locale:
scientific journal
RUSSIA XXI

< Issue No 6 from 2009 yr. >

Destiny of Development in the Present-day Russia

The article is a publication of the methodological introduction to S. Kurguinjan's new book entitled ‘Esau and Isaac'. The central problem of the book is consideration of development’s destiny in Russia and the world at large. The author repudiates two methods that prevail nowadays: the academic method which he defines as the retro-method and the postmodernist method. The author offers ‘the third method' which requires various syntheses (of actual political studies and political philosophy, of religious metaphysics and the secular philosophy and so on.)
The latest year of the USSR existence began with the crises not only in the domestic and economic policies but in the foreign policy also. Two critical situations were before Moscow: The reaction to growing unrest in Lithuania and other Baltic states which threatened the existence of the Soviet Union, and the reaction to the American invasion in Iraq which betokened loses of Soviet supports in the Middle East region. Making a systematic and holistic analysis the author shows well-founded that the Soviet leadership didn’t have distinct strategic goals and tactic what to do in this situation.

«An Old Man Passed by…»: Veneration of Saints in the Popular Culture

The author examines the peculiar nature of veneration in the popular tradition on the basis of sources published earlier (in the 19th and 20th centuries) as well as the most recent unpublished folklore records made by the author and his colleagues and kept in the folklore archives of various scientific establishments. On the basis of the popular myths, beliefs, calendar signs, recitations of the book saints' lives and similar texts the author demonstrates components of a saint’s image formation in the popular culture and what attributes, characteristics and deeds of a saint are relevant for the folklore culture and what are irrelevant. Among such features the author points out the appearance and social status of a saint, his deeds and speech behavior, saint’s name and its interpretation etc.

«The New Middle Ages» of Priest Paul Florenski

The article deals with revelation of ‘The new Middle Ages' notion which attracted the general attention upon publication of N.A.Berdyaev's book ‘The new Middle Ages' (Berlin, 1924). Florenski used the term somewhat earlier in texts that have been published recently. Florenski argued that there were rhythms in history and this rhythm was the rhythm of replacement of the Medieval culture with the Renaissance culture. After the Renaissance epoch and after the culture of the Modern times which developed the Renaissance culture the epoch of the ‘new Middle Ages' follows. Florenski guessed the characteristics of the ‘new Middle Ages' in the reality which surrounded him. All Florenski’s sympathies were in favor of the Middle Ages outlook. He thought that his own outlook was correspondent to the Russian Middle Ages style of the 14th and 14th centuries. Florenski supposed that the Renaissance culture crisis began in the late 19th century and the twilight epoch of transition to the ‘new Middle Ages', transition from the darkness to the light started. Florenski saw the specific omen of the ‘new Middle Ages' in growth of apocalyptical moods: his coevals already spoke of destruction of nature and crisis of culture, of depletion of the Earth’s bowels, of revolt of elements, of contamination of the air and the waters, of terrible earthquakes. Florenski sought a deeper return to the Middle Ages. It is interesting to think the contemporary life in Florenski’s terms: the Middle Ages, Renaissance, the Modern time, the new Middle Ages.

The Russian Orthodox Church and the Soviet Heritage

The article is devoted to analysis of the Russian Orthodox Church present day position and attitude to the Soviet period of Russia’s history. In connection with that the author refers to the prehistory of the question and considers evidence provided by representatives of those cultural and proper church Russian traditions from which the higher clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate has recently taken an increasing distance. A particular attention is paid to the Moscow Patriarchate hierarchs’ opinions of causes and character of the Great Patriotic war that were aired in the course of the outgoing year. In the concluding part of the article the author examines possible general meanings of these new trends as well as of reunification of the Russian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate and of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

Nicholas II and the State Duma: a New World?

The author examines the version according to which Nicholas II was not a conservative, he was a moderate liberal, adherent of constitution and of the popular representation. Presumably from the very outset of his reign Nicholas consistently implemented a project of monarchy renewal and acted irrespective of opposition or revolutionary movements. This version presents a special case of Nicholas II idealization connected with the present-day ideological conditions but unconfirmed by sources. The negative attitude of the emperor to the State Duma was determined by his traditionalist outlook, the idea of continuity without changes and of stability as the tranquility. In the early 20th century the autocracy was the real form of government as well as the mythology a part of which was the autocrat’s faith in the mythical people. The official concept of the autocracy started to contradict the logic of modernization process. The fate pf Stolypin’s reforms revealed that the reformist potential of the autocracy had been exhausted. The gap between the authorities and the changing reality coupled with widely spread religious indifferentism brought about the situation when the regime proved to be absolutely insulated at the critical moment.