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Artem Soloviev   1
  • 1 The Bashkir Academy of State Service and Management under the Head of the Republic of Bashkortostan, Zaki Validi st., 40, Ufa, Russian Federation

Modernist Traditionalism against Modernity: Criticism of Progress in Russia in the Second Half of the 19th Century (the Case of Archbishop Nikanor [Brovkovich] and K. N. Leontiev)

2017, vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 253–274 [issue contents]
Archbishop Nikanor (Brovkovich) (1826–1890), and Konstantin Nikolaevich Leontiev (1831–1891), whose ideas are often considered as identical, are representatives of the Russian conservatism of the second half of the XIX century. Their views can be attributed to the culture-critical direction of the traditionalist type which interprets modernization as a threat to the existence of both the natural habitat of man and man himself. These thinkers oppose progress, as they believe that modernization is homogenizing culture and destroying traditions. To identify the differences between the views of Archbishop Nicanor and Leontiev, it seems necessary to turn to the theory of “compensation” by I. Ritter, G. Lubbe, and O. Marquard. According to this theory, modernity produces ways of compensation of its own rational homogeneity. Among these ways of compensation, we can find the interest of irrational and unique phenomena, and of individual “stories of origin”. Thus, culture-criticism itself is revealed as a way of a compensation of the standardizing aspects of modernization. Thus, Leont’ev contrasts modernity with “Byzantium” as a traditional culture, while Archbishop Nikanor does so with the ideal of individual Orthodox holiness. This demonstrates the difference between them, despite the fact that their traditionalism turns out to be equally modern, performing the compensation. However, Leontiev was sketching out the ways of destroying modernity, linking it with the victory of socialism which he predicted within the political avant-garde, leading to a new feudalism. In contrast, Archbishop Nikanor considered progress as inevitable, offering to compensate for its negative consequences by maintaining the irrational and unique aspects of traditional religiosity.
Citation: Soloviev A. (2017) Modernyy traditsionalizm protiv moderna: kritika progressa v Rossii vtoroy poloviny XIX v. (sluchay arkhiepiskopa Nikanora [Brovkovicha] i K. N. Leont'eva) [Modernist Traditionalism against Modernity: Criticism of Progress in Russia in the Second Half of the 19th Century (the Case of Archbishop Nikanor [Brovkovich] and K. N. Leontiev)]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 16, no 2, pp. 253-274 (in Russian)
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