The Ideology of Russian-Language Jihadism before ISIS: Treating the Soviet Past as the Origin of Post-Soviet Radicalism

This article is devoted to the origin and development of the propagandist ideology of Russian-language jihadism. It develops the idea that the jihadism in Russia should be considered not so much in the context of the Islamic issue or as a result of the influence of foreign countries, but rather as an example of post-Soviet radicalism, formed on a native ideological and intellectual base.

Muslim Reformism in Dagestan (1900–1930)

The movement of Muslim reformism appeared in Dagestan in the early 20th century. The reformers aimed to develop Islamic thought and law in line with the new realities. There were three forms of this movement. The first group of scholars proposed reforming only the Islamic educational system, while supporting the tradition of the Shafi’i legal school. The second group of reformers went further and advocated expanding the framework of the Shafi’i legal school as well as the reform of education.

Islamic Reformation: The Value of a Heuristic Approach

This article explores the analytical value of “Islamic Reformation” as a concept for analyzing the current situation in the Islamic world. It compares different approaches to religious reformation, including those applied to the Protestant Reformation. Delineation of the characteristics of reformation makes it possible to demonstrate that current tendencies in the Islamic world are quite similar to those that occurred during the Reformation and that some groups of Islamic fundamentalists can be considered as the driving force behind this new reformation.

What Kind of Religious Persons Were Invited to the USSR, and Who Was Allowed to Go Abroad (1943–1985)

This article explores the history of official “religious” travels to and from the USSR in the period of 1943 to 1985. The main sources are the documents of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. The study analyzes how the trips were prepared and realized, how and why people from various religious confessions were sent abroad and invited to the Soviet Union, and other related issues. The author distinguishes the following types of official missions: diplomatic, recreational, educational, religiousfunctional, and pilgrimage.

Two Ecumenisms: Conservative Christian Alliances as a New Form of Ecumenical Cooperation

An upsurge in Orthodox anti-ecumenical criticism in 2016 has raised the question of the current state of ecumenism. Examining this topic, the author describes a new form of ecumenical activity associated with the emergence of conservative Christian alliances in defense of traditional values. This “conservative ecumenism,” or “Ecumenism 2.0,” differs from the “classical ecumenism” that arose in the early twentieth century and that continues to be represented today by the World Council of Churches and other ecumenical institutions.

The Female Spiritual Elder and Death: Some Thoughts on Contemporary Lives of Russian Orthodox Saints

In contemporary Orthodox hagiography a special type of saint has emerged — blessed female spiritual elders (blazhennye startsy should not be in italics here). In some respects this form of sainthood is a successor to the traditional “fools for the sake of Christ.” Yet the staritsy have their distinctive features, chief among them the saint’s possession of an incurable disease such as blindness or motor function disorders. The meaning of these ailments can be interpreted as a sign of permanent liminality and the person’s divine election.


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