From the translator's introduction:
"In picking up this book, you are about to embark on a fascinating journey. It is a journey to places where, according to the author, many of us have already been but about which we have forgotten. It is also a journey within, into that psychological space where our ideas and beliefs about God, spirituality, and religion reside. During both journeys, we are likely to encounter wonder and recognition, skepticism and acceptance, rejection and admiration, confusion and long-sought understanding. For some, this journey will be the start of a much larger one; for some it is but one more leg of a journey undertaken earlier; in any case, The Rose of the World is not a final destination."
Completed in 1959, hidden from the Soviet secret police for twenty years, The Rose of the World was first made public through excerpts in the magazine Novy Mir in 1989. The Rose of the World is a unique and poetic cosmological treatise, passionately written out of personal spiritual experience. It offers a prophetic call for the spiritual reunification of all people and an open and harmonious relationship among the great world religions. For Daniel Andreev, The Rose of the world is a spiritual flower whose roots are in heaven; each petal is a unique image of the great world religions and cultures, and the whole flower is their joint co-creation with God.
Lindisfarne Books is proud to publish the first English translation of this masterpiece of contemporary Russian spiritual literature, a work that belongs to Russian religious thought in the tradition of Vladimir Soloviev, and to the West in the tradition of Dante and Blake -- truly a work for the twenty-first century.
Daniel Andreev (1906-1959) was born in Berlin. His father was the well-known Russian writer Leonid Andreev. His mother Alexandra Veligorsky died during childbirth. Daniel's father, overcome with grief, gave up Andreev to Alexandra's sister Elizabeth Dobrov, who lived in Moscow. It was a critical event in Daniel Andreev's life, for in contrast to many of the Russian intelligentsia at the time, the family maintained its Russian Orthodox faith. Daniel's childhood included contact with persons as his godfather Maxim Gorky. Daniel was conscripted as a noncombatant in the Soviet Army in 1942, and after the war he returned to writing fiction and poetry. He was arrested in 1947, along with his wife and many of his relatives and friends, and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison, while his wife received twenty-five years of labor camp. All of previous writing was destroyed. With the rise of Khrushchev, Andreev's case was reviwed and his sentence reduced to ten years. He was released to his waiting wife in 1957, his health ruined following a heart attack in prison. While in prison, he had written the first drafts of The Rose of the World and Russian Gods (a collection of poetry), as well as The Iron Mystery, a play in verse. Andreev spent the last two years of his life finishing his work on these works. Andreev's wife Alla, realizing the negative reception the books would get from the Soviet authorities, hid them until the mid-seventies, but didn't publish them until Gorbachev and glasnost. The first edition of The Rose of the World (100,000 copies) quickly sold out, and since then several editions have been equally popular in Russia.