“Dynamic Eschaton”: expectation of new era in the Russian metaphysics in the beginning of the XX century

Authors: Romanenko A.A. Published: 11.05.2023
Published in issue: #3(101)/2023  
DOI: 10.18698/2306-8477-2023-3-841  
Category: The Humanities in Technical University | Chapter: Philosophy Science  
Keywords: eschatology, apocalypse, revolution, social utopia, transcendentism, philosophy of history, fatalism

The paper considers the impact of apocalyptic sentiments in the eschatological ideas of Russian metaphysicians that were growing in society in the early XX century. It is shown that assessment of the catastrophic events of that period led them to the need to search for the historiosophical views being an alternative to philosophical determinism and religious fatalism. The work of E.N. Trubetskoy “The Meaning of Life” was analyzed, in which the philosopher argued for the expediency of dynamic understanding of the “end of history”. Unlike the fatalistic understanding, it introduces a new vision of events, according to which the eschaton onset depends not only on the providence of God, but also on the creative activity of a free person. Dynamic eschatology of E.N. Trubetskoy and active eschatology of N.A. Berdyaev are compared. Their fundamental difference is shown, which consists in the fact that active eschatology does not involve preparation of cardinal transformation of the created world, but denial of this world as a result of objectification, denial that proceeds the new metahistorical eon. On the example of conclusions made by S.L. Frank, V.V. Zenkovsky, G.P. Fedotov and S.N. Bulgakov, the point of view is substantiated, according to which the mindsets combining eschatologism and evolutionism were characteristic not only for N.A. Berdyaev, but also for many representatives of the Russian metaphysics. They formed eschatological concepts in the troubled times for Russia and the world, on the one hand, based on the traditional Christian worldview, on the other hand, they were philosophically interpreting those concepts and supplementing them with chiliastic expectations of a new era. The Russian philosophers were not seeing “beginning of the end” in the revolution and sought to justify the importance for the whole world of the individual creative activity required in continuation of history as a condition for this activity.

[1] Serbinenko V.V. Vl.S. Solovyov. Moscow, NIMP Publ., 2000, 240 p.
[2] Maksimov M.V. Vladimir Solovyov i Zapad: nevidimyi kontinenet [Vladimir Solovyov and the West: the invisible continent]. Moscow, Prometey Publ., 1998, 242 p.
[3] Asmus V.F. Vladimir Solovyov. Moscow, Progress Publ., 1994, 208 p.
[4] Vorontsova I.V. Russkaya religiozno-filosofskaya mysl v nachale XX veka: Monografiya [Russian religious and philosophical thought at the beginning of the 20th century: Monograph]. Moscow, Izdatelstvo PSTGU Publ., 2008, 424 p.
[5] Gaidenko P.P. Vladimir Solovyov i filosofiya serebryannogo veka [Vladimir Solovyov and philosophy of the Silver Age]. Moscow, Progress-Traditsiya Publ., 2001, 472 p.
[6] Gulyga A.V. Russkaya ideya i ee tvortsy [Russian idea and its creators]. Moscow, Eksmo Publ., 2003, 448 p.
[7] Losev A.F. Vladimir Solovyov i ego vremya [Vladimir Solovyov and his time]. Moscow, Molodaya Gvardiya Publ., 2009, 617 p.
[8] Maslin M.A. Klassiki russkoy idei: Vladimir Solovyov i Nikolay Berdyaev [Classics of the Russian idea: Vladimir Solovyov and Nicholas Berdyaev]. Solovyovskie issledovaniya — Solovyov Studies, 2014, no. 1, pp. 47–59.
[9] Motroshilova N.V. Mysliteli Rossii i filosofiya Zapada (V. Solovyov. N. Berdyaev. S. Frank. L. Shestov [Thinkers of Russia and philosophy of the West (V. Solovyov. N. Berdyaev. S. Frank. L. Shestov)]. Moscow, Respublika, Kulturnaya Revolutsiya Publ., 2007, 477 p.
[10] Nizhnikov S.A., Grebeshev I.V. Genezis i razvitie metafizicheskoy mysli v Rossii: Monografiya [Genesis and development of metaphysical thought in Russia: monograph]. Moscow, Runivers Publ., 2016, 504 p.
[11] Serbinenko V.V., Grebeshev I.V. Russkaya metafiziki XIX–XX vekov [Russian metaphysics in the 19th–20th centuries]. Moscow, Runivers Publ., 2016, 800 p.
[12] Khoruzhy S.S. Posle pereryva. Puti russkoy filosofii [After the break. Ways of the Russian philosophy]. Saint Petersburg, Aleteya Publ., 1994, 448 p.
[13] Bagdasaryan V.E., Resnyansky S.I. Russkaya eskhatologiya: istoriya obschestvennoy mysli Rossii v fokuse apokaliptiki [Russian eschatology: history of the social thought in Russia in the focus of apocalypses]. Moscow, JSC “BOS” Publ., 2022, 324 p.
[14] Glazkov A.P. Eskhatologicheskaya istoriosofiya i ee onto-fenomenologicheskoe izmerenie [Eschatological historiosophy and its onto-phenomenological dimension]. Moscow, INFRA-M Publ., 2015, 216 p.
[15] Granin R.S. Analiticheskaya eskhatologiya [Analytical eschatology]. Moscow, Institut Nauchnoy Informatsii po Obschestvennym Naukam RAN Publ., 2019, 159 p.
[16] Trubetskoy E.N. Izbrannye proizvedeniya [Selected works]. Rostov-on-Don, Feniks Publ., 1998, 512 p.
[17] Berdyaev N.A. Russkaya ideya [Russian idea]. Moscow, Eksmo Publ.; Saint Petersburg, Midgard Publ., 2005, 832 p.
[18] Frank S.L. Religiozno-istoricheskiy smysl russkoy revolutsii [Religious and historical meaning of the Russian revolution]. Nachala, 1991, no. 3, pp. 56–77.
[19] Zenkovsky V.V. Sobranie sochineniy [Collected works]. In 2 vols. Vol. 2. Moscow, Russkiy Put Publ., 2008, 528 p.
[20] Fedotov G.P. Sobranie Sochineniy. V 12 t. T.2: Statyi 1920–1930-kh godov iz zhurnalov “Put”, “Pravoslavnaya mysl” i “Vestnik RSKhD” [Collected works. In 12 vols. Vol. 2: Articles of the 1920–1930 from the journals Put, Pravoslavnaya mysl and Herald of the RSKhD]. Moscow, Martis Publ., 1998, 380 p.
[21] Bulgakov S.N. Pravoslavie [Orthodoxy]. Moscow, AST Publ., 2003, 365 p.