Karel Sládek, Nikolay Lossky and the Case for Mystical Intuition: Translated by Pavlina and Tim Morgan, Karolinum Press, Prague, 2020, Paperback, 158 p., 240 czk, ISBN 978-80-246-4570-4 [Book Review]

Studies in East European Thought 73 (1):117-120 (2021)
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The book under review is a translation of a monograph written in Czech entitled Nikolaj Losskij: Obhájce mystické intuice, published in 2011. As a theologian, the author is above all interested in the spiritual and theological aspects of Lossky’s thought. The first two chapters are concerned with Lossky’s life and work before and during his years in Czechoslovakia. The third chapter is devoted to the analysis and interpretation of Lossky’s booklet Mystical Intuition published in English in 1938, wherein Lossky presents his theory of mystical intuition, as opposed to his theories of sensory and intellectual intuition. The last chapter is about Lossky’s conception of the self and of society, his interpretation of Dostoevsky, his theory of reincarnation, and his relationship with Ctibor Bezděk, who applied Lossky’s philosophy to medical practice. Since the book was written by a Czech author who has insider-knowledge of the literature written in Czecho-Slovak, most interesting for the reader unacquainted with this family of languages is the discussion of Lossky’s relationships—personal and intellectual—with Czech and Slovak philosophers such as Tomáš Masaryk, Ferdinand Pelikán, Vladimír Hoppe, Ctibor Bezděk, and Igor Hrušovský, as well as the discussion of Lossky’s publications in Czech. Given that the latter aspects are what is truly unique to this book and novel in the Anglophone literature on Lossky, this is what I focus on in this review.



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Frederic Tremblay
University at Buffalo (PhD)

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