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In: Diskurse der Personalität

The aim of this article is to grasp the complicated situation of Church, religion, and theology in contemporary Russia and Ukraine. While the disappearance of the Soviet system has created a situation of freedom, in which a variety of churches and religious organizations can deploy their activities to an extent unimaginable a mere ten years ago, it also has left behind a social and political wasteland, in which a so-called ‘civil society’ is only beginning to develop. The greatest challenge today, both for the citizenry at large and for religious groups, seems to be a recognition of this situation as a ‘normal’ state of society, rather than as a vacuum waiting to be filled in by new hierarchical structures. This challenge presents itself with particular urgency to the strongest religious organization, the Russian Orthodox Church. The traditional, ‘national’ Church of Russia (in the broad sense, including Ukraine), but at the same time attracting only a small proportion of the post-Soviet populace, is a structure in which many initiatives flourish, exemplified here by the field of theology teaching, but which also tends to seek mutual support with the weakly developed state structure.

In: Het Christelijk Oosten


Russian philosophy is usually treated, in scholarly literature, as a special case: it neither fits into the model of ethno-philosophy, because it has its roots in classical Greek philosophy and Byzantine patristics, nor can it be included in an account of Western philosophy, because it obviously took a different course of development. Additionally, it contains a tradition of claims to specificity and superiority. During the Soviet period, the imposition of an official Marxist-Leninist philosophy, with its own claim to superiority, led to the intellectual isolation of philosophical thought in Russia. It is argued, in this paper, that the best way to approach the phenomenon of Russian philosophy is through the notion of “philosophical culture” as the space where a plurality of philosophical traditions coexist, depending of course on political, social, and economic circumstances.

In: Re-ethnicizing the Minds?
In: Transcultural Studies
In: Civil Society, Religion, and the Nation
In: Gerechtigkeit in Russland
Japan, Russia, and Turkey are major examples of countries with different ethnic, religious, and cultural background that embarked on the path of modernization without having been colonized by a Western country. In all three cases, national consciousness has played a significant role in this context. The project of Modernity is obviously of European origin, but is it essentially European? Does modernization imply loss of a country’s cultural or national identity? If so, what is the “fate” of the modernization process in these cases? The presence of the idea and reality of civil society can be considered a real marker of Modernity in this respect, because it presupposes the development of liberalism, individualism and human rights. But are these compatible with nationalism and with the idea of a national religion?
These questions are the more pressing, as Japan is considered part of the Western world in many respects, and Russia and Turkey are defining their relation to the European Union in different ways. An investigation of these three countries, set off against more general reflections, sheds light on the possibilities or limitations of modernization n a non-European context.
In: Transcultural Studies
In: Transcultural Studies


Merab Mamardashvili was not a political philosopher in the conventional sense of that label: he did not write extensively on political-philosophical topics and, for obvious reasons, actively avoided politics during most of his career. However, he was keenly aware of the political dimension of his activity as a thinker, and of the fact that his thought-work was a politicum in its own right. His thought contains several elements of a philosophical understanding of the political. In this contribution, these elements will be explored on the basis of some of his later essays, courses, and interviews, as well as the published correspondence between him and the French Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser.

In: Rethinking Mamardashvili: Philosophical Perspectives, Analytical Insights