Publication details

Presenting Russia to the West. Helene Iswolsky, Russian Catholic Émigré Intellectual

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FOLETTI Karolina

Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Convivium
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords Post-Revolutionary movement; The Third Hour; Iswolsky; ecumenism; Russian Catholics; Russian émigré
Description The Revolution of 1917 radically changed the career of Helene Iswolsky (1896–1975), from Russian aristocrat to emigre writer. Living in Paris from 1931, then in New York from 1940, she cultivated the acquaintances of her father, the tsar’s last ambassador to France. She was thus connected to the Russian elite as well as to Parisian high society. Raised Russian Orthodox, Iswolsky entered the Roman Catholic Church in 1923. She became a fervent promoter of ecumenical dialogue, participating in the French Catholic Action as well as in the meetings of her Orthodox compatriots and publishing an intconfessional journal, “The Third Hour.” Iswolsky took advantage of her emigre position in-between, fighting against the prejudices between Orthodoxy and Catholicism and between Russia and the West in general. She has devoted a significant part of her work to informing the French and the Americans about Russia and its culture, through translations and through her own texts. Opposing communist doctrine, she presented Russia as a profoundly religious and humanitarian society oppressed by the totalitarian Soviet regime.
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