22 (1)
Free subscription at
the electronic version of journal
Subscription index
in the Russian Post
catalogue – 43669
Until 01.01.2019 - Scientific Yearbook of the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

ISSN 2686-7206 (Print)

ISSN 2686-925X (Оnlinе)

Vasechko Vyacheslav

Abstract: Every religious thinker eventually faces ideological challenge: What is the interrelation between his confessional identity and freedom of thought? Does his (or any other individual) religious identity promotes or prevents personal self-determination? I. Kant in his treatise “Religion within the Limits of the Reason Only” indicated key points where the church as an institute has a chance to deviate from its true mission and to turn into closed corporation whose members hinder spiritual development of their flock. Referring to Kant, three central figures of the Russian religious and philosophical thought of the 19th century vary in determining the status of the church in society and, accordingly, the personal attitude toward the church, as well as in prospects of its socio-political and moral-cultural reforming. Being mostly loyal to the church, Dostoevsky's project does not significantly affect the socio-political status quo and the church hierarchy, and restricts the space of personal development to the Orthodox format. In Dostoevsky’s view, the Orthodox church has the potential to serve as a spiritual reference point not only for the Russian people but also for humanity. Project of V. Solovyov, which anticipates ecumenism, is more critical toward the Orthodox church. It presumes a wide dialogue and organizational unification of the Christian denominations in a single church as a power of the process of building society of “free theocracy”, and humanity’s transition toward the state of “God-humanity”. The most radical project of Leo Tolstoy justifies the need to move away from any national and confessional identity, accessing the world-historical experience of the cultures of East and West, and purely rationalistic interpretation of moral absolutes. These three projects have their followers among contemporary Russian and foreign intellectuals. Their adherents continue traditions of national philosophy over socio-political, moral and philosophical problems.

Keywords: church, Orthodoxy, Kant, Dostoevsky, Vladimir Solov’yov, Leo Tolstoy, personality, confessionalism, false serving, rationalization, free theocracy.

Download article TPL_IPL_ARTICLE_PDF