The Ethnology Notebooks. 2020. № 5 (155), 1175—1188
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Abstract. Relevance and objectives of the article: Alexy Selivatchov, cultural historian, philologist and philosopher, died in Kharkov at the age of 32. His works remain little known, although are published since 1916 to the present day. They analyze interdisciplinary issues that still remain the focus of modern humanities. The purpose of the proposed study is to identify through the prism of a young Kharkiv researcher’ works the peculiarity of such a kinds of spiritual activities in the secular artistic culture of Central and Eastern Europe of the last two centuries, as a Search for God, Proselytism, God-fighting etcetera. The object is the literary heritage of a number of philosophers and artists, analyzed by A.F. Selivatchov. Among them are Georg Daumer, Fritz Mauthner, Vassily Rozanov, and a galaxy of symbolist poets — Balmont, Blok, Bryusov, Ivanov, Sologub. The subject of the article is the amplitude of spiritual pursuits, which ranged from pietism to the extreme manifestations of demonism, sometimes in the works of the same individuals. The sources and materials used are printed articles and manuscripts of A. Selivatchov preserved in the archive, publications of other authors dealing with the same issues. General scientific research methods were used, first of all textual, biographical, comparative, etc.
We conclude that mentioned scientists and artists are primarily absorbed in the search for truth and aesthetic perfection, so it is inappropriate to divide them into two alternative groups — believing idealists and materialist atheists. From the analysis and inferences of the author it follows that spirituality, despite scientific or poetic declarations, is manifested not only in the religious but also in the demonic dimension, which sometimes coincide. The same «ambivalence» (or a kind of pendulum) is observed in the attitude of these characters to certain beliefs and denominations.
Keywords: atheism, faith, demonism, creativity, religion, symbolists, silver age, Daumer, Mautner, Rozanov.
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