Восток-Запад. Исследования. Переводы. Публикации. Вып. 2
The article continues to look into the concept of “sacrality” in the East, continuing the discussion of concepts earlier formulated in the introduction to the eponymous collection of articles published by the IOS RAS in 2017 and partially challenged in a review published in Vostok /Oriens two years later. In this publication, the author, himself the executive editor, author of the introduction and one of the articles in the collection, defends his views on a number of urgent subjects raised both in the collection and in the review. These problems touch upon the relationship between government and society in the West and the East; the paramount importance of the nomadic periphery to the formation of a strong state in the East; the key historical and political differences that underlie the divergent development of Western Europe and Asia and Africa. Speaking about the much-sought issue of Occidentalistics as an academic research field, the author expresses confidence that it is the Orientalist historian who possesses sufficient material, knowledge and a favorable starting position to study the differences in the historical development of both the West and the East, the definition of which is further discussed in the article. The publication looks at a number of general issues, including the understanding of the “natural” course of historical process; the relationship between religious and secular power in the East and the West; how institutional evolution influenced the configuration of society; and finally why East developed slower than West due to the need to strengthen the state that existed under a constant threat of invasions by peoples within the nomadic range.