Религиозно-общественная жизнь российских регионов. Т. I. / Науч. ред. С. Филатов. М.: Летний сад, 2014. — 620 с. Религиозно-общественная жизнь российских регионов. Т. II. / Науч. ред. С. Филатов. М.; СПб.: Летний сад, 2016. — 512 с.
Review of the book:
Jonveaux, Isabelle, Palmisano, Stefania and Pace, Enzo (eds) (2014) Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion. Vol. 5: Sociology and Monasticism: Between Innovation and Tradition. Leiden, Boston: Brill. — 322 p.
The present article examines the anti-Jewish polemics in a remarkable Christian Arabic treatise from the eleventh century, the heyday of Arabic culture: the Book of Sessions of Elias of Nisibis (975–1046), metropolitan of the Church of the East. In this treatise, Elias presents his discussions with his Muslim interlocutor, the vizier Abū l-Qāsim al-Maghribī (981–1027). The content of the disputations that took place between Elias and Abū l-Qāsim is transmitted in two substantially different versions: one of them is presented in the Book of Sessions, the other, in Elias’ Epistle to the vizier. The difference between the versions affects the anti-Jewish polemics: while being more personal in Elias’ Epistle to the vizier, it is actually reduced to the quotations from the Qur’ān and the Tafsīr of al-Ṭabarī in the Book of Sessions. The motives for the editorial changes are examined. Following the logic of the transformation of Elias’ Epistle into the Book of Sessions, the present author comes to the following conclusions. The role of Jews in the interreligious relations was one of the subjects of interest for the vizier. However, the removal of the sharpest anti-Jewish passages from the Epistle after the death of the vizier, lets one conclude that the anti-Jewish arguments were not important for his apologetic strategies beyond their connection with the personal interest in the subject of Abū l-Qāsim, but were rather used by Elias as a means to get closer to the vizier.
The author presents a philosophical analysis of the film “Blade Runner 2049” (2017, directed by Denis Villeneuve) — the sequel to the famous film “Blade Runner” (1982, directed by Ridley Scott). Both films are read as a political-theological statement. They feature creatures that are bi‑ ologically almost indistinguishable from humans, the “replicants”. They are used to colonize distant planets and are forbidden to live on Earth. In the first film of 1982, the design of the replicants presupposed an ear‑ ly death, and they rebelled against humans because they wanted to live longer. In the second film, their design presupposes submission, but they rebel again against such slavery. The script can be understood as a history of man’s relationship with the Creator. The film’s intrigue fur‑ ther addresses the notion of miracle in connection with the notion of revolution. The replicant’s ability to have children, and thus to refute the boundary between them and the humans, is presented as a miracle. However, only those who possess authority and power to set the norms and laws can proclaim a miracle as such. In the film, this right is as‑ signed to the replicants: their uprising means the transfer of the trans‑ cendent into a plan of immanence. Their belief in a miracle lies precisely in the fact that the Creator, and the belief in the Creator, is not necessary.
The article deals with the “theology of the Septuagint” as compared with other factors that caused the difference between the Hebrew and the Greek texts of the Old Testament. The author’s position is that we should speak about theologically motivated exegesis only when other, simpler, explanations fail. Different factors that may have influenced the change of meaning between the Hebrew and the Greek Bible are classified into five groups: changes in the Hebrew text prior to the translation; changes in the Hebrew semantics/exegesis prior to the translation; changes of meaning in the process of translation; changes in the Greek text after the translation; changes in the Greek semantics/exegesis after the translation.
Based on the extensive collection of interviews with Soviet, mostly Ukrainian, Jews born before World War II, the essay examines changes in their reading experience and reading priorities from Bible-centered religious booklore to kulturnost’ of Soviet intelligentsia.
The article deals with the media franchise “The Evil Dead” in the context of new religiousity. The author addresses the reasons of the increasing reputation of the franchise as an important phenomenon of popular culture which grew out from a low-budget independent film. This fame cannot be explained only by the fact that it has become a transmedia phenomenon (musical, theater, video games, comics, remake, TV series, etc.). The author clarifies the concepts of “popular culture” and “fantasy” and applies both to “The Evil Dead.” The article then discusses whether the franchise can be associated with a type of new religiosity referring to the concept of “hyper-real religion” by Adam Possamai. Such “religion” is based upon the products of popular culture and has only representations with no real referent (“simulacra”). Although “The Evil Dead” cannot be recognized as a proper hyper-real religion, it can be classified as a hyper-real cult. The concept is associated with the phenomenon of the cult cinema and includes some ritual practices of consumption by fans. The author believes that the demand for the franchise is explained, among other things, by the influence of Howard Lovecraft whose work is of particular importance in the context of hyper-real religion and, in particular, for the original trilogy of “The Evil Dead”.
There is an ongoing debate regarding the dialectics of secularization in the Western Europe and USA. For instance, one of the key works in the field is Charles Taylor's A Secular Age dedicated to the role of metaphysics in the development of Western secularism. However, the process of secularization in the Russian context remains beyond the scope of the current scholarly discussions. Dealing with the dialectics of secularization in the history of Russian philosophy, the author draws a parallel between Charles Taylor’s fundamental work A Secular Age and Vasily Zenkovsky’s History of Russian Philosophy. The aim of the paper is to show that Zenkovsky’s work can be viewed as an analysis of secular and antisecular discourses in the Russian intellectual landscape. Despite the major methodological shortcomings in the analysis of secularization, Zenkovsky does a brilliant work as a historian of thought. The detailed examination he provides helps us to trace the influence of secular ‘Nova-Effect’ in the Russian context. Taylor coines the term for the intellectual consequences of the ‘exclusive humanism’ in Europe. Among the main disadvantages of History of Russian Philosophy are insufficient conceptual articulation of the notion of secularism as well as inattention to the political context of Russian philosophical discourse. Nevertheless, it is demonstrated that accurate analysis of Zenkovsky’s work can ground further research of the dialectics of secularization in the history of Russian thought.
According to secular views, some religious techniques of the self, such as complete subordination of a person to spiritual leader, seem to violate basic human rights, and hence unacceptable. Conversely, religious traditions have different views on the subject and his/her good, and how this good can be achieved. In today’s world, however, religious groups have to relate their views with the secular environment, and, therefore, some self-cultivation techniques represent a mixture of different worldviews. This article examines the techniques of the self in contemporary Orthodox convents. It explores how the notion of spiritual growth is influenced by an inner contradiction within the Orthodox Christian concept of sainthood — namely, between the deep perception of one’s sinfulness and the rising of virtues. The secular understanding of time, which exists in today’s monasteries, emphasizes this contradiction and puts into question the possibility of spiritual growth. By concentrating on diachronic dimension of self-transformation techniques, this article challenges current understanding of the secular and non-secular agency.
A number of papers on the sociology of Islam are based on an assumption about the domination of a negative, or at least “problematic” nature of Islam. Many authors connect such image with terrorism, violence and migration. A securitization of Islam occurs not only in the media, but even in academic research through reproducing the Orientalist approach. Despite the fact that the narrative of Islamophobia is firmly entrenched in many types of discourse about Islam, the simple question remains unanswered: how is this happening? In this paper we try to answer this question by studying the materials of the Russian media. What are the mechanisms of creating the discourse of Islamophobia? How is the opposition of traditional and radical Islam being created? How important is the agenda of the Islam experts our in forging knowledge about Islam? The main goal of this work is to show the mechanism that makes Islamophobia a hegemonic discourse in the Russian media.
The paper investigates the controversy over the Lord’s Supper between Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Second Church of Boston. We studied the text of Emerson’s sermon against the Lord’s Supper ascertaining possible theological divisions among the church members on the issues of Christ’s true nature and authority, as well as the meaning of bread and wine of the Communion. We reveal how the pastor foreshadowed the assumed reactions of his listeners while working on the text of his sermon. Searching for adequate contexts for our interpretations we have demonstrated how “The Essay on the Lord’s Supper” by the Rev. F.W.P. Greenwood is related to Emerson’s stand against the rite.
This article describes the various interpretations of the integral traditionalism, discusses his role in the political and religious movements of the 20th century. The author suggests two possible options: traditionalism as a political or religious ideology. On the example of political movements and individuals which associated themselves with traditionalism (C.Z. Codreanu, J. Evola, Baron Ungern von Sternberg) author concludes that the political ideology of integral traditionalism is not tenable, since its main objectives lie not in the material world, but in the world beyond. Traditionalists as politics were more directed to the spiritual world (or that they're under this world understand) and this fact lead them to the situation in which actual role of those movements on the political stage was minor. It’s better to consider integral traditionalism as religious or semireligious ideology, with its practical expression in various forms of social action. This ideology contains a number of specific features of Western esotericism and it seems that the most appropriate strategy of research of this movements lies within the field of studies in Western esotericism. This approach has been taken in a number of works by western researchers and has already brought results, while in Russia scholars often want to reduce to traditionalism to its purely political forms, this approach leads to an underestimation of these movements and thinkers or too hasty judgments about them.
Today the concept of “Islamic Reformation” acts as a universal framework for a large number of research projects within the field of Islamic and Muslim studies. This theory, mediated by Western modernization theory, claims a comprehensive understanding of Islamic reality and thus attracts many researchers. However, this universality results in a lack of attention to some important areas, which stimulates criticism from experts on Islam. The aim of this article is to identify and characterize the main approaches to understanding the phenomenon of “Islamic reformation.” There are three different groups of researchers who accept the concept’s validity, among whom there is no unity regarding its content. The first group talks about “Islamic reformation” as a positive political program, while the second connects it exclusively with the negative phenomenon of Islamic radicalism. The third group does not engage in polemics about “Islamic reformation,” but rather consistently seeks to prove the concept’s inadequacy in explaining Islamic realities and to offer alternative research models. A detailed consideration of a number of works demonstrates several different approaches within one discourse on “Islamic reformation”.
The goal of this article is to provide a general overview of current research concerning the use of religious norms as an instrument of social regulation in the North Caucasus. The use of Islamic legal norms is an example of legal pluralism, i.e., parallel coexistence of different legal systems or their separate legal norms. The author gives a detailed analysis of two aspects of the use of religious norms to resolve conflicts in the eastern part of the North Caucasus. He considers alternatives to the use of these norms and also social factors that motivate residents to resort to these norms. The choice of the eastern part of the North Caucasus (Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia) as a research area is determined by the fact that legal pluralism is much more widespread there than in the west of the North Caucasus.
In the histories of ecumenism, its initial formation is usually dated the early 20th century. The World Missionary Conference held in Edinburgh in 1910 is referred to as its “symbolic beginning”. A quest for the origins of the ecumenical thought led researchers to find some early voices in the previous centuries, even as early as in the 15th–16th c. However, there are Oriental sources which witness to a much earlier formation of the ecumenical paradigm of the ecclesiological thought, typologically corresponding to that developed in the 20th c. In the Golden Age of Medieval Muslim culture under the ʿAbbasid caliphate, an ecumenical position is witnessed by some Middle Eastern Christian authors. In their works, the main Christian denominations are not polemically presented as opposed to each other, but on the contrary, the essential unity of various Christian beliefs is emphasized, and the ways the main Christian communities follow are claimed to be equal in value. The author of the present article uses the Medieval Arabic sources to demonstrate that the history of the ecumenical thought should be corrected by supplying a chapter on the Medieval Eastern period of the history.
This is the text of a discussion organized by the Editorial Board of this journal on December 9th, 2015. The debate was devoted to the issue of scientific status of theology and the place of theology among other academic disciplines. Participants of this discussion: historian Olga Vasil'eva (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, since 2016 - Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation), philologist Nikolay Grintser (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration), historian Askold Ivanchik (corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences); sociologist Boris Knorre (Higher School of Economics), philosopher Svetlana Konacheva (Russian State University of the Humanities); Alexander Kyrlezhev (scientific editor of this journal); theologian Konstantin Polskov (St.-Tikhon's Orthodox University), scholar of religion Vladislav Razdiakonov (Russian State University of the Humanities); theologian Andrey Shishkov (SS Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute of Post-Graduate Studies).