First associations with Aleister Crowley usually go between satanist and weird occultist, less people know him as one of fathers of modern magic and New Age, still less know that Crowley studied and practices yoga, and was one of first western practitioners who tried to do it rationally and methodologically.
When I first met this connection Crowley and yoga, I was surprised because we, religious studies, philosophy people usually don’t really care about all those occultists, magicians, and people like…
Crowley amused me with his Scientific or at least scientific-like approach to the discipline. (more…)
A prominent researcher of religion Igor Kozlovskyi was kidnapped by Russian terrorists in Donetsk two days ago. After the kidnapping unknown people had broken into his appartment, stole his collection of antiques, computer, appliences and documents.
His wife Valentyna who had a telephone talk with those people was told that Kozlovskyi had been arrested for “wrong correspondence in Facebook”.
Later she found out that he was put into a MGB cellar.
MGB (a Donbas terrorist analogue of KGB with similar methods) has not confirmed Kozlovskyi’s arrest.
The kidnapping of Igor Kozlovskyi took place after a demonstration against “sects” (all non-Moscow Patriarchy denominations and religions) and a night blowing up of Lenin monument in Donetsk. Some over people with possible pro-Ukrainian position were captured as well, a volunteer coordinator Maryna Cherenkova among them.
Igor Kozlovskyi (a honorary citizen of the Oklahoma State, by the way) is known scholar and public figure, author of many books and organizer of several public initiatives. After Russian invasion, Kozlovskyi was not able to leave Donetsk because he nursed his sick son.
The so-called “DNR (Donetsk Peoples Republic)” terrorist organization has not released any comments on the matter yet.
We all pray for Igor and ask for any help and information in his cause.
UPD 03.02.2016: today a Russian historian, phD V.Solovei has informed citing his private sources in Donetsk, that 60-year-old Kozlovskyi might be charged with the “creation of armed band for murder and robbery”.
XXIst century witnesses a strange phenomenon – Orthodox Christianity cooperating with its two thousand year old enemy – paganism. Though co-existence, symbiosis, and cooperation of Christianity with paganism seems theologically impossible, or, at least, contradicting to common sense and logic, it does develop in Russia, though the leaders of Moscow Patriarchy condemn and deny it ex cathedra.
Neo-pagan guru Vedaman Trehlebov is the founder of one of most hilarious “dietetics evolution” theories ever made
Esoteric and religious systems have always paid strong attention to sacred physiology, “thin level” body practices, and food regulations; New Age and neo-paganism are not exception, but rarely in the history of humanity had these disciplines achieved such burlesque and ugly forms as in modern Russian neo-paganism.
Historically, Russian sectarian movements have always been eager to all kinds of self-mutilations like skoptsi or flagellants and other extreme body-damaging practices.
Modern Russian neo-paganas are as eager to body experiments as their ancestors have been two, three, or four centuries ago. Self-flagellation hurts and it has lost its charm after rationalism and communism eras; and with their pretensions for the Vedic heritage, and knowledge of Ultimate Truth derived from ancient Arians, Russian neo-pagans focus their body-experimentation vigor (thus providing unlimited number of lols for Internet community) in the sphere of sacred physiology and the achievement of healthy and happy life via food regulation and what can be called “sacred dietetics” – a number of “hypothesises” or “sacred truthes” on proper dietetics for spiritual growth.
The nineties have witnessed a thrive of all kinds of body cleaning (chistka) and “thin body cleaning” procedures, urinotherapy, hypnosis-from-TV healers and the like. Still, the real boom of sacred dietology has sprung in late 2000s. (more…)
Unfortunately, it’s not a joke – there’s a strong movement in Russian Orthodoxy dreaming of the “holy Orthodox tsar”. Putin is the best candidate at the moment.
Russian-Ukrainian war is showing new mass manipulation tools and the most interesting among them for researchers of religion is Russian Orthodox Extremism (ROE) ideology. Mass media attention concentrates on Islamic extremism, and pays little attention to this new type of religious extremism, which is much more dangerous due to couple reasons:
Russians have nukes
Russians fight much better than Jihaddists
When in late 2000s the Russian Orthodox Church communities began creating military and patriotic groups providing youth with combat sports and martial arts education, no foreign observer could predict where this trend could lead.
To understand what this youth has being training for years we need to read the catechism of “Eurasian Youth Union”, which says: “we are the empire-builders of newest type, and we don’t agree for anything less than the power over the world”.
In their revanchism attempts Russian powers actively try to draw religious factor (more…)
We have written about the rising phenomenon of Russian Orthodox Extremism already, and to illustrate its practical implementation here is a brief sketch of its most dreadful implementation – a band called Russian Orthodox Army (ROA) – savage heavily armed terrorist group operating in the Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine’s Donbas. This regiment is known (and feared in Donbas) for kidnappings, persecutions, killings, and tortures of believers of other than Russian Orthodoxy religions. Ukrainian Orthodox, Catholics, Greek-Catholics, and Protestants are in the top of ROA’s hit-list. (more…)
We cannot precisely tell if ISCKON is shrinking or growing because of India where everything is so difficult to count, and even if counted, is hardly worth relying. For the purposes of religious studies we assume the number of ISKCON devotees being either at standstill or slightly moving in any way. A problem of much greater interest is profound loss of ISKCON’s positions in the West, ISKCON’s failure to inculturate into Western civilization.
On one hand, it looks like ISKCON is slowly growing due to new converts flow in India and post-USSR countries and this growth is powerful enough to substitute the losses in USA and Europe.
Another thing we can say for sure — ISKCON hasn’t passed the test of inculturation into Western World. The Hare Krishna movement’s fast rise in USA and Europe was co-working great with the 60-s’ and 70-s thrive for spirituality and counterculture, but since that times lots of ISKCON temples in USA have been closed and many will soon transform into India’s cultural and religious centers, sometimes moving far from original ISKCON theology and organization.
Globally, after its popularity peak in early seventies Hare Krishna movement becomes more and more marginal, comprehended more like a bright and recognizable cultural phenomenon with current spiritual and religious influence on global society close, but not equal to zero. (more…)
“Русь” = “Russia” in the reality of Stepan Komarov, a neo-pagan Russian marine, whose shooting in the Orthodox church of Yuzhno-Sahalinsk took two lives
Russia’s attempts to establish neo-paganism and/or its blend with Russian Orthodox Christianity as a political religion constitutes a great danger for all Russia’s neighbors, both for post-USSR ones and, as the annexation of Crimea has shown, for European countries with great Russian-speaking population.
The signs that Russian powers had been building an aggressive ethnic-oriented pseudoreligion appeared in the early nineties.
Serious researchers didn’t pay attention to laughable ideology of imperial paganism (more…)
Check out those 5 unique wooden churches in Lviv region of Ukraine, which have preserved their authentic look and style.
Ukrainian wooden church architecture of XVI-XVII centuries has no analogues in the whole world. Western Ukrainians built churches in a log construction technique and covered them with a sloping roofs made of wedged figured slats, called shingle (гонта, гонт, pronounced “gont”). Good-quality shingle roof can stand a test of more than 100 years under harsh climate. This technique has been used till late XIX century when tin roofs became popular due to emerging iron sheet industry. Most representatives of shingle architecture haven’t survived wars and fire, but still a visitor to Lviv region can find those beautiful remnants of wooden temple world. (more…)
Great monasteries and ancient churches dominate the skyline of modern Kyiv. Like centuries ago, those majestic buildings shine with their golden domes creating unique atmosphere of Ukraine’s capital. Come’n’discover the most famous churches of Kyiv, their history, and mysterious legends
Old Europe believed that temples determine face and soul of the city. Much of Kyiv’s sacred architecture had been destroyed during wars that tore this land quite often in the past, but many unique temples built on those extremely complex terrains have survived and add their glory to Kyiv’s picturesque scenery. (more…)