Religious Studies and the Sociology of Religion
Freedom of Church and Freedom of Society: Historical Experience and Actual Problem in Today’s Russia
Issue №18, pp. 27–41
The article deals with the interrelation between the freedom of the church and the freedom of the society in Russian history and in the contemporary period. The article describes the main precedents of how the church strived for attaining independence from the state and stood up for the freedom of speech and the freedom of worship in society. The Renovationist schism in the 1920s is highlighted as a culminating point of contradiction in the church-state relationship. The author concludes that in Russia any kind of political or social freedom is impossible without spiritual freedom as well as civic society is impossible without support from the church which is free both internally and externally. But the revival of the church is a difficult task without support from society, which respects the person’s right for free spiritual choice.
Keywords: church-state relationship; freedom of worship; freedom of church; freedom of society; the Renovationist schism.
Religious Responses to Modes of Secularism
Issue №32, pp. 152–175
In this article, secularism is considered as one of the primary ideological components in the development of the theory of secularization, and as the foundation of various societal changes that have led to the transformation of the role of religion within society. This article is one of the chapters in the collected volume entitled “The Future of Christianity: Reflections on Violence and Democracy, Religion and Secularization” (Ashgate, 2011), which aims to make sense of Christianity’s future in the world. The author poses a number of questions which invite us to think about the real relationship between religion and secularism in the modern world, and proposes various approaches which place the two in constructive – rather than confrontational – relationship. Professor Martin also attempts to clearly delineate the foundation of the secular worldview, as well as to describe various approaches for understanding the appearance of secularism within modern society. He draws a distinction between secularization, which he understands as a curtailing of the influence of official church rules upon the laws of society, and the ability of church institutions to make their contribution to actual and ongoing discussion concerning the life of society. In light of this distinction, it would seem that the particular influence of the church on society is growing, while its influence in people’s personal lives is waning. The deline of religion is, in a complex fashion, related to the decline of various earlier forms of war secularism and, in addition though to a lesser degree, in people’s waning interest in long-term participation in any sort of organization, including political and grass-roots religious organizations.
Keywords: Secularism, Secularization, Religious Responses, the Enlightenment Project, French and American Enlightenment, fundamentalism, religion, culture.
Mahomet the Cardinal: on the History of an Image of Muhammad in Medieval Europe
Issue №9, pp. 83–109
The story of the monk Bahira who revealed in young Muhammad the future prophet and the champagne ballad about Mahomet the Cardinal. These two texts are separated by five centuries. However, the latter would have been impossible without the former. The article attempts to trace how young Muhammad of the Muslim legend about a monk-visionary turned into Mahomet the Cardinal in the “Latin West”. Study of the history of formation of the legend about Mahomet the
Cardinal allows us to raise the question of what was actually known about Islam in medieval Europe. Was this knowledge really limited only to an insignificant set of polemical stereotypes, as is often commonly believed today? Or we can speak of a system of quite well-ordered images of Mahomet, each of which performed a well-defined task.
Keywords: Mahomet, Bahira, monk-heretic, cardinal, gestures, “Golden Legend”, fox Renart, hagiography, legend, stereotypes.
מֹשֶׁה, Μωυσῆς, مُوسَى : Image of the Prophet Moses in the Three Theistic Traditions
Issue №8, pp. 94–122
The aim of the article is to show how the image of Moses in the Koran and Muslim lore correlates with its interpretations in Judaic and Christian traditions. Most discrepancies of these interpretations which we find while comparing Koran text with the Bible can be removed by addressing non-canonical Judaic and Christian texts. Sensational thematic and compositional similarity of the protreptic Midrash parables, hagiographic narratives formed in the monastic sphere in the protobyzantine period, and legends which we find in Muslim commentaries on the Koran and “Stories of the Prophets” give evidence, according to the author, not of the direct borrowings, but only of the common ideologic depositary of the three theistic traditions.
Keywords: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Moses, Bible, Koran, Haggada, Midrash, traditions, parables, legends.
Potentialities of the Conception on Religion Evolution in History of Society by Robert N. Bellah for Studying Religiosity in Russian Society
Issue №14, pp. 97–112
By using the conception by Robert N. Bellah on religion evolution, the author describes the religious situation in the contemporary Russian society, distinguishes groups of believers with their everyday religious practices and traces the differences in their impact on society. The author also focuses on the terminology problem in contemporary religious studies, namely, on the usage of identical terms for denoting heterogeneous phenomena. In particular, the term “orthodoxy” is, in fact, referred to pagan and monotheistic beliefs.
Keywords: religiosity, conception of religion evolution, types of religion, Bellah, Russian society.
“God will Provide Himself a Lamb...”: An Attempt of Reading the Akedah from the Historical-Religious Perspective
Issue №4, pp. 75–93
The present article providing the evidence derived from the extra-biblical sources attempts to show that the story of the Binding of Isaac, the Akedah (Genesis XXII) resulted from the Biblical author’s reflections on the Israel’s mission and the peculiarity of its religious way compared to other nations. A focal point of the present interpretation of the Akedah is the dialog between God and man.
Keywords: the sacrifice of Isaac, human sacrifices, the cult of Molek, the substitute sacrifice, the chosenness of Israel, ritual, ritualism, dialog between God and man.
On the Formation of an Integrated Approach to the Conceptualization of Religiousness
Issue №18, pp. 9–26
The article considers the issue of defining the content of the term religiousness. Reviewing the Western and Russian approaches to the conceptualization of religiousness, the author suggests a compromise option of combining the hierarchical approach with the post-classical one.
Keywords: religiousness, sociology of religion, Russian society, conceptualization.
Early Islamic Apologetical Tradition: Brief Study
Issue №14, pp. 129–147
For the first time in oriental studies in Russia, the author explores the early Islamic tradition of polemics against Jews and Christians. On the example of Quranic, hadith’ and tafsir’ texts, the author researches the genesis and development of Islamic apologetics in the first two centuries of Islam. The author also recovers the history of reception of biblical text in early Islamic medieval sources, by mentions attributed to Ibn Abbas, Ka’ab al-Aḥbār, Wahb b. Munabbih and Muqatil b. Sulayman.
Keywords: apologetics, Islam, Quran, Sunnah, medieval anti-Christian polemics.
Religion – a Turn from Privacy to Sociality by Opinion of Jose Casanova
Issue №9, pp. 44–55
The article considers views of famous sociologist Jose Casanova on secularization processes in the 2nd half of the XX century. Casanova criticizes current theory of secularization and forecasts made on its basis that predicts progressive decline of religious institutions influence and transfer of religion from churches to private life. After analyzing of various worldwide developments taken place in 80’s the author proves that in many countries we see a process of religion “deprivatization” that means refuse of traditional religion institutes to deal only with pastoral care of individual souls. Instead of it religion enters the public spheres preventing one or another secular institutes from conducting an autonomous policy without regard to extraneous ethical or moral considerations.
Keywords: secularization, “deprivatization” of religion, public religions, Casanova, Luckmann.
Problematisation of Order and Pollution according to Mary Douglas’ Work “Purity and Danger”
Issue №9, pp. 32–43
Mary Douglas work “Purity and Danger” (1966) lies within the context of the Durkheimean ideas of British anthropology. Considering correlations between categories of order and disorder, existence and non-existence, shape and shapelessness, life and death in the symbolic structures of the primitive societies through categories of dirty, danger, and through understanding of the rules of purity the author comes to the conclusion about superficiality and inconsistency of the categorical contraposition of belief systems of primitive and modern societies. Inconsistency of such contraposition of these two systems is rooted in underestimation of metaphysical depth of the primitive beliefs. The difference between primitive and modern societies lies not in mental, but rather in social field.
Keywords: ritual, impurity, pollution, Leviticus, sanctity.
The influence of the Indian philosophical tradition on Sanskrit translations of the Bible (on the example of the Gospel of John)
Issue №9, pp. 124–134
The article is an attempt to describe briefly the history of translation of the Bible into Sanskrit and give examples of how Sanskrit translations of Biblical texts were affected by the influence of Indian Religious and Philosophical tradition. As an example, excerpts of the Gospel of John have been used.
Keywords: Jоhn, Bible, Carey, Sanskrit, Indian philоsоphy.
Some Peculiarities of Folk Religiosity in North India’s Rural Communities
Issue №14, pp. 113–128
The article deals with special aspects of the rural population’s religious beliefs and practices in Haryana and Punjab states. Special attention is paid to the Kamboj caste’s religious tradition.
Keywords: Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Gurbani, Punjab, Haryana, kamboj, udasin.
Legacy of Guru Nanak and His Son Shrichand in the Context of Interreligious Relationships in the XVI–XVIII Centuries’ Punjab
Issue №9, pp 110–123
The article deals with the legacy of the founder of Sikh religion Guru Nanak and of his son Shrichand as well as with their teachings’ and activities’ influence on the development of Punjab’s spirituality in XVI–XVIII centuries.
Keywords: Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, gurbani, Punjab, India, guru, Nanak, Shrichand.
The Tragedy of Bidiya Dandaron as a Reflection of the Fate of Buddhism in Russia after the National Catastrophe of 1917
Issue №18, pp. 98–113
The article deals with the life and work of Bidiya Dandaron, an outstanding Soviet scholar, Orientalist, Buddhologist and spiritual teacher who largely contributed to the religious life of the Russian Buddhist Sangha as well as to the development of Soviet Oriental studies and Buddhology. Dandaron’s tragic fate is an example of how the Soviet policy affected believers in the Buryat Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and in the entire USSR.
Keywords: Dandaron, Buddhism during the period of repression, Neobuddhism, Buddhist Sangha in the USSR.
Ancient Arabic Jewish-Christian Tradition: Reading of Classical Islamic Apologetic Treatise
Issue №23, pp. 58–73
It is considered the reconstruction of religious systems of the Arabian Judaism and Christianity in the article. Analyzing the legends which have been a part of both early Islamic chronicles, and the classical Islamic apologetic treatises, the author draws a conclusion about “dogmatic” and “liturgical” unity of Ancient Arabic monotheism. Also the fact of identity of a so-called Hanifizm and Abrahamic religious traditions of Arabia is established.
Keywords: Ancient Arabic monotheism, Djahiliyya, Islam, Qur’an, Sunnah, Hanifism.
The Issue of People’s Religious Movements in the Ideology of Reformist Narodism: Looking for Ways towards a Society of Freedom, Equality and Justice
Issue №18, pp. 42–64
The article considers an issue, understudied in the historiography, of the attitude of reformist Narordniks to people’s religious movements (Old Belief and sectarianism) in the second half of the XIX century. The paper outlines the main features of the ideology of “peaceful” Narodism and the reasons why Narodnik intelligentsia addressed the issue of religious nonconformists. The author also delineates the single intellectual area of Old Belief and sectarianism and the main concepts of the Narodnik worldview. Special attention is paid to the theories of social progress, developed by reformist Narordniks, determining the possibility of non-capitalist modernization in Russia in the second half of the XIX century.
Keywords: reformist Narodism, Old Belief and sectarianism, communitarian societies, “truth seekers”, religious brotherhood, Y. V. Abramov, A. S. Prugavin, V. K. Syutaev.
Historic Models of the Russian Orthodox Church-State Relations and Their Influence on Today’s Church-State Relations
Issue №9, pp. 9–31
The article analyses models of church-state relations in our country that have been formed depending on changes of the state power and the Russian Orthodox Church historically from the ancient times. The author emphasizes the fact that the tendencies of rising dependence of the church from the state has been always accompanied by the experience of inner independence. It passes through all the Russian history and becomes clearly manifested in the XX century. An important conclusion of the article is an indication of the split of ecclesiologic experience of the XX century which led to formation of opposite tendencies in the life of the modern Russian Orthodox Church, which in its turn influences the interior schism.
Keywords: church-state relations, symphonia of state and church power, synod period, church independence from the state, period of the Christianization of Rus’, Moscow Rus’ period.