The “common task”: defeating death, and resurrecting “all the dead, from all generations”
Nikolai Fedorov (1828-1903) advocated that everyone work toward the abolition of death and the physical resurrection of all past generations. This would require space travel.
That much I knew, but there is plenty more to be learned from Sarah J. Young’s ninth lecture on Russian thought. For example, “one of Fedorov’s disciples was the father of Russian rocket science Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935), who spent three years studying in the Rumyantsev museum where Fedorov worked, and who later propounded a theory of cosmism that had much in common with Fedorov’s, as it involved space colonization as a route to human perfection and immortality.” Also, late in his life, Dostoevskii wrote to a follower of Fedorov’s, asking if literal resurrection of the dead was what “your thinker” had in mind (it was). And there’s a charming story about how the well-read Fedorov, working as a librarian, would give patrons the books they asked for and “all sorts of other materials he thought they would find useful.”