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Yurkevich, P.D. Society. Personalities Vysheslavtsev, B.P.

Vladimir Sergeyevich Solovyov

Vladimir Solovyov — Russian philosopher, theologian, poet, literary critic, who played a significant role in the development of Russian philosophy.

Born:  January, 28 (O.S. 16) 1853; Moscow
Died: August, 13 (O.S. July, 31) 1900; Moscow

The curious phenomenon of a society

Men have imagined that the acknowledgment of the divinity of Christ relieves them of the obligation of taking His words seriously. They have twisted certain texts of the Gospel so as to get out of them the meaning they want, while they have conspired to pass over in silence other texts which do not lend themselves to such treatment. The precept “Render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” is constantly quoted to sanction an order of things which gives Cæsar all and God nothing. The saying “My Kingdom is not of this world” is always being used to justify and confirm the paganism of our social and political life, as though Christian society were destined to belong to this world and not to the Kingdom of Christ.

On the other hand, the saying “All power is given Me in Heaven and Earth” is never quoted. Men are ready to accept Christ as sacrificing Priest and atoning Victim; but they do not want Christ the King. His royal dignity has been ousted by every kind of pagan despotism, and Christian peoples have taken up the cry of the Jewish rabble: “We have no king but Cæsar!”

Thus history has witnessed, and we are still witnessing, the curious phenomenon of a society which professes Christianity as its religion but remains pagan not merely in its life but in the very basis of that life.

VLADIMIR SOLOVYEV, «RUSSIA AND THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH»,
Introduction
Trans. by H. Rees

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