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By 1909 most of the contributors to Vekhi had also become Christian but they had arrived at this via a combination of German-philosophy-inspired idealism and the powerful quasi-political influence of Soloviev. At least three of the contributors - Berdyaev, Sergei Bulgakov and Frank - joined the Orthodox Church - Bulgakov became a priest. But their orthodoxy wasn't always very orthodox. In his autobiography Berdyaev says, summarising what is probably the central theme of his very large output:

"In opposition to [the influential romantic era German theologian, Friedrich] Schleiermacher and many others it must be stated that religion is not a "sense of dependence" but, on the contrary, a sense of independence. If God does not exist, man is a being wholly dependent on nature or society, on the world, or the state. If God exists, man is a spiritually independent being; and his relation to God is to be defined as freedom.' (pp.179-80)

Berdyaev's essay in Vekhi is a general appeal to the intelligentsia to respect philosophical truth above their, in his view false, idealisation of 'the people': 'the division of philosophy into proletarian and bourgeois, into left and right, and the assertion of two kinds of truth, one useful and one harmful, all these are signs of intellectual, moral and general cultural decadence.' (p.11)

Bulgakov in his essay 'Heroism and Asceticism: Reflections on the religious nature of the Russian intelligentsia' evokes the heroic desire of the young Russian intelligentsia to endure prison and exile to save the world but argues that it is destructive: 'revolution is a negative concept. It possesses no independent content and is characterised solely by the negation of what it destroys. Therefore the impulse of revolution is hatred and destruction. Yet, one of the foremost Russian intelligenty, Bakunin, formulated the idea that the spirit of destruction is also a creative spirit, and this belief is the main nerve of heroism psychology. It simplifies the constructive tasks of history for, given such an understanding, it requires first and foremost, strong muscles and nerves, strong temperament and daring ...' (p.40).

He contrasts this with Christian asceticism: 'If tumult and the search for great deeds are characteristic of heroism, just the opposite is the case here, where an even course, "measure", restraint, unrelenting self discipline, patience, and endurance, in fact just those qualities our intelligentsia lacks, are the norm. The traits of true asceticism are faithful execution of one's duty and the bearing of one's own cross in self-renunciation (i.e. not only in the outward sense but in the more inward sense as well) and relinquishing all that remains to providence.' (p.50)

It is above all the intelligentsia's hostility to religion that is responsible for 'the deepest chasm between the intelligentsia and the people':

'The world-view and spiritual make-up of the people is determined by the Christian faith. However great the distance here between the ideal and reality, however dark and unenlightened our nation, its ideal is Christ and His teaching, and its norm is Christian asceticism. What, if not asceticism, has been the entire history of our people: first oppressed by the Tartars then by the Muscovite and Petersburgian state systems with its centuries-long historical yoke as the sentinel of Western civilisation against both savage peoples and the sands of Asia, in this cruel climate with its eternal famines, frost and sufferings. If our people could endure all this and preserve its psychic strength, if it could come out of all this alive, albeit somewhat crippled, it is only because it had a source of spiritual strength in its faith and in the ideals of Christian asceticism, which comprised the basis for its national health and viability.' (pp.56-7)

The religious theme is developed in Struve's essay 'The Intelligentsia and Revolution': 

'After Christianity, which teaches not only submission to but also love for God, the fundamental inalienable element of any religion must and cannot help but be the belief in the redemptive power and decisive significance of individual creation, or rather, individual action that can be realised in accord with the will of God ...

'The basic philosopheme of socialism, its ideological axis as a world-view, is the principle that ultimately good and evil in a person depend on external circumstances. Not by accident is the founder of socialism a follower of the French Enlightenists [sic] and Bentham, Robert Owen, whose theory on the formation of human character repudiates the idea of individual responsibility ...

'The fundamental philosopheme of any religion predicated on love and reverence and not on fear is "the Kingdom of God lies within you." For a religious world outlook, therefore, nothing is more dear and important than a person's individual self-perfection, which socialism disregards on principle.

'In its purely economic teaching, socialism does not contradict any religion, but neither does it qualify as a religion itself. A religious person cannot believe in socialism ("I believe, oh Lord, and I confess") any more than he can believe in railroads, the telegraph, or proportional representation.' (p.141)