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Semyon Frank

Boobbyer, Philip (2020) Semyon Frank. In: Emerson, Caryl and Pattison, George and Poole, Randall A., eds. The Oxford Handbook of Russian Religious Thought. Oxford University Press, pp. 494-509. ISBN 978-0-19-879644-2. (doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198796442.013.30) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:85340)

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Semyon Liudvigovich Frank was a proponent of ‘all-unity’, who sought to overcome the polarities in modern thought through a universal philosophical synthesis. Jewish by background, he was drawn to Marxism in his youth; but after some involvement in politics he grew disenchanted with the revolutionary movement. After 1905, he embarked on a career as a professional philosopher. He converted to Orthodoxy in 1912. Following deportation from Russia in 1922 he lived in Germany, France, and Britain. His main works of religious philosophy were written in emigration, although his underlying philosophical outlook was formed before the revolution. Most of the main themes in Christian theology were addressed in his work, even though theology was not his primary focus. Ontological questions were his main preoccupation. He saw his ideas as belonging to the Platonist tradition. His thinking was antinomian; following Nicholas of Cusa, he sought to demonstrate the ‘coincidence of opposites’. There was an apophatic tendency in his work, as well as an experiential emphasis. He saw evil as a kind of non-existent reality. He rejected charges of pantheism. There were echoes of Vladimir Soloviev’s thought in his writings, but this similarity only became clear to him after his philosophical system was formed. His outlook on the church was ecumenical, although he remained loyal to the Moscow Patriarchate. His social philosophy was personalistic and his political thought gradualist; he advocated a kind of Christian realism or humanism while warning against utopianism.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198796442.013.30
Uncontrolled keywords: all-unity, apophaticism, Christian realism, ecumenism, existentialism, neo-Platonism, ontology, panentheism, personalism, theodicy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Philip Boobbyer
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2021 16:42 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:17 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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