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Andrew Savchenko

Belarus is known as “the last dictatorship of Europe”, yet its president enjoys public support. Its economy remains largely Soviet, yet exhibits high growth rates. Belarus styles itself as a European country yet clings to Russia as the only ally. The book explains these paradoxes by delving into history of Belarusian national institutions, including civil society, and the state.

The book starts with an analysis of Belarusian national development from the time of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to the short-lived Belarusian People’s Republic of 1918. The discussion turns to the crucial interwar period, when all national institutions of modern Belarus had taken shape. Belarus’s surprising ability to cope with post-Soviet economic and geopolitical changes is discussed in the final chapter.

Eros and Creativity in Russian Religious Renewal

The Philosophers and the Freudians

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Anna Lisa Crone

This book is a fascinating exploration of largely uncharted territory in the history of Russian religious thought. Focusing on four brilliant representatives of the "Russian religious renaissance" of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries--Vladimir Solovyov, Vasily Rozanov, Nikolai Berdyaev, and Boris Vysheslavtsev--Anna Lisa Crone masterfully details their efforts, which were at first quite independent of the work of Sigmund Freud and later highly critical of it, to establish the importance of the sex drive in human life and to reinterpret Christianity as a religion of the flesh as well as the spirit. Crone's use of the concept of sexual sublimation (developed by Solovyov and Rozanov before Freud had described it) and its connection with human creativity is the perfect foil for bringing out and clarifying the agreements and differences between the Russian religious thinkers on the one hand and the secular psychoanalysts such as Freud, Carl Jung, and Otto Rank on the other. New light is cast on all these figures by Crone's adroit analyses, which will also be welcomed by anyone interested in the roots of creativity, the cultural significance of sexuality, or the essence of Christianity.

James P. Scanlan, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, The Ohio State University

Series:

Jim Samson

This book asks how a study of many different musics in South East Europe can help us understand the construction of cultural traditions, East and West. It crosses boundaries of many kinds, political, cultural, repertorial and disciplinary. Above all, it seeks to elucidate the relationship between politics and musical practice in a region whose art music has been all but written out of the European story and whose traditional music has been subject to appropriation by one ideology after another. South East Europe, with its mix of ethnicities and religions, presents an exceptionally rich field of study in this respect. The book will be of value to anyone interested in intersections between pre-modern and modern cultures, between empires and nations and between culture and politics.

Series:

Gerol'd I. Vzdornov

This is the first study in any language to trace the emergence of the art historical interest in icon painting in the nineteenth century with its evident impact on the course of Russian modernism in the twentieth century. Given the surge in popularity of the Russian avant-garde, a book devoted to the gradual awareness of the artistic value of icons and their effect on Russian aesthetics is timely. The discoveries, the false starts, the incompetence, the interaction of dilettantes and academics, the meddling of tsars and church officials, all make for a fascinating tale of growing cultural awarenss. It is a story that prepares the ground for the explosioin of Russian cultural creativity and acceptability in the early twentieth century.