„Nomos. Czasopismo Religioznawcze” to naukowy periodyk powstały w 1991 roku (w latach 1991-2012 ukazywał się jako „Nomos. Kwartalnik Religioznawczy”), wydawany przez Instytut Religioznawstwa Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego.

Redaktor naczelny: dr hab. Henryk Hoffmann, prof. UJ
Sekretarz redakcji: mgr Anna Książek


W numerze:

Михаил Баканов, О сущности и происхождении символов.

Михаил Черенков, Феноменология религии и ее богословские перспективы.

Мария Чикарькова, Проблема изучения библейского антропоцентризма как фактора становления европейской культуры.

Татьяна А. Фолиева, Религиозная социализация и воспитание в  трактовке советских религиоведов.

Георгий Филипович, Украинские церкви в диаспоре перед вызовами глобализованной эпохи.

Игорь П. Гудыма, Новые грани восприятия религии и чуда в  религиозно-теологической системе Артура Пикока.

Zbigniew Łagosz, Cthulhu – mitopeja czy nowa forma systemu magicznego?

Michał Łuczyński, Językowo-kulturowy obraz Jaryły~Jarowita (próba rekonstrukcji).

Kazimiera Mikoś, Koreański muizm a  problemy z  definiowaniem szamanizmu.

Agata Świerzowska, Kilka uwag na marginesie The Vth International Seminar on Sacred Places: Cosmological Power and Environmental Issues, 5-7 February 2013 (Allahabad).

Daria Trela, Koneksje współczesnej literatury fantastycznej z  mitycznymi przestrzeniami infernalnymi.

David Václavík, Multidimensional secularization in Central and Eastern Europe.

Mikhail Bakanov

                                   ON THE ESSENCE AND ORIGIN OF SYMBOLS

The term “symbol” (Greek
σύμβολον) has no a clear scientific definition. The problem is that its interpretation is somewhere at the intersection of science, religion, mysticism, and overly magical beliefs. Moreover, symbols are often used in a polysemantic sense. It would be a mistake to say that symbolism forms a complex system with a strong and unshakable basis. The medieval secret societies showed that ancient symbols could receive not only a new interpretation, but in some cases even completely different meanings. Ambiguity and myriad ways of interpretation of symbols make it difficult to create a clear and uniform scientific classification and systematization, as understanding of a symbol cannot be re-stricted. In conclusion, we point to the fact that modern science is unfortunately far from providing a clear answer to the question about the nature and origin of symbols. Nevertheless, symbols have a great impact upon human consciousness and are often used for this purpose, even though only some people are fully aware of this mechanism.

Keywords: symbol, swastika, cross, hexagram, astrology, Bible, secret societies, Nüwa, Fu Xi.

Mykhailo Cherenkov


This paper analyzes the possibility of a phenomenological approach to religion after metaphysics. The author argues that the philosophy of religion persists in the phenomenology of religion, and that the latter takes the form of the phenomenology of revelation, in which the religious phenomenon is replaced by the disclosing of its object-subject correlation. With respect to the phenomenological philosophy of religion and theology, the author attempts to overcome the subject-object cognitive dichotomy by a theoretical formulation of subject-subject relations complemented by personal knowledge.

Keywords: phenomenology, Revelation, religion, theology, knowledge, the self.

Mariia Chikarkova


This article analyzes the problem of the origin of anthropocentric biblical consciousness and its impact on such concepts as “humanism”, “historicism”, and “rationalism”, which had developed during the Enlightenment, and which, in post-modern reality, are subject to further transformations. Currently, one can distinguish two (main) concepts of anthropo-centrism: secular – rooted in the pagan worldview, and Christian – emerging from of the biblical view of human being as the image of the Creator obstructed by sin. The Bible still (as it did in the past) remains an important factor in the shaping of contemporary European culture.

Keywords: The Bible, anthropocentrism, humanism, myth and Logos, the concept of personality.

Tatiana A. Folieva

                                      OF SOVIET RELIGIOUS STUDIES SCHOLARS

Religious socialization and religious education often attract the attention of researchers. Alas, while studying these phenomena the Russian scholars often rely on results of foreign researchers in this matter, ignoring the rich Soviet tradition. In this paper the author considers the major works of Soviet authors who undertook the analysis of such problems as “religious renewal”, “religious family”, “religious socialization” and “religious education”. The use of projective techniques, the question and mechanism of learning through imitation, the periodization of the socialization process based on cognitive development, the problem of “neutral” (non-religious) families, including secondary religious socialization and religious upbringing of young people – are the main topics discussed by the Soviet scholars. The results of these studies may be relevant and important for contemporary researchers.

Keywords: socialization, religious socialization, history of science, history of religious studies, science in the Soviet Union.

Georgii Fylypovich

                                       UKRAINIAN CHURCHES IN THE DIASPORA:

This paper discusses a variety of problems faced by Ukrainian parish churches in the diaspora. In subsequent sections, the author analyzes different activities and forms of ministry carried out among ethnic Ukrainians living abroad permanently and those who are migrant workers. In the analysis the author paid particular attention to the last wave of immigrants from Ukraine and the related challenges faced by the parish churches in Ukrainian diaspora.

Keywords: ethnic Ukrainians, migrant workers, identification, ethnic and religious identity, Ukrainian diaspora, parish churches in the diaspora.

Igor P. Gudyma


This article attempts to analyze a specific way of explaining miracle in the theology of Arthur Peacocke (1924-2006). First, the intimate connection between faith and miracles is established, and next, the role of the miracle in theology is investigated.

Keywords: God, theology, science, miracle, the laws of nature.

Zbigniew Łagosz

                              CTHULHU – MITOPEJA OR A NEW FORM OF MAGIC?

This article is an attempt to answer two fundamental questions: First, what is the Cthulhu mythos? And second, were H.P. Lovercraft’s (1890-1937) works intended to form a kind of a magical system? Analysis of both his books and the works of his followers brings us only partially to the magical world that always remains inspiring and unfathomable. Magic based on the content of Cthulhu mythology appears in many magical incantations, but also a well-known systems referring to magic, such as, for example, Satanism of LaVey.

Keywords: Cthulhu mythos, Lovecraftian magic, systems magic, secret orders.

Michał Łuczyński

                                             (AN ATTEMPT AT RECONSTRUCTION)

The author of the article attempts to reconstruct a fragment of the traditional spiritual culture of the Slavs by analyzing the myth of Jarylo-Jarovit, who is a male deity in Old-Slavic pagan pantheon. The sources used in the study include: historical and ethnographic accounts, archaeological findings, linguistic data, and comparative mythology.

Keywords: History of religion, Slavic mythology, folkloristics, ethnolinguistics, linguistic
and cultural picture of the world.

Kazimiera Mikoś


The indigenous religious tradition of Koreans, described by both Western and Korean re-searchers as muism, was already characterized as shamanism at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. There are however some doubts as to whether calling muism shamanism can be justified, and they arose in the second half of the twentieth century, particularly when Korean scholars of muism became familiar with M. Eliade’s book Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy (1964). The first section of the article presents general characteristics of the indigenous religious tradition of the Korean people, with particular attention to the muism phenomenon and to the definition of shamanism. In the second part, the author focuses on the impact of Eliade’s definition of shamanism in questioning whether muism qualifies as shamanism, and the resulting consequences. In the concluding section similarly important issues are addressed as: 1) the specific role of Eliade’s book Shamanism in the context of the scholarly discussion concerning muism, which compels us to reconsider the usefulness of the grand syntheses in religious studies; 2) the discrepancy of opinions among researchers regarding muism; 3) gains ensuing from attempts to define the object of a study, even if such definitions do not receive general approval: and 4) expres-sions of patriotism in science, and the question of the objectivity of scientific research.

Keywords: muism, shamanism, religion in Korea, Eliade, study of religion in Korea,

Agata Świerzowska

                                                         A FEW REMARKS IN PASSING:                     
                                  THE 5th INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON SACRED PLACE 
                                                     5-7 FEBRUARY 2013  (ALLAHABAD)

The paper is an account of the 5th International Seminar on Sacred Places: Cosmological Power and Environmental Issues, which was held in Allahabad, India, on 5-7 February 2013, organized by The Society of Pilgrimage Studies, Allahabad University. In fact, the seminar was organized in connection to one of the holiest Hindu religious festivals – Maha Kumbha Mela, which is held every twelfth year at Allahabad. No doubt, this is the largest religious festival in the world, attracting more than 40 million pilgrims from all over the world. The main goal of all pilgrims coming to the festival is to bathe in sangam – the place of confluence of the three holy rivers – Ganga, Yamuna, and the invisible Saraswati. The participants of the seminar focused on two main issues: first, the cosmological power of sacred places which, due to the supernatural qualities ascribed to them, become frequented pilgrimage sites, and second, environmental issues at sacred places resulting from pilgrimage activity. The seminar gathered scholars representing various disciplines and academic milieus around the world. The Jagiellonian University was represented by Prof. Marta Kudelska and Agata Świerzowska, Ph.D (The Centre for Comparative Studies of Civiliza-

Keywords: Kumbha Mela, pilgrimage, Allahabad, Ganga, Triveni, Sangam, Prayaga.

Daria Trela
                                      CONNECTIONS OF CONTEMPORARY FANTASY 
                                  LITERATURE WITH MYTHICAL INFERNAL SPACES

The article argues a point that contemporary fantasy novels contain visions of hell stemming from various cultural and historical sources: myths, literature, and art. Based on M. Eliade’s concept of myth, the author shows that the every way of presenting hell in fantasy literature has its representations in a tradition of mythical hell’s spaces. The article highlights intertextual dialogue between contemporary fantasy novels and the first part of Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy, Hell, which is a synthesis of folk and theological visions of hell. Further, in our analysis we also draw on a number of literary sources such as: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis; Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice; Pan Lodowego Ogrodu (“The Ice Garden Master”) by Jarosław Grzędowicz; and Siewca Wiatru, (“Sower of the Wind”) by Maja Lidia Kossakowska. These and many other fantasy novels are examples of contemporary exploration of classical themes (descendit ad infernos).

Keywords: descent, fantasy literature, myth, inferno, katabasis, katharsis, fantasy literature, myth, inferno.

David Václavík

                                                MULTIDIMENSIONAL SECULARIZATION 

                                                    IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

The purpose of this article is to analyze and verify the so-called thesis of secularization in Central and Eastern European countries, and also to show that this part of Europe has already undergone different types and forms of secularization. Despite its popularity, the theory of secularization (also known as the thesis of secularization) has been the object of criticism for decades. Clearly, modern Western societies are based on the principle of separation between the Church and State, and thus, people do not experience direct “interference” of religion in their lives. Today, they can also choose from a variety of religions without fear that they will face persecution. The theory of secularization has met with four common objections. First, it is intrinsically weak in its logical structure. Second, recent sociological data contradict the thesis of a gradual disappearance of religions. Third, proliferation of alternative religiosity and so-called new religious movements, along with the emergence of new forms of religiosity in established churches, pose a major challenge to the thesis of secularization. And finally, religion is still considered the most powerful political force in the world, and when discussing the validity of secularization theory, this last objection is the most fundamental argument against the theory.

Keywords: secularization, modernization, Czech Republic, Central Europe, differentiation, transformation.


                                                                                Translated by Stanisław A. Wargacki



W numerze: 

Наталия Бойчук, Типологические очерки сущностной феноменологии религии Макса Шелера.

Magdalena Grabowska, Uczucia a  wiara w  Boga. Obraz emocji w opisie doświadczenia wiary w  Boga.

Svetlana G. Karassyova, Formation of religious studies in post-soviet Belarus.

Michał Łuczyński, Językowo-kulturowy obraz Mokoszy (próba rekonstrukcji).

Andrzej Migda, Elementy szamanizmu w  pentekostalnej ekstazie mistycznej  – przypadek Toda Bentleya.

Pavel Nosachev, Semiotical analysis of the hermetical text.

Darius Piwowarczyk, Europe, civilization – they are day flies; they will, in fact they must perish: Antimodern quasi-religious movements in the German Kaiserreich.

Artur Sobczyk, Gwatemalski kult Maximona/San Simona.

Monika Świątek-Ochmann, Filozofia ryzyka André Nehera. Ryzyko Boga, człowieka, świata.

Вита Титаренко, Сущностные и методологические проблемы религиеведческой экспертизы
w практическом религиеведении.

Larysa Vladychenko, Współczesna działalność oświatowa Kościoła katolickiego na terytorium Ukrainy. 


Nataliia Boichuk


The article focuses on M. Scheler's philosophical and religious studies theory of religion and its phenomenological aspect. Based on a systematic methodological approach, the nature and specificity of M. Scheler's philosophy of religion is explored in reference to phenomenology in order to show its potential for modern Religious Studies. The author delineated the methodological potential of basic concepts and explored typological features of the essential phenomenology of religion. Much attention was paid to the concept of the relationship between Schelers vision of God and man. The axiological dimensions of religiosity, as well as the category of the sacred and the highest values were also discussed.

Magdalena Grabowska


In the paper, the author discusses the role of feelings in the experience of faith in God. The source material for this analysis is the research carried out among contemporary Christians representing different denominations and concerns their picture of faith in God. The article sheds light on various dimensions regarding the problem of the interplay between spirituality and emotionality. Among others, it aims to answer the questions of whether there is a place for emotions when experiencing spirituality and what sort of criteria to use in order to classify faith as a type of experience.

Svetlana G. Karassyova


The article traces the process of the institutional formation of Religious Studies as an academic subject and scientific discipline in the Republic of Belarus (19912011). It also presents the results and specifics of this endeavor, which are: defining Religious Studies as a scientific discipline and making it an obligatory subject in education; establishing the first centers for Religious Studies; and specialists accentuating the necessity of the discipline's development along with an increase of its social significance, even though religious knowledge is not socially required.

Michal Łuczyński


The article deals with the reconstruction of the Mokosh, one of the female deities in the Old-Slavic pagan pantheon, based on linguistic and cultural data. The sources used in the study include: historical sources and ethnographical accounts, archaeological findings, linguistic data and comparative mythology. The author attempts to reconstruct a fragment of the traditional spiritual culture of the Slavs.

Pavel Nosachev

                                SEMIOTIC ANALYSIS OF THE HERMETICAL TEXT

In the article, the methodology developed by well-known Italian semiotician Umberto Eco is used to analyze some classical texts of western esotericism. The idea of the so-called hermetic semiosis is explored by Eco in several of his works published after the 1980s: Limits of interpretation, Kant e lornitorinco, Interpretation and Overinterpretation, Serendipities, Six Walks in the Fictional Woods, etc. Eco has his own view regarding the formation of the whole of esotericism, which was expressed in a special perception of esoteric texts. From this perspective, Ecos works seem to be not only semiotical in their essence, but also touch on the history of religious ideas and on the hermeneutics of heterodox texts. As objects for the application of Ecos theory, works by Guenon (Esoterism of Dante) and Fulcanelli (Mystery of the cathedrals) are used.

Darius J. Piwowarczyk


At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century, Friedrich Diefenbach, Gusto Gräser and August Engelhardt to name only three of a large number of other idealistically-minded social reformers active in the German Empire (Kaiserreich) and elsewhere in a rapidly industrializing and urbanizing Europe proposed their conceptions about the revitalizationof modern society, and indeed, all of humanity. The common denominator of their teachings was a call to return to the original state of mankind, understood primarily as reconciliation with Mother Nature through a radical rejection of the established social and religious norms. Considering a broader socio-historical context of European modernization, the author discusses the profiles and the theosophical/naturalistic systems of these forerunners of the twentieth-century hippie movement, and shortly characterizes the social experiments (communes) that resulted from their ideological principles.

Artur Sobczyk

                                        GUATEMALAN CULT OF MAXIMON/SAN SIMON

The cult of Maximón, who is also called San Simon, is currently developing in Guatemala. The origins of this cult are to be seen in different traditions such as the old pre-Columbian religious conceptions, or folk Catholicism. Maximón's identity, together with his origin, is multithreaded. He happens to be identified with Catholic saints, local shamans or old Mayan deities. Different competences are assigned to Maximón. He is said to be particularly effective
in solving sexual and serious health problems. According to his followers' convictions, Maximón could also bring misfortune, both acting on someones request and as a punishment for their failure in worship. He also helps in all kinds of businesses, both legal and those related with the risk of falling into a dangerous trap. Maximóns cult is still alive among many traditionally oriented Mayan communities. It is also gaining support among urban Latino communities within and outside of Guatemala. This cult is becoming an important element of the Guatemalan religious landscape.

Monika Świątek-Ochmann

                                          ANDRE NAHER'S PHILOSOPHY OF RISK.
                                             RISK FOR GOD, MAN AND THE WORLD

The new philosophy of risk comes from Jewish philosophy and mysticism with some panpsychism principles as a starting point. Its author is the French personalist, existentialist and phenomenologist, André Neher. He formulates his innovative look at risks as a normal and commonplace phenomenon, and as an indispensable small part of evil in the structure of good. Risk is discussed in the context of twentieth century theories of personalism, existentialism and phenomenology. The conclusion drawn from this version of the philosophy of risk is a praise of action and an incentive to take positive actions in spite of the risks involved.

Vita Tytarenko


In the article, the basic definitions of Religious Studies expertise are discussed. Some features of the Religious Studies expertise in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus are analyzed. The necessity for updating the expert body as a condition for the effective work of professional staff in practical Religious Studies is postulated.

Larysa Vladytchenko

                                     IN UKRAINE IN THE FIELD OF EDUCATION

The article reviews the current status and statistics of the Catholic Church in Ukraine. The author discusses the role of the Catholic Church in Ukraine in reference to the system of secondary and higher education at public and private schools. The author also presents some problematic aspects in the field of educational activities faced by religious organizations following the introduction of spirituality and morals as a subject of education. Other problems the Church has to deal with are the difficulties in establishing secondary schools, and the lack of recognition by the state of diplomas issued by Church institutions of higher education, etc. Additionally, the author analyzes legislative activities and proposals on the part of the Catholic Church aimed at eliminating difficulties in the development of religious education in modern Ukraine. As a result of these undertakings, some recommendations for further harmonious relations between the Church and State have been formulated.

Translated and edited by Stanisław A. Wargacki


W numerze:

Семен Абрамович, Изучение библейской эстетики как научная проблема.

Юрий Александрович Бабинов, Межрелигиозный диалог – альтернативa агрессии и террору.

Kazimierz Banek, Prorok czy mag? Rozważania na temat Mojżesza.

Marcin Karas, Koncepcja zbawienia świata według Teilharda de Chardin (1881–1955).

Andrzej Korczak, Porównanie alegorezy Filona i Klemensa.

Kazimiera Mikoś, Naczynie Paraskiewy/Piatnicy. W poszukiwaniu pluwialnego symbolu słowiańskiej bogini deszczu.

Максим Александрович Пылаев, Философия религии в феноменологии религии Рудольфа Отто.

Magdalena Tendera, Tradycja protestów głodowych i paradoks samopoświęcenia.


Semen Abramowicz


The Bible is a subject of interest to religious studies scholars, and increasingly as well to historians and literary study researchers. Its value as a source of knowledge about ancient times thought raises much controversy, as is manifested in a variety of positions: from hyper criticism and, denial of the Bible’s source value, to acknowledging it as one of the most reliable sources on the history and cultures of the Ancient Middle East. In the literary study of the Bible dominate publications on its reception in later times, but its aesthetic aspect is usually overlooked. Although the artistic aspects in the Bible are secondary, they nevertheless are of fundamental importance to an understanding of its spiritual and aesthetic characteristics.

Juriy Aleksandrovič Babinov

                                                           INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE.
                                         AN ALTERNATIVE TO TERROR AND AGGRESSION

Globalization is leading to a significantly increased role of religion in various spheres of social life. People of different religions and cultures are ending up living next to each other, and must find ways to “get along” even though they have not had prior experience in this matter. Only peaceful coexistence between different religions could prevent the eventual “clash of civilizations”. Modern society must work out a model where mutual respect and trust between peoples, nations and States would be possible. A dialogue, and especially an interreligious dialogue, is most needed. Every religion claims to be holistic in its interpretation of the world; yet, for thousands of years, humankind has been heterogeneous in terms of religious beliefs. Thus, different religions even though called to both bring peace to individuals and unite people together, have been a frequent cause of conflicts and religious wars. In such a situation, it is difficult to imagine the further development of societies without interreligious and inter-ideological dialogue.

Kazimierz Banek

When reading the Torah one ponders about an unusual scarcity of information on Moses, who as the prophet and law giver is of fundamental importance not only to Judaism, but also to Christianity and Islam. Initially, the names of his parents or sister are not even mentioned, and his sons do not play any role in the Jewish tradition. In addition, we find a lot of contradictory information on Moses: for example in various sources, he was considered to be a Chaldean (Clement of Alexandria), an Egyptian priest (Manetho), a great magician (Pliny), or the philosopher from whom comes all Greek philosophical thought (Aristobulos, Artapanos, Philo). In Exodus, Moses says to Yahweh, that he is “not good speaker” and his “mouth is sluggish”, but in Acts of the Apostles he is presented as one who is “learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians”, and has a “power of word and deed”. Tacitus says that it was not Moses, who led the tribes of Israel from Egypt, but Pharaoh expelled them, because of the plague, and that the issue of religious reform was not the result of God’s revelation, but was Moses’ own idea. There are also difficulties with an explanation of the name “Moses”, which is now considered Egyptian and not Jewish. All these interpretations indicate that Moses appears as a mysterious figure, with whom multiple and often conflicting traditions are associated.

Marcin Karas
                                   A CONCEPT OF SALVATION OF THE WORLD
                              ACCORDING TO TEILHARD DE CHARDIN (1881-1955)

Teilhard’s concept of God and the world, there is an expansive idea of salvation, according to which God’s plan of salvation pertains not only to humans, but to the entire cosmos. Thus the history of the world is in essence the history of salvation. Although for Teilhard Christ is a savior, whose role in the process of salvation seems to be more stoic and naturalistic than Christian. According to Teilhard salvation continuously merges with the unison of matter, until the whole universe merges with God. The material world is spearheaded by humanity, with God becoming the soul of the world, and evolution becoming a sacrament.

Andrzej Korczak
                                COMPARISON OF TWO ALLEGORIES – PHILO AND CLEMENT

The purpose of this article is to juxtapose some significant allegories of the early philosophers Philo of Alexandria and Clement of Alexandria. The author attempts to reproduce the logic of allegorical interpretation of the Torah. The study reveals far-reaching similarities of allegory between Philo and Clement. At the same time, however, several fundamental differences in their interpretations are denoted. These differences stem from the fact that these two scholars represent two different religious traditions.

Kazimiera Mikoś

                                                    OF THE SLAVIC GODDESS OF RAIN

Orthodox Saint Paraskevia/Piatnitza (Pietka), whose name can be translated as “Friday” – like many other Christian saints in different parts of the world, is a syncretic figure. Along with other saints whose names are derived from weekdays (Sunday, Wednesday), and with Mary the Mother of God, etc. Paraskevia replaced Mokosh (Mokoš), who originally was probably pan-Slavic deity venerated among the southern and eastern Slavs. Possibly, it is her image that ornaments traditional towels from northern Russia. Particularly in some
19th Century embroideries associated with her image, she is portrayed holding most likely a water (perhaps, symbolic of rain) dish or its emblem. That alleged water dish of Paraskevia/Piatnitza was used to reconstruct the vessel of Mokosh in the new image reconstruction of the latter. The proven pluvial (moistness) aspect of the reconstructed image of Mokosh is the most important feature of this only female deity in the Vladimir pantheon. With this fact a new area for research is opening, which earlier was regarded as a possibility only.
Following the new developments associated with the theory of Great Mother Goddess, the author of this article presents her own new findings that might be useful for the study of the Slavic pantheon, and the goddess Mokosh, in particular.

Maxim Aleksandrovič Pylayev

                                                  PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
                                 IN RUDOLF OTTO’S PHENOMENOLOGY OF RELIGION

This article explores the philosophical dimension of Rudolf Otto’s work “The Idea of the Holy”. The author is interested in the reformulation of Kant’s philosophy by J.F. Fries, and in some fractions of Kantian-Friesian thought in Otto’s “The Idea of the Holy”. Another focus of the article is to examine the philosophic-phenomenological perspective of those descriptive sections of “The Idea of the Holy”, which are concerned with numinous experiences.

Magdalena Tendera


The article is concerned with hunger protest, which is a ritual, historically known for many millennia throughout the world. Its occurrence is associated with two factors: immerging of both the clan and political hierarchy in societies, resulting in economic inequalities, and an increase in the symbolic meaning of hunger or asceticism in the history and religion of a given culture. The problem of hunger protests is currently a global phenomenon, characteristic especially for prisons, internment centers and narrow professional groups around
the world. Being strongly associated with culture and religion, hunger protests have become one of the key instruments in the arsenal of political struggle throughout the world. Hunger protest can vary in its symbolism, and may be interpreted in various ways. Yet, the most disturbing fact is that there is no rational explanation as to why some people choose to sacrifice their lives through self-annihilation or death by starvation, having no guarantee of the benefits of such action. Culture, however, has taken an excellent advantage of the sacrifice of human life, using it to rebuild myths and their culture-forming strength.

Translated by Stanisław A. Wargacki

Nomos nr 77

W numerze:

Od redakcji (w XX-lecie istnienia pisma).

Kazimierz Banek, Krymczaki – grupa etniczna i religijna.

Jakub Bohuszewicz, Między etnografią i religioznawstwem: Åke Hultkrantz jako antropolog religii.

Екатерина Сергеевна Элбакян, Повседневность в мире религии, религия в мире повседневности.

Martin Fárek, Did Rammohan Ray Understand Western Religion?

Marcin Karas, Kobieta w mariawityzmie.

Martin Klapetek, Czy nowoczesna islamska architektura jest częścią europejskiej przestrzeni

Monika Kowalska, Rola kota w rytuałach magicznych i wierzeniach ludzi różnych epok i miejsc.

Agata Świerzowska, Joga chrześcijańska . Próba opisu na wybranych przykładach.

Marek Żyromski, Jerzy Hatłas, The Religious Cult of Ruler in Ancient Rome as the Element of Process of Legitimacy of Political Power in Autocratic Political Systems.


Anna Radziwiłł, Pelazgowie a Hellada.

Przemysław Biernat, Złote tabliczki orfickie.

Marcin Karas, Braviarium fidei . Wybór doktrynalnych wypowiedzi Kościoła.

Anna Książek, Ends and Beginnings: X Konferencja EASR w Sztokholmie.


Kazimierz Banek


The Krymchaks are a small group of people living in the Crimea from at least the 1st century AD. They had been living in Crimea later than natives of the region (e.g., the Cimmerians and the Tauri), but before other incoming peoples (i.e., the Khazars, the Alans, the Goths, the Ruthenians). It appears these people began to call themselves the Krymchaks only in the 13th century, when the Mongols appeared there. Their ethnogeny has not been fully elucidated, however, as a distinct ethnic group they are placed into the 6th or 8th century. Indeed, they are a mixture of different people living in the Crimea since antiquity and united by a common language and religion. The Krymchaks consider themselves to be followers of Judaism and, they speak the Chagatai language. Both the Mongols and later the Russians (and the Germans during World War II) often identified the Krymchaks with the Jews and used repressive measures against them. Despite all these ordeals, the Krymchaks have survived to this day, and their population is estimated at 2,5003,500 people, of whom around 600 live in the Crimea.

Jakub Bohuszewicz

                                  BETWEEN ETNOGRAPHY AND RELIGOUS STUDIES:

The article concerns with the methodological aspect of the works of Åke Hultkrantz (19202006), a distinguished Swedish comparative religion scholar, who in his scholarly research drew on phenomenology, ethnology and ecology of religion. In his book Native Religions of North America Hultkrantz while discussing the relationship between beliefritual system and the environment, engages in polemics with the diffusionists. At the same time, this approach is an intermediate stage of his research process, the ultimate goal of which is a phenomenological description of religious ideas characteristic of the shamanic systems of hunter-gatherers. The use of the latter approach is based on the concept of ideal types used within the phenomenology of religion, providing the basis for the cross-cultural comparisons. The combined use of the two research strategies: ecology and phenomenology of religion, enables one to formulate important conclusions about the universal nature of shamanism, essentially based on the concept of duality of souls and their close relationships with the animal world. This conclusion is also the counter-argument to the concept developed by those researchers of shamanism, who like S.M. Shirokogoroff, A. Leena- Siikala or Roberte N. Hamayon emphasize only the Siberian nature of the phenomenon.

Ekaterina Sergeyevna Elbakyan


The purpose of this article is to discuss, on the one hand, the role of religion in everyday life encompassing values, norms, relationships of an individual from the moment of his birth to death, and on the other hand, how peoples everyday life activities, including personal tragedies and social catastrophes affect religious changes. The discussion on the relationship between daily life and religion is carried out with reference to Max Weber, who emphasized their interdependence. Hence, the key issues discussed are: routinization of charisma, dogmatization, clericalism, secularization and sacralization.

Martin Farek


The religious thought and activities of Rammohan Ray (17721833) have been the points of controversy among scholars for many decades. In his research on religion Rammohan Ray took a difficult middle path, attempting to reconcile Western Christianity and domestic Hinduism. Following the analyses of S.N. Balagangadhara and Jakob De Roover, the author of this article argues that this Bengali reformer did not fully understand Western religious ideas. These shortcomings, however, should not be viewed as an obstacle to intercultural understanding. The author concludes that Rammohan Rays distortions of Western ideas result from religious traditions of India, where practices do not necessarily express the beliefs of the people.

Marcin Karas

                                           A WOMAN IN THE MARIAVITE CHURCH

The article discusses aspects in the doctrines of the Mariavite Church that refer to a woman. These issues are presented in chronological order, beginning with the inception of this religious movement, through its development and internal divisions, up to the present day. The role and place of a woman in the Mariavite Church is an important tenet of this religious community founded, by Maria Franciszka Kozłowska and Jan M. Michał Kowalski. Some basic knowledge and understanding, on the side of the reader, about this religious group is presumed, however.

Martin Klapetek

                                         IS CONTEMPORARY ISLAMIC ARCHITECTURE
                                          A PART OF THE EUROPEAN PUBLIC SPACE?

The article attempts to answer whether the construction of mosques in Europe (for example in Germany, Austria and Switzerland) is a visible sign of emancipation of Muslim religious communities. In many places in Europe (e.g., Switzerland) the building of Mosques creates social tensions and generates negative reactions among the majority of non-Muslim communities.
The architectural design of mosques is an integral part of public space, but at the same time, these tensions illustrate how complicated the integration process for both sides can be. The choice of forms of buildings inspired by the cultural background of immigrants, or the current general trends in architecture, express the level of integration of Muslim communities into Western societies. An important part of this article is the issue of preservation and transformation of the European Muslims identity as they integrate or isolate themselves into European societies.

Monika Kowalska

                                            IN DIFFERENT EPOCHS AND PLACES

The article discusses the role and the symbolism of cat in various religious beliefs and rituals. The key question is how peoples perception of a cat has been changing depending on their time and place? The paper presents examples of rituals, beliefs and superstitions associated with the cat from antiquity to modern times in different times and places around the world (inter alia Cuba, Japan, and Egypt). In addition to mythological, religious, and magical themes the author also discusses the cats motif in fantasy literature, and in popular culture. Comparison of the positive and negative aspects of this animal is the red thread of the paper.

Anna Radziwiłł

                                      PELASGIANS AND THE ANCIENT GREECE

The article is a review of a long-awaited book on Pelasgians entitled Pelazgowie – autochtoni Hellady. Pochodzenie, język, religia by Ignacy Ryszard Danka. The Pelasgians were the Indo-European people of ancient Greece, speaking a Paleo-Balkan dialect that is cognate with the Thracian language. As the original people of the Peloponnesus, the Pelasgians have become mythical ancestors of the Greeks, who called them autochthons. In terms of religion, the Pelasgians worshiped chthonic deities, but also, sky god cults were common among them. Several gods of the ancient Greeks were in fact of Pelasgian origin. The reviewed book is a crowning achievement of 40 years of Dankas research, and presents a valuable source of information for those who are researchers of the history, language and religion of ancient Greece. It is worth noting that the Pelasgians have become the mythical ancestors of the Greeks, and Pelasgos was even considered to be the progenitor of humankind.

Agata Świerzowska

                              CHRISTIAN YOGA: AN ATTEMPT AT DESCRIPTION
                                                BASED ON SELECTED EXAMPLES

In the West the term Christian yoga evokes many radical controversies. Some believe in the possibility of placing yoga (usually perceived as a set of physical practices) within a Christian context, and would like to see it as a helpful tool for deepening of spiritual life. Others, however, maintain that yoga and Christian tradition are not compatible. Still, there are people who intend to combine these two spiritual traditions by adopting randomly selected elements from both. The paper presents and explains the first, and so far, the most comprehensive system of Christian Yoga as developed by a French Benedictine monk Jean-Marie Dechanet. In 1955 Dechanet published his first book La Voie du Silence developing the philosophy of Christian Yoga, which is, in fact, the interpretation of yoga system in the light of Origens philosophy of human being. The fundamental concepts of Dechanets system are: anima-corpus, animus-mens and spiritus-cor. Establishing and maintaining harmonious relationship between them is the fundamental aim of Christian Yoga. On the basis of Dechanets thought, the author of this paper explores also some new approaches to Christian yoga.

Marek Żyromski, Jerzy Hatłas

                                   THE RELIGIOUS CULT OF RULER IN ANCIENT ROME
                                   POWER IN AUTOCRATIC POLITICAL SYSTEMS

The article deals with a question of how important for any ruling system is the gaining of (and sometimes even losing) political legitimacy. This problem is important not only in the case of democratic political systems, but also in the case of autocratic or totalitarian political systems, because in principle, such regimes do not typically come to power in a legitimate way. In ancient Rome, for example, Octavianus Augustus gained his highest position as a result of a long and bloody civil war, finished with the naval victory near Actium. Moreover, he successfully initiated the new political regime (so called the Principate or early Roman Empire), based on an interconnection between autocratic power of the Princeps and the old Republican facade. Indeed, the desire for peace (Pax Romana) was a dominant feeling among the population of the vast Roman Empire, and they accepted this transition. The altar Ara Pacis Augustae, for instance, is an expression of the peoples gratitude at the end of longterm warfare. Also, very important were many imperial ceremonies and monuments that followed, such as triumphal arches, columns and so on. These monuments portrayed the Emperor as a successful military and political leader, and strengthened not only his ruling authority but the legitimacy of power as well.

Translated by Stanisław A. Wargacki