ISSN online: 2221-1616

Bulletin of the Institute of Sociology (Vestnik instituta sotziologii)

Research Article

Оксана О Рафалюк, Candidate of Historical Sciences associate of other organizaiton, ,
Russian modernist writers and their influence at religious outlook of the society (at the eve of XIX-XX centuries).
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2012. Vol. 3. No. 2. P. 97-108

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Рафалюк О. Е. Russian modernist writers and their influence at religious outlook of the society (at the eve of XIX-XX centuries). Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2012. Vol. 3. No. 2. P. 97-108


The article analyzes the system of spiritual values of the largest representatives of the Russian cultural and intellectual elite of the turn of the 19th–20th centuries. The author shows how modernist writers understood the goals and tasks of Christianity, the problems of faith, asceticism, the inviolability of dogmas and the role of the Russian Orthodox Church, which had a great influence on the spiritual atmosphere of the Russian society of the pre-revolutionary era. The analysis of the spiritual values of the Russian cultural elite of the early twentieth century (1895–1915) was carried out with the help of the VAAL psycho-linguistic expert system. Special computer methods allowed analysis of 2,000 letters of the five brightest representatives of the Russian cultural elite (D. Merezhkovsky, Z. Gippius, V. Bryusov, A. Belyy, A. Blok) over 20 years (from 1895 to 1915), extracted by random sampling from numerous collections. According to the results obtained, religious reflections and arguments of modernist writers “grouped” around several main themes: historical Orthodoxy and the official church, the problem of “flesh” and “spirit”, the problem of freedom of conscience and non-violence, etc. The primary range of problems in the letters containing statements on the subject of religion, comes to the remoteness of the modern Christian church from a person, their requests and vital needs; the main actors of religious transformation were D. Merezhkovsky and Z. Gippius. The other authors examined did not have such clearly constructed a religious concept so consistently put into practice. It is shown that the revolutionary events brought together the “God-seeking” elite and the Church. The culture of the Silver Age reveals a similarity with the movement of the European religious Reformation of the 16th century. It is concluded that the experience gained and taken out of the polemic of the Russian modernist intelligentsia with the clergy that began in the first years of the twentieth century remained relevant throughout the century and can be perfectly interesting and didactic today. Many of those issues continue to be debatable, in particular, the problem of freedom of conscience, non-violence, and marriage.


«Fin de siecle», spiritual values, the Russian cultural elite, the Church, Christianity, religious reformation, the opposition of «the spirit and the flesh», asceticism, Orthodoxy, Religious-philosophical meetings


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