“Total and Radical Liberation”: The Religious and Philosophical Background of Volodymyr Vynnychenko’s Revolutionary Ideas

Kyiv-Mohyla Humanities Journal 4:29-43 (2017)
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Abstract

The article explores the religious and philosophical origins of Volodymyr Vynnychenko’s ideas of “honesty with oneself,” “omnilateral liberation,” and “concordism.” Two treatises, Vidrodzhennia natsii (Rebirth of a Nation, 1919–1920) and Konkordyzm. Systema buduvannia shchastia (Concordism. A System of Building Happiness, 1938–1945), illustrate the development of Vynnychenko’s worldview. In the first work, social revolution was considered as the answer to human problems, while, in the second, such a solution was found in becoming one with the universe. Despite his negative attitude towards religion, Volodymyr Vynnychenko actively used religious images and patterns in his writings. For instance, criticizing Christianity for its dogmatism, he nevertheless created his codex of thirteen rules of concordism, which had to harmonize the unbalanced forces of mankind with the universe. In this context, particular attention is paid to the significant influence of pagan concepts on Vynnychenko’s thinking.

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