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Solov'ev Artem

Archbishop Nikanor (Brovkovich) as Critic of Progress and Well-wisher to the Railway


Solov'ev Artem (2014) "Archbishop Nikanor (Brovkovich) as Critic of Progress and Well-wisher to the Railway ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia, 2014, vol. 54, pp. 29-45 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI201454.29-45

Abstract

The author discusses the nineteenth century Russian Orthodox Archbishop Nikanor (Brovkovich) and his views on social and technical progress. Sources of this include: Nikanor’s sermon for the New Year of 1860, his sermon at the blessing of the train station at Odessa in 1884, and a few selected pages of the second volume of Nikanor’s tractate Positivistic Philosophy and Super-physical Reality (1876). In addition, a draft of Nikanor’s Odessa sermon exists and is found in the archbishop’s personal archive. Two sections of the draft are of essential significance and were later excluded by the author from the final version of his sermon. The author demonstrates how Nikanor, a representative of the world of the ecclesiastical academies attempted to respond to the challenge of progress, discover in it some sort of meaning and reveal its negative aspects. Nikanor worked from a specific gnoseological standpoint, at the root of which is the distinction between mind and intellect, between idea and understanding. According to Nikanor, the need for utilitarian progress is justified by rationalistic preconceptions, especially those of a pantheistic-idealistic and a materialistic nature. The author describes how Nikanor formulated his critique of progress and the railway. He mentions also several of Nikanor’s personal motives which determined his aversion to rapid transport. Nikonor was not alone in his rejection of progress. Contemporaries who shared his disposition included leading thinkers of the nineteenth century: N. V. Gogol’, P. I. Shalfeev, I. V. Kireevsky, K. S. and I. S. Aksakov, and K. N. Leont’ev. The author concludes that the sermons of Archbishop Nikonor are worthy of further study by students of Russian philoso

Keywords

Archbishop Nikonor (Brovkovich), critique of progress, railways, Positivistic Philosophy and Super-physical Reality, archival fund of Archbishop Nikonor (Brovkovich)

References


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Solov'ev Artem