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Working paper

Vl.S. Solovyov and the Holy See Explication of the Idea of Christian Unity at the end of the 19th Century

In the face of political rhetoric about Russia being outside of Europe both in the West and in Russia itself, it is all the more necessary to remember that European and Russian culture grew out of the same source: Christianity. Therefore, inter-confessional dialogue between Russian Orthodoxy and the Roman Catholic Church is particularly relevant today. In this context, scholars have focused attention on the Russian philosopher Vl.S. Solovyov, who has been described as the forerunner of the ecumenical movement. The current article seeks to enrich accounts of Solovyov’s thought by shining a spotlight on the context of spiritual thought in Russia in his day. The article also shows how Russian emperors (particularly Alexander III) promoted the idea of a rapprochement with the Holy See. The author argues that these mutual initiatives of the Holy See and the Russian government were the political foundation for Vl. S. Solovyov’s famous theocratic project. The author worked with the funds of Vatican Secret Archive, concerning relationships between Russian government and the Holy See at the end of XIX century (State Secretary fund 247), personal fund of Leo XIII and the Holy See connection’s with Slavic religious figures (State Secretary fund 283, 248, 1D).