At this seminar, Dr. Mjør will discuss Russian religious thought of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century (Vladimir Solov’ev, Sergei Bulgakov, Nikolai Berdiaev) from the perspective of “global intellectual history,” which has recently become a prominent subdivision in the history of ideas as a scholarly discipline. The presented paper examines how the transmission of idealist philosophy (Schelling in particular) from Western Europe to Russia led to a reinterpretation of the Orthodox heritage, in particular the idea of “deification” (theosis) as cultural work or creativity, and how the active adaptation of idealism was formative for the philosophical projects of these thinkers, which they otherwise tended to situate in an Orthodox context. This process of cultural transfer and adaptation serves in turn to discuss ways of approaching the transmission of ideas in general, for instance whether it reinforces Western hegemony, results in hybridity or, rather, contributes to the universalization of concepts of “local,” Western origins. 

Kåre Johan Mjør holds a Ph.D. from University of Bergen and is a researcher at IRES. His research interests cover Russian philosophy, Russian historiography, intellectual history of late Imperial Russia, the Russian interwar emigration and post-Soviet Russia, identity formation and nationalism.