Monday, May 21, 2012

Men Have Forgotten God

More than half a century ago while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: ‘Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.'

Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: 'Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.'

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Templeton Lecture, May 10, 1983. (Among many other fine selections of Solzhenitsyn's work, this address can be found in The Solzhenitsyn Reader edited by Edward E. Ericson Jr. and Daniel J. Mahoney.)