History, Sophia and the Russian Nation: A Reassessment of Vladimir Solov'ėv's Views on History and His Social Commitment

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Peter Lang, 2004 - History - 532 pages
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In this study, the work of the philosopher, publicist, poet, mystic and activist Vladimir Solov'ėv (1853-1900) is addressed from a new, interdisciplinary perspective. The author explores the connections between Solov'ėv's views on history and his attempts to change the course of affairs in Russia. Firstly, the theological and philosophical aspects of Solov'ėv's conception of history are unravelled. Most importantly, the central role of Sophia (Divine Wisdom) in his self-perception as the guiding prophet of Russian society is highlighted. Then, the author examines how Solov'ėv's views on history prompted him to intervene in the following affairs: the crisis following the murder of tsar Alexander II in 1881, the famine of 1891-1892, and the condition of three religious minorities in Russia, namely the Old Believers, the Jews and the Catholic Poles.
This two-fold analysis shows that Solov'ėv departed from the ambition to cast Christian tradition in a modern mould by various means, speculative as well as practical. Characteristic for his attitude toward history is a tension between his professing an eternal truth and responding to a crisis in Russia. He emerges as a prodigiously erudite thinker, capable of synthesising various intellectual traditions ranging from Jewish mysticism to German idealism, and as a committed and independent intellectual in late tsarist Russia.
 

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Contents

Introduction
17
Historical Context
29
Theology of History in Solovev
77
Philosophy of History in Solovev
133
Solovevs Sophiology of History
207
Synthesis
269
Introduction
277
The Tsaricide of March 1st 1881
283
c Solovevs views and the ongoing debates
336
d Theology of history philosophy of history
343
The Jewish Question
351
The Polish Question
401
The Famine of 18911892
437
Synthesis
479
Solovev the Translator
485
Bibliography
495

The Old Believers
305
b Solovevs views and the history of the
327
Summary
527
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

The Author: Manon de Courten (Bern, 1969) studied Russian, History and Philosophy at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. From 1998 to 2004 she worked as a Ph.D. student at the Centre for Russian Humanities Studies of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands. She has taught seminar courses in philosophy of history, which, together with the intellectual history of Russia, forms her major research interest.