Nikolai Berdyaev

BerdyaevNikolai Berdyaev (1874-1948) – Spiritual Philosopher expelled by Lenin in 1922 as part of “The 160” and a member of the Bratstvo sviatoi Sofii (Brotherhood of St. Sophia).

Of noble birth, Berdyaev began his career in Marxism (Legal Marxist) and, with Struve, Bulgakov, Frank and Tugan-Baronovsky, was one of the leading theoreticians for the Russian Social Democratic Party.  He was arrested and exiled within Russia to Vologda province by the Tsarist police in 1898.

Influenced by Vladimir Solovyov and Slavophile and Orthodox ideas in general, he renewed his faith and shifted first to Idealism (Neo-Kantianism), then Symbolism, and finally to Spiritual Philosophy .  Berdyaev was one of the authors Berdyaev was one of the authors in Vekhi (“Signposts”) as well as Iz Glubiny (“From the Depths”) and Problemy Idealizma (“Problems with Idealism”).  He was deeply involved in the Vladimir Solovyov Society and continued it in the Free Academy of Spiritual Culture (1918-1922).  He was arrested by the Bolsheviks several times prior to his expulsion from Russia.

In exile, Berdyaev forged strong ties with the American YMCA as well as French and other European intellectuals.  He was editor in chief of the YMCA-Press, founder of the Russian Religious Philosophical Academy in Berlin and Paris, editor of the periodical Put’ (“the Way”).

During WWII, he was visited by the Gestapo on several occasions but never arrested or imprisoned.

Wife: Lydia Berdyaev; Sister: Eugenia Rapp

  Selected Books and Articles by Berdyaev available Online:

 Blogs:

 Books and Articles about Berdyaev:

Books about Berdyaev prior to 1956:

  • Allen, Edgar Leonard.  Freedom in God : a Guide to the Thought of Nicholas Berdyaev.  New York:  Philosophical Library, 1951.
  • Attwater, Donald, ed.  Modern Christian revolutionaries; an introduction to the lives and thought of: Kierkegaard, Eric Gill, G. K. Chesterton, C. F. Andrews [and] Berdyaev.  New York:  The Devin Adair Company, 1947.
  • Clarke, Oliver Fielding.  Introduction to Berdyaev.  London: Geoffrey Bles, 1950.
  • Lampert, Evgenii.  Nicolas Berdyaev and the New Middle Ages.  London:  J. Clarke & Co., ltd., 1945.
  • Porret, Eugène.  Berdiaeff, prophète des temps nouveaux.  Neuchâtel: Delachaux & Niestle, 1951.
  • Ressler, Roman.  Das Weltbild Nikolai Berdjajews; Existenz und Objektivation. Göttingen:  Vandenhoeck & Rupecht, 1956.
  • Schultze, Bernhard.  Die schau der kirche bei Nikolai Berdiajew. Roma: Pont. institutum orientalium studiorum.  Munich:  s.n., 1938.
  • Seaver, George.  Nicolas Berdyaev; an Introduction to his Thought.  New York:  Harper, 1950.
  • Shestov, Léon.  “Nicolas Berdiaeff: La gnose et la philosophie existentielle.” Trans. B. de Schloezer.  Revue philosophique 22 (1949):  2-23.
  • Spinka, Matthew.  Nicolas Berdyaev, Captive of freedom.  Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1950.

Books about Berdyaev between 1956-1989:

    <listyle=”font-size: 11pt;”>Balasubramanian, R.  The Personalistic Existentialism of Berdyaev.  Madras: Centre of Advanced Study in Philosophy, University of Madras, 1970.

  • Cain, Lucienne Daniel‑Mayer.  Berdiaev en Russie, précédé de la Russie est sortie des ombres.  Paris:  Gallimard, 1962.
  • Calian, Carnegie Samuel.  The significance of Eschatology in the Thoughts of Nicolas Berdyaev.  Leiden:  E. J. Brill, 1965.
  • Davy, Marie‑Madeleine.  Nicolas Berdiaev : l’homme du huitième jour.  Paris: Flamarion, 1964. M.-M. DAVY NICOLAS BERDYAEV MAN OF THE EIGHTH DAY
  • Dietrich, Wolfgang, fl.  Provokation der Person : Nikolai Berdjajew in den Impulsen seines Denkens.  Berlin, Gelnhausen:  Burckhardthaus‑Verlag, 1975.
  • Ganth, Jerome.  Nicolas Berdiaeff, philosophe de la liberté.  Beyrouth:  Dar el‑Machreq [distribution: Librairie orientale, Beyrouth], 1968.
  • Green, Garrett.  A Kingdom not of this World: A Quest for a Christian ethic of Revolution with Reference to the Thought of Dostoyevsky, Berdyaev, and Camus.  Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1964.
  • Klamroth, Erich.  Der Gedanke der ewigen Schöpfung bei Nikolai Berdiajew; ein umfassender überblick uber das Werk dieses grossen Russen des 20. Jahrhunderts.  Hamburg:  H. Reich, 1963.
  • Klein, Paul.  Die kreative Freiheit nach Nikolaj Berdjajew : Zeichen d. Hoffnung in gefallenen Welt.  Regensburg:  F. Pustet, 1976.
  • Klimov, Alexis.  Nicolas Berdiaeff ou la révolte contre l’objectivation.  Paris: Seghers, 1967.
  • Köpcke‑Duttler, Arnold.  Nikolai Berdiajews Weg einer schöpferischen Bildung  Frankfurt, Main:  Haag & Herchen, c1982.
  • Lowrie, Donald Alexander. Rebellious Prophet; a life of Nicolai Berdyaev.  New York:  Harper, 1960.
  • Murdoch, Paul Champbell. Der Sakramentalphilosophische Aspekt im Denken Nikolaj Aleksandrovitsch Berdjaevs.  Erlangen:  [s.n.], 1981.
  • Nucho, Fuad.  Berdyaev’s Philosophy: The Existential Paradox of Freedom and Necessity, a Critical Study.  Introduction by Dr. Richard Kroner.  Garden City, NY:  Anchor Books, 1966.
  • Poltoratskii, N. P.  Berdiaev i Rossiia ; filosofiia istorii Rossii u N. A. Berdiaeva. New York:  Ob‑vo druzei russkoi kul’tury, 1967.
  • Redlikh, Roman. Filosofiia dukha N. A. Berdiaeva.  Frankfurt, Main:  Posev, 1972.
  • Richardson, David Bonner.  Berdyaev’s Philosophy of History. An Existentialist Theory of Social Creativity and Eschatology.  Preface by Charles Hartshorne.  The Hague:  Martinus Nijhoff, 1968.
  • Segundo, Juan Luis.  Berdiaeff: une réflexion chrétienne sur la personne.  Paris:  Aubier, 1963.
  • Vallon, Michel Alexander. An Apostle of Freedom: Life and Teachings of Nicolas Berdyaev.  New York: Philosophical Library, 1960.
  • Wernham, James C. S.  Two Russian thinkers: an essay in Berdyaev and Shestov.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1968.

 Books and articles about Berdyaev since 1989:

  • Adiushkin, V.N.  “The Social Philosophy of N. Berdiaev in Light of Perestroika.” Soviet Studies in Philosophy  30.4 (1992): 50-62.
  • Clement, Olivier.  Nicolai Berdiaeff.  Paris:  Desclée de Brouwer, 1991.
  • Dmitrieva N.K., and A.P. Moiseeva.  Nikolai Berdyaev: zhizn’ i tvorchestvo.  Moskva:  Vysshaia shkola, 1993.
  • Duval, Jean François.  Flamboyante liberté : essai sur la philosophie de Nicolas Berdiaev, visionnaire et prophète de notre temps.  Preface by M. M. Davy.  St. Vincent sur Jabron:  Editions Présence, 1992.
  • Ermichev, A. A., ed.  N.A. Berdiaev: pro et contra, Series Russkii put’.  Vol. 1.   St Petersburg:  Izdatel’stvo Russkogo khristianskogo gumanitarnogo instituta, 1994.
  • Gagnebin, Laurent. Nicolas Berdiaeff, ou, De la destination créatrice de l’homme : essai sur sa pensée.  Lausanne:  L’Age d’homme, 1994.
  • Gaidenko, P.P.  “Landmarks: An Unheard Warning.”  Russian Studies in Philosophy  32.1 (1993) 34-51.
  • Gal’tseva, R.A.  “Sub specie finis (Utopiia tvorchestva N.A. Berdiaeva.”  Ocherki russkoi utopicheskoi mysli XX veka.  Editor  R.A. Gal’tseva.  Moscow: Nauka, 1992.  10-76.
  • Harris, Shelini.  Berdiaev’s Concept of “Personality” as it Relates to his Understanding of Good and Evil, Ethics, and Politics.  (n.p.) 1993.
    Kolerov, M.A., and N.S. Plotnikov.  “New Publications of the works of N.A. Berdiaev.”  Soviet Studies in Philosophy 30.2 (1991):  70-90.
  • Lee, Sang Bae.  Freedom as the Fundamental Motif of the Thought of Nicolas Berdyaev. (n.p.), 1992.
  • Rieger, Michael.  Inkarnation : christliches HeilverstΣndnis im Kontext franz¸sischsprachiger Theologie der Menschwerdung.  Frankfurt am Main; New York:  P. Lang, 1993.
  • Slaatte, Howard Alexander. Time, existence, and destiny : Nicholas Berdyaev’s philosophy of time.  New York:  P. Lang, c1989.
    Smirnov, Andrei.  “The Path to Truth: Ibn-`Arabî and Nikolai Berdiaev (Two Types of Mystical Philosophizing).”  Russian Studies in Philosophy  31.3  (1992-93):  120-134.
  • Stepanova, E.A.  “Exhausted Marxism: An Examination of Marxist Doctrine in the Traditions of Russian Religious Philosophy.” Soviet Studies in Philosophy  29.4 (1991): 15-34.
  • Vadimov, Aleksandr.  Zhizn’ Berdyaeva: Rossiia.  Oakland, CA:  Berkeley Slavic Specialities, 1993.

Dissertations and Thesis on Berdyaev compiled by Paul B. Anderson listed in Alphabetical Order

 

  • Allrich, Rudulph S.  “The Concept of Creativity in the Anthropology of Nikolai Berdyaev and its Implications for Christian Ethics.”  S.T.M. thesis.  New York: Union Theological Seminary, 1940.
  • Andelson, Robert V.  “The Social Ethic of Nikolai Berdyaev.”  Diss.  Berkeley: University of California, 1954.
  • Axer, Engelbert.  “The Knowledge of Reality and God According to Nikolai Berdyaev.”  Diss. (University and date unknown).
  • Kennedy, Paul V.  “A Philosophical Appraisal of the Modernist Gnosticism of Nikolai Berdyaev.”  Diss.  New Orleans: St. Louis University, 1936.
  • Knapp, Charles C.  “Nicolas Berdyaev, Theologian of Prophetic Gnosticism.”  Diss.  Victoria, 1948.
  • Knudsen, Robert D.  “Symbol and Myth in Contemporary Theology:  With Special Reference to R. Niebuhr and Nikolai Berdyaev.”  S.T.M. Thesis.  (University unknown), 1952.
  • McKee, William W.  “Freedom in the Philosophy of Nikolai Berdyaev.”  S.T.M. Thesis.  (University unknown), 1941.
  • McManus, David.  “L’idée théandrique chez V. Solovyev et chez N. Berdiaeff.” Diss.  Paris:  Sorbonne, 1953
  • Sheldon, Dr. James Gail. “The Orientation of Nikolai Berdyaev: His Relation to Jacob Boehme, Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche, and Ibsen.”  Diss.  (University and date unknown).
  • Weonham, James. “Existence and Objectivation in the Thought of Nikolai Berdyaev.”  S.T.M. thesis. (University unknown), 1937.
  • Williams, Bert.  “Berdyaev’s Philosophy of History.”  Diss.  Boston University, 1949.
  • Wills, Robert J.  “The Understanding of Man in the Writings of Barth, Hügel, Nikolai Berdyaev and John Wood Oman.”  S.T.M. thesis.  (University unknown), 1948.

 

Extension of Anderson list from 1960 until 1989 (Listed in chronological order)

  • Donovan, Margaret.  “The Role of Russian Religious Thought in the Writings of Nicholas Alexandrovich Berdiaev, 1870-1948.”  Diss.  U of Wisconsin, 1960.
  • Banerjee, Maria.  “The Religious and Metaphysical Interpretation of Dostoevskij from Vladimir Solov’ev to Berdjaev: A Study of Six `Great Commentaries’.”  Diss.  Radcliffe, 1962.
  • Elmore, Joe.  “The Theme of the Suffering of God in the Thought of Nicholas Berdyaev, Charles Hartshorne, and Reinhold Niebuhr.”  Diss.  Columbia U, 1963.
  • Murphey, Paul.  “The Concept of Death in the Theology of Nicholas Berdyaev, Paul Tillich and Helmut Thielicke.”  Diss.  Vanderbilt U, 1964.
  • Troutman, Perry.  “Nicolas Berdyaev’s Concept of Human Creativity: A Theological Critique.”  Diss.  Boston U, 1964.
  • Indinopulos, Thomas.  “Certainty and Christianity: A Polemic Based Upon Rudolf Bultmann, Emil Brunner, and Nicolas Berdyaev.”  Diss.  U of Chicago, 1965.
  • Hales, Graham.  “A Comparative Study of the Apologetical Values in the Christian Mysticism of W.R. Inge and Nicolas Berdyaev.”  Diss.  Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1966.
  • Goodman, Donald.  “Freedom, the Person, and Community: Berdyaev and the Marxist Leaven.”  Diss.  Fordham U, 1967.
  • Didoha, Michael.  “Conceptual Distortion and Intutitive Creativity:  A Study of the Role of Knowledge in the Thought of Nicholas Berdyaev.”  Diss.  Georgetown U,  1969.
  • Harnett, David.  “Nicolas A. Berdyaev: An Intellectual Portrait.”  Diss.  Harvard U, 1970.
  • Koo, Yung Whan.  “Nicholas Berdyaev’s Concept of Freedom and the Free-will Defence.”  Diss.  Princeton Theological Seminary, 1970.
  • Shahan, Robert.  “A Consideration of the Evidence Adduced by Berdyaev for the Reality and Priority of Freedom over Being.”  Diss.  Northwestern, 1970.
  • Story, James.  “Journey Through Paradox: A Critical Analysis of the Thought of Nicholas Berdiaev, 1899-1914.”  Diss.  Columbia U, 1971.
  • Kajevich, Reverend Stojilko.  “Nikolay Berdyaev’s Theory of Uncreated Freedom and Its Metaphysical Origins.”  Diss.  De Paul U, 1975.
  • Pittman, David.  “The Character of Human Freedom and Its Implications for the Paris Minister:  An Exploration Based on the Thought of Nicolai Berdyaev and Frederick S. Perls.”  Diss.  School of Theology at Claremont, 1975.
  • Swarte, Carolyn de.  “Spirituality in Slavonic Christianity and the Philosophy of Nicholas Berdyaev.”  Diss.  Northwestern, 1975.
  • Graves, Thomas.  “The Relevance of the Personalistic Thought of Nicolas Berdyaev for the Christian-Marxist Dialogue.”  Diss.  Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1976.
  • Trollope, Margaret.  “Creativity in Thomas Acquinas and Berdyaev.”  Diss.  U of Southern California, 1976.
  • Caddick, L.  “The Reality of Spirit: The Response to Reductivist Critiques of Theism in the Later Work of Berdyaev.”  Diss.  London University, 1978.
  • Petterson, John.  “The Life of the Spirit: Nicolas Berdyaev’s Vision of the Dialectic of Spiritual Life and the Application of this Vision to the Contemporary Problem of an Image of Man.”  Diss.  Vanderbilt U, 1978.
  • Wingerter, Joseph.  “Berdyaev’s Concept of Symbolic Definitive Conceptualization.”  Diss.  University of Calgary, 1979.
  • Seastrand, Paul. “Freedom and Spirit: An Interpretation of Evaluation of Nicolai Berdyaev’s Doctrine of the Spirit.”  Diss.  Claremont, 1980.
  • Clavet, Robert.  “La vision théandrique du monde chez Nicolas Berdiaeff et la fin de la crise du monde modern.”  Diss.  Université de Montréal, 1988.
  • McLachlan, James.  “Existentialist Interpretations of the Desire to be God: Radical Freedom in Sartre and Berdyaev.”  Diss.  University of Toronto, 1989.

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