Alekseev V. M. Issues of Spiritual Life (Publication, Preface and Comments by T. I. Vinogradova)
VASILIY M. ALEKSEEV (1881–1951) — orientalist-sinologist, prof., acad. of Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Archival publication
ABSTRACT. The article “Issues of spiritual life” was written by academician V. M. Alekseev (1881–1951) in 1940–1941. The manuscript is currently preserved at the St. Petersburg branch of the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Stock 820, inventory 1, file 460). Tatiana Vinogradova has examined published works and archive texts written by V. M. Alekseev between the late 1920s and early 1940s and devoted to various aspects of the Chinese culture, religion and morality. She concludes that V. M. Alekseev used the materials of his article “Chinese morals in Chinese popular prints” when he wrote the “Issues of spiritual life”. V. M. Alekseev appears to have considered the article “Chinese morals in Chinese popular prints” very important, as he tried to publishe it many times, but now this text is lost. At the St. Petersburg branch of the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Stock 820, inventory 1, file 449), the author has found only a draft of this article in the form of preliminary materials on cards, which allows to restore the article’s structure. Based on the materials of Chinese popular prints, V. M. Alekseev’s article aimed to reconstruct the system of Chinese traditional morality, while the “Issues of spiritual life” was devoted to the description of the religious life of China in the new historical conditions. The article is a product of the time, but its anti-religious pathos does not overshadow the very interesting ethnographic sketches found in it.
KEYWORDS: V. M. Alekseev (1881–1951), St. Petersburg branch of the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Chinese popular prints, Chinese morality, religions in China