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This area collects information about a wide range of books, monographies and edited volumes concerning the countries and themes relevant to PECOB

 
 
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The New Age of Russia: Occult and Esoteric Dimensions

edited by:  Birgit Menzel, Michael Hagemeister, and Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal München
published by: Berlin: Verlag Otto Sagner, 2011
pp: 451
ISBN: 978-3-86688-198-3
price: € 48

Book's frontpage

Keynote lecture: Dr. Prof. Wouter J. Hanegraaff (University of Amsterdam)

The historical approach plays a highly important role in the study of mystical and esoteric movements as all other approaches are to an extent reliant on it. The extraordinary importance of historical analyses requires, however, special attention. It is well-known that over the course of the history of western culture mystical and esoteric phenomena have been to a great extent excluded from the cultural mainstream and have often been oppressed by dominant ‘exoteric’ discourses.

 

Volume review

Occult and esoteric ideas became deeply embedded in Russian culture long before the Bolshevik Revolution. After the Revolution, occult ideas were manifested in literature, the humanities and the sciences as well. Although the Soviet government discouraged and eventually prohibited metaphysical speculation, that same government used the Occult for its own purposes and even funded research on it. In Stalin's time, occultism disappeared from public view, but it revived clandestinely in the post-Stalin Thaw and became a truly popular phenomenon in post-Soviet Russia. From cosmism to shamanism, from space exploration to Kabbalah, from neo-paganism to science fiction, the field is wide. Everyone interested in the occult and esoteric will appreciate this book, because it documents their continued importance in Russiaand raises new issues for research and discussion. 
 

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