Berdyaev, Nicholas

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Berdyaev, Nicholas

Nicholas Berdyaev (bĕrdyī´əf), 1874–1948, Russian theologian and religious philosopher, b. Kiev. After an early period as a Marxist, Berdyaev became prominent in a brilliant circle of Russian intellectuals famous in their time for their interest in Russian Orthodoxy. Forced into exile in 1922, Berdyaev attracted similar circles in Berlin and Paris. He wrote prolifically and gained wide recognition. He decried the dehumanization of man by modern technology and believed that man fulfills himself in the free, creative act. Fond of dichotomies, Berdyaev discussed history in terms of eschatology and the human in terms of the divine. He believed in the ideal of the Godmanhood. Among his many works are The End of Our Time (tr. 1933); The Destiny of Man (tr. 1937); Slavery and Freedom (tr. 1944); Dream and Reality: an Essay in Autobiography (tr. 1950); Truth and Revelation (tr. 1953).

See biographies by D. Lowrie (1960), M. Vallon (1960), and M. M. Davy (1964, tr. 1967); studies by F. Nucho (1966) and C. S. Calian (1968).

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