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of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  Philosophy of Religion: Analytic Researches, 2018, Vol. 2, No. 1.
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Philosophy of Religion: Analytic Researches, 2018, Vol. 2, No. 1.

Philosophy of Religion: Analytic Researches, 2018, Vol. 2, No. 1.



Pavel G. Nosachev. The Varieties of the Mystical: “Mystic” and “Mysticism” in the Western Esotericism of the late XIX – early XX century

The article put forward two key points. The first one point out the limitations of the ability to use general categories such as “mysticism” in the study of religion. The second one high-lights the uniqueness of the work of William James to the intellectual history of the twenti-eth century. On the example of western esotericism of the late XIX – early XX centuries the author shows the dynamics of the use of the terms “mystic” and “mysticism”, highlighting two historical periods – “before James” and “after James”. In the works of Eliphas Levi and Papus mysticism is defined as a set of irrational delusions, such vision is consistent with the enlightenment view of mysticism and is a common philosophical trend of the time. Publishing of James’s work changes the situation. Works of Rene Guenon, Aleister Crowley and Peter Ouspensky marked by the James’s vision of mysticism, in fact their works largely based on James. Thus, the author concludes that western esotericism is not a single spiritual tradition but the phenomenon defined by common cultural trends.

Keywords: western esotericism, mysticism, psychology of religion, intellectual history, W. James, E. Levi, Papus, R. Guenon, A. Crowley, P. Ouspensky

DOI: 10.21146/2587-683X-2018-2-1-5-29


Ian Almond. Divine Needs, Divine Illusions: Preliminary Remarks Toward a Comparative Study of Meister Eckhart and Ibn AlʼArabi

Author in his article compares the elements of the teachings of the Dominican preacher Meister Eckhart and the Sufi saint Ibn al-ʼArabi. The author selects some parallels: Oneness and multiplicity, “God” and “Deity”, the doctrine of the soul and its ability to know God, the way of knowing of God, the interpretation of Holy Scripture. Behind the superficial similarities of the teachings of these two thinkers, the author reveals some radical divergences. The author also comes to the conclusion that, in spite of the general moments of mysticism of Ibn al-ʼArabi and Meister Eckhart, the way to God and the knowledge of God are considered by these thinkers in different ways.
Keywords: Meister Eckhart, Ibn AlʼArabi, mysticism, Sufism, knowledge of God, soul, hermeneutics

DOI: 10.21146/2587-683X-2018-2-1-30-49


Igor G. Gasparov. “Sensus divinitatis” and “Mystical Perception”: Two Models of Epistemic Justification of Religious Beliefs

The article deals with the problem of epistemic justification of religious beliefs. The autor considers two accounts of epistemic justification which were proposed by two influential contemporary philosophers of religion, Alvin Plantinga and William Alston. According to Plantinga, religious beliefs can acquire their justification due to a reliable belief-forming mechanism called sensus divinitatis. According to Alston, justification of religious beliefs is the function of doxastic practices some of which can use mystical experience as their source. It has been demonstrated that despite of the essential differences the proposed justification models shares some of their charaterics, including of some common shortages. In particular, none of them is able to account for genuiness of epistemic contact with God as the object of knowledge without the reference to the reliablity of the belief-forming mechanisms through which the cognizer forms the beliefs in question. This means that both accounts are vulnerable to the problem of “epistemic circularity”. The author proposes a virtue epistemological solution to the problem. According to this solution, a double determination – first, from the part of God who being the supreme good and truth does attract the will of the cognizer, and, second, from the part of the epistemic virtues that move the cognizer towards the truth and away from the error, – could impart to the religious beliefs a positive epistemic status.

Keywords: Epistemology of Religion, Virtue Epistemology, Doxastic Voluntarism, Sensus Divinitatis

DOI: 10.21146/2587-683X-2018-2-1-50-66

Stephen Grimm. The Logic of Mysticism

I argue that mystical experience essentially involves two aspects: (a) an element of direct encounter with God, and (b) an element of union with God. The framework I use to make sense of (a) is taken largely from William Alston’s magisterial book Perceiving God. While I believe Alston’s view is correct in many essentials, the main problem with the account is that it divorces the idea of encountering or perceiving God from the idea of being united with God. What I argue, on the contrary, is that because our experience of God is an experience of a relationship-seeking, personal being, it brings with it an important element of union that Alston overlooks.

Keywords: Christianity, epistemology of religious belief, features of mystical experience, mysticism, perceiving God, philosophy of religion, union with God, William Alston

DOI: 10.21146/2587-683X-2018-2-1-67-81


Kirill V. Karpov. The Basic Concepts of Bonaventure’s Mystical Theology (The Triple Way)

In this paper I present a summary of Bonaventure’s treatise The Triple Way (as it often called, a sum of mystical theology). The main aim of this presentation is to analyze the synthesis of the previous spiritual and mystical tradition, proposed by Bonaventure in the treatise. I argue that Bonaventure laid in the foundation of his synthesis the scheme of the hierarchy of celestial beings of Ps.-Dionysius (purification – illumination – perfect union). The two other schemes are resting on this one: practice of divine reading (meditation – prayer – contemplation), and the way of monastic progression (beginners – progressing – perfect ones). Justifying the synthesis of these schemes, Bonaventura is building a kind of guide to the mystical ascent to God. Thus, in the treatise Bonaventure summed up the Western Christian spiritual traditions that existed before the 13th century, which he reworked into a new spiritual direction, the source of which was the type of spirituality that was laid by St. Francis of Assisi. The core of the new direction was Bonaventure’s idea of theology as a true wisdom.

Keywords: mystical theology, the triple way, spiritual practices, meditation – prayer – contemplation, beginners – progressing – perfect ones, purification – illumination – perfect union, godlikeness, Bonaventure

DOI: 10.21146/2587-683X-2018-2-1-82-93

Bonaventura. The Triple Way (The Kindling of Love) (Transl. from Latin and Comments by Kirill Karpov)

Andrey A. Lukashev. “I am the Truth”: Mahmud Shabistari’s and Muhammad Iqbal’s Points of View

The article deals with, maybe, the most important phrase in the Tasawwuf history, said by Mansur al-Hallaj (244/858–309/922) – “I am The Truth” (anā l-Ḥaqq). These words could be one of the reasons he was executed. This death had a great deal of symbolism from the Sufi point of view, because the Sufi’s aim is to annihilate himself for the sake of the Truth. The death of the al-Hallajian’s body was the result of his mystic annihilation (fana) that was expressed in the words “I am The Truth”. It’s difficult to find an author in the history of Tasawuf, who would avoid to comment these words of al-Hallaj, not saying a word about the opponents of Sufism who used the saying to accuse the sufis of selfidolization and idolization of the created world. Mahmud Shabistari, one of the outstanding medieval thinkers also could not ignore in his masterpiece “The Rose Garden of Mystery” the problem of The God and human being relations, stated by the Hallajian words. The Shabistari’s point of view differs from the al-Gazalian’s and Ibn Arabian’s ones, so it raises the question of the reasons for it’s difference. The poem by Mahmud Shabistari itself attracted an interest of Islamic scholars and thinkers. One of the most recent appeals to the poem was the reply on it written by Muhammad Iqbal (1877–1938) and named “The New Rose Garden of Mystery”. Alike Shabistari he dedicates the Hallajian words a special chapter, which introduces his own alternative point of view at the meaning of the words, said by al-Hallaj. The text of the article contains translations from Persian of relevant chapters from the poems by Muhammad Iqbal and Mahmud Shabistari.

Keywords: Islam, sufism, Shabistari, Iqbal, poetry, philosophy, fana, anihilation, The Truth, “I”

DOI: 10.21146/2587-683X-2018-2-1-102-114

“I am the Truth” in “The Mirrors” of Shabistari and Iqbal (Transl. from Persian and Comments by Andrey Lukashev)


Petr B. Mikhaylov. Mysticism and Theology in the Legacy of Henri de Lubac

The review is devoted to recently published B. Dumas’s book “On the Ways into the Inner Silence with Henri de Lubac, a Man of Spiritual Life and Theologian”. Author proposes an original essay containing twelve special points, a kind of theological facets of de Lubac’s thought, that have to show a diversity of his ideas, as well as a genuine centricism, concern-ing a close interaction between thought and contemplation, theology and mysticism
Keywords: Henri de Lubac, the II Vatican Council, mysticism, theology, Jesuits theological school, theological facets, Catholic theology of the 20-th c.

DOI: 10.21146/2587-683X-2018-2-1-122-131

Alexey V. Appolonov. From Böhme to Hegel and Back

The article presents a critical analysis of Cecilia Muratori’s book “The First German Philosopher”, dedicated to the reception and interpretation of Jacob Böhme’s thought in the works of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. The author tries to evaluate the importance of this book for Russian scientific community and to outline the prospects for further researches in this field, taking into account Muratori's results. In addition, the author highlights the fact that, from historical point of view, some of Muratori’s conclusions may seem too radical and / or in need of additional evidences (in particular, this is the case of the question of how direct and immediate Böhme’s influence on Hegel’ philosophy could be).

Keywords: history of philosophy, Hegel, Böhme, mysticism, dialectics, German romanticism, German idealism

DOI: 10.21146/2587-683X-2018-2-1-132-141

Nikolay A. Redin. Mystical and Ascetic Heritage of St. John Cassian: a New Stage in Modern Research

In the paper, I consider the mystical theology of St. John Cassian on the basis of the proceedings of the Third International Patristic Conference of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Theological Institute for Postgraduate Studies, dedicated to St. John Cassian and the monastic tradition of the Christian East and West. I am making an attempt to analyze the ascetic tradition, which comes from St. Cassian, her relations with the mysticism of Evagrius Pontus and Origen, as well as an analysis of the concepts inherent exclusively to the Marseilles presbyter. To solve this problem, I consider such concepts of the Cassian heritage as perfect love, friendship, dispassion, purity of heart, mysticism of ecstasy, mysticism of love, fiery prayer, dematerialization, etc.

Keywords: St. John Cassian, Evagrius Pontus, mysticism, theology, asceticism, contemplation, prayer, ecstasy, dematerialization

DOI: 10.21146/2587-683X-2018-2-1-142-149