ISBN : 9780199892945
In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, a controversial school of Russian thinkers emerged, convinced that humanity was entering an advanced stage of evolution and must assume a new, active, managerial role in the cosmos. In the first account in English of this fascinating school, George M. Young offers a dynamic and wide-ranging examination of the lives and ideas of the Russian Cosmists. Although they wrote as scientists, theologians, and philosophers, Young shows that the Cosmists addressed topics traditionally confined to occult and esoteric literature. Their writings explored the extension of the human life span to establish universal immortality; the restoration of life to the dead; the regulation of nature so that all manifestations of blind natural force were under rational human control; the effect of cosmic rays and other particles of energy on human history; and practical steps toward eventual human control over the flow of time. Suppressed during the Soviet period and little noticed in the West, the ideas of the Cosmists have in recent decades been rediscovered and embraced by many Russian intellectuals.
Chapter 1: The Spiritual Geography of Russian Cosmism
Chapter 2: Forerunners of Russian Cosmism
Chapter 3: The Russian Philosophical Context
Chapter 4: The Religious and Spiritual Context
Chapter 5: The Russian Esoteric Context
Chapter 6: Nikolai Fedorovich Fedorov (1829-1903), the Philosopher of the Common Task
Chapter 7: The "Common Task"
Chapter 8: The Religious Cosmists
Chapter 9: The Scientific Cosmists
Chapter 10: Promethean Theurgy
Chapter 11: Fedorov's Twentieth-Century Followers
Chapter 12: Cosmism Today