The  Unknowable
An Ontological Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

By S.L. Frank

Translated by Boris Jakim

“The appearance of this translation of Frank's Nepostizimoe is indeed an important event for all those seriously interested in Russian intellectual thought.”

Thomas Nemeth, Studies in Soviet Thought

“The overall quality of the translation from the Russian is excellent. The text reads smoothly and reflects careful attention to accuracy.… The Unknowable is considered Frank’s most brilliant work and it may well be one of the best works in twentieth–century Russian philosophy. Whether one agrees or disagrees with Frank’s perspectives, the work is stimulating and provocative. It is well worth reading and a welcome addition to that select body of Russian philosophical works available in English.”

Kent R. Hill, Seattle Pacific University

The Unknowable is Frank’s most mature work and possibly the greatest work of Russian philosophy of the 20th century. It is a work in which epistemology, ontology, and religious philosophy are intertwined: the soul transcends outward to knowledge of other souls and thereby gains knowledge of itself, becomes itself for the first time; and the soul transcends inward to gain knowledge of God and acquires stable, certain being for the first time in this knowledge of God.

Frank’s work was not intended exclusively for the professional philosopher or theologian. It was also written for the intelligent layman who aspires to philosophical understanding of the practical problems of life and the world.

—From the translator’s preface

S.L. Frank (1877–1950) was a leading figure in the fascinating flowering of Russian philosophical thought that spanned roughly the first five decades of this century. Frank was expelled from Russia in 1922 and worked in European exile until his death in London. His most important works are The Object of Knowledge (1915), an examination of the limits of abstract knowledge; The Soul of Man (1917), a work of philosophical psychology; The Foundations of Social Being (1930), a work of social philosophy; The Unknowable (1939); The Light Shineth in Darkness (1949), an exploration of the nature of evil in the world; and Reality and Man (published posthumously in 1956), a metaphysics of human being.

—From the translator’s preface

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Related Subjects

Philosophy · Religion