The article considers the dialogue between Mother Maria and V.V. Rozanov, the foremost representative of the new religious consciousness of the early XX century. Mother Maria’s polemic with Rozanov is explored within a broad historical and cultural context (Gogol, Dostoevsky, Leontyev, Merezhkovsky, Berdyayev). The author highlights the key issues of the discussion, such as the correlation of Christianity and the world, Christian asceticism (church nihilism, monophysitically denying the world) and humanism (“pink Christianity”), and, consequently, the question of the church’ social ministry. Rozanov and Mother Maria appear as successors of the Zosimovian tradition of Christian humanism – philanthropic Christianity, open to the world and oriented towards serving it.
Keywords: Mother Maria (Skobtsova), Rozanov, Dostoevsky, Leontyev, Christian asceticism, Christian humanism, social ministry of the Russian Orthodox Church.