Der Mythos ,Heimat‘ in der politischen Philosophie Iwan Iljins

  • Maja Soboleva Universität Klagenfurt


The purpose of this paper is to reconstruct the concept “Heimat” (Rodina) on the basis of Iwan Iljin’s works The Way of Spiritual Renewal (1937), Homeland and We (1925), and About Russia – Three Lectures (1934). The paper demonstrates that this concept plays a key role in Iljin’s political philosophy. “Heimat” serves as a systematic centre which unites various themes of human life, such as family, community, state, and international affairs. It is also necessary for human self-identification.

Iljin’s notion of “Heimat” is not easy to interpret and this is one of the reasons why he is often accused of nationalism and conservatism. However, this is not correct since Iljin distinguishes between the instinctive drive to homeland and the spiritual homeland. The spiritual homeland does not require any localization in space or time; it does not designate any material objects and only exists in the imagination. Iljin’s homeland seems to be a myth having an educational function. The most important characteristics of the myth “Heimat” are the focus of this paper’s analysis.