Семен Абрамович, Изучение библейской эстетики как научная проблема.
Kazimierz Banek, Prorok czy mag? Rozważania na temat Mojżesza.
Marcin Karas, Koncepcja zbawienia świata według Teilharda de Chardin (1881–1955).
Kazimiera Mikoś, Naczynie Paraskiewy/Piatnicy. W poszukiwaniu pluwialnego symbolu słowiańskiej bogini deszczu.
THE STUDY OF BIBLE AESTHETICS AS A RESEARCH PROBLEM
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
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.
PROPHET OR MAGE? SOME REFLECTIONS ON MOSES
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.
A CONCEPT OF SALVATION OF THE WORLD
ACCORDING TO TEILHARD DE CHARDIN (1881-1955)
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.
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.
THE DISH OF PARASKEVIA/PIATNICA. IN SEARCH OF THE PLUVIAL SYMBOL
OF THE SLAVIC GODDESS OF RAIN
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.
THE TRADITION OF HUNGER STRIKES AND THE PARADOX OF SELF-SACRIFICE
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