Alexander Solzhenitsyn and the Battle for the Human Soul (FIRST THINGS)

solzhenitsyn EXCELLENT ARTICLE: Robert P. Kraynak is Professor of Political Science at Colgate University and author of Christian Faith and Modern Democracy. He writes today:

What Solzhenitsyn learned from the history of Russia and the West is that totalitarianism, theocracy, and secular liberalism have distorted the human soul in various ways. With utmost sobriety, he shows how difficult it is to achieve the right balance between God’s realm and Caesar’s realm because their demands seem contradictory: “Freedom of action and prosperity are necessary if man is to stand up to his full height on this earth; but spiritual greatness dwells in eternal subordination, in awareness of oneself as an insignificant particle.” In other words, political freedom is absolutely necessary as a means to higher ends because it gives human beings the pride and dignity to stand up on their own two feet and to take responsibility for their lives; but attaining the highest ends requires subordination of the self to a permanent hierarchy of being in which one is merely an “insignificant particle.”

Read FIRST THINGS: A Journal of Religion, Culture, and Public Life

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