190121, Saint Petersburg,
Soyuza Pechatnikov str., 16
The article traces how the image of the Ainu formed by Japanese intellectuals in 18th and early 19th centuries influenced the formation of Japan’s policy towards this ethnic minority in the Meiji period (1868-1912).
This paper focuses on the theory and practice of jihād in the Mamlūk Sultanate, especially
during the Circassian period (1382-1517). Some ideas of Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328), Ibn Khaldūn
(d. 1406), Ibn Kathīr (d. 1373), Ibn al-Naḥḥās (d. 1411), as well as scholars of the pre-
Mamlūk epoch are taken in consideration. The authors explore the issue of understanding
jihād as the responsibility of the community (farḍ al-kifāya) and/or personal duty (farḍ al-
ʿayn) and the role of jihād ideology in the inner- and international Mamlūk politics.
This paper discusses Russian and Iranian economic activity and interests in Syria and focuses on two macroblocks. First of all, it seems to us important to highlight the level of trade and economic cooperation between Russia and Syria, on the one hand, and Iran and Syria, on the other. If for Iran’s economic relations with Syria, it should be noted that although the country has long been one of the top priority targets for Iranian trade and the trade interactions between the two sides were on the rise before 2011, the Syrian Crisis caused bilateral trade to fall drastically. However, Russian economic interests in Syria do not look so obvious and convincing. If we talk about the Russian economic presence in Syria after the Arab spring, it would be more correct to consider the interests of individual Russian businessmen and representatives of the economic elite in specific projects in Syria. Also, this work will be devoted to the difficulties faced by Moscow and Tehran in the implementation of their economic and investment projects in Syria and prospects of cooperation and competition between Russia and Iran. Given the close partnership between Iran and Russia in supporting Bashar al-Assad government, this paper also takes a look on the prospects of economic cooperation or rivalry between Tehran and Moscow in Syria and shows that no mechanism has yet devised by the two parties to manage their competition and promote cooperation in Syria’s economic sphere. Of note, this paper deals exclusively with Iran and Russia’s non-military economic activities in Syria and does not cover issues like arms exports or military aids of the two countries to the Syrian government.
This paper discusses Russian and Iranian economic activity and interests in Syria and focuses on two macroblocks. First of all it seems to us important to highlight the level of trade and economic cooperation between Russia and Syria, on the one hand, and Iran and Syria, on the other. If for Iran’s economic relations with Syria, it should be noted that although the country has long been one of the top priority targets for Iranian trade and the trade interactions between the two sides were on the rise before 2011, the Syrian Crisis caused bilateral trade to fall drastically. However, Russian economic interests in Syria do not look so obvious and convincing. If we talk about the Russian economic presence in Syria after the Arab spring, it would be more correct to consider the interests of individual Russian businessmen and representatives of the economic elite in specific projects in Syria. Also, this work will be devoted to the difficulties faced by Moscow and Tehran in the implementation of their economic and investment projects in Syria and prospects of cooperation and competition between Russia and Iran. Given the close partnership between Iran and Russia in supporting Bashar al-Assad government, this paper also takes a look on the prospects of economic cooperation or rivalry between Tehran and Moscow in Syria and shows that no mechanism has yet devised by the two parties to manage their competition and promote cooperation in Syria’s economic sphere. Of note, this paper deals exclusively with Iran and Russia’s non-military economic activities in Syria and does not cover issues like arms exports or military aids of the two countries to the Syrian government.
The deeds and exploits of St. Lalibäla who was the most famous king of the Ethiopian Zagwe dynasty are still awaiting to be published in full. To the modern researchers this important medieval text is available only in excerpts published by J. Perruchon in the 19th century. The author argues that Lalibäla’s Deeds is far from being an Ethiopian folklore. They comprise valuable authentic data, e.g. the persecution of Lalibäla at the royal court, his escape into the desert, his marriage, his subsequent becoming a king, the organization of his army, taxation policies and history of construction of the famous monolithic churches in the centre of Lasta. The author also argues that the title wäldä nägaśi, which is mentioned in his Deeds as well as its parallel wld/ngšy-n found in Middle Sabaean inscriptions is a sufficient evidence in favour of the military and political continuity between the Aksumite and Zagwe epochs. The Lalibäla’s Deeds comprise many minute details about the everyday life, which suggests that the Christians of Ethiopia had a centuries long oral tradition of preserving and transmitting historical information.
The present article is aimed at reviewing the archival materials of the prominent Russian specialist in Caucasian studies Evgeniy Mikhailovich Shilling (1892 - 1953) that are currently stored in the scientific and historical archive of the State Museum of the History of Religion (hereinafter referred to as GMIR).
This article seeks to introduce into comparative folkloristics an epic tradition of the Muong, one of minority groups in Northern Vietnam. More precisely, it deals with the epic cycle of ‘The Birth of the Earth and Water’ which represents an essential part of the Muong ritual narratives. This cycle was presumably created no later than fifteenth century and intended for practicing mourning rituals. Though in 2015 ritual narratives of the Muong were recognized as national intangible cultural heritage in Vietnam, the Muong epics remain practically unknown and unexplored in Western scholarship.
The article discuss the most common epic themes such as creation, man’s origin and reproduction, acquisition of culture, deeds and fights of the main culture heroes through a number of motifs represented in tales constituting the Muong epic cycle. Comparative analysis of these themes and motifs in global and regional perspectives reveals obvious parallels with their representations in the world folklore as well as some specific variations and local links.
The “New Silk Road” or “One Belt–One Road” (also “Belt and Road”) is a global project ini- tiated by China, the implementation of which affects various areas of development of many states and regions of the world, including security issues, socio-cultural, political, diplomatic and civilisational aspects.
A total of 173 agreements with 125 states and 29 international organisations have been signed under this initiative. The project is gaining momentum every year and attracts ever more researchers who analyse the economic, political, and cultural sides of the project and the interaction of the different countries and regions with China within the framework of this global enterprise. This article assesses the participation of five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan) in the Chinese pro- ject and aims to define the mutual interests of the parties on the basis of economic indica- tors (i.e., ESI, RCA, TDC, and G-L indexes).
historical traditions. It is known to exist in the Ge’ez language and constitutes a part of
the compilation corpus based upon the so called magic or protective scrolls. There are
two versions of the vita of St. Sisynnios. The shorter one is found in the Synaxarion,
whereas the longer one is included in a corpus of hagiographical compilations “The
Lives of the Martyrs”. The text of the legend comprises various stories based on real facts
from the Saint’s life. However only some of them have been preserved intact; others
have been re-told. Until recently have been discovered only three redactions of the vita.
A new redaction recently discovered by the author of this article is of a paramount
importance since it changes our view on how this legend did exist indeed in the
Ethiopian cultural tradition.
The article analyzes the issues of the processes of localization of Vietnamese Catholicism, namely the issues of the cult of ancestors among Vietnamese Catholics, the veneration of national saints, canonized in 1988 by the Holy See, as well as the phenomenon of the "Vietnamese" Our Lady of La Vang, which was re-imaged in 1990-s as an Asian woman dressed in the Vietnamese traditional dress áo dài by American emigrant Nhan Van. This article examines history of the La Vang Sanctuary, the process of Vietnamization of Our Lady of La Vang and the attitude of the Holy See toward the indigenization of the religion among Vietnamese Catholics. This image is very popular among the Vietnamese Catholics diaspora in USA, where about 20 parishes and shrines are consecrated to Our Lady of La Vang. In 16-17 centuries the Chinese Rites Controversy became the largest controversy in the history of Catholic Church, but the attitude of the Holy See toward the cult of ancestors changed in 20 century, especially after the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). Today Vietnamese Catholics have the permission of the Holy See to venerate their ancestors.
The article deals with participation of representatives of Iranian traditional middle class (bazari) in political struggle, taking establishment and evolution of Mujahedin-i Khalq-i Iran, one of the most influential militant and political organizations of the second half of XXth century in Iran, as a case study.
This chapter is dedicated to the phenomena of Our Lady of La Vang, the most famous image of Virgin Mary in Vietnam. The largest center of Catholic pilgrimage in modern Vietnam is situated in Central Vietnam, in La Vang, where in 1798, according to the legend, Virgin Mary appeared to Catholics, suffering from persecution. In 1990-s Our Lady of La Vang was re-imaged as Vietnamese woman, wearing Vietnamese traditional dress áo dài. This article examines history of the La Vang Sanctuary, the process of Vietnamization of Our Lady of La Vang and the attitude of the Holy See toward the indigenization of the religion among Vietnamese Catholics. This image is very popular among the Vietnamese Catholics diaspora in USA, where about 20 parishes and shrines are consecrated to Our Lady of La Vang. Although it was reported about another Marian apparition, in Trà Kiệu (Quang Nam province), neither Trà Kiệu nor image of Our Lady of Trà Kiệu are not so famous. I argue that popularity and significance of the Our Lady of La Vang are due to several historical, social and cultural factors, and this image is an important manifestation of the Vietnamese Catholics identity.
This publication presents the first translation into Russian of the essay “On the [Favorable] Moment [to Display] Reasonableness” (“Shinkiron”) written by a famous Japanese artist and intellectual, an adherent of Dutch studies Watanabe Kazan (1793-1841). This essay was written in 1838 as a response to the shooting attack on the United States trade ship “Morrison”, which delivered shipwrecked Japanese sailors, by Japanese government in the previous year (even though the author didn’t know all details concerning the incident). The main appeal of the author is to display reasonableness, that is to stop shying away from the changing world and to realize Japan’s situation in it, and for this end to turn to Western learning whose adherent the author was, and to reconsider the policy toward foreign vessels. In his essay, Watanabe Kazan pays great attention to Great Britain and Russia by presenting these two countries as greatest world powers but comparing them on several characteristics. In general, the author shows deep knowledge of the global situation and world history, making comparisons between Japan and other countries of the world, while his essay is indicative of the development of Western studies in 1830s’ Japan. The preface represents the details of the attack on the “Morrison” and the creation of the essay. The spread of “The Tale of a Dream in Bojutsu Year” written by Kazan’s friend and like-minded person Takano Choei led to punitive measures by the government against advocates of Western learning. The manuscript of “Shinkiron” was discovered during the search at Kazan’s house and the author was sentenced to home arrest and committed suicide two years later.
The overview of E.M. Shilling’s materials stored in the scientific and historical archive of the GMIR demonstrates that in total they represent a complete block of field observations made by the researcher during his trips to the Caucasus in 1929-1940.
The long-standing tradition of tattooing plays a significant rôle in the Berber culture in the countries of Maghreb. Although the tattooing according to Islamic authorities is prohibited in the Holy Qur'an, the Muslim communities of Northern Africa took a different view regarding this issue. Tattooing became an important part of the Berber popular culture due to the local beliefs in the power of sacred symbols as well as that in the baraka (the belief in the sacred and blessing powers inherent in living and non-living objects). The process of tattooing itself, the actual tattoos, the pigments, the instruments used, such as needles, etc., were believed to have the power to affect the lives of people, protect them from the evil eye, the vicissitudes of fate and evil spirits (genies). The tradition of tattooing is restricted to the female part of the Northern African traditional societies. They can be applied almost exclusively to the females and by the females. They comprise a system of specific signs, which are thought to be instrumental for transmitting wisdom and experience from one generation to another. The article provides a study of major symbols, techniques used to apply them to human skin and their meanings of the Amazigh tattoos.
The international sanctions has been affecting Iran’s economy for the last forty years. During this time, their pressure on Iran’s economy was uneven. The most sensitive measures of economic pressure against Tehran was applied in 2010 – 2015. They cut the country from the international banking and insurance system. Tehran’s access to foreign investments, advanced technologies and international sea carriage services was restricted. Its options to sell oil in external markets and import gasoline were also limited. Consequently, the adoption of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, so called nuclear deal) signed between Tehran and the international group of negotiators in 2015 was welcomed by the Iranian population and large part of the country’s elite. This document was lifting most of the previously imposed sanctions and gave Iran hopes for less troubled economic development.
Yet, the decision of US president, Donald Trump, voiced in Spring 2018 to leave the JCPOA change the situation around Iran once again. The renewal of US sanction pressure on Tehran caused serious concerns among the international community. The authorities of the EU, Russia and China are rightfully worried that the re-introduction of the US sanctions can create difficulties for doing business with Tehran and provoke the Iranian elite to consider options for Tehran to leave the nuclear deal. According to these concerns, sanctions might have negative impact on the domestic situation in Iran causing the growth of social unrest and strengthening of the position of conservative forces less prepared for the dialogue with the outer world. These concerns got only strengthened when, in November 2018, Trump imposed oil trade embargo on Tehran (with the provision of oil sanctions waiver for only eight countries and limited period of six months). Yet, these pessimistic scenarios should be taken with a grain of salt. Some of the current events and past experience clearly demonstrate that the re-imposed sanctions might become less effective than expected by the US.