Genesis of Foolishness in the Byzantine Tradition
Sharabarina Evgeniya
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.4.1-98-119

In this article, an attempt was made to make a preliminary religious analysis of the phenomenon of foolishness from the perspective of the modern methodology of the Dutch researcher J. Waardenburg. It was noted that earlier in the Russian science of religion, this phenomenon practically did not become an independent object of study. The systematic concept of J. Waardenburg assumes a consistent consideration of religious facts from the perspective of four approaches of equal importance: historical, comparative, contextual and hermeneutic. The collection and primary analysis of empirical data is a necessary and preliminary condition for a full-fledged study of the phenomenon of foolishness. Foolishness arises in Byzantine society and is perceived ambiguously by the contemporaries. The article indicates the sources of the phenomenon of foolishness in the Byzantine tradition: ancient cynicism in the person of Diogenes Laertius, healed the demoniacs who spend a lot of time near temples, Old Testament prophets. This work also reflects the historical process of the gradual separation of foolishness as an independent rank of holiness. Its biblical justification is the multiple references on the pages of the Gospel to the madness of the world and the wisdom of the unwise. The fact that the foolishness was known to the culture of the Romans is evidenced by the fact of the spread of the phenomenon of false ugliness, which the official Church tried to fight. The reason for the appearance of foolishness in Byzantium can be called the extinction of spiritual life after its rise in the first centuries of the spread of Christianity. The tradition of honoring extraordinary ascetics, as well as the formation of iconography, was slow. Only at the end of the VIII century the process began to gain momentum, which was connected with the approval at the Seventh Ecumenical Council of the veneration of saints as a necessary element of Christian dogmatics. In the Byzantine Church, six holy fools were canonized. Despite their small number, the hagiographic literature of Christian ascetics of the first centuries often offers examples of episodic foolishness. The article concludes that the genesis of foolishness in the Byzantine tradition required a long time for its development. In Russian culture the phenomenon of foolishness has found its full-fledged development, becoming an integral part of Russian culture. The author assumes, that this phenomenon requires its further empirical study as an objective religious fact.

Greek Mystery Cults. Part I: The Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace and the Mysteries of the Kabeiroi
Afonasin Eugene
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.4.1-11-40

In this article we first, using the example of Eleusis, briefly examine the question of the origin of ancient mystery practices, and we also touch upon the problem of the evolution of Greek religious beliefs from Archaic times to the Classical period. Often the presence or absence of an extraordinary experience is regarded as a criterion which allows to classify a specific ancient cult as a “mystery” cult. Another criterion, of course, is the closed, initiatory nature of these cults. We discuss this type of cults in the paper, beginning with the historically most ancient ones. The main part of the article is devoted to the detailed study of the Samothracian Mysteries and the sacred rites of Kabeiroi, first of all, in Thebes and on the island of Lemnos. The literary and epigraphic data in the article are considered in the light of archaeological findings. We see that the ancient cult of the Kabeiroi, as well as the ideas about the Great Gods of Samothrace, underwent significant changes over time, first of all, it seems, under the influence of Eleusis. Were the myths of the Samothrace and of the Kabeiroi of a ‘salvific’ nature, and not only in the sense of rescue at sea or from enemies by means of miraculous weapons or foreign magic? Obviously, since about the time of Plato, and perhaps somewhat earlier, the mystery cults, above all the Eleusinian and Orphic ones, are accompanied by certain eschatology and are conceptualized in a philosophical way. This does not mean, of course, that people stop turning to the gods with “ordinary” requests for help and, passing through initiation into the mysteries, necessarily aspire to acquire only a special “mystic” experience or secure for themselves a privileged place in the other world, the picture of which just at this time is significantly transformed. This is briefly the content of the first part of the work, published in this issue of the journal. In the second part of the study we will continue with an account of the “minor mysteries” of antiquity, such as the secret rituals of the Korybantes, the Andanian mysteries in Messenia, and the cult of Artemis in Ephesus, in order to move in the third part to late antique practices such as the mysteries of Isis and Mithras, which we hope will bring us closer to a theoretical synthesis that treats the nature and meaning of the ancient mystery cults.

The Truth Thou Hast Spoken and Judged Rightly of all Things.
Donskikh Oleg
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.4.1-41-55

In “Axial time,” the notion of order begins to be understood in the emerging forms of individual creativity - lyric poetry, philosophy and mystery. If the notions of order, truth and justice before that time were understood only in specific actual contexts, then along with the movement towards individual consciousness the nature of the referent is changing, and these concepts begin to interact independently of the context. As far back as the Indo-European unity, the ideas of order and struggle of the two beginnings (positive and negative), embodied in different forms, appeared. The idea of order is represented by the Vedic ṛta, the Iranian arta, and the Greek dike. It is interesting that certain ideas expressed by a number of words may end up being represented by a set of concepts in which these words sometimes are no longer included. If we turn to Greek, dike begins to correlate with themis, where the first word refers to inter-family and the second to family law. But in the “Axial Age,” themis is limited to the communal level, while dike reaches the cosmic level and turns out to be just world order. And, paradoxically, because of this, it is also placed in each individual soul. This truth is revealed in a state of frenzy to the mystics, to the prayers, and to the poets. The idea of metempsychosis plays a role here. A hitherto unknown state of individual responsibility arises. The article examines the situation according to which the formation of abstract concepts proceeds by the gradual formation of a semantic field, on which the meanings of words begin to be more and more definitely differentiated. The comprehension of the corresponding images and concepts at the individual level leads to the formation of the system of philosophical categories. The connection of the conceptual system and the orientation towards individual justice is determined, in particular, by the development of the mystery cults.

Criticism of Religion in the Philosophy of the Sophists
Brovkin Vladimir
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.4.1-56-69

The article deals with the socio-historical conditions of the formation of criticism of religion in the philosophy of sophists. It is shown that there were two directions in the religious criticism of the sophists. The first direction was associated with religious agnosticism. Protagoras defended the idea of the incomprehensibility of the gods. The statements of Gorgias and Xeniades contributed to the strengthening of religious skepticism. The second direction was connected with the development of theories of the origin of religion. Prodicus and his idea of the deification of useful things by ancient people is one of the first attempts at a rational explanation of the origin of religion. Critias’ idea that the gods were invented in order to maintain public order challenged the entire religious consciousness of the Greeks. The theories of Prodicus and Critias contributed to the development of ancient atheism. It is established that the sophists adhered to an ambivalent position on the question of attitude to religion. On the one hand, the sophists did not seek to destroy religious institutions. They recognized the value of religion because they considered it one of the benefits of civilization. According to sophists, religion plays an important role in the life of society. It supports moral norms, laws and order. On the other hand, the views of the sophists posed a great danger to traditional religious beliefs. The views of the sophists contributed to the doubt of the existence of gods and the weakening of religious beliefs. It is established that the Peloponnesian War played an important role in the formation of the religious criticism of the sophists. The destructive nature of the Peloponnesian War led to the decline of moral and religious norms. The plague in Athens, the cases of genocide, the triumph of brute force and lawlessness contributed to the growth of distrust of public institutions and disillusionment with religion. All this created favorable conditions for the development of moral and ethical relativism and religious skepticism in the philosophy of sophists.

Elusive Hermes: The Problem of Identification of Hermes and Thoth and the Mystery Aspect of Hermeticism
Zolotukhina Anastasia
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.4.1-70-82

The article treats the history of the identification of the Greek Hermes and the Egyptian Thoth, which eventually brought to existence the figure of Hermes Trismegistus, the founder of Hermeticism. The treatment of the complex genesis of this figure is connected with the solution of an important question for understanding the phenomenon of Hermeticism: what significance did   Hermeticism grant to the mystery component? The problem stems from the structure of the Hermetic Corpus itself, which consists of philosophical texts of Greek origin and esoteric texts dating back to the Egyptian tradition. The history of Hermeticism is traced in the article as the history of the mutual influence of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. Through the figure of Pythagoras I establish a connection between Pythagoreanism, Hermes and Egyptian mysteries.  Plato, then, gives an original view of Hermes and Thoth; the next step is a transition to the Hellenistic Egypt, where the two deities were identified. The final step is the first evidence of Hermes Trismegistus and its origin. The article examines the reasons and possibilities for such an identification: the main functions of Hermes and Thoth, which at first glance are identical, present some discrepancies. First, the function of psychopompos: I draw attention to the concept of memory, power upon which is unique to the Greek Hermes; second, the power upon word, logos: while Hermes has the realm of the spoken word, Thoth is associated with the written text and thus magic (magical Egyptian practices are based on the power of the written word). The metamorphosis of Hermes from god to daimon and, finally, to man is also important (on the basis of the evidence of Plato and later hermetic mythology): this provided Hermes with the opportunity to become a central figure and conductor of mystical teachings, like Orpheus.

Comparative Analysis of Zen Philosophy: Rinzai and Soto
Novikova Olga,  Rodicheva Irina
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.4.1-83-97

The practical methods of studying Zen, known as ‘pure zazen’ and the ‘koan method’ of the Buddhist schools of Rinzai and Soto are subjected to comparative analysis. This study focuses on the comprehension of Zen philosophy, and also analyzes the basic attitudes regarding the difference from the old Buddhist schools in Japan: practical activity, self-improvememt and indifference to death come first, as well as new aesthetic norms and ideals. Simplicity, the absence of any authority, the absence of rituals and anti-intellectualism corresponded to the spirit of the era when the once unshakable moral values were collapsing. Comparing the two Buddhist schools, the authors of the article note that the distinguishing feature of Soto, founded in Japan by Dogen, is absolute immersion in the meditative practice of ‘Silent illumination of Zen’ (黙想 mokuso), which outlines the path to enlightenment through sitting meditation. At the same time the emphasis is placed on the fact that this is a complex and not fast process of passing through certain stages in comprehending the teaching. Rinzai Zen in Japan is most associated with learning through koan work, and the origin of this practice dates back to master Linji from the time of the Song dynasty, namely Daie Soko, who collected and arranged all the major koans in a specific order for ease of use. But the very practice of comprehending the teaching is distinguished by its rather harsh and cruel methods, since the teachers considered it necessary to tear the student out of everyday life and the fastest way is to hit or to shout at a person. It was this philosophical practice of Rinzai Zen that was spread in Japan by Eisai.

As a result of the study, the authors came to the conclusion that the masters of the Rinzai school proclaim the importance of ‘sudden enlightenment’, and the masters of the Soto school teach to follow the path of ‘progressive enlightenment’, and thus Soto and Rinzai become Zen schools that use opposite methods to achieve insight.

Evidence for the Existence of God - the Case of Dostoevsky
Antipov Georgy
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.3.1-11-24

This theme was one of the main ones for Dostoevsky, he turned to it throughout his life and work. As everyone knows, its essence has taken the form of catchphrases like „If there is no God, then we can do everything.” The theme has given rise to a huge number of interpretations. Some of them go back to the discourse of proofs of the existence of God as it has developed in the history of philosophy. In Christian theology, the argument relating to the question of the existence of God has received the general definition of “ontological proof of the existence of God.” In general, the scheme of reasoning in the ontological proof can be represented as follows. An absolutely perfect being, such as God appears, must have the totality of perfections; existence is one of these perfections; God, as a perfect being, must have existence not only in our imagination, but also in reality; therefore, God exists. In the Western European philosophical tradition, Descartes, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, and others turned to ontological proof. Kant, examining the classical proofs of the existence of God, showed that the existence of a thing cannot be seen in the content of its concept. Thus, it is impossible neither to prove nor disprove the existence of God. The appeal to this topic in the general cultural Russian discourse, and in the emerging Russian philosophical discourse, was due to two circumstances. First, the influence of European classical philosophy. One can recall Pushkin’s lines: “By the name of Vladimir Lensky, / With a soul directly Goettingent, / A handsome man in full bloom of years, / An admirer of Kant and a poet,” or Belinsky’s mental anguish about the Hegelian formula “everything real is reasonable, everything reasonable is real”. Secondly, the impact of Western technogenic civilization on Russian society, traditional in its type. One of the manifestations of this influence was the increased tension along the line “faith – knowledge” (“religion – science”). The article attempts to translate Dostoevsky’s plots into axiology and the theory of values. The general conclusion that follows from the analysis of Dostoevsky’s work in the context of the article can be formulated as follows: the denial of God leads to the legalization of his surrogate likenesses.

Dostoevsky: Foreshadowing of Philosophical Anthropology, Hermeneutics and Phenomenology
Petrova Galina,  Tarabanov Nikolai
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.3.1-25-39

The purpose of the article is to substantiate the hypothetically expressed proposition that Dostoevsky in his work proposed for comprehension and understanding of the problem of man and consciousness such ideas that (and this is the performative potential of his philosophy) received theoretical conceptualization only in the XX-XXI centuries. We are talking primarily about his foreshadowing of philosophical anthropology, hermeneutics and phenomenology. The realization of this goal, framed in the article through the substantiation of the concept of ‘mystery’ as a category of philosophical anthropology, and the comprehension of Dostoevsky’s work in the context of the ideas of modern philosophy, are the novelty of the article. We argue that Dostoevsky supplemented the categorical apparatus of philosophy with the concept of mystery, foreseeing the specifics of the language of description, which became relevant to the specifics of modern philosophical and anthropological discoveries and socio-ontological constructions. The research methods of the designated topic are dictated by the target setting. With the help of the comparative method, we demonstrate the relationship between the provisions of these modern philosophical trends with the provisions expressed in the literary and philosophical form by Dostoevsky. The comparison shows the historical cultivation of anthropological content in the hermeneutic-phenomenological direction of the study of consciousness, which in Dostoevsky’s works manifested itself in all the complexity of its own structure, not reduced only to reason and intellect. In addition, we reveal the phenomenon of unhappy consciousness found in ‘Notes from the Underground’ and make an assumption about intersubjective (pluralistic) idealism, which justifies the uniqueness of a person and the ‘non-fusion’ of his consciousness, which is not amenable to generalizations of logic and does not fit into the laws of nature. Pluralistic idealism is an original metaphysical concept, which Dostoevsky substantiates with his work and within which he finds the definition of man as a mystery. On the way to the development of ‘new horizons’, the article supplements the categorical apparatus of phenomenology, when in the categorical series (‘intentionality’, ‘epoché’, ‘natural attitude’, ‘phenomenological reduction’) a concept appears, expressed in an artistic and figurative form, – ‘mystery’.

Traditional Chinese Culture Transition into the Philosophy of the ‘New Era’
Wang Shuo,  Qiu Xin,  Zolotykh Lidiia
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.3.1-40-54

The global positive change in public opinion about China has been constantly growing in recent years. However, there is still some misunderstanding of China and the Chinese culture in the world due to ideological and cultural differences. The relevance of the development of theoretical innovations and their application in practice to disseminate traditional culture is an essential moment of state and public life in China. The article represents the natural transmission of traditional Chinese culture, the characteristics of which are clearly reflected within moral civilization and affirmed in the philosophy of a new stage of modern Chinese society development called the ‘New Era’. The importance of traditional spiritual culture of Chinese people in the process of realizing the value of human life towards the development of socialism whereas the Chinese specificity is shown. Historical and retrospective analysis determines the role of the stages of civilization and personalities in the formation of the spiritual values system of the Chinese nation. The semiotic method, as a basic one, is aimed at interpreting the elements of traditional Chinese culture, in particular the symbolic system. The article highlights the main spiritual characteristics and defines the meaning of the traditional Chinese culture in modern culture, defines the specific feature of the concept of ‘cultural gene’ as the Chinese spiritual culture, covering varied and differentiated content and characteristics of the Chinese national culture and defining the difference between the Chinese nation and other ethnic groups in the world. The value of harmonious and unified relations between a man and nature in the Chinese culture is considered using the example of bamboo, a typical traditional symbol that actively transfers traditional cultural information into modern everyday life in China and determines the continuity of the foundations of Chinese moral philosophy. The analysis of the expansion of Chinese cultural symbols to the west is given and the main problems in the work on the popularization of Chinese cultural symbols abroad are identified. The contemporary Chinese culture is represented as an open system that recreates a comprehensive hands-on process that effectively enhances the influence of the Chinese culture.

Individualism аnd Archaic Order оf Society In The 'Greek Worldview' оf Max Wundt
Trendelkamp Tim
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.3.1-55-74

In this article the Problem of the development of Individualism during the cource of the history of ancient Greece as described by Max Wundt is discussed. The development of Sophism is observed. Then, the philosophical Systems of Plato and Aristotle are being discussed as solutions to the problem of Greek individualism. Inner contradicitons in Max Wundt's argument in favour of Platonism are being discovered. Aristotelian arguments against the radical ascetic platonic system as described by Max Wundt are being given. The main material of this research are original texts of Max Wundt. The main subject of research is Max Wundts text "Greek Ideology". This text is read and analyzed to illucidate its inner philosophical systematic. The main method is thus the method of conceptual and systematic analysis. This analysis is combined with own commentary, to make an intuitive philosophical access easier for the reader. The aristotelian arguments against a radical ascetic style of culture and constitution of state are of surprising efficiency and sophisticated. These arguments have been studied and were better understood. The development of the problem of individualism in the course of the ancient Greek history can now be better understood. The concept of the naive archaic collectivism as explained by Max Wundt provides a further understanding of the motivating forces behind authoritarian and collectivist political systems. The meaning of the Greek tragedy and the works of Homer during the course of the development of Greek invdividualism can now be better understood. Inner contradicitions in the argumentation of Max Wundt have been discovered. Max Wundt gave an important text to better understand the development of ancient Greek individualism and the problems this development entails from his point of view.  The discussion between the point of view of Max Wundt, who is supporting Platonism, with the arguments of Aristotle, gave a lot of insight into possible arguments in favor of different solutions in overcoming 'Sophistic' phases of the historical development of socio-cultural entities. My further research will pay attention to the political philosophy of Aristotle, which is centered around the concept of the „Doctrine of the Mean“. I suppose that this study can supply some interesting new insights and arguments for questions of political philosophy of concern to the thinkers of the „Conservative Revolution“ in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. I also think that historical research of Max Wundt's concept of „naive archaic individualism“ could be of interest.  But perhaps it is just a working hypothesis to create a coherent philosophical picture of the development of ancient greece society and ancient greek thought.