Articles

Dragon Age: Inquisition: A Christian Message in a Postsecular World

This article deals with the religious, specifically Christian, message in the video game “Dragon Age: Inquisition,” released in 2014 by Bio-Ware. In order to understand the specifics of this game, the article includes a detailed analysis of the conventional ways that religion, gods, and believers are presented in computer role-playing games (RPGs), the genre to which “Dragon Age: Inquisition” belongs. The study pays special attention to the way “Dragon Age: Inquisition” utilizes a common set of narrative techniques and game mechanics often present in the games of this genre.

“VseiaSvetnaia Gramota”: Kabbalistic Hermeneutics and Utopian Comparative Studies

The post-Soviet cultural landscape is characterized by the popularity of nationalistic ideas and narratives, which apply conspiratorial explanatory models and suggest various versions of “alternative history.” This is framed, in particular, with amateur concepts of language — a sort of cryptolinguistics. This type of cryptolinguistic discourse is illustrated in this article with the case of the so-called VseiaSvetnaia Gramota (the“WorldWide Charter”), which teaches that an esoteric Slavic alphabet “encodes” the entire universe.

“Vocation in the Flesh”: Gender and Embodiment in the Religious Anthropology of Modern Catholicism

In the early and medieval Christian tradition, the gendered body was understood as an obstacle to the cultivation of virtues on the one hand, and as a potential medium for transgressions on the other. Contemporary Catholic anthropology has another view of the subject’s body and its senses and desires. This article is concerned with the pastoral project of increasing vocations and the way it is realized within Russian Catholic parishes. It also focuses on its rhetoric, placing significant emphasis on gendered embodiment.

Humility in the Economic Ethics of the Russian Orthodox Church

Using a number of concepts from Weber’s sociology of religion (economic ethics/ethos, typology of asceticism/mysticism, Weber’s reception of Nietzsche’s idea of ressentiment), the author addresses the economic ethos of  contemporary Russian Orthodoxy. An analysis of “humility” (smirenie) — one of the key virtues of the contemporary economic ethics of the Russian Orthodox Church — is provided. The author builds a typology of various understandings of humility in Russian Orthodoxy today in connection with the economic practices of Orthodox actors.

Russian «New Theology» in the Late 19th and Early 20th Century: On the Question of the Genesis and Content of the Concept

In this article I consider the genesis and the substantial characteristics of the concept of «New Theology», which has become a commonplace in the Russian theological tradition since the end of the 19th century. Initially this term was applied to lay theologians — particularly, to Khomiakov — but afterward was applied to academic scholars as well, such as metropolitan Antony Khrapovitsky, V.I. Nesmelov, et al.

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