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Solovyov. God-manhood Category: Society Ordering of society

Society. State
Theocracy
In the works of Vladimir Solovyov

Prepare for the coming of the kingdom of God

Христианская политика должна подготовлять пришествие царства Божия для всего человечества как целого, состоящего из больших частей — народов, племен и государств.

Как нравственность христианская имеет в виду осуществление царства Божия внутри отдельного человека, так христианская политика должна подготовлять пришествие царства Божия для всего человечества как целого, состоящего из больших частей — народов, племен и государств.

… В политике христианских народов доселе царствует безбожная вражда и раздор, о царстве Божием здесь нет и помину. … Все достоинство человека в том, что он сознательно борется с дурною действительностью ради лучшей цели. … И в общей жизни человечества царство зла и раздора есть факт, но цель есть царство Божие, …

It is clear that … without its progressive activity mankind would always remain at the same stage of the historical process, would never attain the power finally to receive or to reject the Kingdom of God, and therefore there would be nothing to live for.

The connection of right with morality makes it possible to speak of the Christian state. It would be unjust to maintain that in pre-Christian times the state had no moral foundation. In the kingdoms of Judaea and of Israel, the prophets directly put moral demands to the state, and reproached it for not fulfilling these demands. In the pagan world it is sufficient to mention Theseus, for instance, who at the risk of his life freed his subjects from the cannibalistic tribute to Crete, in order to recognise that here too the fundamental moral motive of the state was pity, demanding active help to the injured and the suffering. The difference between the Christian and the pagan state is not then in their natural basis but in something else. From the Christian point of view the state is only a part in the organisation of the collective man — a part conditioned by another higher part, the Church, which consecrates the state in its work of serving indirectly in its own worldly sphere and by its own means the unconditional purpose which the Church directly puts before it — to prepare humanity and the whole earth for the Kingdom of God. From this follow the two chief tasks of the state — the conservative and the progressive: to preserve the foundations of social life apart from which humanity could not exist, and to improve the conditions of its existence by furthering the free development of all human powers which are to be the instrument of the future perfection, and apart from which the Kingdom of God could not be realised in humanity. It is clear that just as without the conservative activity of the state humanity would fall apart and there would be no one left to enter the fulness of life, so without its progressive activity mankind would always remain at the same stage of the historical process, would never attain the power finally to receive or to reject the Kingdom of God, and therefore there would be nothing to live for.

Vladimir Solovyov
The Justification of The Good
Ch. XIX. The moral organization of humanity as a whole

The world must come freely to God

… Вл. Соловьев признает положительное значение за отпадением природных человеческих сил от Бога, ибо после отпадения делается возможным свободное соединение человека с Богом. Царство Божие не может быть осуществлено путем принуждения и насилия. Принудительная теократия должна была пасть, и человек должен был вступить на путь свободного раскрытия своих сил. Вл. Соловьев думает, что мир должен пройти через свободу и свободно придти к Богу.

Николай Александрович Бердяев
Основная идея Владимира Соловьева

Велика истина и превозмогает! (2Езд.4:41). Всеединая премудрость божественная может сказать всем ложным началам, которые суть все ее порождения, но в раздоре своем стали врагами ее, — она может сказать им с уверенностью: “Идите прямо путями вашими, доколе не увидите пропасть перед собою; тогда отречетесь от раздора своего и все вернетесь, обогащенные опытом и сознанием, в общее вам отечество, где для каждого из вас есть престол и венец, и места довольно для всех, ибо в дому Отца Моего обителей много” (Ин.14:2).

Владимир Сергеевич Соловьев
Критика отвлеченных начал

Вл. Соловьев всегда понимал христианство не только как данность, но и как задание, обращенное к человеческой свободе и активности. В этом его великая заслуга. Дело Христово в мире есть прежде всего любовь. И дела любви, по соловьевскому сознанию, нужны не для оправдания делами или верой, а для осуществления Царства Божьего. "Человечество, — пишет он, — должно не только принимать благодать и истину, данную во Христе, но и осуществлять эту благодать и истину в своей собственной и исторической жизни". "Совершение Церкви или создание христианской культуры в мире требует, кроме руководства вселенской власти, также свободного действия личных человеческих сил". В богочеловечестве коллективно должно произойти такое же соединение двух природ, какое индивидуально произошло в Богочеловеке-Христе. Согласно своей первоначальной схеме, Соловьев думал, что богочеловечество явится в результате соединения божественного начала, преимущественно выраженного на Востоке, с человеческим началом, преимущественно выраженным на Западе. … Симпатии Вл. Соловьева к католичеству определялись его убеждением, что организованная человеческая активность сильнее в католичестве, а православие слишком пассивно. Эти католические симпатии определялись у него извне, а не изнутри самой догматической системы католичества. Соловьев дорожил идеей догматического развития Церкви, в котором он видел проявление человеческой действенности, и видел больше такого развития на Западе, чем на Востоке. … "Существенное и коренное отличие нашей религии от других восточных, — пишет Вл. Соловьев, — в особенности от мусульманской, состоит в том, что христианство, как религия богочеловеческая, предполагает действие Божие и вместе с тем требует и действия человеческого. С этой стороны осуществление Царства Божьего зависит не только от Бога, но и от нас, ибо ясно, что духовное перерождение человечества не может произойти помимо самого человечества, не может быть только внешним фактом; оно есть дело, на нас возложенное, задача, которую мы должны разрешить".

Николай Александрович Бердяев
Основная идея Владимира Соловьева

The final goal for Christians and for Jews
is universal theocracy

… Christianity differs from pagan wisdom by its very goal, but from Judaism it differs only by a different relation to this goal.

The final goal for Christians and for Jews is one and the same: universal theocracy, the realization of the divine law in the human world, the incarnation of the heavenly in the earthly. This union of heaven and earth, this new covenant between God and creation, this completed cycle and crown of the universal task is identically recognized by both Christianity and Judaism. But in Christianity we also receive the revelation of the way to this crown, and that way is the cross. And this way of the cross is what the Judaism of that time proved unable to understand. … Confining themselves by a formal fidelity to an ancient treaty, so as to receive the kingdom of God by its conditions, they did not wish to understand and accept that way of the cross by which the kingdom is not attained directly from without but is first appropriated from within, so as to manifest itself outwardly later.

Vladimir Solovyov
"Jewry and the Christian Question" in
The Burning Bush

The more fully the Christian world would express the Christian idea of spiritual and universal theocracy, the more powerfully would Christian principles have an impact upon the private lives of Christians, upon the social life of Christian peoples, and upon the political relations within Christendom. The more obviously, then, would the Jewish view of Christianity be overturned, and the nearer and more possible would the conversion of the Jews be. Accordingly, the Jewish question is a Christian question.

Vladimir Solovyov
"Jewry and the Christian Question" in
The Burning Bush

The establishment of a righteous society is a common theocratic task of Christianity and Jewry. Теократическая задача и христианства и иудейства — создание праведного общества. Все народы равны перед божеским законом, все могут (и должны) ревновать об исполнении божьего дела. The Apostle Paul encourages: “they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain” (1Co 9:24).

Christianity and Jewry have a common theocratic task: the establishment of a righteous society. And since God is the source of all righteousness, the righteous society is a divine-human society. In it, the whole man serves God willingly, and all people live in mutual unanimity and possess full mastery over material nature. According to Jewish conceptions, such an ideal society must become incarnate in the people of Israel (in the kingdom of the Messiah). According to Christian conceptions, all peoples are equally called to it. This Christian universalism should not be understood to imply that all ethnicities provide undifferentiated material for the universal theocracy. All peoples are equal at least before the law of the Gospel in the same sense as, for example, all the citizens of a kingdom are equal before the law of the land. This in no way prevents the different constituencies and categories of citizens from having their own special rights, rights deriving from the particular responsibilities of their service (thus in the most egalitarian country, the doctor possesses particular rights which the farmer does not have, while in the most democratic republic the minister possesses privileges not granted to the night guard, and so on, even though they are all equal before the law, which determines both the common rights of all and the particular rights of each). Likewise, in God’s commonwealth (in civitate Dei) different peoples can have different privileges depending on their particular historical position and national calling, provided that no harm would be done to mutual love and solidarity. Consequently, no inevitable contradiction obtains between the Christian and Hebraic theocratic ideas. If the Jews hold a claim to a special status and role in the universal theocracy, we have no a priori need to reject this claim, especially if we recall what the apostle Paul said about this subject: “to them belong the sonship, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Christ, the God who is over all. … Or has God rejected His people? By no means! … God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. … But lest you not pride yourselves, I do not wish to leave you, brethren, in ignorance about the mystery, that a blindness has come upon Israel, in part, until the full number of the Gentiles come in. … And then all Israel will be saved.”

Vladimir Solovyov
"Jewry and the Christian Question" in
The Burning Bush

What is theocracy and why

Until God shall be all in all (1Co 15:28), until every human being becomes a receptacle for the deity, so long will divine government over humanity necessarily require specific organs or mediators to act within humanity.

Vladimir Solovyov
"Jewry and the Christian Question" in
The Burning Bush

In general, theocracy aims at the actualization of religion (i.e., the union of God with man) in the whole of life of the nations. The successful fulfillment of this task necessitates three conditions: (1) the complete independence of the religious principle in society, for this principle constitutes the essence and goal of the whole task, and if the religious element should occupy in common life a subordinate and a dependent status, then theocracy would be robbed of all its meaning; (2) a correct subdivision of the social body and a firm order in its government, since without this, religion would lack the permanent and purposeful means to influence life and guide it theocratically; and (3) the free and energetic activity of personal forces, since without such activity the best social organization in the world would remain an empty form.

Vladimir Solovyov
"Jewry and the Christian Question" in
The Burning Bush

The organs of divine government:
   for the religious sphere of life — the priest,
   for the political sphere of life — the tsar,
   for the social sphere of life — the prophet.

The priest directs, the tsar governs, the prophet redirects.

The ideal theocracy demands a consistent and concordant development of these three instruments of divine government.

… divine government must extend over all human life and cannot be confined to some one particular sphere of this present life. For this reason, the organs of divine government must also be present not only in specifically religious but also in the political and social spheres. The specifically religious sphere has its theocratic organ in the priest (or rather archpriest, since a priest presupposes a consecrator); the political sphere has its own theocratic organ in the tsar, as God’s anointed; while finally, the social life of the people has its own theocratic organ in the person of the prophet, that is, in the free preacher and teacher. Each of these three representatives of theocracy has his own sphere of operation but exists, in virtue of the nature of these spheres, in distinct reciprocal relations with the others. The priest directs, the tsar governs, the prophet redirects. In the economy of divine government, the priesthood possesses authority, founded on tradition, the tsar possesses power, grounded on law, and the prophet exercises the freedom of personal initiative.

The fullness of the theocratic ideal demands a consistent and concordant development of these three instruments of divine government.

Vladimir Solovyov
"Jewry and the Christian Question" in
The Burning Bush

Our current life requires a sufficiently independent, concentrated, and energetic church power.

The entire matter consists in the fact that the church on earth must not only safeguard the sacredness of faith but also unceasingly fight for it with external enemies; it must fortify, protect, and strengthen religious life. … Struggle requires a sufficiently independent, concentrated, and energetic church power. The dependence of the spiritual power upon the secular and the lack of an inner core paralyze the church’s external activity and undermine her ability to influence national and social life. … A church which is deprived of a sufficiently independent representative cannot exert any real influence either upon government or upon society.

Vladimir Solovyov
"Jewry and the Christian Question" in
The Burning Bush

The true prophet helps sacerdotal and royal authority by his admonitions and exhortations.

The true Jewish and Christian prophet does not rise up against sacerdotal and royal authority but adheres to them and helps them by his admonitions and exhortations. The true prophet is conscious of his vocation not as a natural right common to him and all and, likewise, not as his own private privilege but as a special divine gift, which demands moral cultivation on his part. … the Hebrew prophets, as we know, did not revolt against the lawful priesthood … the Hebrew prophets preached justification by faith and by works, and not by faith alone.

Vladimir Solovyov
"Jewry and the Christian Question" in
The Burning Bush

The collapse of the theocratic task of Christianity in history

In Byzantine Caesaropapism, the balance was unjustifiably shifted towards the tsar.

Christian tsardom, significant as it is, is only a part of the theocratic idea. Its one-sided development would impair the other theocratic elements; its prevalence over them could imperil God’s work on earth. Thus it happened in Byzantium. … the abuses of Byzantine Caesarism bore … profound consequences, for they distorted the very life of Christian society in the East. Given that the spiritual authority in Byzantium lacked sufficient independence, strength, and capacity to restrain royal authority, the latter bore down with all its weight upon social life and suppressed in it every energetic personal initiative and any independent activity. … In Byzantium, the theocratic task of Christianity, the establishment of a just society, was decisively destroyed.

Vladimir Solovyov
"Jewry and the Christian Question" in
The Burning Bush

In the West, in Catholic countries, the imperial power was too weak. To fulfill its theocratic task, the Vatican had to operate in two areas at once: religious and political. It was not possible to realize stable Divine control in this way.

For if in Byzantium the principal cause of all evils consisted in the excessive predominance of imperial autocracy, then the root obstacle facing the theocratic task in the West lay in the weakness and fragmentation of state authority. … With the annihilation of imperial autocracy, the Western church lost its main instrument for implementing its theocratic task. This church, united by and concentrated in the Roman altar, did not fear the strong empire of Charles the Great but utilized its might. The ensuing weak and fragmented empire turned out to be hazardous and dangerous for the papacy,

Vladimir Solovyov
"Jewry and the Christian Question" in
The Burning Bush

Protestantism denies the role of both the steadfastness of Caesarism and the apostolic priesthood.

The true Jewish and Christian prophet does not rise up against sacerdotal and royal authority but adheres to them and helps them by his admonitions and exhortations. … By rejecting these two necessary conditions of true prophecy — submission to lawful authorities and the striving to be worthy of the highest vocation — Protestantism essentially distorted the third theocratic principle, and by separating prophecy from priesthood, it even failed to give the world any true prophets.

Vladimir Solovyov
"Jewry and the Christian Question" in
The Burning Bush

The division of the churches, having upset the balance between the first two formative principles of Christian theocracy — priesthood and kingship — facilitated, by the same token, an unlawful manifestation of the third theocratic principle: prophecy. … the real, albeit remote, cause of Protestantism, the division of the churches, undermined the universal character of Christianity and gave the upper hand to national and tribal conflicts.

Vladimir Solovyov
"Jewry and the Christian Question" in
The Burning Bush

The German world also, in its turn, displayed its own specific theocratic idea and adversely set it over and against the theocratic idea of Catholicism. Taking its stand under the banner of free prophetic ministry, Protestantism represented, to a well-known degree, a return to Hebraic principles. But concomitantly there remained between them an immense difference favoring Jewry. For first of all, the Hebrew prophets, as we know, did not revolt against the lawful priesthood as Protestants did; and second, the Hebrew prophets preached justification by faith and by works, and not by faith alone.

Vladimir Solovyov
"Jewry and the Christian Question" in
The Burning Bush

Initially, the leaders of the Protestant world moved from being prophets to being teachers.

As in Judaism so in Protestantism, but even more speedily, prophecy was replaced by teaching. … Protestant biblical studies turned into criticism and criticism became negation. … Initially, the leaders of the Protestant world moved from being prophets to being teachers; now, in turn, the religious academy concedes its place to scholastic erudition with a predominantly anti-Christian tendency. And here there remains not even an imprint of that distinctive though false theocratic idea which inspired the first Protestant leaders.

Vladimir Solovyov
"Jewry and the Christian Question" in
The Burning Bush

Universal secularization.

This collapse of the Christian idea was not confined solely to the Germanic countries in which Protestantism triumphed. Although the religious cause of the Reformation did not succeed in Latin or Romance Europe, its practical result — universal secularization, that is, the separation of all spheres of human activity — of politics and public administration, of science and schools, of art and social life — from religion and from the church, this universal secularization also spread itself over Latin Europe. As represented by their ruling classes, the Romance countries also followed the example of the German in repudiating the theocratic idea.

Vladimir Solovyov
"Jewry and the Christian Question" in
The Burning Bush

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