Libmonster ID: EE-649
Author(s) of the publication: E. B. RASHKOVSKY

Comp., introduction. article and commentary by A. V. Zhuravsky, Moscow: Bibleisko-bogoslovskiy inst. St. Andrew the Apostle, 2000. XVI, 558 p.)

(c) 2002

One of the last articles of Archpriest Alexander Me (1935-1990) is called "The Difficult Path to Dialogue". Both the path and the process of dialogue between people who have different beliefs, different understanding of God, the universe, society and themselves is difficult, and it is difficult to determine one's own position in the dialogue when it is necessary to at least partially understand both oneself and the interlocutor. It is to understand, and not to turn into an object of attempts to appeal or, at the very least, revelations and pushings.

It is also difficult to understand the very value of dialogue: to know oneself through the other and the dignity of the other through one's own inner experience. And yet, dialogue between dissimilar people, dissimilar configurations of faith, thought, and culture is not quite sufficient, but still necessary and essential for universal survival. Especially when it comes to the dialogue between the two great world religions - Christianity and Islam, whose entire history of relations consists, for the most part, of centuries-old clashes, often fiery and bloody.

It is amazing how much knowledge and hard work is invested in this vital book, modestly called a textbook in the subtitle. In fact, it is an anthology of religious and religious studies thought of the second half of the XX century. Without it, all further discussions and research on the relationship between Christianity and Islam, the common and forever intertwined destinies of the three branches of Mediterranean monotheism - Judaism, Christianity and Islam (perhaps even Baha'i), the inseparable and at the same time inseparable destinies of religions, civilizations and peoples of the West and East-are no longer possible (at least in Russia).. Including the destinies of Russia, which reflect the connections and contradictions of dissimilar spiritual and civilizational worlds. In this context, I would like to remind you of the book "Khazar Dictionary" by Serbian writer Milorad Paciv, which is very controversial from a purely scientific point of view, but extremely subtle in terms of the most general religious intuitions, according to the logic of which the destinies of all three outwardly competing religions are internally interconnected and inseparable, and the Eurasian Steppe (in the broadest sense of the word - from the to the Trans-Urals) is one of the most important historical fields of interaction between the three sister religions.

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The textbook consists of three problem sections:

1. Official documents of the Catholic Church on interreligious dialogue, in particular between Christianity and Islam (none of the Christian churches was able to develop a more detailed and deliberate teaching on dialogue, as the Catholic Church, which has the most powerful intellectual and organizational potential, was able to do): documents of the Second Vatican Council; section on dialogue from the 1964 encyclical Ecclesiam suam (III, 56-114); full text of Pope John Paul II's speech at a meeting with young Muslims in Casablanca in 1985 (chap.

2. Works of Christian and Muslim authors on the problems of dialogue theology (Chapters 2-4 and - as an epilogue-the article by fr. Max Bormans '"Two Religions: Common Doctrinal foundations and Common ground in different social spheres").

3. A series of studies on the history of Christian-Muslim relations in the Islamic world, in the West, and in Russia (Chapters 5-7).

All materials are provided with careful comments by the compiler of the anthology-A.V. Zhuravsky.

I will outline some of the key points of the book, which are especially important for understanding the unique global situation that we are witnessing.

One of the major Christian texts of the second half of the 20th century devoted to the dialogue between Christianity and Islam is paragraph 3 of the Conciliar declaration "Nostra aetate", adopted on October 28, 1965. I will quote it in its entirety (translated from Latin by A.V. Zhuravsky): "The Church also respects Muslims who worship the one God, living and existent, merciful and omnipotent. To the Creator of heaven and earth, Who "spoke to men." To His institutions, even hidden ones, they wholeheartedly strive to obey, just as Abraham obeyed God, to whom the Muslim faith gladly refers itself. Although they do not recognize Jesus as God, they honor Him as a prophet; they also honor His virgin Mother, Mary, and sometimes even call upon Her piously. Moreover, they are waiting for the Day of Judgment, when God will reward all resurrected people. Therefore, they value the moral life and glorify God, especially through prayer, alms, and fasting.

Despite the fact that for centuries there have been many disputes and enmities between Christians and Muslims, the Holy Council calls on everyone to forget the past and sincerely strives for mutual understanding, as well as to jointly protect and strengthen social justice, moral values, peace and freedom for all people." 1

And in order to better understand the most general and still acutely modern context of this conciliar idea, let me quote again from paragraph 1 of the same declaration: "People expect religions to answer the hidden secrets of human existence, which now, as of old, deeply disturb the hearts of people: what is a person, what is the meaning and purpose of our life, what is good and what is sin, where does suffering come from and what is its meaning, where is the path to true happiness, what is death? Judgment and retribution after death, and finally, that there is the final and ineffable mystery that surrounds our life, from which we have become and towards which we are striving. " 2

Behind this seemingly purely theological judgment is a complex of enormous concerns and anxieties of modern humanity. And in this complex - the problem of centuries-old disputes between two monotheistic and theologically close, but so far from each other in their social and historical contents of religions.

However, even in terms of the similarity of theological contents, everything is not as simple as it may seem from the standpoint of purely external, doctrinal analysis. For it is difficult to imagine the possibility of a theoretical compromise between the strict consistency of Islamic monotheism, between the strict and consistent consistency of the Islamic idea of the absolute unity and transcendence of God (tawhid), on the one hand, and the tension of antinomies in Christian ideas about the humanity of God and the Divinity of man, on the other. Antinomies, on which all the centuries-old and eternally open Christological problems within Christianity itself are built 3 .

Moreover, the theological, textual, legal, and historical analysis of the spiritual content of Islam opens up all new possibilities for self-understanding Christianity as a deeply antinomic religion, insisting at the same time on the uniqueness of the Person of Christ, and on the universality and universality (catholicity) of salvation. Salvation

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However, Christianity sees it as a profound and most valuable task of the cosmohistorical process in its entirety .4 All the more so because, according to the basic concepts of Christianity, the principle of universal salvation laid down in the Divine plan for the world must in many respects be realized through this contradictory world itself: through the good will and moral choice of imperfect but "thirsty for truth" people living in it in the most diverse generations and peoples.5 For "the world is not saved from without." 6

The very historical conflict between Christianity and Islam (more precisely, Christianity, Islam and Judaism) within the general context of Mediterranean monotheism introduces antinomic features into the very process of world history. Here is what the Dominican scholar fr. Claude Geffret:

"Personally, I am increasingly inclined to believe that, despite his amazing lack of understanding of true Christianity, Islam is connected in its own way with the history of salvation and that, according to the mysterious plan of God, he is entrusted with a prophetic mission in relation to both Judaism and Christianity. It is like a wild animal that feeds on the roots of Judaism and Christianity at the same time. But at the same time, I am convinced that the confession of One God by all the sons of Abraham does not allow us to speak of one monotheism. There are three different monotheisms in the world. " 7

Indeed, despite the complexity of the spiritual and cultural dynamics of the Western world, Russia, South Asia, and the Far East, Islam, with its well-known straightforwardness and relative simplicity, carries one of the most important spiritual messages to the modern world. English Islamic scholar N. Daniel defines the essence of this message as "the instinct of transcendence" 8 , which opposes both political empty-mindedness and any voluntary or involuntary attempts to erode the idea of the presence in the world and in man of the eternally unsaid moment of Sanctity.

However, this spiritual opposition of Islam to the tendencies of our common European-American-Russian nihilism can also contain many destructive and disturbing moments.

And it's not just that nihilism itself (as events related to Islamic terrorism, Bin Laden, and other "heroes of our time" have shown so clearly) can be draped in the garb of fierce and vindictive "piety." The point is also that such necessary elements of the antinomic European - Christian tradition as introspection and continuous internal self-criticism (in this way, I think, we should consider the history of romantic aestheticism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, existentialism, and current ethnological and ecological teachings), breaking away from their original, European-Christian one Naturally, they easily become tools of external criticism, and sometimes - I'm not afraid to say-tools for mobilizing external hatred. Moreover, both the Islamic virtues of persevering in tradition (sabr) and rejecting precocious innovations contribute to this kind of transformation .9 By the way, this kind of transformation is not alien to the" Russian ideology " of the XIX-early XXI centuries. In fact, the entire theoretical discourse and mobilization fervor of the left - and right-wing radical publicists of our prolonged era of leaving the systems of state-serf guardianship over society and the individual were built on them, as evidenced by the works (in various theoretical aspects) of L. Lux, B. M. Paramonov, A. E. Etkind, I. G. Yakovenko and others.

This brings up one of the most important problems of the present and future Islamic-Christian dialogue, which, unfortunately, was not seriously reflected in the anthology of A. V. Zhuravsky, but the statement of which seems to me particularly urgent in the light of the tragic events of the beginning of the XXI century. I would describe it as a problem of "entry" and "exit", i.e., a reflection of the most significant (if we recall the category of M. M. Bakhtin) "semantic positions" 10, which determine the structural and content originality of both religions: Islam as the religion of the human community (ummah) and Christianity as the religion of the human person. Both sister religions, for all their closeness, in fact carry dissimilar internal socio-cultural accents, emphasizing dissimilar, mutually inseparable, although interrelated aspects of a single human reality.

Islam is easy to "enter", easy to convert ritually and intellectually 11 . Indeed, the heavens, the earth , and the calculated cycles of time all clearly attest to the truth of absolute Monotheism .12 But "enter" into Christianity (not in a childish or traditional way).

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it is very difficult for an opportunistic baptism, but for a conscious volitional decision of a mature person). This requires a process of repentance: not only remorse for their previous wrong actions and thoughts, but also - ideally-an internal transformation of the entire structure of feelings and thinking. The transformation is not only a one-time one, but also designed to accompany the Christian throughout his life's journey. It is no coincidence that in the texts of the New Testament and in Eastern patristics, repentance is designated by the Greek word metanoia-mind change!

The problem of "getting out"is no less complicated. In most modern societies, where the system of recording civil states has shifted from Church to state, and the Church has abandoned the principle of external coercion, it is easier to" get out " of Christianity: a person secures his own way out (or condemns himself to it) without attending prayer meetings and without beginning the Sacraments. Strictly speaking, there is no way out of Islam. Anyone who denies Islam in a semi-hidden form (the latter, by the way, is imputed to the English writer Salman Rushdie for his grotesque novel "Satanic Verses") is subject to the death penalty. Only conditional, external renunciation under the threat of death (taqiyya) is allowed, but this cannot be called a way out, it is only an act of forced guile in extremely cruel circumstances that can be imposed on a Muslim from the outside.

The institution of excommunication from Islam for acts that are blasphemous because of their extreme inhumanity does not exist. That is why, as the Iranian journalist Amir Tahiri pointed out, it is so easy for both the fiendish Islamists themselves and external haters of Islam to identify service to Islam with the most egregious crimes against humanity: whether it is the mass burning of people in movie theaters by Shiite fanatics on the eve of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, or the atrocity of September 11, 200113 .

However, this is not just about Islam itself, but also about the nature of the religious sphere as such. When the spiritual and moral vector of religious experience is conceived as something secondary and optional, and such things as the preservation of traditions or group expediency are put in the foreground, then, according to the German Islamic scholar X. Koifler, fierce conservative-clerical factions in any of the religions receive special advantages. For they are the most unqualified and skilful players in the field of nativist neuroses, sentiments, and passions; and all sorts of liberal or social - nativist factions can historically be reserved only for the pitiful role of doomed collaborators .14

Millions of people in the modern world, including the Islamic world, are tormented by fanatical religious excesses. The current experience of the peoples of such diverse regions as Pakistan, Kashmir, Afghanistan, the Southern Philippines, the North Caucasus, Palestine, and the Islamic diasporas of Western Europe is clear evidence of this...

If we talk about the materials of the anthology devoted to Russian perceptions of Islam, they seem to me very instructive and vital. As A.V. Zhuravsky writes in his articles " P. Chaadaev and Vladimir Solovyov: the Discovery of Islam " and " Islam in the Historical Destinies of Russia: Muslim East in the historiosophical concepts of Russian anti-Westerners", it was Russian Christian Westerners - in the person of Chaadaev and V. Solovyov, first of all-who tried to understand the national destinies through the idea of not only correlation with the destinies of the West, but also through understanding the spiritual value of the religious and civilizational diversity of the world, managed to appreciate the high, purely spiritual potential of Islam much more deeply than our nativists and anti-Westerners managed to do.

And this is not accidental. For the very nature of the religious sphere, not to mention the matter of religious studies, is such that the human face and human culture are more deeply and adequately revealed to us not so much in their particular dimensions as in the universal ones:

dissimilar forms of human thought and creativity are presented to the close spiritual and philosophical gaze as numerous facets of a single human reality. Moreover, as A.V. Zhuravsky rightly believes, Solovyov's general philosophical concept of unity, based not only on the European intellectual tradition, but also on the spiritual experience of Orthodoxy, has not yet lost its relevance for understanding the religious situation in today's Russia. A.V. Zhuravsky in this connection dwells on two points concerning the current problems of interreligious and interfaith dialogue.

"The first is due to the fact that the idea of dialogue is much more often distorted, if not false, forms in our country. For example, the idea of dialogue as a union of two against three-

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Tego: Let us, Jews and Orthodox, unite in the fight against Protestants. Or judgments like: dialogue is possible with Islam, but not with Jews, because the former honor the Virgin Mary, and the latter do not. Another option is when the dialogue is conceived as an alliance of fundamentalists of different confessions. Here the enemy is already outlined not only outside, but also among his own people. An idea that is particularly popular among modern Neo-Eurasians. Another option is to bring Orthodoxy and Islam closer together on the basis of their typological similarity. Two aspects are emphasized: the priority of collectivist values over individualistic ones, and the connection between spiritual and secular authorities.

And the second point. The creation of a democratic, rule-of-law state, which we are talking about so much now, is undoubtedly a necessary condition for the normal existence of a multi-confessional society, which we are. After all, these confessions, religions, and communities remain in this society. And the question is not only that the state will regulate relations between them, but also what resources they will find in their spiritual potential for coexistence, mutual understanding and communication. Solovyov's thought is an Orthodox answer to this question, an answer that, in my opinion, remains unclaimed for the time being. " 15

A negative confirmation of the latter thesis can serve as an article published in the anthology by O. Y. Bessmertnaya "Muslim Azef: deed", which is based on archival and printed primary sources reconstruction of the biography, one might say, of the unfortunate, restless and confused in the concepts of the Russian publicist Mahomet-Bek Khadzhetlashe. He tried to build his career using the whole complex of Russian contradictions of the first quarter of the last century. But, as O. Y. Bessmertnaya insists, the point is not in Khajetlash itself, but in the fact that where there is no personality, but only neurotic collisions of heterogeneous and irreconcilable social, political, cultural and confessional forces operate, there is room for social adventurism and imposture, and not for dialogue and the search for truth in oneself and others. in another person.

Thus, the entire anthology is not only a documentation and thematization of the dialogue, an analysis of its history, but also a certain introduction to the human hygiene of this dialogue, which is absolutely necessary both for the theologian, religious scholar or Orientalist, and for any educated person.


1 Declaration on the Church's attitude to Non-Christian Religions "Nostra aetate" / / Christians and Muslims... pp. 4-5.

2 Ibid., p. 3.

Ayub M. 3 Otnoshenie moslemov k khrististvu: nekotorye sovremennykh primery [The attitude of Muslims to Christianity: a few modern examples].

Geffre K. 4 Bogoslovskoe znachenie islamo - khristianskogo dialoga [The theological significance of the Islam-Christian dialogue].

5 Matthew 5: 6.

6 From the pastoral constitution "The Church in the modern world" - "Gaudium et spes", paragraph 82 / / Christians and Muslims ... p. 42.

Geffre K. 7 Theology of non-Christian religions 20 years after the Second Vatican Council / / Christians and Muslims ... p. 115.

Daniel N. 8 Islam in Christian thought in the West: from the beginning to 1914 / / Christians and Muslims ... p. 286.

9 For this problem of turning European theoretical self-criticism into external ideological criticism in the context of Islam, see: Waardenburg Zh. Zh. World religions from the point of view of Islam / / Christians and Muslims ... pp. 332-333.

Bakhtin M. M. 10 Estetika slovesnogo tvorchestva [Aesthetics of verbal creativity]. Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1979, p. 302.

Kerimov G. M. 11 Sharia and its social essence, Moscow: GRVL, 1978.

12 Qur'an 45: 2-4

Taheri A. 13 Islam Can't Escape Blame for Sept. 11 // Israfax. Montreal, 2001. V. 13. N 239. P. 10.

Kaufeler Н. 14 Die Dynamik islamischer Ideologien in der iranischer Revolution von 1978/79 // Sociologus. В., 1987, Neufolge, Jg. 37, Hf. 2. S. 112-117.

Zhuravsky A.V. 15 P. Chaadaev and V. Solov'ev... / / Christians and Muslims ... p. 450.


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