This book examines the lives of the famous Russian painter, thinker, and mystic Nikolai Roerich and his wife, Elena Roerich, the “mother” of Agni Yoga esoteric teaching. Extensively researched, it focuses on the couple’s spiritual quest, resulting in their gradual transformation under the influence of theosophy, spiritualism and Elena’s psychic “fiery experience” into mystics and gurus who fashioned their new version of the “myth of the Masters,” the invisible guides of humanity. Special attention is given to N. Roerich’s travels in Central Asia and Far East, his cultural and public activities and particularly his Buddho-Communist utopia. The myth of the Masters revived will appeal to those interested in New Age esotericism, mysticism, and Russian thought in the first half of the 20th century.
The Destiny and Meanings of an Apocryphal Text
In The Tale of the Prophet Isaiah. The Destiny and Meanings of an Apocryphal Text Ivan Biliarsky proposes an edition of the original text of the medieval apocryphon, together with images of the single manuscript copy. The author also includes a large commentary on the otherwise quite unclear narrative concerning its origins, its development, a prosopography of the mentioned persons, an interpretation of its meaning and of the stages of its continuous creation. This completely new approach profoundly revises the source with a strong focus on its biblical roots. Ivan Biliarsky abandons the “national” understanding of the apocryphon and introduces evidence about its significance for the enforcement of the Byzantine-Slavic/Bulgarian Commonwealth and solidarity.
Edited by Fenggang Yang and Joseph Tamney
Confucianism is reviving in China and spreading in America. The past and present interactions between the revived Confucianism and Daoism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity will likely shape the cultural and political developments in Chinese societies of mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc., and will have global implications in the globalizing world. In addition to the philosophical and theological articulations of Confucianism and other spiritual traditions, this volume includes empirical studies of and analytical reflections on the spiritual traditions in Chinese societies by historians, sociologists, and anthropologists. It is a collection of articles by the best minds in China and the West, and the top experts in multiple disciplines. Collectively, the volume provides an assessment of the present situation and points to the possibilities of future development of Confucianism and other spiritual traditions in modern China and beyond.
Religion, Esotericism and Science at the Court of Peter the Great, 1689-1725
The reign of Peter the Great (1672-1725) was marked by an unprecedented wave of reform in Russia. This book provides an innovative reappraisal of the Petrine Age, in which hitherto neglected aspects of the tsar’s transformation of his country are studied. More specifically, the reforms enacted by the tsar are assessed in light of the religious notion of instauration – a belief in the restoration of Adamic knowledge in the last age – and a historical and cultural analysis of the impact of Western esotericism at the Russian court. This book will appeal to scholars of Russian history and religion, as well as being of wider interest to those studying Western esotericism in Early Modern and eighteenth-century Europe.
Methodology, Theories, and Findings
Edited by Fenggang Yang and Graeme Lang
The revival of religious belief and practice in China over the past thirty years, after decades of severe repression, has attracted much attention by scholars. Social scientific studies of religion by mainland Chinese scholars has also increased in recent years, using theories and methods developed mainly outside China. Increasingly, mainland scholars are also debating whether theories and concepts developed in western societies are fully appropriate for the study of religion in Chinese societies. This volume presents a selection of papers by sociologists, anthropologists, and historians of religion on these themes. The chapters include rich field studies of particular religions and religious activities, along with theoretical and historical reflections by scholars inside and outside China on problems and opportunities in the revival of the social scientific study of religion in Chinese societies.