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The Quarterly Journal of St. Philaret’s Institute

ISSN: 2658-7599 (print)
2713-3141 (online)

Nikolai Berdyaev’s “Academy” in post-revolutionary Russia: Charter and principles of organization

Anna Makarova, Junior Researcher, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow
pp. 31–49
DOI: 10.25803/26587599_2022_41_31
The article is a brief overview of the history of the formation and development of the Society “Free Academy of Spiritual Culture” (1919–1923), which was organized in Soviet Russia as a continuation of the home meetings (“Tuesdays”) by N. A. Berdyaev and developed after the deportation of part of the intelligentsia in 1922 in the form of the Religious and Philosophical Academy in Berlin under the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) in 1922. The article indicates the key aspects of the Academy, their favorable and unfavorable consequences, the content of the educational program of the Academy, some educational initiatives that had similar mission and form, in particular, the Free Philosophical Association (1919–1924). Among the key characteristics of the VADK, the author points out, firstly, openness and non-elitism (attending lectures was available to the general public, that was mentioned in several detailed memoirs, including those of the main VADK lecturer N. A. Berdyaev), secondly, the overhistoric nature of the topics of lectures and public reports (VADK was not thematically included in the field of political discussion, supporting the discussion of the spiritual culture problems), thirdly, the highest level of the teaching staff of the VADK (S. L. Frank, F. A. Stepun, V. I. Ivanov, B. P. Vysheslavtsev, P. P. Muratov and others). The appendices to the article contain the Charter of the Free Academy of Spiritual Culture, the conclusion of The People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD) Advisory Bureau on the Charter, and a letter to the NKVD banning the re-registration of the Academy in 1922.
Keywords: history of Russian philosophy, Soviet Russia, N. A. Berdyaev, Andrey Bely, Free Academy of Spiritual Culture, Free Philosophical Association, Volfila

Last Issue2024. Volume 16. Issue 2 (50)

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