Dr. Sergey Zagraevsky
NEW CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY
The 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 achieved.
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 knowledge etc.
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 life.
Christian 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 God.
Sergey Zagraevsky © 2004