Khakhalova A.А. Flesh in the Conception of the Russian Soul According to Berdyaev

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2020.1.2
Anna А. Khakhalova
Candidate of Sciences (Philosophy), Senior Researcher at Interdisciplinary Research Centre of European Thought at Sociological Institute of the RAS – Branch of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
7th Krasnoarmeyskaya St, 25/14, 190005 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6168-2613


Abstract. The paper addresses the relations between N. Berdyaev's philosophy and currently accepted attitudes in psychoanalysis and existential therapy in their connection with Byzatine mystical theology. It suggests that both traditions trace their roots back to an intuitive-symbolic way of searching for the truth, characteristic of mystical theology. The main emphasis is on the bodily dimension of experience, which supports the apophatic way of cognition. Hermeneutics of methodological principles is used in Berdyaev's philosophy and psychoanalysis with elements of historical and philosophical reconstruction of the question of ways of a pre-symbolic way of cognition. Like the psychoanalysis of Z. Freud, the Russian tradition of the early twentieth century is involved in an ontological turn, as a result of which the concept of corporeality and flesh is one of the key in understanding the nature of the subject and his cognitive experience. First part of the paper addresses the Byzantine mystical theological understanding of apophasis, based on the works of Denys the Areopagite. Then, a parallel is drawn with how N. Berdyaev understands the mystics, indicating that symbolic knowledge is rooted in the bodily dimension of experience. The latter means that the knowledge recorded in words represents for the mystic a form of personal experience. In the second part of the article, the idea of flesh unfolds in the problem of love and transference. It is concluded that the personal dimension of analysis, in which the other takes the place of a lover, is synonymous in mystical tradition and religious personalism, where God takes the place of the Other. In addition, the article summarizes the Christian, Orthodox concept of personality, which implies a trans-subjective experience of communication. The article sets the original consideration of the Russian philosophical tradition in terms of psychoanalysis and the mystical tradition of the past.
Key words: flesh, corporeity, the unconscious, apophasis, symbol, mystics.

Flesh in the Conception of the Russian Soul According to Berdyaev by Khakhalova A.А. is licensed under Attribution 4.0 International

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