Download PDF:
For citation:

Pantina M.V. The Problem of Reception of Joseph de Maistre in the Russian Culture at the Turn of the 19 th and 20 th Century (Vladimir Solovyov, Nikolay Berdyaev). Studia Litterarum, 2018, vol. 3, no 4, pp. 26–39. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2018-3-4-26-39

Author: Marina V. Pantina
Information about the author:

Marina V. Pantina, doctoral student of the Paris-Sorbonne University, École Doctorale III “Littératures françaises et comparée”. Université Paris- Sorbonne, Maison de la Recherche, 28 rue Serpente, 75006 Paris.

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Received: June 28, 2018
Published: December 25, 2018
Issue: 2018 Vol. 3, №4
Department: Literary Theory
Pages: 26-39

UDK: 821.0
BBK: 87.3(4Фра)+87.3 (2Рос=Рус)53
Keywords: Joseph de Maistre, Solovyov, Berdyaev, philosophy, religion, politics, counter- revolution, Universal Church.


The article examines the reception of Joseph de Maistre in Russian culture at the turn of the 19 th and 20 th centuries. J. de Maistre is a French philosopher of the early nineteenth century, who spent fourteen years in St. Petersburg acting as the Ambassador of the King of Sardinia. During this period, de Maistre visits conservative salons of St. Petersburg society and has significant influence on the social and intellectual life of the city. The main works of the philosopher are written in the “northern capital”. Later, his image, both as a writer and as a literary character, fuels the imagination of intellectuals in the 19 th and early 20 th centuries. This paper analyzes the interpretation of de Maistre’s ideas in Vladimir Solovyov’s and Nikolay Berdyaev’s works. Solovyov writes an article about de Maistre for the dictionary of Brockhaus and Efron. Comments of the Russian philosopher on the legacy of de Maistre reveal both his deep knowledge of the latter’s work, and critical attitude to some of his ideas. The concept of the “Universal Church” was important for both philosophers. But the question is: what does each of them put into this concept mean for each of them? What was their attitude towards Catholicism and Christianity? In order to answer these questions, I analyze the works by de Maistre and Solovyov, namely “About the Pope” by de Maistre and “Russia and the Universal Church” by Solovyov. Berdyaev, in his turn, was inspired by both Solovyov and de Maistre. In his work “The Philosophy of Inequality,” he puts these philosophers on a par with each other, and especially focuses on the counter-revolutionary aspects of de Maistre’s work. The article traces the dynamics of de Maistre reception and its dependence on the historical context at the turn of the century. Keywords: Joseph de Maistre, Solovyov, Berdyaev, philosophy, religion, politics, counter- revolution, Universal Church.


1 Berlin I. Joseph de Mestr i istoki fashizma [Joseph de Maistre and the origins of fascism]. Filosofiia svobody. Evropa [Philosophy of freedom. Europe]. Moscow, Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie Publ., 2001, pp. 76–110. (In Russ.)

2 Berdiaev N.A. Filosofiia neravenstva. Pis’ma k nedrugam po sotsial’noi filosofii [Philosophy of inequality. Letters to the foes in social philosophy]. Berdiaev N.A. Sobranie sochinenii: v 4 t. [Collected works: in 4 vols.]. Paris, 1990, vol. 4, pp. 251–596. (In Russ.)

3 Mil’china V.A. “Chelovek ostrogo uma skazal...ˮ Joseph de Mestr kak master svetskoi besedy [“The man of keen mind said ...” Joseph de Maistre as a master of secular conversation]. Aktual’nost’ Josepha de Mestra: materialy russko-frantsuzskoi konferentsii [Relevance of Joseph de Maistre: proceedings of the Russian-French conference]. Moscow, RGGU Publ., 2012, pp. 127–144. (In Russ.)

4 Solov’ev V.S. Joseph de Mestr. Slovar’ Brokgauza i Efrona: v 86 t. [Dictionary of Brockhaus and Efron: in 86 vols.]. St. Petersburg, Semenovskaia Tipo-Litografiia I.A. Efrona Publ., 1897, vol. 20, pp. 349–352. (In Russ.)

5 Solov’ev V.S. Rossiia i Vselenskaia tserkov’ [Russia and the Ecumenical Church], transl. by G.A. Rachinskogo. Moscow, Put’ Publ., 1911. 451 p. (In Russ.)

6 Jauss Hans Robert. Pour une esthétique de la réception. Paris, Gallimard, 1978. 305 p. (In French)

7 Maistre J. de. Du Pape. Maistre J. de. Oeuvres complètes contenant ses oeuvres posthumes et toute sa correspondance inédite: 14 vol. Lyon, Vitte et Perrussel, 1892. Vol. 2. 570 p. (In French)

8 Maistre J. de. Considérations sur la France. Maistre J. de. Œuvres, éd. Pierre Glaudes. Paris, R. Laffont, 2007, pp. 177–195. (In French)

9 Maistre J. de. Les Soirées de Saint-Pétersbourg. Maistre Joseph de. Œuvres, éd. Pierre Glaudes. Paris, R. Laffont, 2007, pp. 455–785. (In French)

10 Soloviev V. La Russie et l’Église universelle. Paris, Albert Savine, 1889. 336 p. (In French)

11 Zaganiaris J. Spectres contre-révolutionnaires. Interprétations et usages de la pensée de Joseph de Maistre. XIX–XX siècles. Paris, L’Harmattan, 2005. 285 p. (In French)