Dr. Sergey Zagraevsky
NEW CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY
original was published in Russian: Ńĺđăĺé Çŕăđŕĺâńęčé. Íîâŕ˙ őđčńňčŕíńęŕ˙ ôčëîńîôč˙. Ě., 2004.
ISBN 5-94025-062-9. 288 pages.
My previous theological books were named “Jesus of Nazareth: the life and
the teaching” (2000) and “God is no murderer” (2002). I received a number of
readers’ comments for those books. It was the most gratifying for me that many
readers began to perceive Jesus Christ in a new way – not as an infinitely far
and terrible judge, but as a human, who was crucified for his teaching of good
and love. If that is the case, I can consider the purpose of those books as
The passions for the beginning of the third millennium and the increased
interest of people to the person and the teaching of Christ were over soon – so
to speak, the subject “went out of the fashion”. Neither the “Last Judgement”,
nor the “Second Coming” took place, and people engaged in their ordinary
business. I also faced a certain “vacuum”: during that time neither new facts
of Jesus’ life, nor new interpretations of his teaching appeared, disputes on
the “Shroud of Turin” will be held for some more decades (possibly centuries),
and it seemed to be nothing new to write about. That is why I deviated from christological
researches, but not for long.
The point is that the words “we, Christians” do not suppose an answer to
the question: why are we Christians? Only since many of us were baptized in
childhood or were taken to a church by a grandmother?
For contemporary people, who are highly experienced and not inclined to
overestimate traditions, normally, it is not enough. People need their own
understanding that the actuality of Christianity does not decrease
(furthermore, increases) under the conditions of the rapid scientific-technical
progress, the genetic engineering, the computerization of all areas of
Exclusively theological methods of analysis of Christ’s life and
teaching turned out to be insufficient for that. It became necessary to form an
integral philosophic worldview and to show that the nowadays’ humanity does not
know any spiritual alternative for Christianity.
In the book “New Christian philosophy” I engaged in this subject.
I must note that here, as in all my previous books, I completely refuse
of the usage of the specific philosophic language. Any human with any
educational level, who is interested in the subject of this book, must have the
possibility to read it. Even if he does not agree with something, even if he
does not understand something at once – there will be an occasion for the
reflection and for the forming of an own worldview. Our research touches on
questions of morality (as the basis of intersubjectivity), and it is possible
in no circumstances to place for the overwhelming majority of readers an
insuperable obstacle of strictly specialized terms.
The main question of the book “New Christian philosophy” may be
formulated so: who are we, where did we come from and where are we going?
To answer this question, it is necessary to form on the Christian basis
a system of philosophic views, which are applicable both in theory and in
practice. And the concept of practice includes questions, which may seem
estranged from the real life – such as the existence of God, the creation of
the world, the origin of the humanity, the predestination of people and eternal
theology is a greatly complicated and many-sided science, and it has the
history of two thousand years. But today we can look at it in an unprejudiced
way and stop trying to undo an unimaginable number of “Gordian knots”, which
were tied up even by the medieval “Fathers of the Church”. Such knots can be
undone neither by us nor by somebody else. They can only be cut. We may say the
same about a great number of stereotypes, which are embodied in our
consciousness in connection with Christianity, furthermore with the faith in
Sergey Zagraevsky © 2004