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Khomiakov, Alexei (1804–1860)

  1. Paul Higgins

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0754

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Higgins, P. 2011. Khomiakov, Alexei (1804–1860). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Russian theologian, born in Moscow on May 1, 1804, to Stepan Khomiakov and Maria Alexeevna Kireevskaia. Khomiakov is best known for having cofounded the Slavophile movement. He was a polymath and renaissance man: a politician, philosopher, linguist, philologist, historian, poet, artist, journalist, engineer, and inventor, though primarily a theologian. Khomiakov was raised by an extremely pious mother in an atmosphere of traditional Russian Orthodoxy, though like many young nobles of his day, he was taught European classics as an adolescent. He studied mathematics at the University of Moscow and briefly served in the Russian army, but spent the majority of his time in intellectual pursuits; he was an especially prolific letterwriter and public speaker. Khomiakov married in 1836, fathering nine children, and died of cholera on September 23, 1860, while treating his peasants during an epidemic. He published little during his lifetime, primarily due to censorship under Nicholas I, but was later quite influential on Dostoevsky, Solovyov, and Florensky, among others.


  • the slavophile movement;
  • sobornost (catholicity, organic unity);
  • “cosmic” aspect of sobornost;
  • russian mir or obshchina, unified community