From solitude to freedom: human person and the universe in Russian religious philosophy

Alexei Nesteruk

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Abstract

The paper deals with the issues of anxiety, solitude, homelessness and non-sense of human existence in the universe as they were posed and addressed in the Russian religious philosophy of the 20th century. Russian philosophers were seeking for overcoming of the present condition of humanity through the restoration of the lost Divine image, encapsulated in the notion of personhood. The difficulty of defining personhood proceeds from the paradoxical condition of humanity in the world reflected in perennial philosophy, as well as from a fundamental unknowability of man by himself so clearly articulated by Patristic writers. The fulfillment of personhood implies the overcoming of the constraints and slavery to the rubrics of the incarnate existence in this physical world. It is in this movement that the sense of solitude and despair disappears because the whole of the human history, as well as the whole universe, are brought inside the infinite and incomprehensible subjectivity of man in the image of the Divine. Russian philosophers expressed a deep concern and care for man, the world and God through looking for the consolation of the soul of all humanity from within a limited historical period in the 20th century’s history full of apostasy and demonic inhumanity. Their hymnology to man is the perennial attempt to affirm this world as still imbued with faith, hope and love.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1683-1709
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Siberian Federal University - Humanities and Social Sciences
Volume8
Issue number 8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

Keywords

  • freedom
  • man
  • objectification
  • personhood
  • Russian philosophy
  • solitude
  • unconditional being
  • universe

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