Men'shikov Vladimir

About Scientifi c and Theological Understanding of Human

Men'shikov Vladimir, Khokhlova Anna, Gatilova Natal'ia, , (2016) "About Scientifi c and Theological Understanding of Human ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia IV : Pedagogika. Psihologiia, 2016, vol. 42, pp. 77-96 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturIV201642.77-96


Seeking to answer the question ‘what is a human being?’ the authors consider two opposite approaches to understanding its nature: materialistic and religious. In the article the texts of outstanding Soviet thinkers A. N. Leontiev and E. V. Ilienkov were analyzed. The analysis of their interpretation of a human being was implemented in the form of a friendly dialogue with representatives of materialistic approach to understanding human nature. The article shows that materialistic approach reveals important characteristics of man, his evolution and the mechanisms of his formation. But it doesn’t give an opportunity to understand the essence of a human being. So thinkers working within the first approach are faced with the problem of impossibility of understanding human nature because they exclude the fundamental human characteristic — spirituality. Spirituality is an ontological, objective characteristic of human being. It distinguishes him from any other living creature and enables him to be human. Recognizing and understanding this characteristic of a human being is only possible within theological approach. Therefore theological approach proves objective existence of man’s spirituality and gives a great opportunity to start understanding the human essence.


human being, materialistic approach to understanding of human, spiritual approach to understanding of human, personality, spirituality, soul, spirit, spiritual basis, thinking, work, society, spiritual-moral perfection.


1. Il'enkov Je. V. 1979 “Problema ideal'nogo“ (Problem of Ideal), in Voprosy filosofii, 1979, vol. 6, pp. 128–140.
2. Il'enkov Je. V. Chto zhe takoe lichnost'? (What Is Person), Moscow, 1984.
3. Leont'ev A. N. 1972 “Chelovek i kul'tura” (Human and Culture), in Problemy razvitija psihiki, Moscow, 1972, pp. 401–426.
4. Rubinshtejn S. L. 1976 “Chelovek i mir” (Human and World), in Problemy obshhej psihologii, Moscow, 1976, pp. 253–410.

Information about the author

Men'shikov Vladimir