Culture of culture

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Since 2014




A.Ya. Flier. A systematic model of the social functions of culture




A.V. Kostina, A.Ya. Flier. Ternary functional model of culture (continued)

V.M. Rozin. Features and constitution of musical reality

N.A. Khrenov. Russian culture at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries: the Gnostic "Renaissance" in the context of symbolism (continued)




I.V. Kondakov. The cat as a cultural hero: from Puss in Boots to Schrodinger's Cat

N.A. Khrenov. A Century later: the tragic experience of Soviet Culture (continued)

I.E. Isakas. Hypothesis. The Christmas tree is a symbol of the second coming of Christ


A.Ya. Flier. Is culture inevitable? (on the limits of the social usefulness of culture) (Philosophical dystopia)

A.A. Pelipenko. Culture as an inevitability (on the subjective status of culture)

Announcement of the next issue


Nikolay Andreevich Khrenov,
Doctor of Philosophy, Professor,
All-Russian State University
of Cinematography named after S.A. Gerasimov,

Russian Culture at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries:
the Gnostic "Renaissance" in the context of symbolism


Abstract. The article is devoted not so much to such a significant artistic trend in the history of Russian art of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as symbolism, but rather to the rebirth within its boundaries of a whole worldview characteristic of the era of the extinction of ancient culture. This worldview at that time manifested itself simultaneously in religious and philosophical forms. The philosophy of antiquity, having already freed itself from religion in the era of the "ancient Enlightenment", i.e. in the era when Plato and Aristotle worked, returned to religion again, but most importantly, it was fragmented into several schools or directions. One of these trends was Gnosticism, which in the second century of the new era reached such a high point of development that it became a competitor to early Christianity. However, history developed in such a way that in the subsequent period Christianity came to the fore and began to spread throughout the world. It was Christianity that did everything to make Gnosticism forgotten. On the one hand, it pushed the Gnostics into unofficial spheres, into sects, protecting itself from their influence, and, on the other, it dissolved the Gnostic teaching in itself. This is how Christian Gnosticism or Gnosticism in its Christian forms arose. Since the second half of the nineteenth century, humanity has entered a transitional period of cultural development, characterized by the rehabilitation of the early layers of culture pushed to the periphery and forgotten (archaic, medieval, Byzantine, Oriental, etc.). This process is evidenced by Russian art, which from the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries begins to experience what some designate as the Slavic artistic Renaissance. Calling this period in art the "Renaissance", they meant by the beginning of the rise of Russian art something similar to the Western Renaissance of the XV – XVI centuries. However, these processes cannot be reduced solely to art. Apparently, since both religion and philosophy are becoming more active during this period, this era in the history of Russian art should already be called a "cultural renaissance". The innovations that were taking place in the art of that time and, in particular, the emergence of symbolism in its domestic version, were associated with philosophy. Thus, the symbolists themselves believed that their ideas and images were due to the philosophy of V. Solovyov. Indeed, it was this Russian mystic philosopher who did a lot to rehabilitate Gnostic ideas in Russia. Ideas of V.Solovyov was largely determined by the interest of symbolists in Gnostics. Although, of course, the worldview of the Gnostics, convinced that the world lies in evil, returned in addition to philosophy and art, simply as a mood spreading in different strata of society. It was some kind of premonition of those catastrophes in the form of an incipient chain reaction of revolutions and wars, during which millions of people died. It seemed that evil had reached its peak in the new century. To express this mood, the ideas of the Gnostics were first used, and then this mood was expressed in the philosophy of existentialism. Bearing in mind the revival of Gnosticism since the end of the nineteenth century, including those of its forms that reached the twentieth century in the form of sects, the author designates these manifestations using the concept of "underground", which has been actively breaking into Russian art since the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and also continues to make itself felt, including throughout the last century.

Keywords: symbolism, gnosticism, gnosis, underground, rejected knowledge, the Golden Age, sects, existentialism, Hermeticism, theosophy, anthroposophy, East, Buddhism, Christianity, Slavic cultural Renaissance, Western Renaissance, transcendental, chiliasm, V. Solovyov, F. Schelling, S. Baudelaire, D. Merezhkovsky, A. Bely, V. Bryusov, A. Blok, A. Schopenhauer, F. Nietzsche, A. Kozyrev, I. Evlampiev, N. Berdyaev, A. Etkind, P. Gaidenko.


[45] Evlampiev I. Gnostic Christianity in the history of European Philosophy. pp. 97-116; 105.
[46] Gnostics. p. 190.
[47] Nalimov V. On Gnostics and gnosticism. P. 68.
[48] Guardini R. The end of modern times. Questions of philosophy. 1990. № 4.
[49] Heller S. Gnosticism. M.: Kastalia Club, 2011. p. 12.
[50] Dragalina Zh., Dyachkov A.V. V. Nalimov and gnosticism. pp. 56-64; 60.
[51] Gnostics. p. 175.
[52] Ibid.
[53] Ibid., p. 201.
[54] Kozyrev A. Decree. op. s. 8.
[55] Stepun F. Decree. op. p. 111.
[56] Asoyan Yu., Malafeev A. The discovery of the idea of culture. The experience of Russian cultural studies in the middle of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Moscow: OGI, 2000. – 344 p.
[57] Bely A. Symbolism as a worldview. Decree. Op. S. 446.
[58] Ibid., p. 18.
[59] Gnostics or about "false knowledge". Kiev: Ucimm-Press, 1997. p. 253.
[60] Schelling F. Philosophy of Revelation. St. Petersburg: Publishing house "Speculation", 2020. p. 710.
[61] Ibid. p. 712.
[62] Ibid.
[63] Bely A. Charles Baudelaire (Baudelaire's symbolism. His poems. Baudelaire in Russian translations) // Scales. 1909. No. 6. pp. 71-80.
[64] Baudelaire S. Flowers of Evil. Moscow: Nauka, 1970. p. 205.
[65] Ibid., p. 203.
[66] Ibid., p. 200.
[67] Ibid., p. 199.
[68] Ibid., p. 202.
[69] Bryusov V. Collected works. Poems 1892-1909. Vol. 1. p. 231.
[70] Rozanov V. Secluded. M.: Politizdat, 1990. p. 398.
[71] Ibid. p. 399.
[72] Ellis. Decree op. c. 434.
[73] Hansen-Levet A. Decree op. c. 311.
[74] Etkind A. Decree op. C. 435.
[75] Ibid. p. 436.
[76] Klibanov A. From the memoirs of V. D. Bonch-Bruevich // Notes of the Department of Manuscripts GBL. 1983. p. 44.
[77] Etkind A. Decree. op. s. 657.
[78] Ibid. p. 195.
[79] Ibid., p. 352.
[80] Losev A. Aesthetics of the Renaissance. M.: Mysl, 1978. p. 89.
[81] Karsavin L. Satanic depths (Ophites and Basilides) Decree. op. p. 256.
[82] Ibid. p. 257.
[83] Konovalov D. Religious ecstasy in Russian mystical sectarianism. Sergiev Posad, 1908.
[84] Prishvin M. Religious ecstasy // Russian thought. 1909. No. 10. p. 48.
[85] Ibid.
[86] Ibid., p. 49.
[87] Ibid.
[88] Ibid.
[89] Ibid., p. 50.
[90] Ibid., p. 52.
[91] Bryusov V. The Republic of the Southern Cross // Bryusov V. Novellas and stories. M.: Pravda, 1988. pp. 88-106; 91.
[92] Etkind A. Decree. Op. C. 41.
[93] Ibid., p. 45.



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