Edited, translated, and with commentary by Gregory Yuri Glazov
Vladimir Solovyov, one of nineteenth-century Russia’s greatest Christian philosophers, was renowned as the leading defender of Jewish civil rights in tsarist Russia in the 1880s. The Burning Bush: Writings on Jews and Judaism presents an annotated translation of Solovyov’s complete oeuvre on the Jewish question, elucidating his terminology and identifying his references to persons, places, and texts, especially from biblical and rabbinic writings. Many texts are provided in English translation by Gregory Yuri Glazov for the first time, including Solovyov’s obituary for Joseph Rabinovitch, a pioneer of modern Messianic Judaism, and his letter in the London Times of 1890 advocating for greater Jewish civil rights in Russia, printed alongside a similar petition by Cardinal Manning.
Glazov’s introduction presents a summary of Solovyov’s life, explains how the texts in this collection were chosen, and provides a survey of Russian Jewish history to help the reader understand the context and evaluate the significance of Solovyov’s work. In his extensive commentary in Part II, which draws on key memoirs from family and friends, Glazov paints a rich portrait of Solovyov’s encounters with Jews and Judaism and of the religious-philosophical ideas that he both brought to and derived from those encounters. The Burning Bush explains why Jews posthumously accorded Solovyov the accolade of a “righteous gentile,” and why his ecumenical hopes and struggles to reconcile Judaism and Christianity and persuade secular authorities to respect conscience and religious freedom still bear prophetic vitality.
“Gregory Glazov’s The Burning Bush: Writings on Jews and Judaism by Vladimir Solovyov is a beautifully conceived and expertly executed volume. Judith Deutsch Kornblatt did the field of modern religious philosophy a great service by bringing Solovyov’s sophiological writings together in a single elegant volume. Glazov has done the same for Solovyov’s writings on Judaism.” — Paul Valliere, McGregor Professor of the Humanities, Butler University
“Glazov . . . deserves credit for rescuing Solovyov—whom he dubs ‘a Russian analogue to St. Thomas Aquinas and a trailblazer for Russian Orthodox Christians seeking unity with the West and Catholicism’—from obscurity in this comprehensive volume. It is as much biography and commentary as it is a collection of primary sources concerning Solovyov’s writings about Jews and Judaism.” — Publishers Weekly
“Poet, theologian, and philosopher Solovyov (1853–1900) was responsible for a renaissance in Russian philosophy and poetry in the early 20th century. . . . Glazov succeeds in bringing another aspect of Solovyov’s intellect into Western scholarship. A definitive work for Russophiles of the 20th century.” — Library Journal
“Glazov offers an extensive history of the question of Jewish relations with Russian Christians as well as a significant commentary of Solovyov’s works on the Christian problem of Jewish relations, each of which receives their own section before Solovyov’s texts, allowing the unfamiliar reader to understand the context of Solovyov’s works. This truly is what makes the work an important contribution to the history of anti-Semitism, but also, to culture studies, showing how people can be easily worked up with hate speech so that they end up willing to commit great atrocities in the name of security.” — Patheos