Nikolai Berdyaev, Divine and Human: The Existential Dialectics of Relationships, transl.-preface-comments by Prodromos P. Antoniadis, P. Pournaras Publ., Thessaloniki 1971, pp. 279.
This book includes a preface, some biographical information about Berdyaev and introductory comments by the translator, as well as a preface by the author himself. In the first chapter Berdyaev notes the simultaneous crisis of the non-Christian and the Christian world and the need for a critique of Christian Revelation correspondent to the critique of the clear word by Kant. In the second chapter he takes on the dialectics of the divine and the human, as formed in German thought (Luther, the Mystics, Idealism etc.), as well as the importance of the particular case of Nietzsche. He calls for a dynamic comprehension of God through the dialectic teaching of the Holy Trinity.
To the natural and necessary motion and evolution of the world he counters spiritual recreation as synergy between God and human beings and the perspective of a new era of the Spirit and the Revelation. In the next two chapters he approaches existentially and theologically fear-agony and pain-anguish and expresses the motto “I suffer therefore I am”. In the sixth chapter he offers extensive analyses about evil, which can be overcome by the perspective of Christ, in the resurrection of life and the transformation of the world. Here he expresses his view about the uncreated freedom and rejects the idea of hell. In the seventh chapter he addresses the problem of war as metaphysical and in the eighth he locates what is human in its likeness to God, in a God-humanity where liberty and grace come together as they appear to the every person.
Spirituality and in particular Christian spirituality becomes a struggle of people, as liberty and meaning, not as acceptance of the Spirit. The tenth chapter refers to the beauty not only as aesthetics but also as metaphysical category, while the eleventh chapter under the title “Immortality” includes Berdyaev’s eschatological soul-searching, which continues in the next chapter, “Messianism and History”, where he expresses the view that the Kingdom of God is external to historical reality, and the Church stands within history as a symbol of this. In the thirteenth chapter there is wider development of his notion of a new Revelation as a religion of the Spirit and in the last chapter he specifies that the time of the end, of the utmost, will be a time of a new creation, divine and human.