Russian Thought in Europe. Reception, Polemics, Development
Original Russian thought came into existence fairly late - as late as the 18th and 19th centuries. Creating their own conceptions, Russian thinkers readily referred to various philosophical traditions: the Eastern Christian one as well as the schools and currents that emerged in the West. At the same time, one can observe a reverse phenomenon: Western intellectuals too - philosophers, theologians, men of letters - in one way or another would refer to the oeuvre by Russian writers. This process, which in its broadest sense can be described as the reception of Russian thought in the West (above all in Europe), was begun still in Vladimir Solovyov's lifetime (19th century) and has continued till this day. The notion of reception, employed in this publication, is quite broad in its sense. It means both the influence of Russian philosophy on the works by Western fellow writers, and the criticism and polemics undertaken by the latter, as well as the development, study and research into the thought created in the Russian milieu. All these aspects have come to be reflected in the book hereby presented for the Reader.
Since the twenties of the last century in various fields of the Greek culture (in the works of A.Papadiamandis in bélles-léttres, of Ph.Kontoglou and N.Pentzikis in iconography and painting, D. Pikionis in architecture, B.Tatakis, Ch.Yannaras, J.Romanides, J.Zizioulas and others in philosophy and theology) one may see development of a tendency which may be characterized in a first approximation as “Neo-Byzantinism”.
In a measure this movement might be connected with a failure of the political project that had its beginning in the Greek revolution of 1821 and its tragic result in the destruction of Greek communities in Asia Minor in 1923 (after – in Constantinople too). In general the principle of “Neo-Byzantinism” might be formulated as following: Greece is not an ordinary nation and cannot build its identity according to the model of a neo-European national state (in spite of just this process actually proceeds in 20th c.). Paradoxically the fundamental principle of Greek culture is recognized in Byzantine Orthodoxy as supra-territorial and moreover supra-ethnic cultural model.
Many of mentioned Greek authors find the detailed development of philosophical, theological, artistic aspects of this model in the writings of Russian religious philosophers and byzantinists of 19 and 20th c. – from the early Slavophiles (like I.Kirejevsky and A.Khomyakov) up to Russian emigrate authors (mainly in Paris) – like G.Florovsky, V.Lossky, L.Ouspensky. It’s very meaningful that Greek intellectuals “recognize” in writings of representatives of “the Third Rome” the image of “the Second Rome’s” culture; they receive it as own (unlike to, for example, the “western” one). So Basil Tatakis discovers the Byzantine type of spirituality in the works of I. Kirejevsky, F. Dostoevsky, N.Berdiaeff (the last chapter of his famous “Byzantine Philosophy” – “Byzantium after Byzantium” – is devoted to Russian culture that has preserved the spiritual tradition of Byzantium). So Ch. Yannaras recognizes the Byzantine type of sociality in a Russian Orthodox parish in Paris.
The article is devoted one of the main problem of description image of Russia in modern Western and American slavisics thought. Our Russian literature is important context of intellectual dialogue between different countries. The article is considered reaction to modern Western and American Slavistics in the context of inellecyual dialogue and communication between different countries.