religious studies

Amulets of the East Caucasus (with a Foreword by E. Teryukova)

This article describes the ethnographic collections gathered by E.M. Shilling for the Central Antireligious Museum in the Caucasus during expeditions from 1934 to 1940. It contains not only a detailed classification and technical description of material relevant to the traditional beliefs of the peoples of the Caucasus, but also valuable anthropological, cultural, historical and bibliographic information.

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.

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Foreign Confessions concerning the control of the religious life of the country and its legal regulation, using early, unpublished documentary materials from the Russian State Historical Archive, specifically those concerning the departmental duties of officials V.V. Vashkevich (1865–1902)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.

There Is Nothing New under the Sun: The Concept of “Gnosis” in Studies of Western Esotericism

This article analyzes the tradition of using the category of «gnosis» in studies of Western esotericism. The origins of the understanding of «gnosis» as a special form of spiritual experience is related to non-traditional religiosity connected with the works of the members of the Eranos circle (H-C. Puech, G. Quispel, H. Corbin). Because of Corbin, the category of «gnosis» appeared in A. Faivre’s concept of Western esotericism as a form of thought. At the same time, among American researchers gnosis became a central category in the description of Western esotericism.

“The overall goal of state and churches — to work together to ensure access to religious education...”

“We need to re-position religion in an enlightened society...”

«Scientific Atheism» as a Case for Discussion (Responses of the Volume’s Authors to Reviews)

In their reactions to A. Kyrlezhev’s and M. Shakhnovich’s reviews, the authors of the volume under discussion provide further clarifications of key methodological issues. They stress that the volume pursued academic goals rather than engaging in a wider public debate. Speaking of the Soviet science of religion, they prefer the concept of «extreme science» instead of «pseudoscience» or «normal science in extreme conditions». The volume focused on creating a framework of understanding the phenomenon and did not claim to cover the variety of archival materials.

"To distinguish between the negative and the positive in religion…"

This is an interview by Roland Boer, one of the coeditors of a new SAGE journal "Critical Research on Religion" (first two issues published in 2013). Boer talks about editorial policy and research

The Scientific Legacy of Evgeny Torchinov and His Typology of Religions

Ten years passed after the death of outstanding Russian sinologist and religious studies scholar Evgeny Torchinov. In this paper the authors conceptualize his life and career and his academic