Vladimir Bystrov 1, Sergei Dudnik 2, Vladimir Kamnev 2
  • 1 Saint Petersburg University, 7/9 Universitetskaya nabereznaya, Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation
  • 2 Saint Petersburg University, 7/9 Universitetskaya nabereznaya, Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation

Friendship Policies in Russian Religious Philosophy

2016, vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 114–129 [issue contents]
In antiquity, the phenomenon of friendship became the object of steadfast attention from philosophy. In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle connects the political existence of man with friendship since he believes the city (polis) can be built in analogy with friendly unions. Cicero also saw a social prototype in friendship. A gradual change in such a representation resulted in a romantic concept of friendship that is understood as the subjective, sensual bringing together of individuals, but is only accessible to few. Kant and Hegel also adhered to the romantic concept. Russian religious philosophy, on the one hand, is formed under the influence of German romanticism and the understanding of friendship peculiar to it, but, on the other hand, it returns immediately to the concept of friendship as a social construct. Khomyakov believes that friendship is first of all established between the power and the people, and this friendly union distinguishes Russian culture from the West European culture. However Russian religious-philosophical thought is distinguished by the aspiration to understand the phenomenon of friendship not in itself, but in its connection with the concepts of enmity and brotherhood. There is an image of brotherly unity emanating from a Far Eastern civilization which Vl. Solovyov posits as the main threat to Christianity, whereas N. Fyodorov, believes that a brotherly unity and an unspoken pledge of rescue from “the not brotherly” West that has remained in the Russian and in the Chinese agrarian communities. The relationship between the concepts of friendship and brotherhood becomes clearer in 20th century Western European thought, particularly in the representations of the “mystical acosmism of brotherhoods” by the sociologist and philosopher M. Weber and the political philosopher H. Arendt.
Citation: Bystrov V., Dudnik S., Kamnev V. (2016) Politiki druzhby v russkoy religioznoy filosofii [Friendship Policies in Russian Religious Philosophy]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 15, no 4, pp. 114-129
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