Published in journal "Philosophy and Culture", 2015-5 in rubric "Social philosophy", pages 704-714.
Resume: The article deals with the problem «Russia – Europe» as is was put in the history of Russian philosophical thought and in the works of a prominent Russian cultural scientist and historian living outside Russia Vladimir Veydle in connection with his analysis of the European sources of Russian culture. According to the author, the works of Veydle, centered around the theme of historical formation and development of the cultural unity between Russian and Europe, is in tune with sociocultural problems faced nowadays by modern Russia. The underlying reason for the author’s turning to this topic is the acknowledgement of the extremely strong influence of spiritual culture (art, literature, poetry) on the development of society. Culture does not reflect the being of people but exists as their other-being, and therefore the fate of culture and the historical fate of a nation are inseparable. This methodological attitude has determined the direction of the research analysis. Attention is paid to the prevailing themes in Veydle’s creative works. 1. Adoption of Christianity, the Byzantine religion, determined the vector of historical movement and spiritual development of Russia and included it into the European cultural space «as a part and whole», i.e. predetermined to be Europe not only as a territory but also as a culture. 2. Inheritance of ancient Greek traditions from Byzantium that gave way for development of Orthodox national self-sufficiency distinguished Russian spirituality from the cultural world of Europe. That created the feeling of certain alienation of faith, ways of life and values, to which Europe did not object though contradistinction of Russia has always threatened with closure in its own being: losing itself in Russia, Europe was losing a historically established integrity of its cultural outlook. Therefore, the question about Russia’s place in Europe initially rose not only as the Russian question. 3. The most important outcome of Peter the First's activities was the appearance of the culture of Russian nobility that combined «Westernness» and «Russianness». To the most degree, according to Veydle, that could be said about Pushkin. In this sense, the fate of Russia was reflected in Pushkin's works more than in all subsequent overturns and revolutions. 4. The Silver Age of Russian culture that actualized the problem of the traditional and the new in creative works and its relation to religious consciousness coincided in time with the crisis of spirituality experienced by European art and accompanied by the predominance of the consumer and aesthetic standards of popular culture. Veydle in his essay «The dying of art» ponders about the fate of literature and artistic creation under these conditions and this topic is also reflected in the present article. 5. October 1917 introduced a split into Russian culture but both outside Russia and under new circumstances the best representatives of Russian culture maintained the relationship with the accumulated spiritual experience, established traditions of artistic creation and preserved Russian culture as a whole. Even though they lived and created in the violently divided world, Akhmatova and Merezhkovskiy, Tsvetaeva and Khodasevich, Nabokov and Pasternak equally introduced Russian culture. 6. The author of the article pays special attention to Veydle’s attitude to the Eurasian theme. Veydle took Eurasian interpretation of the sources of Russian culture and history as the desire to separate Russia from Europe and the attempt that did not meet the task of scientific interpretation of real cultural relations between Russia and Europe. Veydle's critical objections was dictated by the belief that Russian culture was born and developed in Europe and not in Asia, and therefore its «removal», even partial, from the cultural European space is violent to the spiritual life and history of both Russia and Europe.
Keywords: Eurasianism, new religious consciousness, Silver Age, spiritual tradition, artistic creation, Russian culture, European cultural space, Christianity, Russia and Europe, Pushkin
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