Social ministry in Buddhism: analysis of relevant concepts

Pavel Dmitrievich Lenkov PhD of History, assistant professor, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, Department of the history of religions and theology (naberezhnaya reki Moiki, 48/20, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 191186)
p-lenkov@yandex.ru

Lenkov P. D. Social ministry in Buddhism: analysis of relevant concepts, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2019, vol. 8, pp. 136–159.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2019-00008

Language: Russian

This article tries to answer the question, whether the concept of «social ministry» is applicable in the case of Buddhism. The article analyzes some examples of the consideration of «gift/giving» and «social ministry» in the Buddhist canonical and post-canonical texts, and draws a comparison of the ideas of social ministry in Buddhism and Christianity is made. Since the basic doctrinal points of Buddhism radically different from the Christian, the Christian concept of social ministry and comparable Buddhist concepts differ considerably. Thus, the social ministry in Buddhism is not understood as a service to God. However, the social service in the sense of charity and works of mercy has always been present in Buddhism. Conceptually, the Buddhist «social ministry» can be seen as a doctrine of gift/giving and the ministry of an exemplary Buddhist ruler. These concepts are considered on the basis of Buddhist canonical and post-canonical texts, namely the sutta «Lion’s roar of the world-holder» from the Pali Canon and Vasubandhu’s treatise «Encyclopedia of the Abhidharma» («Abhidharmakosha», 4–5th centuries). The Mahayana ideal of the Bodhisattva and the concept of great compassion (mahakaruna) also had a significant impact on charity and mercy in the countries of the spread of Buddhism. Between Buddhism and Christianity, if we consider them in the aspect of social ministry and charity, there are also similarities. First and foremost is the idea of compassion and mercy towards those who suffer. Both the Christian and Buddhist texts say about the value of such actions and the reward for them.

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Key words: social ministry, Buddhism, Christianity, gift, giving, model of society, Dharma, chakravartin, Mahayana, great compassion (mahakaruna)

URL: http://rcs-almanac.ru/en/lenkov-2019-en/

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The religious policy of Septimius Sever in the light of anti-Christian persecution

Alekaey Vital’evich Kargaltsev PhD in History, senior lecturer, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia (naberezhnaya reki Moiki, 48/20a, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 191186)
akargaltsev@herzen.spb.ru

Kargaltsev A. V. The religious policy of Septimius Sever in the light of anti-Christian persecution, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2018, vol. 7, pp. 168–181.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2018-00009

Language: Russian

The name of Emperor Septimius Severus is associated with the tradition of local anti-Christian persecution (202–203), when an edict prohibiting Christian and Jewish proselytism appeared. After that many believers suffered: Perpetua, Felicitas and their comrades in Carthage, Origen’s father, the rhetoric Leonidas, Potamina and Basilides in Alexandria and others — as evidenced by the authentic hagiographic tradition and the messages of Christian historians. However, a detailed consideration of the circumstances of the death of Christian heroes causes considerable difficulties for researchers. If the martyrdom of the Carthaginian Christians is respectively well dated, the time of the death of Alexandrian comrades has been longly discussed in the scientific literature. Although formally Christianity at the beginning of the 3rd century continued to be a «forbidden religion», notable outbreaks of persecution rarely occurred, and the dramatic, according to Christian historians, change in the policy of Septimius Severus regarding the Church deserves special attention. The influence of Eastern cults on the emperor (Dio. LXXVI, 13, 2) or of his fears of possible unrest in the east of the Empire are usually mentioned. The article analyzes the extant evidence of Septimius Severus in the Roman and Christian traditions and answers the questions about the causes and circumstances of the anti-Christian persecution. A detailed analysis of the historiography on the subject is given, with diametrical divergence in the positions of individual researchers being noted. The main attention is paid to the testimony of Tertullian, who, according to the author, in his treatise «On Baptism» gave instructions to catechumens who were in real danger.

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Key words: Christianity, persecution, martyrs, Roman Empire, Septimius Severus

URL: http://rcs-almanac.ru/kargaltsev-2018-en/

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The Christian martyrs in Armenia: Three portraits, three fates

Anna Borisovna Sofyan, PhD, Nekrasov pedagogical college № 1 (Saint-Petersburg, Russia), sofyannushka@gmail.com

Sofyan A. B. The Christian martyrs in Armenia: Three portraits, three fates, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2014, vol. 3, pp. 198–233.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2014-00010

Language: Russian

The article describes hagiographical stories about three Christian martyrs, who were killed in Great Armenia under pagan rule during first three centuries — St. Sandukht, St. Sukias and St. Hripsime. The author focuses on the reports about them in the texts of Armenian historians — Moses Khorenatsi, Hovhannes Draskhanakertsi and Agathangelos. According to the legend of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the holy virgin-princess Sandukht was christianized by Apostle Thaddeus and executed by the order of her father, after many attempts to persuade her to renounce new faith. Holy Sukias with his companions had been killed for the Christian faith by Alani warlord king after years of reclusion in the mountains of Armenia, and the holy martyr Hripsime, who did not want to lose her chastity, with her friends and mentor Gayane were killed by the servants of the king Tiridates the Great at the beginning of the 4th century shortly before the adoption of Christianity as the national religion. While martyrs Sukias and Hripsime with their friends are the general Christian saints, St. Sandukht isn’t known in Orthodox and Catholic Churches. The author retells and analyses content of the considered legends, and raises the question of the historicity of the characters. The researcher focuses on the St. Hripsime image, studying it in comparison with the images of such chaste virgins as St. Irina and St. Agnes.
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Key words: martyr, Great Armenia, Christianity, Sandukht, Sukias, Hripsime

URL: http://rcs-almanac.ru/sofyan-2014-en/

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«The Martyrdom of Conon» as the source on the persecution of Decius

Alexey Vital’evich Kargaltsev, senior lecturer, Theological Institute of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria (der. Kolbino, d. 25a, Leningrad region, Vsevolozhsk district, Russia, 188680)

kargaltsev@gmail.com

Kargaltsev A. V. «The Martyrdom of Conon» as the source on the persecution of Decius, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2015, vol. 4, pp. 136–157.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2015-00008

Language: Russian

The article analyses the content of the ‘‘Martyrdom of Conon’’ (BHG, 361) within the background of Decius’ anti-Christian persecution. Since there is no consensus on the causes of the religious policy of the Emperor, the question, to what extent Christians were persecuted, remains open. The author refers to an authoritative hagiographic monument of Asia Minor, ‘‘The martyrdom of Conon’’ , analyzes data on time of martyrdom and congenial hagiographic tradition, such as evidences on the death of Papias, Diodorus, and Claudian, as well as ‘‘The Martyrdom of Nestor of Magydos». Some parallels with the ‘‘The Martyrdom of Pionius’’ are interpreted not as textual, but as historical, that mirrored procedures of sacrifice being prescribed by the edict of Decius. Special attention is drawn to the Jewish origin of Conon that created special meanings in the text. Lapsi of Asia Minor, to whom wasn’t possible to rejoin Christian community, often converted to Judaism. It’s the condition that caused anti-Jewish controversy in the ‘‘The Martyrdom of Pionius’’. On the other hand, all this caused actuality of such hero as Conon who courageously professed Christ and died as a martyr, providing a model of Christian apology in anti-Jewish polemics.
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Key words: Papias, Diodorus, Claudian, Nestor, Asia Minor, Jews, Christianity

URL: http://rcs-almanac.ru/kargaltsev-2015-en/

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La Vie de saint Etienne de Perm d’Epiphane le Sage et la version qu’en donne G. S. Lytkin

Yves Avril General secretary, L’Association des amis de Jeanne d’Arc et de Charles Péguy (boulevard Raspail, 15, Avignon, France, 84000), yvesavril @ wanadoo.fr

Avril Y. La Vie de saint Etienne de Perm d’Epiphane le Sage et la version qu’en donne G. S. Lytkin, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2016, vol. 5, pp. 282–297.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2016-00014

Language: French

The article «The Life of St. Stephen of Perm by Epiphanius the Wise and the version given by G. S. Lytkin» is devoted to the activities of a historian and educator of Komi people, George Stepanovich Lytkin (1835–1907). In 1889 he published a book devoted to the history of Zyrjank region in the late Middle Ages in the context of the spread of Christianity and activities of the bishop Stephen of Perm as well as creation of the first alphabet for the Komi language. The author examines, how the image of Bishop Stephen transformed in version of his biography written in the Komi language (in comparison with the Epiphanius the Wise hagiografical text that sourc G. S. Lytkin used as a source to supplement information, gleaned from the hagiographic writings) and what rhetorical techniques the compiler applied. Yves Avril indicates that the life and work of G. S. Lytkin was concerned with education and enlightening activities that not only created an affinity between him and Stephen of Perm, but also led to a peculiar style of his works.
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Key words: history of the Komi people, history of the Middle Ages, Christianity, Orthodoxy, hagiographic literature, Stephen of Perm

URL: http://rcs-almanac.ru/avril-y-2016-en/

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