Steve Evans's Reviews > The Russian Idea

The Russian Idea by Nikolai A. Berdyaev
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Mar 27, 12

Read in January, 2011

This is a wonderful book that will surprise anyone who is not familiar with its subject - Russian religious philosophy of the 19th and early 20th century, and is arguably its author's masterwork. He wrote it in the last years of his ife, in a Parisian exile that had begun in the early years of the Soviet Union, when a number of Christian thinkers were expelled on "philosophers' ships" to Germany. Most settled originally in Berlin before their emigre centre shifted to Paris. Berdyaev was a key figure of this emigration, and in many books over the 25 or so years of his exile till his death in the late 1940s he seemed to pour them out of an inexhaustible imagination. Readers not familiar with his work with perhaps find this the most accessible, though it is far from encompassing the range of his talent.

The Russian idea is an idea shared by a number of Russian Christian thinkers beginning with Khomyakov and ending, perhaps, with Berdyaev - at least till the end of the Soviet Union. It is too complex to deal with in this space and I might not do it justice. As I am in great debt to Berdyaev I made this book the subject of a thriller I have recently finished and published as an e-book on smashwords, with the same title, The Russian Idea - hoping that I might interest readers unfamiliar with Berdyaev and this subject in reading it.
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