Psychology of ritual and magic

Grigorenko Andrey Yur’evich, PhD in philosophy, professor, The Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia (Moika Embankment, dom 48, korpus 20a, St. Petersburg, Russia, 191186)
relig-rgpu@yandex.ru

Grigorenko A. Yu. Psychology of ritual and magic, 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, 2013, vol. 2, pp. 12–20.

DOI: 10.24411/2308-0698-2013-00013

Language: Russian

The article analyses psychology of magic and religion. The ritual behavior of both animals and men is investigated.

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Key words: magic, ritual, religion, psychology, physiology, ethology, animal, man

Permanent link: http://rcs-almanac.ru/grigorenko-2013-en/

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Classical German Philosophy as a theoretical source of modern religious studies

Grigorenko Andrey Yur’evich, PhD in philosophy, professor, The Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia (Moika Embankment, dom 48, korpus 20a, St. Petersburg, Russia, 191186)
relig-rgpu@yandex.ru

Grigorenko A. Yu. Classical German Philosophy as a theoretical source of modern religious studies, 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, 2012, vol. 1, pp.12–21.

DOI: 10.24411/2308-0698-2012-00013

Language: Russian

The author evaluates the contribution made by Classical German Philosophy to religious studies that became a separate discipline. The case of nature and origin of magic is examined.

Immanuel Kant was the first to draw attention to the specific character of magic. The difference between Christianity and early forms of religious consciousness was viewed by him as mere formal, not a matter of principle. According G. W. F. Hegel, the primitive religious stage was the religion of nature. It should be characterized mostly not by fear but by human self-assurance in absolute dominion over nature. The «spirit» (taken as an instrument) was set above matter. G. W. F. Hegel distinguished the stages of direct and mediate sorcery. Objectivation of the universal was the third stage; further development would have made a man an instrument of a higher being. G. W. F. Hegel anticipated scholars’ conclusions about instrumental theory of magic (20th C.). It was proposed that magic had been used to supply human actions with primitive tools, because the result was not assured and foreseeable. In the article, G. W. F. Hegel is called a founder of «cognitive religious studies.» There is a view that a primitive man understood cause and effect, natural phenomena incorrectly. The philosopher defined sorcery as the first savage form of religion that should not be virtually called as such, since religion does not imply human power and might. L. Feuerbach concurred with this view and defined magic as «nonreligious form of religion» for in religion itself the power was thought to be transferred to something beyond human beings.

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Key words: religious studies, magic, sorcery, I. Kant, G. W. F. Hegel, L. Feuerbach, J. Frazer

Permanent link: http://rcs-almanac.ru/grigorenko-a-yu-2012-en/

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Ideas of justice and fairness in the Greco-Roman magic tablets: a comparative-historical aspect

Kudryavtseva Tatyana Vladimirovna, PhD, professor, The Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia (St. Petersburg, Russia)

tatyanavk@yandex.ru

Kudryavtseva T. V. Ideas of justice and fairness in the Greco-Roman magic tablets: a comparative-historical aspect, 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. 116–135.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2014-00007

Language: Russian

The article examines the use of magic arts by ancient litigants, in particular, the lead curse tablets (defixiones) in order to guarantee a favorable outcome of a trial. In the Hellenistic and Roman period of the Ancient history the judicial magic underwent certain changes: a supplicant more often asked deities to help in the lawsuit, to bind the opponent’s tongue or speech etc. It other words, he requested the gods to take the responsibility of judge, to punish the guilty, i. e. to revenge and to carry out divine justice; the emphasis was made on the idea of justice and retaliation. These innovations have allowed some scholars even to distinguish a special group of the judicial prayers. The author marks several reasons for the changes in the traditional judicial magic: monarchical consciousness that developed in the Hellenistic period, and some disappointment in the human justice or certain perception of its weakness and limits, which resulted in seeking justice and retribution from the supernatural powers — typical of the religious mentality. In a broader context, it is possible to speak about the shift in emphasis in the resolution of criminal scenarios and even more — of a conflict situation: from the contest in which “a winner is always right” and “the winner will get all” to the exercise of jurisdiction as the triumph of Justice, protection of “the insulted and humiliated”. The magic “prayer for justice” becomes a kind of harbinger of a Christian prayer.
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Key words: magic, Athens, Greco-Roman World, trialtabellae defixionum (curse tablets), judicial prayer, justice

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

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