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Books / Freedom to Believe: Philosophical and Cultural Essays. Translated by Slava Yastremski, Michael Nydan
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Freedom to Believe is a powerful collection of philosophical and religious essays by a modern poet of distinction. It introduces a highly original and controversial thinker to the Western reader. Olga Sedakova's central philosophical thought lies in the notion of existential freedom in its association with the liberating power of the arts, especially poetry. These convictions place her firmly in the Russian and European classical cultural traditions, which, in turn, have deep roots in Christianity. Devoutly Orthodox yet fiercely independent in her thinking, Sedakova's ecumenical humanism places her in opposition to both the "new left" and modern fundamentalism. Indeed, Sedakova's "conservatism" is more genuinely new than the so-called radicalism of the postmodernists, as she castigates "old totalitarianism" and new commercialism alike, in the name of a new cultural poetics and politics.
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