For over a quarter century Russian scholars have operated apart from past ideological constraints and have been discussing in new ways the most acute problems of Russia and of the world community as a whole.
Between Past Orthodoxies and the Future of Globalization makes available in English current research by leading thinkers in Russia in philosophy, political theory, and related fields. At the international level, one group of essays articulates Russian perspectives on key global issues. At the national level, another group of essays delivers analyses of the global dimensions in a variety of current issues in Russia. Taken together, the fourteen chapters of this book demonstrate the relevance and vitality of contemporary Russian philosophy to the study of globalization.
Akop P. Nazaretyan, Alexander N. Chumakov, Alexander V. Katsura, Anastasia V. Mitrofanova, Ilia V. Ilyin, Ivan A. Aleshkovskiy, Leonid E. Grinin, Olga G. Leonova, Pavel S. Seleznev, Sergey A. Nikolsky, Tatiana A. Alekseeva, Valentina G. Fedotova, Vladimir N. Porus, Vladimir V. Mironov, William C. Gay, Yakov A. Plyais
Theory of Religious Cycles: Tradition, Modernity and the Bahá’í Faith Mikhail Sergeev offers a new interpretation of the Soviet period of Russian history as a phase within the religious evolution of humankind by developing a theory of religious cycles, which he applies to modernity and to all the major world faiths of Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.
Sergeev argues that in the course of its evolution religion passes through six common phases—formative, orthodox, classical, reformist, critical, and post-critical. Modernity, which was started by the European Enlightenment, represents the critical phase of Christianity, a systemic crisis that could be overcome with the appearance of new religious movements such as the Bahá’í Faith, which offers a spiritual extension of the modern worldview.
Focusing on the role of arts in the construction of national identity, Suzanne Pourchier-Plasseraud has chosen to study the case of a country lacking an ancient state history of its own, Latvia. This book analyses the part played by the visual arts in transmuting the cultural concept of a nation, advocated by a small intelligentsia, into a widespread claim for independence. By the end of the 19th century, fretting under Russian political domination and German economic and cultural supremacy, the Latvians turned back to their own language, culture and folklore, with a special interest for their
dainas, their timeless common heritage rooted into a mythical golden age. Latvian artists thus found themselves entrusted with the mission of creating a national iconographic representation and a specifically Latvian art, freed from Russian and German influences. The author shows how the links between the cultural and political spheres evolved between 1905 and 1940, including during the period of authoritarian government preceding WWII. An enlightening contribution to understanding how art and history can be turned into social and political instruments, this book reaches far beyond the Latvian case to a European and even global scope.
This biographical overview of the life of Antanas Smetona (1874-1944), his importance in the Lithuanian national movement, his central role in the emergence of modern Lithuania (1918-1920), and the development of the various groups of nationalists in Lithuania, offers a picture of the creation of a national state in XXth century Europe. Twice the president of Lithuania (1919-20 and 1926-40), the authoritarian ruler of the state from 1926-1940, Smetona established his role as a capable and needed politician in Lithuania’s political life, a middle person between the political left and right. The study characterizes Smetona’s closest and most important associates, who helped him to formulate legislation for his model of presidential regime, the nationalistic ideology, and the development of national economy. Despite its authoritarian tendencies Smetona’s rule surprisingly continued to be for many Lithuanians a symbol of Lithuanian independence and national freedom through the years of Soviet occupation.