The Heritage of Gnosis in Russian Religious Thought

Sławomir Mazurek

Experts are unanimous that there are many affinities between gnostic thought and Russian religious philosophy of the first half of XXth century (Russian religious renaissance) and that the latter was in different ways influenced by the former. So far, however, there are not many studies on this particularly subject. The paper, in an attempt to fill this gap, gives a comparative description of the ancient gnosis and the Russian religious philosophy. The author points out similarities and differences between these two great spiritual movements, taking into consideration many aspects – poetics of writings, language and terminology and, certainly, ideas. He sums up, among others, the Russians historiosophical debate about valuable and destructive elements of gnosis – its truths and lies – and role played by it in the course of human history. Finally he comes to conclusion that the Russian renaissance absorbed from gnosis as much as it could absorb without losing its Christian identity. Thus the Russian renaissance turns out to be a typical counterreformative reactionagainst the gnosis and gnostic tradition.


Keywords: Russian renaissance · gnosis · counterreformation

Sławomir Mazurek — Associate Professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Expert on Russian Philosophy; author of several books about so called Russian religious Renaissance, among others: Wątki katastroficzne w myśli rosyjskiej i polskiej (Catastrophical Currents in Russian and Polish Thought 1917–1950); Utopia i łaska. Idea rewolucji moralnej w rosyjskiej filozofii religijnej (The Utopia and The Grace. Idea of Moral Revolution in the Russian Religious Thought).   »  

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