Izvestiya of Saratov University.

Philosophy. Psychology. Pedagogy

ISSN 1819-7671 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1948 (Online)

Full text:
(downloads: 26)
Article type: 

The Bible in the religious and philosophical works of N. S. Arseniev: Mystical experience


The article traces the formation of the mystical experience of Nikolai Sergeevich Arseniev (1888–1977) on the basis of the memoir book “Gifts and Encounters of the Life Path” (1974), and the stages of his consideration of biblical studies. The analysis of Arseniev’s exegetical work “The Religious Experience of the Apostle Paul” (1935) is proposed. He was one of the Russian thinkers in whose writings the Holy Scripture occupied a central place, and almost all of his religious ideas grew out of New Testament books, and biblical concepts. As an exegete, he studied the problem of the Logos in the Gospel of John the Evangelist and the mystical experience of the Epistles of the Apostle Paul. The cross-cutting theme of Arseniev’s works was mysticism in ancient cults, the poetry of the Middle Ages, the works of the desert fathers, the texts of Russian and Western European ascetics of piety, religious philosophers (A. S. Khomyakov, I. V. Kireevsky, S. N.Trubetskoy, S. L.Frank) and biblical scholars. He relied on the mystical experience of the Church, the unity of Christians. In the Epistles of the Holy Apostle Paul, Arseniev emphasized the mysticism of life in Christ, Christian realism, the realism of the Cross of the Lord, and the realism of Resurrection. In general, the mystical experience of Paul, his preaching and activity, according to Arseniev, differs from “our usual experience” and is more real, since the apostle is “subdued”, “captured” by Christ, His fullness, and the grace of God.

  1. Arseniev N. S. Dary i vstrechi zhiznennogo puti [Gifts and meetings of the life path]. Frankfurt / Main, Posev Publ., 1974. 342 p. (in Russian).
  2. Arseniev N. On the Logos of God. Vestnik Russkogo studencheskogo khristianskogo dvizheniya [Bul letin of the Russian Student Christian Movement]. Paris, New York, 1956, no. 41, pp. 22–27 (in Russian).
  3. Literaturovedy Saratovskogo universiteta. 1917–2017: materialy k biografi cheskomu slovaryu Sost. V. V. Prozorov, A. A. Gaponenkov; ed. by V. V. Prozorov [Prozorov V. V., Gaponenkov A. A., compl.; Prozorov V. V., ed. Literary critics of the Saratov University. 1917– 2017: Materials for a Biographical Dictionary]. Saratov, Izdatel’stvo Saratovskogo universiteta, 2018. 340 p. (in Russian).
  4. Arseniev N. S. Religious experience of Apostle Paul. In: Arseniev N. S. O Zhizni Preizbytochestvuyushchey (About an Abundant Life). Brussels, Life with God Publ., 1966. Available at: https://predanie.ru/book/196985-o-zhizni-preizbytochestvuyuschey/ (accessed 25 October 2022) (in Russian).