Islamic Revival as a Search for New Forms of Political Representation

The main idea that Orkhun Jamal expresses in his interview is that the current stage of Islamic revival is not the desire to move back to the past or denial of progress. But as a result of social progress leading to the marginalization of a huge portion of the Islamic religious community due to the loss of political representation after the Islamic caliphate was destroyed, the search for the new forms of such representation is in progress. This search takes place in different forms, and it is accompanied by violence as it presupposes radical political shifts.

Islam and Partial Modernization: “There Was No Liberation from Medieval Elements”

If his interview Taufik Ibrahim argues that the main problem for Muslims is that the traditional, medieval understanding of religion has not yet been overcome. This traditional understanding is connected with the loss of the initial creative impulse of early Islam, with the so-called closure of the gate of ijtihad. Both the fundamentalists and the reformist typically reference the early Islamic period. But the question is, why do they do so?

Christian Ecumenism today: Crisis or Transformation? Discussion with Ecumenical Leaders of Different Christian Churches (Heikki Huttunen, Dagmar Heller, Johannes Oeldelmann)

Ecumenical leaders of diferent Christian churches —  Orthodox archpriest Heikki Huttunen, Lutheran pastor Dagmar Heller and Catholic theologian Johannes Oeldemann —  answer questions of the
editorial oice about the current state of ecumenism. In particular, under discussion are the following topics: a crisis of the Ecumenical movement, change of its aims and basic positions over the past

“To understand the Church means to understand people…”

Islamism and the New Disintegration of Empires

In this interview, Georgi Derluguian discusses the reasons of Islamism’s popularity in the context of collapse of two great projects of the West — liberalism and communism. He pays special attention to organizational peculiarity of Islam, which allows this religion to lead successful wars against powerful empires. People who find this ideology attractive are not “new barbarians”; on the contrary, we are dealing with modern socially active people, whose access to social lifts has been blocked.

«It’s time to write a comprehensive history of religion in Russia…»

In his interview, the American historian Paul Werth tells about contemporary state of Russian studies in the USA, his intellectual biography and the prospects of the studies of the Russian religious history. Nowadays in America Russian studies and other country specific researches face some problems. Nevertheless, the conferences are hold and the articles published even in the regions, which are distant from the main scientific centers. Paul Werth makes an overview of sources helping to reconstruct the dynamic of religious freedom in Tsarist Russia.

“I am against opposing the Soviet and post-Soviet religious studies...”

The conversation with Olga Vasilieva is devoted to the history of the Chair of State-Confessional Relations (RANEPA), and its predecessor, the Institute of Scientific Atheism. The interview marks the occasion of the double anniversary: fifty years of the Institute and twenty years of the Chair. Vasilieva discusses the issue of succession between the Soviet and post-Soviet studies of religion, as well as new tasks facing the Chair now.

A Political Dimension of the Russian Religious Philosophy

Indian Model of Secularism: Contextualism and Principled Distance

Secularism is often reduced to its western forms — be it French or American model. Rajeev Bhargava in his interview invites us to revise this perspective. He proposes to look more closely at non-western forms of secularism, f. e. at its Indian model that might give clues to the solution of many problems of contemporary secular societies, which are, as it is often claimed, in crisis. Two basic features of Indian model are outlined: contextualism and principled distance.

"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