Методы изучения и методы преподавания: дисциплина «история эзотерических учений» в рамках высшей школы
The article analyzes the place of the western esotericism within the framework of educational standards for the training scholars of religion .
For the duration of the history of art, esoteric sciences, magic and alchemy – and also physiognomics, the theory of temperaments and affects and other paradoxical tendencies in European thought – existed alongside the scientific study and artistic comprehension of reality. The nineteenth century introduced a series of esoteric practices which attempted to bring together irrational and scientific means of interpreting the world, such as theosophy. In dedicating this collection of essays to sciences which have fallen out of the purview of contemporary art history we wished to place the accent on problems art history research and examine whether or not the contemporary academic can use esoteric sciences not simply to supplement their historical research with interesting details but to develop the methodological tools at their disposal through research into the interaction between art and rejected knowledge. Which qualities of the art of the New Time does the optic of magic, alchemy, physiognomics and mesmerism allow us to see? Can we revitalise the methodology of art history by using these sciences? Can the idea of renovatio, which lies at the root of esoteric sciences, aid the renewal of the contemporary study of art?
This article demonstrates the complexity and ambiguity of such religious phenomena as obsession and exorcism. It argues that they need to be extracted from a purely theological consideration into the domain of religious studies. The article studies the modern controversy over individual cases of exorcism and their theological reception, then it gives a classifi cation of approaches to the study and interpretation of exorcism and obsession. Five approaches are distinguished, i.e. theological, revealing, psychological, sociological, and performative. From the comparison of these approaches, it is obvious that there is no scientifi c consensus as to the assessment of the phenomena in question. To understand the nature of exorcism, the article refers to its genesis and development, highlighting several stages. At the initial stage, the practice of exorcism takes place in preparation for baptism in the Latin Church. In the Middle Ages, this practice comes to oblivion and does not interest serious theologians. At the Council of Trent takes place a stabilisation of the rite of exorcism; from a pre-baptismal practice that can be administered by any clerics it becomes a privilege of priests. The Council also regulates the need for control as to the real obsession and justifi es the publicity of exorcism. After the Council, the famous “Rituale Romanum” was composed, which records the canonical form of the ritual. The next two hundred years are characterised by a new decline in exorcism as a result of rationalistic criticism and scandals caused by cases of mass obsession. In the 19th and 20th centuries comes the third stage in the history of exorcism, which is now connected with esoteric mythology. Thanks to the medicalisation of the discourse of obsession, catholic priests are beginning to look for legitimation of the practice of exorcism in the fi eld of parapsychological and spiritual research. The article concludes that for many centuries the understanding of exorcism included theological ideas of early Catholicism, magical beliefs of medieval Europe, theological disputes of Protestantism and Catholicism, medical discourse of the 19th century, esoteric mythology of satanism and spiritualism, parapsychology, and clichés of media culture.
The article discusses the possible perspectives of interdisciplinary research, standing on the border of the study of culture and religion. The author proposes to illustrate the specificity of such interdisciplinary character on the example of manifestation of Western esotericism in adventure computer games of the 90s. In the first part of the article main occulture myths are identified with the help of methodological frame of the part is C. Partridge’s theory of occulture. The author comes to the conclusion that the occulture makes the plot of games commercially successful. In the second part of the article the author refers to the theory of circulation of cultural product, developed by the Birmingham school of culture studies, in order to understand how from a research point of view, it is possible to use the knowledge of the deep occult influence on the industry of adventure games. The article discusses in detail the three phases of circulation: production, consumption and identity. The author concludes that occult plots and elements of computer games are secondary in relation to movies and literature, but this secondary character also provides them with the commercial success determined by recognition and justification of expectations of players.
Foreword to the publication of Dr. John Dee's privat diaries.
In his famous work «The Re-Enchantment of the West» Cristopher Partridge, proposed a theory which considering modern culture as a phenomenon formed under the influence of ideas and images that arose in the realm of Western esotericism. The term “occulture” was proposed by Partridge to name a special dimension of the popular culture after the 60s. According to Partridge, the extinction of interest in Christianity did not lead to the rejection of religiosity, but gave birth to a spiritual subculture that arose in the late XIX-early XX centuries in the circles of esoteric societies. When the ideas of these communities became popular and began to be used by mass culture, then the occulture emerged. A special place in Partridge’sstudies takes music. Recently Partridge released several works focused on description of occulture influences in modern music. The theory of occulture is quite interesting and has considerable heuristic potential, so it is natural to project it on the Russian material. Perhaps one of the most famous figures in Russian rock is Boris Grebenshchikov his role as one of the founders of the genre is undeniable. It seems that Grebenshchikov most fully fit in the framework of Partridge’s theory of occulture bricoleur, in his music one may find a synthesis of different and sometimes conflicting ideas: Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Kabbalah, Alchemy, etc. It seems that the case of Grebenshchikov should show the pros and cons of the theory of occulture bricoleur.
The article applies the occulture theory by the British religion scientist C. Patridge to the realities of music culture. For this purpose, several forms of music occulture are defined; they exploit the sub/ jects of easternisation, nativism, and ecologism, as well as the types of musicians playing with its images: adept, commercial project, and bricoleur. An adept is a musician who represents a particular esoteric teaching; a commercial project is a musician or a group working in the genre or style that was aesthetically shaped by occulture, in this case their exploiting of occulture is of a purely commercial nature. A bricoleur is a musician who plays around with occulture themes, and puts their own creative vision in the first place, in other words, composes their piece of music with the occulture material at hand. This scheme is projected onto the modern Russian music culture, considering examples of all types of occulture influence in Russian music and demonstrates the heuristic nature of the occulture theory for its analysis. The adept type of musician is analysed drawing on the example of the Russian Rod/ novery movement, represented by groups like “Butterfly Temple”, “Svarga”, “Alkonost”, “Arkona”, and “Tverd”. This type also includes musicians who were strongly influenced by the Soviet esoteric underground (A. F. Sklyar, V. Shumov, S. Kuryokhin). The specifics of commercial projects is shown in the study by the groups “Aria”, “Knyazz” and festival culture. Bricoleurs’ music is analysed through B. Grebenshchikov, S. Kalugin, R. Anchevskaya and P. Korolenko. The author draws a conclusion that Russian musical culture largely follows the principles that were laid in the west and, similar to western culture, exploits occulture themes, but acquires its orig/ inal features in the music of bricoleurs.
The book «The personal diary of Dr. John Dee» deserves the closest attention of all those who work in the field of history and philosophy of science, history of ideas, cultural studies, as well as the history and theory of esotericism. The central material of the book is personal notes of the famous British mathematician, astrologer, alchemist and philosopher John Dee (1527–1609), in the field of whose scientific interests there was a wide range of different branches of knowledge. The text in Russian is published for the first time and has nothing to do with John Dee’s Enochian diaries, edited by M. Casaubon. In addition, the book includes fragments of the texts by various authors — J. Lysons, B. Stoker, W. Lilly, G. Heppel and others, as well as a lengthy article about John Dee, written by a translator of the diary and applications — Yu. F. Rodichenkov, PhD. It seems that the attention of a reader interested in this topic will also be attracted by a detailed chronology of the life of John Dee.
In the paper makes the assumption that the basic form of mediation though which media culture enriched the knowledge about alchemy and the ways of its reception were works of C.G. Jung and M. Eliade. Jung gave the opportunity to use alchemy as a metaphor for the process of mental self-improvement and Eliade as a universal spiritual practice. The popularity of such interpretations of alchemy led to the revival of interest in the subject, that in the last twenty years resulted in the emergence of mythical perception of alchemy where images and practices of the Great Work being reenchanted