The Study of Religion in Russia at the End of the 19th and the First Quarter of the 20th Centuries


The Study of Religion in Russia at the End of the 19th and the First Quarter of the 20th century: From Phenomenological Description to Critical Study

This article is devoted to the main trends in the development of the science of religion in Russia at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Unlike in other European countries, Russian universities lacked theological departments, and the study of religion was concentrated exclusively within the Church schools. This was one reason for the late development of the science of religion in Russia.

From the History of Russian Religious Studies: The Origins of the Scientific Psychology of Religion in Russia (Late 19th to Early 20th Centuries)

This paper treats the psychological direction of the study of religion in Russia in the late 19th to early 20th centuries. Psychological approaches to investigating religiosity in Russia in this period can be divided into two main areas: the philosophical-psychological (N.I. Grot, G.I. Chelpanov, L.M. Lopatin, etc.) and the scientific (V.M. Bekhterev, A.A. Tokarsky, V.F. Chizh, A.F. Lazursky, A.I. Jarockij, etc.).

The First Russian Female Scholars of Religion and Their Academic Legacy

This article is devoted to the study of the academic careers and public activities of three Russian female scholars, Nadejda Brullova- Shaskolskaya, Sara Ratner-Shternberg and Vera Kharuzina, in the context of the history of Russian religious studies in the mid-19th to early 20th centuries. Theirs was some of the first research work in Russia that highlighted the new science of religion.

D.A. Chwolson as an Expert Witness and Student of Abraham Geiger: Three Chapters from a Scientific Biography

This article is based on unpublished sources from St. Petersburg archives (the Manuscript Department of the Russian National Library, the St. Petersburg Branch of the Archive of the Russian Academy, and the Russian State Historical Archive). It explores the forms and methods of Daniel Chwolson’s (1819–1911) work on academic protection for the Jewish minority. Apart from his well-known effort to refute blood libel accusations that spanned five decades (1861–1911), Chwolson’s activities on behalf of Jews included less obvious projects and approaches.

The Formation of Russian Islamic Studies: Between Confessionalism and Scientific Objectivity (Second Half of the 19th to the Beginning of the 20th Century)

This article is devoted to an analysis of the emergence of Islamic studies in Russia in the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. The Faculty of Oriental Languages at St. Petersburg University opened in 1855, and the so-called Anti-Muslim Branch in Kazan Theological Academy opened in 1854. The two schools were usually called the “academic” and the “Kazan missionary” school, respectively. The key figures in the academic school were A. Kazem-bek, V. Rozen, V. Barthold, A. Schmidt, and I. Krachkovsky.

The Religion of Ancient Mesopotamia in the Works of St. Petersburg Orientalists and Folklorists of the Late 19th to Early 20th Centuries

This article reviews publications by St. Petersburg orientalists and folklorists on various aspects of Mesopotamian religion. In each case, it determines the place of the work in modern scholarship.

The Officials of the Department for the Spiritual Affairs of Foreign Confessions as Researchers of Religion

This article reveals the character of the responsibilities held by officials of the Department for the Spiritual Affairs of Foreign Confessions concerning the control of the religious life of the country and its legal regulation, using early, unpublished documentary materials from the Russian State Historical Archive, specifically those concerning the departmental duties of officials V.V. Vashkevich (1865–1902) and S.D. Bondarʹ (1902–1917).

Orthodox Priests — Researchers of the Native Religions of the Russian Empire in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries

This article presents the research of Orthodox priests who studied the religious ideas of the peoples of the Russian Empire. Their works, both published and in manuscript, can be classified into five main groups: studies dealing with Abrahamic religions; studies of other world and national religions; studies of religious dissidents (Christian sects and Judaizers); works on the traditional beliefs of the native peoples of the Volga Region, the Urals, Siberia, and the Caucasus; and works on popular religiosity.

Introduction to the Theme of the Issue

No. 1 (36) 2018