Slavophile


Slavophile
Slavophilism /sleuh vof"euh liz'euhm, slah"veuh fil iz'euhm, slav"euh-/, n.
/slah"veuh fuyl', -fil, slav"euh-/, n.
1. a person who greatly admires the Slavs and Slavic ways.
2. one of a group of mid-19th century Russian intellectuals who favored traditional cultural practices over Western innovations, esp. in political and religious life.
adj.
3. admiring or favoring the Slavs and Slavic interests, aims, customs, etc.
Also, Slavophil /slah"veuh fil, slav"euh-/.
[1875-80; SLAVO- + -PHILE; cf. Russ slavyanofíl]

* * *

▪ Russian history
      in Russian history, member of a 19th-century intellectual movement that wanted Russia's future development to be based on values and institutions derived from the country's early history. Developing in the 1830s from study circles concerned with German philosophy, the Slavophiles were influenced greatly by Friedrich Schelling. The movement was centred in Moscow and attracted wealthy, well-educated, well-traveled members of the old aristocracy. Among its leaders were Aleksey S. Khomyakov, the brothers Konstantin S. and Ivan S. Aksakov, the brothers Ivan V. and Pyotr V. Kireyevsky, and Yury F. Samarin. Their individual interests covered a broad range of topics, including philosophy, history, theology, philology, and folklore; but they all concluded that Russia should not use western Europe as a model for its development and modernization but should follow a course determined by its own character and history.

      They considered western Europe, which had adopted the Roman Catholic and Protestant religions, as morally bankrupt and regarded Western political and economic institutions (e.g., constitutional government and capitalism) as outgrowths of a deficient society. The Russian people, by contrast, adhered to the Russian Orthodox faith; thus, according to the Slavophiles, through their common faith and church, the Russian people were united in a “Christian community,” which defined natural, harmonious, human relationships.

      The Slavophiles considered the Russian peasant commune an uncorrupted representation of the “Christian community.” They also believed that the autocratic form of government was well suited to a people spiritually bound together. Viewing Russia as potentially able to develop according to the “Christian community” model, the Slavophiles also thought that once such a society was established, Russia's duty would be to revitalize the West by reintroducing spiritual values there to replace rationalism, materialism, and individualism.

      But the Slavophiles also realized that their contemporary society did not represent their ideal. They believed that Peter I the Great (reigned 1682–1725), by introducing reforms imitating the West, had corrupted Russia, driven a wedge between the nobility and the peasantry, and upset the natural social relationships. They despised the state bureaucracy organized under Peter and his church reforms that had undermined spiritual authority.

      In order to perfect Russian society and to restore the autocracy and the church in their ideal forms, the Slavophiles urged extensive reforms, including the emancipation of serfs, curtailment of the bureaucracy, the granting of civil liberties (i.e., freedom of speech, press, and conscience), and the establishment of an institution representing the whole people (similar to the veche or the zemsky sobor of pre-Petrine Russia).

      Although they enthusiastically approved some facets of Russian society and held views resembling the government's official doctrine of narodnost (“nationality”), which emphasized the superior character of the Russian people, Nicholas I objected to their criticism of his regime (which, of course, was based on Peter's reforms). His government censored their journals and generally tried to suppress the movement. The Slavophiles were also opposed intellectually by the Westernizers (Westernizer), a group that developed simultaneously with them but insisted that Russia imitate the Western pattern of modernization and introduce constitutional government into the tsarist autocracy.

      The Slavophiles were most active during the 1840s and '50s. After the Crimean War (1853–56), the death of its foremost leaders (1856 and 1860), and the promulgation of the reforms of Alexander II (1860s), the movement declined. Its principles were adapted and simplified by extreme nationalists, Pan-Slavists, and revolutionary Populists (Narodniki). In addition to their influence on those movements, the Slavophiles individually made significant contributions to their various fields of study, particularly theology (with Khomyakov's (Khomyakov, Aleksey Stepanovich) theory of sobornost, a spiritual unity and religious community based on a free commitment to Orthodoxy), Russian history, and folklore.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • slavophile — [ slavɔfil ] n. • 1852; d ab. en parlant des Russes hostiles à l occidentalisation; de slave et phile ♦ Didact. Personne qui aime les Slaves, les civilisations slaves. Adj. Français slavophile. ● slavophile adjectif et nom Se dit des membres de l …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Slavophile — [släv′əfil, slav′əfilsläv′ə fīl΄, slav′əfīl΄] n. [ SLAVO + PHILE] a person who strongly admires the Slavs or their customs, culture, influence, etc.: also Slavophil [släv′əfil, slav′əfil] Slavophilism [slə väf′ə liz΄əm] n …   English World dictionary

  • Slavophile — A Slavophile is an intellectual movement originating from 19th century that wanted the Russian Empire to be developed upon values and institutions derived from its early history. Slavophiles were especially opposed to Western European culture and …   Wikipedia

  • Slavophile — Slavophilisme La slavophilie ou le slavophilisme désigne diverses théories nationalistes slaves. Sommaire 1 Principes 2 Historique 3 Principaux représentants 4 Liens externes …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Slavophile — Slavophil Slav o*phil, Slavophile Slav o*phile, n. [Slavic + Gr. ??? loving.] One, not being a Slav, who is interested in the development and prosperity of that race. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Slavophile — or Slavophil noun Date: 1877 an admirer of the Slavs ; an advocate of Slavophilism …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Slavophile — Dieser Artikel oder Abschnitt ist nicht hinreichend mit Belegen (Literatur, Webseiten oder Einzelnachweisen) versehen. Die fraglichen Angaben werden daher möglicherweise demnächst gelöscht. Hilf Wikipedia, indem du die Angaben recherchierst und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • slavophile — (entrée créée par le supplément) (sla vo fi l ) s. m. Nom, chez les Russes, de ceux qui travaillent à réunir ensemble tous les Slaves. •   M. Samarine appartenait par sa foi politique aux slavophiles, Journ. des Débats, 1er mai 1876, 1re page, 5e …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Slavophile — one who admires the Slavs Love and Attraction …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • slavophile — slav·o·phile …   English syllables


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.