral immortal being, the reception of the temporal into eternity. (Schmemann, 124)

IY. SOPHIA (God's wisdom)

20. Sophia is the Eternal Feminine, the feminine soul of the world.
21. Sophia occupies a mediating position between the multiplicity of living entities and the absolute unity of Deity.
22. Sophia is the passive force, which unconsciously strives for unity, while God's Logos (Christ) is an active and formative energy and has the conscious idea of total-unity.
23. Sophia is the mysterious companion of God, His Feminine Other.
24. The relationship between God and Sophia are reproduced in human love. God loves the soul of the world, the ideal mankind, and aspires to its salvation and immortality.
25. Through love, man perceives the Eternal Feminine in the personality of his beloved, and attempts to liberate her from the multiplicity and discordance of the physical elements, to immortalize her.
26. Sophiology is a discipline within mystical Christian philosophy dealing with feminine aspects of highest spirituality, with the feminine hypostasis of Divinity.


27. In the state of externality, generated by the negative aspect of freedom (evil, egoism), each element is excluded or displaced by all others.
28. In the divine order, all of these elements positively supplement each other and form an integral and harmonious organism.
29. The gradual realization of ideal total-unity is the ultimate goal of the cosmic and historical processes.
30. Man is the mediator between God and material existence, his task is to introduce total-unification into the multiplicity of natural elements, to order and organize universe.
31. Total-unity does not diminish individuality but incorporates it fully and freely.
32. The perfection is the greatest freedom of parts in the greatest unity of the whole.
33. The universality of an entity stands in direct relation to its individuality: the more universal it is, the more individual it will be (Edie, v.3, 72).
34. The universal organism, the total-unity is a distinctive individual entity. The universality of God coincides with the individuality of Christ (Edie,72).
35. The principle of total-unity presupposes criticism of one-sided "abstract principles" such as "spiritual" and "physical" love, or "empiricism," "rationalism," and "mysticism." The experience, reason and belief are insufficient by themselves and must be incorporated into the "integral knowledge"; by the same token, physical, legal and spiritual aspects of love must be integrated into "full personality".

YI. ECUMENISM AND THEOCRACY (religious unity and Church-State)

36. The Divine principle of total-unity must be implemented in the relationships between various Christian churches (ecumenism) and between State and Church (theocracy).
37. Western and Eastern parts of Christian world, Catholicism and Orthodoxy, must restore their primordial unity through the acceptance of full truth of Christianity.
38. In the Christian West, the unity is implemented by the Catholic Church and personified in the Pope.
39. In the Christian East, unity is implemented by the Russian State and personified in the Tsar.
40. Historically, the movement toward total-unity must result in the universal Church-State, where spiritual power will belong to the Pope, while political power will belong to the Tsar.
41. Russia, since it is located between Christian West and non-Christian East, has a special historical mission in the world: to be the carrier of religious unification.
42. In the East, the worship of God is accompanied by the neglect of a human individuality. In the West, the process of secularization has led to the exaltation of individuality and oblivion of God.
43. Russia, as a mediator between East and West, must overcome the abstract and one- sided principles of "inhuman God" (East) and "godless Man" (West). Russia is called to unite the religion of God with the religion of Man and thus to manifest Godmanhood as the full truth of Christianity: God became Man in order that Man could become God. Russia must introduce the fullness of Godmanhood in the religiously divided world.

YII. ESCHATOLOGY (the end of the world)

44. Before the second coming of Christ, Antichrist will arrive.
45. Antichrist will be the most perfect of all human beings, the universal genius, combining all possible artistic, political, moral, and religious gifts.
46. All these gifts will serve to the self-assertion of Antichrist, his ascension to the height of spiritual and political power.
47. Antichrist will not struggle against Christianity but will claim to be the benefactor and unifier of all Christian Churches, the leader of ecumenical movement.
48. Antichrist will attempt to build the Kingdom of God on the Earth and to accomplish everything that Christ failed to accomplish in his first coming: to grant peace and material well-being to all peoples.
49. Christians must prepare themselves to identify Antichrist as the false image of God rather than an overt enemy of God. Theocracy may appear as an instrument of Satanocracy.
50. The Kingdom of God cannot be attained by human efforts, and all human claims to absolute perfection and universality are dangerous since they prepare the kingdom of Antichrist.


1. The contemporary humanity is divided into the learned and unlearned, the rich and poor. The common task is to restore the kinship and unity of the human kind.

2. People are brothers because they have one heavenly Father. Religion is the way to unification.

3. True religion is not an abstract faith in God the Father but the worship of all our fathers and forefathers since they gave life to us.

4. The common task of humanity is the resurrection of all previous generations. Brotherhood cannot be limited to the living but must include all generations.

5. The so-called progress is immoral because it consists in the swallowing up of the old by the new, in the displacing of the fathers by the sons.

6. The progress increases the force of death, the superiority of the living over the dead and of the young people over the old ones.

7. Death as an inevitability of nature is an insult to humanity. The project, called the Common Task, is directed toward overcoming death through technological advancement.

8. All natural laws, death being only one, must be reversed in order that humanity can manifest God's omniscience and omnipotence. Everything granted must be transformed into something crafted.

9. Contemporary civilization has procreative obsession, which has given rise to a feminized industry of conspicuous consumption oriented toward seduction.

10. History as a succession of generations, whereby the new supplants the old, must give way to a retrospective tendency that emphasizes immortality and the resurrection of ancestors.

11. "Supramorality" demands that sons return their debt of love to their fathers by resurrecting them. All technological resources must be dedicated to this task of preserving and revitalizing the remains of deceased fathers.

12. Christianity is primarily the religion of resurrection, which echoes the Orthodox privileging of Easter over all other holidays, icluding Christmas.

13. Man is called to worship God by literalizing through practice everything in Scripture that is usually interprete only in a spiritual sense, as symbols of another world.

14. The moral task of humanity is not to wait for the Last Judgement, but to follow the example set by Christ and endeavor to make bodily resurrection possible on the earth, to transform the entirety of human existence into a man-made and continuous Easter.

15. The museum, as a collection of the ancestors' remains, is the central cultural institution of humanity, which works also as a laboratory of resurrection science.

16. With the conquest of death and attainment of immortality, procreation becomes obsolete, and the focus of human history shifts to cosmic expansion, which is necessary to accomodate the innumerable resurrected generations of ancestors.

VASILY ROZANOV (1856-1919)

1. Criticism of Christianity as abstract spirituality which is hostile to the organic needs of earthly life. Christ is so sweet, that all world tastes sour. Christianity depreciates the value of life.
2. Christianity is not essentially interested in sexual love, family, knowledge, science, art, creativity, but only permits them to exist, as a compromise with the world.
3. The opposition between Christianity and paganism. The Sun is more divine and feeds people more generously than Christ does.
4.The opposition between the New Testament which glorifies death and suffering, and the Old Testament and Apocalypse which glorify birth and procreation.
5.The holiness of sex and marriage, the exaltation of the "root" of life (genitalia, semen, blood, etc.)
6. Historically, Christianity developed into the religion of Golgotha (crucifixion), but it should have become the religion of Bethlehem (holy birth).
7. Christianity was born from sexual abnormality and deviations peculiar to Christ himself and all "virtuous" people, such as ascetics and monks who feel reluctance towards women. Christianity is a hidden homosexuality or bisexuality.
8. The ambivalent attitude to Jews who have more deep affection to materiality, blood, sex and marriage and thus demonstrate their superiority to Christians. Messianic jealousy, love-hatred. Judeo-philism and anti-Semitism.
9. Love for Orthodox Church as earthly institution, the "body" of Christ, as distinct from the other-worldly spirit of Christianity. A special peacefulness and harmony ("non-striving") of Orthodox Church as opposed to Catholicism and Protestantism. Orthodoxy is closer to everyday life since it incorporated pagan traditions of agricultural civilization. R. died as a faithful Orthodox believer.
10. Everyday life is more important than historical events or metaphysical problems. Eternity belongs to what is ordinary (picking one's nose), while glorious kingdoms pass and metaphysical systems become obsolete.
11. What is valuable in people is not their principles or ideas but their vital impulses, their energy. Instinct is wiser than intellect.
12. The communist revolution is "the Apocalypse of our times," a retribution and compensation for Christianity's indifference to the material needs and social inequality of people.
13. The Apocalypse is an anti-Christian book and proclaims the end of Christianity and the beginning of post-Christian epoch.
14. Thought must be expressed in the process of thinking, before it is completed in the system. "Manuscriptness of soul" which is always "a rough draft" and is never finalized, contrary to the typical claims of "published literature." The specific genre of Rozanov's philosophizing - short fragments connected with the circumstances of place and time. "Half-thoughts and half-feelings." "Fallen leaves."


1. Ontologically, freedom precedes God and arises from nothingness, "non-ground."
2. God creates world from nothingness, but He cannot limit the freedom which is prior to God.
3. God is not all-powerful. He cannot eradicate evil rooted in freedom. Man can struggle against evil through the exercise of his own free will.
4. Creation is different from birth and emanation. It brings into life something absolutely new that never existed before.
5. Freedom and creativity are peculiar to human personality and distinguish it from everything else in the world.
6. There are two worlds: noumenal world-in-itself which is spirit, personality, freedom, and creativity, and phenomenal world, which is alienated from personality and imposes general laws and material objects as limitations of human freedom (compare Berdyaev's law of "objectification" with Solovyov's concept of "externality").
7. All generic and general features of a human which belong to history, tradition, society, class, nation, family, are alien to personality and must be eventually overcome in the acts of creativity.
8. The task of personality is to create one's own self. Personality is both alpha and omega, the beginning and the end of the creative process.
9. Individuality is a part of external world, a biological and/or social unit, whereas personality interiorizes and embraces the external world and thus becomes universal and creates a new spiritual universe in its own self. Personality is a form of universality (compare with Solovyov's idea that universality stands in direct relation to individuality, Edie, 72).
10. The dualism of noumenal and phenomenal worlds is the source of universal tragedy.
11. The tragedy of creativity consists in objectification: the new universe created by personality becomes a book or a painting, i.e. one of the innumerable objects of the external world.
12. Culture in general and each work of culture are metaphysical failure because they transform the world only symbolically, figuratively, while the genuine aim of inspiration is to bring forth new forms of life, not merely signs and images.
13. The urge for creativity comprises the third great epoch of human spiritual development and puts an end to the morality of law and obedience. The first epoch was that of God-Father (the Old Testament); the second - of God-Son (the New Testament); the third epoch will be that of God-Holy Spirit, when the fulfillment of commandments and the atonement of sins will give way to free creativity.
14. The Third Testament of creativity cannot be a revelation of God (unlike the previous testaments), but presupposes the self-revelation of man, his creative response to God.
15. Historically, creativity was thought to be alien to the spirit of Christianity, something permitted but not needed or desired for a Christian. However, the value of creativity is emphasized in the Christ's parable on talents (Math.25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27) and in Pauls's sermon on spiritual gifts (1 Corinth. 12:4-11). Man must realize and increase his talents granted by God; each man has his/her own gift.
16. Ethics must be reoriented from normative to creative foundations. Nietzsche was right in his rebellion against normative ethics and legalistic Christianity but he mistook it for Christianity as such, whereas Christianity appeals to creativity. God will judge people not only for their observation of law but for their creative self-realization.
17. The humanistic epoch comes to an end and new Middle Ages begin. This means that man can no more be self-confident and indifferent to God and pursue purely secular goals. Religiosity comes again to replace humanistic self-assertion and secular individualism. As distinct from old Middle Ages, new Middle Ages presuppose not obedience to Church but free search for God.
18. Communism is one aspect of new medieval epoch, eschatological search and the religion of the Holy Spirit is another aspect. Both break through the individualism and materialism of the previous, bourgeois epoch and attempt to build God's kingdom on the earth or anticipate the end of history and God's kingdom in the heaven.
19. Man is free to choose between the religion of Satan and the religion of God, but a contemporary man, either a communist or a believer, cannot help being religious.
20. Eschatology may be a passive expectation of God's invasion into history, or it may be an active preparation for the end of history. Active eschatology presupposes that human creativity will expand beyond the symbolical world of culture and will transform reality.
21. There are three kinds of time: cyclical time of nature, linear time of history, and existential time - the point of eternal presence, where history is transcended.
22. The end of history means also the end of objectification. Everything that was external to personality will be interiorized. The sun will no more shine from the sky, but it will shine from the depth of human soul.

Short overview of Russian philosophy

Ukazatel' russkikh stranits (Index of Russian pages)

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Copyright Mikhail Epstein, 1995