Alternative Spiritualities in Russia during the Conflict in Ukraine
The chapter examines ideological patterns concerning minority religious groups in Russia during the conflict in Ukraine and reactions of religious minorities to the conflict. The author indicates that statements of Russian government-funded media and Russian Orthodox Church tend to describe affiliation with religious minorities in a negative way as a part of the image of the enemy as opposed to normative Russian identity.
Religious minorities are often portrayed as having hidden agenda and acting as agents of foreign influence, specifically to ignite revolutionary actions and to undermine social stability in different countries, including Ukraine and Russia. The history of these narratives is rooted both in Soviet criticism of religion and in ideas of American anti-cult movement transmitted in Russia during late 1980s and 1990s.
At the same time, minority groups themselves have different opinions concerning the situation in Ukraine. They demonstrate the variety of perspectives on the actions of Russian government during the conflict from critical to sympathetic. However, because even sympathetic minority groups and individuals tend to act outside of established hierarchical structures, their actions might be perceived as a threat regardless the specific content of their ideas.
The book is a much-needed English introduction to a thorny set of religious, political, juridical, and related problems concerning the Eastern Ukrainian conflict .
- Teuvo Laitila in Journal of Contemporary Religion. Volume 36, 2021.
Reception of Audio-Visual Entrainment in Contemporary Esoteric Doctrines
Technology influences all aspects of our life including religion and esotericism. In this study we concentrate on a particular case — an adaptation of audio-visual entrainment — in order to understand how new technologies are adopted in contemporary Western esotericism and how esotericism itself is changing through their influence of technics.Read
Astral Karate as a Phenomenon of Late-Soviet Esoteric Underground
The article concentrates on the history of Astral Karate, a late-Soviet eclectic spiritual movement based on esoteric interpretations of martial arts and yoga. The term had spread in the 1980s thanks to spiritual leader and underground esoteric author Valery Averianov who called himself Guru Var Avera.Read