Sunday, 1 May 2016

An article on Vladimir Soloviev



In his works one can view the development of his thought on Godmanhood. Soloviev stood in the tradition of the Greek Fathers, which emphasized 'deification' or 'divinization' of the Christian. It declared that God became man in order that men would become "partakers of the divine nature," that is, sons of God, sharing in the divine life of God by the sanctifying grace given in Baptism. This union of divinity with humanity was the goal of creation and was accomplished individually in one Person, Christ true God and true man, uniting perfectly two natures without confusion or division.

After the Incarnation, the historical work of God had entered a new phase. It is not concerned any longer with a physical and individual unity but with a moral and social unity wherein the whole human race is to be united with God. According to Soloviev, this realization of the Kingdom of God is to be established on earth by a theocracy. Not for Soloviev was the ideology of secular liberal democracy nor that of proletarian socialism, but rather what he termed "free theocracy." His notion of theocracy, which stemmed from his organic view of Christianity, he defined thus: "Free theocracy is that society in which all three spheres - the Church, the State, and the local authority - each maintaining its relative independence, are not externally or mechanically separated, but mutually penetrate each other as integral parts of a single organic being, indispensable to each other and united in a common goal and a common life."

This free theocracy, he came to believe, was embodied in the Church Christ founded; but it was a Church regarded not only as a spiritual hierarchy or an invisible society of souls but as the whole organism of a theocratic Christian society united with Christ under one spiritual and visible head. This theocratic society of the universal Church involved a union of church and state wherein the temporal power of the Christian state had the mission to help the Church to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. Soloviev's theocratic vision was that of a Russian nation reintegrated into the Catholic Church and seen as an imperial power genuinely Christian and Catholic and dedicated to enabling the Church to establish political and social peace and justice in Europe. A Catholic Russia could thus fulfill the Church's universal vocation to inaugurate a new Christian civilization through the great, uniting force of love.

I am currently reading Soloviev's Russia and the Universal Church. It is such a beautiful book.

Catholics must pray for the canonization of Vladimir Soloviev.

Vladimir Soloviev, pray for the conversion of Russia.

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