N. S. IL’IN: THE PROBLEM OF EDUCATION AND THE «DESNOE FRATERNITY»

И. А. Тульпе

Abstract


The question of the meaning and purpose of education is the most important in our culture. It was the subject of reflection not only for the greatest Russian thinkers, but for many educated people. One of them was Nikolai Il’in, who was better known as the founder of the sect. But this article is not about his « false doctrine», it examines the Il’in ideas on education. It deals with two early works — the article «The Total Alphabet in Human Nature» (1842), published in the conservative magazine «Mayak» and the book «Sionskaya Vest’» (1850s) circulated in manuscript parts. Ilyin was in solidarity with those who argued that education and ubiquitous learning has brought humanity to the corruption of morals and unprecedented disasters. He dreamed of such an education and the knowledge of the truth, which would have carried the peoples unity and prosperity. Duality of human nature causes two types of education: earth (bottom) and heavenly (above). Exhaustive earthly education may not be available to man, and because it is partial, it leads to one-sided philosophical systems that are not able to give a true bliss. Only when people suffer from their own experience the futility of earthly education, it will inevitably turn to «enlightenment from above» and its source. Heavenly enlightenment reveals the secret, which invalidates the basis of hostility between different doctrines and faiths: mankind divided only into two — on the «Desnye» (right) and «oshuynye» (left). In the last battle between light and darkness, or «heavenly enlightenment» with «earth education» a truly enlightened person stands on the side of light and joins the «desnoe brotherhood» So, Il’in’s religious philosophizing began with the issue of education. He joined science to religion because science itself is not able to find the truth and give people satisfaction. Religious issues were not preceded an understanding of the place of science and education in a person’s life, but rather has become the fundamental behind this understanding.

Keywords


education, religion, earthly education, celestial enlightenment, chiliasm.

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