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Biographical Sources for Religion and Philosophy in Russia

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Please note that this area of biographical research can benefit from using the various subject encyclopedias about religion. Note in particular Evreiskaia entsiklopediia, Polnyi pravoslavnyi bogoslovskii entsiklopedicheskii slovar’, and Khristianstvo.

This section includes mostly biographical dictionaries or sets that are not covered in the Russian biographical archive. Resources for Russian biography are extremely rich and the Biographical Archive doesn’t even scratch the surface, so be sure to use this set as a starting point only.


Filosofy Rossii XIX-XX stoletii (biografii, idei, trudy).

Alekseev, A. P.; Alekseev, P. V. Moskva: Kniga i biznes, 1993. 221 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 197.0922 F487

sample entry for Filosofy Rossii XIX-XX stoletii

This source contains short biographies of 862 philosophers who lived on the territory of the present day Russian Federation. It also includes some publishers of philosophical literature. There are even short biographies of the contributors. The entries provide basic biographical data, the area of specialty, a summary of the main ideas of the philosopher and some bibliographical references. This source can be valuable because it has entries for some people that are not included in other resources for political reasons. See the entry on the left on Valerii Ivanovich Dubovskoi.

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Politicheskaia mysl’ v Rossii. Slovar’ personalii. (XI v.-1917 g.)

Moskva: Knizhnyi dom “Universitet”, 2000. 287 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 320.947 P75951

This is a biographical dictionary of Russian political thinkers up to 1917. The book opens with a brief survey of the development of Russian political thought and then continues with biographical articles on the major thinkers. Most articles are several pages long, but spend little time on biographical details. The main thrust is on the development of their ideas. All articles are signed and provide bibliographical references. There also is a bibliography of general works on the history of Russian political philosophy. Follow the link for the entry on Vladimir Aristovich Engel’son.

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Russkie pisateli emigratsii: biograficheskie svedeniia i bibliografiia ikh knig po bogosloviiu, religioznoi filosofii, tserkovnoi istorii i pravoslavnoi kul’ture. 1921-1972.

Zernov, Nikolai. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1973. 182 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 016.21 Z54r

This source presents Russian emigre authors who have written on religious subjects and “identify themselves with the Orthodox Church” according to the preface. The introduction gives a brief overview of emigre religious writing and identifies a few major themes in the literature. Entries in this book begin with a brief biographical sketch and are followed by a bibliography of major works by the individual which excludes pre-revolutionary publications and articles. An appendix has a few additional entries. In addition, there is a list of emigre church publications and major emigre journals and collections related to religion. See the entry below on Nikolai Nikolaevich Bubnov.

sample entry for Russkie pisateli emigratsii

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Logika. Biobibliograficheskii spravochnik. (Rossiia-SSSR-Rossiia).

Sankt-Peterburg: Nauka, 2001. 485 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 016.160 L829

sample entry in Logika. Bibliograficheskii spravochnik Beginning with a short introductory essay on the history of logic in Russia, this biobibliographical dictionary covers both pre- and post-revolutionary logicians. Also included are individuals who are not logicians, but whose work has some bearing on the field of logic. Entries are arranged alphabetically by surname and may provide the following information: dates of life, educational background, citations for theses and dissertations, and bibliographic references for works by and about the figure. The amount of information in the entries is not consistent, perhaps as a result of the method of compilation which was questionnaires. For example, not even full names are given for many of the logicians. There is an index of names mentioned anywhere in the text. See the entry on the right for Pavel Ivanovich Vizir.