2009. szeptember 21., hétfő

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Alexander Solzhenitsyn [1918-2008]

... Solzhenitsyn’s famous 1978 commencement address at Harvard catalogued the West’s failings, including rampant materialism, the superficiality of the media, and the moral cowardice of intellectuals. Standing before the cream of the Cambridge intelligentsia, Solzhenitsyn accused the West of leaving behind “the moral heritage of Christian centuries with their great reserves of mercy and sacrifice.“ He took the political and intellectual elites to task for cowardice, a “lack of manhood“ in its dealings with international aggressors and terrorists. He lamented the “boundless space“ that the West had provided for human freedom without making any distinctions for human decadence. “The West has finally achieved the rights of man, and even to excess, but man’s responsibility to God and society has grown dimmer and dimmer,“ Solzhenitsyn told the Harvard crowd.

As a boy, Solzhenitsyn was deeply influenced by his Aunt Irina, who instilled in him a love of literature and of Russian Orthodoxy. But he drifted away from the Christian faith under the spell of state indoctrination in Marxism-Leninism. It was his experience with the realities of the labor camps that brought him to his metanoia, the change of mind that put him on the road to repentance. “He returned with adult thoughtfulness to the Christian worldview of his rearing,“ Ericson and Mahoney wrote. “Solzhenitsyn’s mature articulation of Christian truths was deeply informed by his experience in the prison camps. There he witnessed human nature in extremis and learned about the heights and depths of the human soul.“