Alexei Losev: ‘The Last Russian Philosopher’ of the Silver Age
Alexei Losev was among those few religious thinkers who remained in the USSR after the revolution. He was an advocate of the so-called onomatodoxy movement in the Russian Orthodox Church according to which the name of God is not something conventional, but God himself. It was Losev who elaborated the philosophical foundations of this teaching and built a sort of synthesis of Platonism (and Neoplatonism) and the thought of the Eastern Fathers of the Church, especially St. Gregory of Palamas. As an encyclopaedic man, Losev dealt with different branches of philosophy: philosophy of language, music, mathematics, aesthetics, etc. The common denominator of all works was the issue of symbol, which he considered to be an external expression of an internal content. In the context of onomatodoxy debates, it means that the name of God is nothing but His energy (using the term of the Greek Fathers of the Church), or manifestation of His unknowable essence in the world. Therefore, a symbol is primarily of an objective character and at the same time assumes the cooperation (synergy) between God and man.