Aliaev Gennadii

A Man in the Depths of Meaning (Three S. Frank's Lectures Notes)

Aliaev Gennadii, Rezvykh Tat'iana, (2017) "A Man in the Depths of Meaning (Three S. Frank's Lectures Notes) ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia. Religiovedenie, 2017, vol. 69, pp. 107-133 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI201769.107-133


The article represents three Simon Frank’s lecture notes, written in the 1920–30s — “The Meaning of Life”, ‘The Meaning of Love” and “The Meaning of Suff ering”, — which shed some more light on Simon Frank’s activity as a lecturer of Russian immigrant societies and organizations in the Western Europe. All these three lecture notes were designed to deal with moral issues, therefore it seems possible to assume that they were youth orientated and intended for the young audience. The topics of the lectures are central for the Frank’s mature period, his main works: the lecture notes refl ect the genesis process of a few ideas, which finally constituted Frank’s woks such as “The Meaning of Life,” “The Unknowable”, “God with Us”, and some others. However, there are also a number of original topics. For instance, “The Meaning of Love” contains a comparative analysis of two conceptions of love — Platonic and Freudian; “The Meaning of Suffering” purposes to solve the announced issue creating a typology of diverse national and cultural approaches to experience and comprehension of the suffering, as well as distinguishing two approaches within the framework of typically Russian attitude to suffering, which Frank calls “the way of Dostoevsky” and “the way of Pushkin”. Moreover, referring to bibliography we see that the texts represent Simon Frank as a reader, reflecting his literary interests for that period of his life. They demonstrate that Russian and German literature — the works of Tutchev, Boratynsky, Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Rilke — were important sources of Simon Frank’s inspiration. These texts reveal the Frank’s views on the topic of interrelations between Russia and Europe, which was one of the central topics of his works. In addition, “The Meaning of Suffering” provides us with a few important features to the portrait of Max Scheler as an intellectual who held the same views as Frank did.


charity, love, Max Scheler, the meaning of life, Russian religious philosophy, Simon Frank, suff ering


Bubbajer F. 2001. S. L. Frank: Zhizn’ i tvorchestvo russkogo fi losofa. 1877–1950 [S. Frank: Life and Writings of the Russian Phulosopher. 1877-1950]. Moscow.
Zak L. V. 1954. Semen Ljudvigovich Frank — moj brat [S. L. Frank – My Brother]. Sbornik pamjati Semjona Ljudvigovicha Franka. Munich.
Aljaev G., Rezvyh T. (eds.) 2016. Perepiska S. L. Franka s V. B. El’jashevichem i F. O. El’jashevich [Correspondence of S. Frank and V. Elyashevich with F. Elyashevich]. Issledovanija po istorii russkoj mysli [12]: Ezhegodnik za 2015 god. Moscow.
Rezvyh T. N. 2015. «Moja sud’ba menja ne bespokoit…»: S. L. Frank v okkupirovannoj Francii [“My Destiny doesn’t bother me”: S. Frank in the occupied France]. Antonov K. M. (ed.) ≪Samyj vydajushhijsja russkij filosof≫: Filosofi ja religiii politiki S. L. Franka. Moscow, pp. 195-240.
Frank S. L. 1988. Duhovnye osnovy obshhestva. Vvedenie v social’nuju fi losofi ju [Spiritual Foundations of the Society. Introduction into the Social Philosophy]. New York.
Frank S. L. 1992. Duhovnye osnovy obshhestva [Spiritual Foundations of the Society]. Moscow.
Frank S. L. 1990. Nepostizhimoe. Ontologicheskoe vvedenie v filosofiju religii [Incomprehensible. Ontological Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion]. Moscow.
Schlogel K., Kucher K., Suchy B., Thum G. (Hrsg.) 1999. Chronik russischen Lebens in Deutschland 1918–1941. Berlin.

Information about the author

Aliaev Gennadii

Academic Degree: Doctor of Sciences* in Philosophy;
Place of work: Poltava National Technical Yuri Kondratyuk University Pervomaiskyi prosp., 24, Poltava 36011 Ukraine;
Email: email: gealyaev@mail.ru.

*According to ISCED 2011, a post-doctoral degree called Doctor of Sciences (D.Sc.) is given to reflect second advanced research qualifications or higher doctorates.


Публикация выполнена в рамках гранта Фонда развития ПСТГУ «Генеалогия идей богословского персонализма (на материале русской религиозной мысли XIX — начала XX века), договор No04-1215/КИП