1401 Charlestown Road
Phoenixville, PA 19460
800.432.8322 | 610.935.0450
1401 Charlestown Road | Phoenixville, PA 19460 | 610.935.0450
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“The line separating good and evil passes not through states, not between classes, nor political parties either, but right through every human heart.” Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Historians are still trying to measure the seismic influence of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. According to the Acton Institute, “Solzhenitsyn took a sledgehammer to the crumbling foundations of the Soviet system and, more than any other single person, was responsible for its collapse.”
He was born on December 11, 1918, studied mathematics at Boston University and took a correspondence course in literature at Moscow State University. During World War II Solzhenitsyn joined the Red Army and rose to the rank of captain and was decorated for bravery. While serving on the German front in 1945 he was arrested for criticizing Joseph Stalin in a letter to a friend.
Solzhenitsyn was found guilty and sent to a Soviet labor camp in Kazakhstan. There he began to write. In such works as One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Cancer Ward, The First Circle, and The Gulag Archipelago, he chronicled the catastrophe that the Bolshevik Revolution and Soviet repression had brought on Russia. In 1970 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.
Exiled from the Soviet Union in 1974, he soon settled in the United States where his writing and speaking continued to impact the world. His famous commencement address to Harvard University in 1978 referenced the failings of the west, i.e. rampant materialism, the superficiality of the media, and the moral cowardice of intellectuals. In his words, “The west has finally achieved the rights of man, and even to excess, but man’s responsibility to God and society has grown dimmer and dimmer.”
“As a boy, Solzhenitsyn was deeply influenced by his Aunt Irina, who,” according to the Acton Institute, “instilled in him a love of literature and of Russian Orthodoxy.” And though he drifted from the Christian faith because of his indoctrination in Marxism-Leninism, his experiences in the labor camps brought him back to his faith.
Here are some of his best known statements:
Alexander Solzhenitsyn inspires me. And I trust he does the same for you.
Think about it.
Valley Forge Christian College is a private Christian College located in Chester County, Pennsylvania, 35 miles northwest of downtown Philadelphia. VFCC offers on its sprawling park-like campus, as well as online, 67 undergraduate and seven graduate degrees in the Arts, the Sciences and the Professions. The college's mission is to prepare individuals for a life of service and leadership in the church and in the world.