The reconstruction of the biographical and academic contexts of Russian philosophical culture at the turn of the 20th century became the topic of the Conference "Garden of forking paths: Florensky, Durylin, Bulgakov, Rozanov et cetera ...".
“The conference was dedicated to the 115th anniversary of the founding of the Moscow Religious Rociety in memory of Vladimir Solovyov and the 110th anniversary of the founding of the publishing house Put’,” said Anna Reznichenko, Chair of the Steering Committee, Professor at RSUH. “It is dedicated to the comprehension of these two important cultural institutions of the Russian religious renaissance.”
The conference was opened by a presentation by Dr. Yurganov, Head of the Department of Russian History of the Middle Ages and the New Age, RSUH, “The Phallic in Russian Modernism as a Crisis. On Soloviev and Rozanov."
“Modernist thought could not come to terms with the idea of the primordial power of the clan and family over the individual,” the speaker noted. - A woman personified the natural element involved in the enslavement of personality, and being an elemental force, she is not able to rise above the clan. Modernist thought in this area was not tolerant. Criticism of women did not mean their humiliation: criticism and adoration do not oppose each other, but explain the various tasks of men and women in spiritual development.
A powerful monument here is the work “The Meaning of Love” by Vladimir Solovyov. He spoke of the primacy of initiative, the primacy of the spiritual, not coinciding with the material beginning of life, but transforming it. Solovyev was strongly opposed to marriage as a utilitarian consolidation of the social function of the family in society. Renouncing family beliefs for the sake of personal freedom is one of the main motives of modernists who defended free love. However, in all modernist novels of that time, we will not be able to find the image of a strong man. The philosophical thought rested on the initiative-bearing principle of masculine power, yet the fiction claimed the opposite. This crisis was especially pronounced during World War I.
The most striking critic of the new Slavophilism, Berdyaev, insisted that the idea of the Russian people could exist without the participation of the people themselves, as if postponed for later, a task of the future, an alien mystery, one of the greatest mysteries in Russian philosophy of the early 20th century. So the Russian philosophical idea of male power transforming the country, whether it be a Slavophile interpretation of the Orthodox state or a cosmopolitan concept in the spirit of Berdyaev, contradicts the people themselves, who have not found the strength to be themselves in a metaphysical perspective.”
Subsequent presentations examined the history of institutions, ideas, culture, faith and the European philosophical context of the activities of the Moscow Religious and Philosophical Society in memory of Vladimir Solovyov and the book publishing house Put’, Russian intellectuals Florensky, Durylin, Bulgakov, Rozanov and the contemporary art process, the history of the manuscript by Glinka (Volzhsky) about Dostoevsky, stone metaphors in the Russian reception of "The Divine Comedy", American neo-Gothic and Lovecraftiana as an ontological answer to Russian Neoplatonism.
At the end of the first day of the Conference, a round-table discussion was held entitled “Those Seeking the City” in the “apocalypse of everyday life”: how (and why) we read Rozanov and Florensky now.
The conference continued on May 15th.
Organizers: Faculty of Philosophy, RSUH, Zenkovsky Society of Historians of Russian Philosophy at RSUH, Museum Association "Museums of the Science City of Korolev", Durylin Memorial House-Museum.