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Igor Yevlampiev's Lecture "Gist of "Russian Idea" in the Works of Dostoevsky, Solovyov and Berdyaev and Problem of the Relationship between Russia and Europe"

On November 21, 2018, in the framework of the seminar "West and East: Universalism of Culture" of the International Laboratory for the Study of Russian and European Intellectual Dialogue, Professor of St. Petersburg State University I.I. Yevlampiev gave a lecture.

I.I. Yevlampiev focused on the peculiarity of the concept "Russian idea", and also spoke about understanding of the concept by Russian philosophy. The speaker traced the line of development of Russian thinkers' understanding of the historical path of Russia.

Since the 1930s, Russian thinkers have been actively discussing the problem of Russia's historical mission and Russia's position in European and world history. This led to the formation of two ideological currents - Westernism and Slavophilism. Their traditional description is too straightforward and does not take into account important details. The first variant of understanding the fate of Russia in relation to Europe was given by P. Chaadaev, and his conclusion was that Russia was completely dependent on Europe. Similar views held I. Turgenev. However, A. Herzen came to a more complicated idea. Once in Europe, he abruptly changed his initial opinion about Russia's dependence on Europe. Herzen came to the conclusion that “philistinism” won in Europe, which meant that it lost its cultural essence, its main property - the ability to create great cultural values. Herzen predicted the final decline of Europe and the onset of the era of new barbarism, to which Russia was more prepared, because collectivism (“communal nature”) dominated individualism. Russia would be ahead of the West and give an example of a new model of civilizational development. F. Dostoevsky accepted Herzen’s conclusion about culture decline in contemporary Europe, but he did not assume that the great culture created by Europe could perish. Europe itself was not capable of creatively developing its cultural traditions, but Russia, due to the universality (“universal humanity”) of its culture, which synthesized all the achievements of Europe, could become the center of a new Europe, returning to its cultural traditions during the crisis. This view seems most accurate and largely justified in the 21st century, when Europe is undergoing a radical cultural crisis. Vl. Solov'ev at the end of the 19th century, realizing the crisis of Christianity, believed that the purpose of Russia was to revive Christianity on new foundations as the main factor in the historical development of Europe and the whole world. At the beginning of the 20th century, a similar idea was developed by N. Berdyaev. For him, “Russian idea,” the mission of Russia, is to unite all people, all nations for the realization of the highest spiritual values ​​and the transformation of the world and man into a perfect state, which is described by Christianity.