Vasily Rozanov was one of the first Russian writers of the fin de siècle to create a nexus between the study of the history of world religions and the history of sexuality. He viewed Christianity’s asceticism as a source of the disintegration of the contemporary family. This article examines Rozanov’s strategy to synthesize religions and to use pre-Christian religions of the Middle East as proof of common physical and metaphysical essence in celestial, human, animal, and mythological human/animal/divine bodies. I argue that while his rehabilitation of the physical life by endowing it with religious value was socially positive, his self-proclaimed “mission of sexuality”, when politically motivated, was manipulative and incorporated the notion of the atavistic ‘survivals’. In conclusion, I explain that Rozanov’s monistic search for the divine in the physical body as well as his strategy to synthesize religions were additionally driven by his personal doubts in the preeminence of Christian eschatology.
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