After passing through deism, pantheism, and sundry atheistic visions of life, Vladimir Solovyov emerged as a Christian thinker of irrepressible conviction and uncommon genius. The Justification of the Good, one of Solovyov’s last and most mature works, presents a profound argument for human morality based on the world’s longing for and participation in God’s goodness.
In the first part of the book Solovyov explores humanity’s inner virtues and their full reality in Christ, weaving his moral philosophy with threads drawn from Orthodox theology. In the second part Solovyov discusses the practical implications of Christian goodness for such areas as nationalism, war, economics, legal justice, and family.
This edition of The Justification of the Good reproduces the English edition of 1918 and is the only new publication of this work since that date. The book includes explanatory footnotes by esteemed scholar Boris Jakim and a bibliography, compiled by Jakim, of Solovyov’s major philosophical and religious works.
Jakim has here revised and annotated the nearly century-old translation, which was, stylistically, already lucid and uncompromised. Hart’s brief foreword is perhaps the best theological introduction to Solovyov in English. Their efforts are the perfect complement to a work that is all at once strange, prophetic, and filled with so many brilliant analyses that it is impossible to skim. . . . This is one of those rare books that, if taken seriously, would shake up our disciplinary structures as well as our lives.
—Journal of the American Academy of Religion
Solovyov seems to anticipate and bypass the dead ends of twentieth-century ethical theory, striding confidently ahead into futures thinking before it became a genre. . . . Duddington’s translation flows elegantly and without distraction; Boris Jakim supplies the explanatory footnotes you need; and the foreword by David Bentley Hart has the first-time reader prepared for the surprising experience to follow.
—Reviews in Religion and Theology
The sheer breadth of issues Solyvov examines—from the family to the state, from nationalism to crime and punishment, from war to the economy—makes this book an amazing effort to consider morality in all of its social locations.
—Cistercian Studies Quarterly
Vladimir Solovyov (1853–1900), one of Russia’s leading intellectuals and a close friend of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, taught philosophy at Moscow University. Among his other books is Three Conversations concerning War, Progress, and the End of History.
Boris Jakim is the foremost translator of Russian religious thought into English. His published translations include works by S.L. Frank, Pavel Florensky, Vladimir Solovyov, and Sergius Bulgakov.
Nathalie A. Duddington also translated The Last Days of Tolstoy and The Intuitive Basis of Knowledge: An Epistemological Inquiry.