The article draws on the analysis of interviews with the Jews of Ukraine and Moldova, who had lived the first part of their lives following traditional Jewish ways, while the other part fell on the period of strong anti-religious pressure in the Soviet Union. As a result, several variations of what we can call “folk Judaism” emerged. One form is a forced refusal to follow the laws of Judaism and elaboration of various ways for breaking taboos. The second option is a conscious rejection of ancestral religious traditions, parcial observing as a “camouflage”, and minimal interaction with modern Orthodox Judaism. The third option is creating their own individual rules for observing selected religious commandments. Several key mechanisms of the formation of new Jewish “folk” religious practices can be identified. They are the transformation of the existing halakhic regulations with the help of a) ritual fraud; b) changes in the status of the ritual object; c) application of the laws of ritual purity to an object known to be unclean.
Общины траура: погребальные плачи горских евреев в селе Красная Слобода (Азербайджан) и в интернете
This article explores two sites of Mountain Jewish mourning — Krasnaia Sloboda, the more traditional location of Mountain Jewish customs — and the Mountain Jewish Online Center. Investigating how lamentations expressed in both spaces create Mountain Jewish community, the paper argues that the development of alternative places of lamentation ultimately challenges gender expectations of emotionality and grief work, as well as the texts of mourning themselves.
Ритуалы в состоянии перемен: сватовство и брак у бухарских евреев
Аланна Э. Купер
This article analyzes practices surrounding courtship and marriage among Bukharan Jews. It is based on historical research as well as ethnographic research carried out in the 1990s in Uzbekistan, and among immigrants (and the children of immigrants) in Israel and the United States. Rather than providing a description of wedding practices in catalogue form, the article show the ways in which such practices vary depending on historical and geographical context. Fieldwork in New York and Samarkand, for example, reveals great differences in the weddings in both locales: in the atmosphere, in the timing of the event, in who officiates, and in the sorts of people who are invited to attend. Despite these variables, ethnic entrepreneurs tend to portray Bukharan Jewish practices as static. Such depictions are part of a broader effort to capture and reify the culture of Jewish sub-groups (often referred to as ‘edot in Hebrew). Furthermore, the effort to freeze culture in the midst of post-Soviet demographic upheaval, offers a sense of belonging to an authentic, rooted culture.
«Нежные псалмы»: этническое и религиозное в культуре русских иудействующих
The article deals with a disappearing community of Russian Judaizers (Subbotniks) in Armenia. The analysis of the folklore repertoire of the Subbotniks allows concluding that the very experience of breaking with the religious past is a foundation of their identity. The break happened in the second part of the 20th century and was accompanied by accepting the exonym “Subbotnik” which turned into a relatively stable ethnic category. This uncommon process can be explained using the distinction between “groups” and “categories” and the opposition of “ethnic” and “religious”. The article considers the history of the use of the term “Subbotnik” and its complex connotations, referring to both Judaism and Christian sectarianism. In contrast to “ethnicity without groups,” as coined by Roger Brubaker, the Judaizers show an example of stable communities that are particularly difficult to categorize. The Subbotniks of Armenia, who emerged as a “group without categories,” are now tuning into a “category without group”. The article shows a correlation between this transformation and the substitution of textual (religious) foundations of daily practices by the ethnic ones.
Портрет на стене и шпроты на хлебе: московские евреи между двумя «сектами»
The article examines Jewish religious spectrum in Moscow, which in the main can be extrapolated to all of Russia. Special attention is given to the two extremes of the spectrum — ultraorthodox Chabad Lubavitch and Reform, or Progressive, movements. Based on published sources as well as interviews with people from various groups of Moscow Jewry, the research analyzes key strategies of community building and selfrepresentation of Chabad and Progressive Judaism, on the one hand, and the reception of these strategies and related practices, on the other. The study of these data allows to explicate the rapid and seemingly comprehensive success of Chabad as opposed to the failure of Reform Judaism in post-Soviet Russia, as well as some other alternatives in religious behavior of Moscow Jews including either the establishment of small communities or sticking to the Orthodox Choral synagogue albeit without regular attendance.
Каббала в XXI веке: выход из иудаизма?
Галина Зеленина, Мария Эндель, Менахем Яглом, Эстер Яглом
Conversation with Russian-language scholars of Kabbalah from Moscow and Jerusalem is devoted to the history of Kabbalistic thought on the territory of Russian empire, to the peculiarities of Eastern European Hasidic mysticism and Kabbalistic aspects of contemporary Hasidism (in Russia as well as abroad) and to the reception of Kabbalah in Russian culture. Counterpoint of these topics is phenomenology and sociology of “scientific Kabbalah” by Michael Laitman — Russian-language version of a much broader phenomenon of New Age Kabbalah and attempts to practice Kabbalah outside of Jewish tradition and Judaism. This is a very widespread trend, which exists simultaneously with traditional forms of Kabbalistic studies — in religious institutions, universities and home study groups.
Михаэль Лайтман и группа «Бней-Барух»
This is an excerpt from a much bigger article devoted to several followers of Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag’s agenda who are trying to disseminate Kabbalistic ideas and practices outside of the borders of Judaism. This very excerpt analyzes teachings of Michael Laitman, a Russian-speaking student of Rabbi Baruch Ashlag, and his movement “Bnei Baruch”,which try to present Kabbalah as science and lead it out of Orthodox Judaism. Author considers Laitman’s methodology, his ideas on correction of the world and salvation from anti-Semitism through Kabbalah studies, his social ideal. In this excerpt one can also find analysis of the social context of the movement, Laitman’s competition with another representative of New Age Kabbalah Shraga Feivel (Philip) Berg, strategies of gaining popularity and complicated relations with Jewish Orthodoxy.
От евреев к иудеям: поворот к вере или возврат к ней?
Since the collapse of state socialism, Ukraine has been exposed to dramatic transformations in its religious landscape. This article analyses the effects of religious revival among the Jewish population of Odessa. It considers different trajectories and motivations of turning to faith and various ways to come to terms with religious observance, as well as controversies that these practices imply. The article also deals with how the new religiosity affects family relations. The author argues that for the most part newly observing Jews look at Judaism as a new way of being Jewish rather than a return to their familial legacy. In general, the author characterizes post-Soviet religiosity in Odessa as “religious adherence” in the sense of a state of mind as well as a space for the formation of spiritual life. This “religious adherence” leads to a new direction in perception of Jewish identity without entailing “full” observance ” Religious adherence” thus may include full, partial, short or long-term dedication to Judaism, which is seen as either a complementary to the old worldview or a replacement of it.
Религиозная идентичность выходцев из бывшего СССР в Израиле
Владимир (Зеэв) Ханин
The paper draws upon a large-scale sociological survey analyzing three groups of respondents ranked according to a “combined Jewish identity”: “status (halachic) Jews”, “self-declared Jews,” and “Russian Jews.” The survey showed that although the Jewishness as the ethnicity remained the major component of Jewish identity of immigrants from the USSR and FSU in Israel, the religious component of their identity in the course of the recent quarter of the century had undergone serious transformation. The late Soviet opposition of “atheists” and “believers” had shifted to adapting a typical Israeli five-rank classification: atheists, hilonim (secular), masoratim (traditional), religious Zionists, and haredim (religious ultra-Orthodox). There are three sources of the religious identity of immigrants from the former Soviet Union: some elements of the Eastern-European religious tradition passed on in families; some religious experiences, both modern and traditional, adopted in the late Soviet period and in Israel; behavioral models and practices of religious origins, which rather refer to the general Israeli civil culture. Contrary to common knowledge, religious identity of the first and especially the second generation of immigrants from the USSR have much more to do with the local Israeli experiences than the so called “Soviet legacy”
Обращение к вере, утопия и сакральное место (д. Окунево в Западной Сибири)
Елeна Головнева, Ирина Шмидт
This paper reflects on the experience of theorizing a sacred place emerged in the last two decades in Okunevo village in Western Siberia. Using discourse analysis and the ideas of social constructivism, authors specify some contemporary narratives related to Okunevo village. They view this “holy site” as a social product and the interplay of mythological narrative, archeological interpretation and a result of tourist practices. The production of mythos and “invented traditions” are vital ways in which non-traditional religious communities in Okunevo remember, retell and rearticulate crucial aspects of their religious identity. Specified discourses, being considered as social logics of development of sacred site and forms of its representation, allow us to analyze this sacred space from the historical perspective.
Забытое время, или Практики самотрансформации в современном православном монастыре
According to secular views, some religious techniques of the self, such as complete subordination of a person to spiritual leader, seem to violate basic human rights, and hence unacceptable. Conversely, religious traditions have different views on the subject and his / her good, and how this good can be achieved. In today’s world, however, religious groups have to relate their views with the secular environment, and, therefore, some self-cultivation techniques represent a mixture of different worldviews. This article examines the techniques of the self in contemporary Orthodox convents. Itexplores how the notion of spiritual growth is influenced by an inner contradiction within the Orthodox Christian concept of sainthood — namely, between the deep perception of one’s sinfulness and the rising of virtues. The secular understanding of time, which exists in today’s monasteries, emphasizes this contradiction and puts into question the possibility of spiritual growth. By concentrating on diachronic dimension of self-transformation techniques, this article challenges current understanding of the secular and non-secular agency.
Теология истории Вольфхарта Панненберга
The article deals with the role of Christianity in the universal history, as represented in the works of modern German theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg (1926–2014). In the first part it discusses the problems of anthropological and theological approaches towards church history and the theory of historical research. The author represents the problem, which was widely discussed in western theology — a problem of correlation between salvation history (Heilsgeschichte) and universal history as well as the Pannenberg’s idea of indirect action of God in historical process. Pannenberg’s historical-theological views are put in dialogue with such thinkers of the 20th century as O. Cullmann, K. Rahner, J. Daniélou, E. Mühlenberg. Then the article explores Pannenberg’s views on the Christian church’s role in the forming of Western civilization. In addition to the constructive contribution of the church to the civilized system of European nations, Pannenberg views destructive consequences of Christians’ retreat from their true religious missions, seen in such dramatic events as religious wars and the extinction of the Christian state.
Via premoderna: метафизико-политичеcкий проект Джона Милбанка
The article discusses the development of the ideas of John Milbank — contemporary theologian and philosopher, leader of the intellectual movement “Radical Orthodoxy”. Comparison of the ideas presented in his early and later work provides an opportunity of reconstruction of Milbank’s ontological conception and its relationship with his socio-political project. Radicalism of Milbank’s methodological approach to the relation between “secular” and “religious” is based on deconstruction of ontological and gnoseological foundations of secular metaphysics and identification of its theological nature. Milbank advocates the possibility of bringing the theological discourse to the public sphere through a reinterpretation of the Christian intellectual and social practices. He explains essential connection between metaphysical philosophy and political philosophy as well as between epistemology as “representation” and the idea of “political representation”. He discusses the project of Christian socialism, rooted in the realist Thomistic ontology and aimed at building a democratic society beyond secular political spectrum. This project is presented as going beyond current opposition of liberalism and conservatism.
Платон и Эвгемер: «Египетский логос» и «Священная запись»
Antiquity developed several types of interpretation of the myth: allegorical, rational (critical), pragmatic and euhemeristic (historical). We find all of them in the texts of Plato, who lived long before Euhemeras and Palaephatus. The article examines the well-known Plato’s texts about Thamus and Theuth in “Phaedrus” (274c-275a) and “Philebus” (18b-d), as well as thematically closest fragment of the “Politicus” (274b-d). It is shown that the Platonic “euhemerism” is one of the inner preconditions and basis in the teachings of Plato. We have in mind Plato’s cosmology and view of history (movements of Cosmos), which gave the opportunity to talk about Plato’s “earthly gods”. Didactic story about gods Thamus and Theuth as earthly rulers could become a background for the doctrine of Eugemerus that the gods worshiped by people are the great kings of antiquity. Relationship among the teachings of Plato and Eugemer can be seen not only on the basis of analysis of the legend about Atlantis (this legend could be the model for the “Sacra Historia” of Eugemerus). The fragment of “Phaedrus” gives us an example of the interpretation of the myth, which was peculiar to Plato, but it could be a prerequisite for the interpretation developed by Euhemerus. Moreover, in the text of “Phaedrus” we find a critical consideration of “rational” interpretation of mythology. Plato rejected this strategy, preferring to create its own historical mythology, where “Egyptian logos” from “Phaedrus” had a definite place.
Обзор книжной серии центра «Сэфер».
Носенко-Штейн Е.Э. «Передайте об этом детям вашим, а их дети следующему роду»: Культурная память у российских евреев в наши дни. М.: Институт востоковедения РАН, 2013. — 576 с.
Талиаферро Ч. Доказательство и вера: философия и религия с XVII века до наших дней / Пер. с англ. С.С. Пименова, Т.В. Малевич; науч. ред. А.Р. Фокин / Ин-т философии РАН. М.: Языки славянской культуры: Знак, 2014. — 576 с.