Philology, pedagogy, and psychology

2022 Issue №4

Back to the list Download the article

Conceptualization of prayer in the diary discourse of L. N. Tolstoy



The article is devoted to analyzing ideas about prayer reflected in Leo Tolstoy’s diaries. The research has been carried out using methods of continuous sampling of diary notes dedicated to prayer, conceptual analysis aimed at highlighting its cognitive features, as well as private techniques for analyzing the semantics of a keyword. The study has revealed that records of prayer are found throughout the years of keeping a diary. Tolstoy understands prayer as a dialogue with God, as self-understanding. The article analyzes the features of the conceptualization of prayer, objectified by the compatibility of the keyword, and reconstructs the primary image of “Person”: figuratively, prayer is attributed to procedural features inherent in a person. They are characterized by positive connotative evaluation. It is proved that the categorization of prayer using an anthropomorphic cultural code is a consequence of implementing a communicative cognitive strategy. Tolstoy names the following functions of prayer: it helps to achieve harmony, avoid complex emotional states, makes a person strong, spiritually elevates them, protects them from the temptation to sin, helps in self-understanding. An essential aspect of the conceptualization of prayer for Tolstoy is the definition of the conditions for its performance. Tolstoy understands prayer exclusively as an intimate, non-church appeal to God. Tolstoy believes that prayer should be carried out with complete abstraction from everything mundane. Tolstoy warns against mechanical prayer. He completely denies the prayer asking for personal well-being. Tolstoy’s understanding of prayer is dissonant with the conventional one.