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APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 I~OR OFNI('IA1, l1tiH: ONI.Y JPRS L/9966 8 September 1981 USSR Re ort ~ POLITICAL AND SOCIOLOGICAL AFFAIRS - CFOUO 22/81) A Soviet Debate on Re{igion and Politics FBIS FOREIGN BROADC/~ST IN~O~MATION SERVICE - FOR OFFICIAL USE ONL'~' APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 NOTE JPRS publications contain information primarily from foreign newspapers, periodicals and books, but also from news agency transmissions and broadcasts. from foreign-language ' sources are translated; those from English-language sources are transcribed or reprinted, ;aith the original phrasing and other characteristics retainPd. Headlines, editorial reporr.s, and material enclosed in brackEts are supplied by JPRS. 1'rocessing indicators such as [Text] - or [Excerpt] in the firs~ line of each item, or following the last line of a brief, indicate how the original information was processed. Where no processing indicator is given, the infor- mation was summarized or extracted. Unfamiliar names rendered phonetically or transliterated are - enclosed in parentheses. Words or names preceded by a ques~ tion mark and enclosed in parentheses were not clear in the original but have been supplied as appropriate in context. Other unattributed parenthetical notes within the body of an item originate with the source. Times within items are as _ given by source. Z'he contents of this publication in no way represent the poli- cies, views or attitudes of the U.S. G~vernment. _ COPYRIGHT LAWS AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING OWNERSHIP OF MATERIALS REPRODUC~D HEREIN REQUIRE THAT DISSEMINATION OF THIS PUBLLCATION BE RESTRICTED FOR OFFICIAL USE ONI.Y. APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02109: CIA-RDP82-00850R400440050016-5 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY JPRS L/9966 ~ 8 September 1.981 USSR REPORT POLITICAL AND SOCIOLOGICAL AFFAIRS (FOUO 22/81) A SOVIET DEBATE ON RELIGIQN.AND POLITICS CONTENTS Religion as a Social Phenomenon (~ou,ghts of an Ethnographer) ~ (S. A. Tokarev; SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA, Mar.-Apr 79) 1 On the Marxi$t Understanding of Religion ( D. M. Ugrinovich; SOVETSKAYA E~GRAFIYA, Jan-Feb 80) . 22 On the Essential and Nonessential in the Study of Relig~.Qn ' (I. .A. Kryvelev; SOVETSKAYA ETNOGTcAFIYA, Jan-Feb 80) 29 On the Essence of Religion (Yu. I. Semenov; SOVETSKAYA~ ETN OGRAFIYA, Mar-Apr 80) 37 On the Main Issue in Understan,ding Religion (V. N. Sherdakov; SOVETSRAYA E~JOGRAFIYA, Mar-Apr 80) 53 Religion: Belief, Illusion, Knowledge (Yu. A. .;Murav'yev; SOVETSKAYA EZNOGRAFIYA, Jul-Aug 80) 61 On the Content of Religion (Ya. ~l. Mtnkyavlchyus; SOVE TSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA, Jul-Aug 80)............ 69 - Certain Cantrav~rsial Questions in *_he Study of Religion ( G. G. Gromov; SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAF"IYA, Sep-Oct 80) . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 - For Developing Research on the Problems of Religion (M. I. Shakhnotrlch; SOVETSKAYA E7NOGRAFIYA, Sep-Oct 80) 92 ~ - a- [III - USSR - 35 FOUO] - ~ r~n ~ne+~i.. ? rnr+ n*rr t~ . APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 ruec ur r~a.rAL a�tla, i On the SociaL R~l,e of Religd?on (Thaughta of a Student of Religion on the Zhoughts of an Ethnographer) ' (I. R. Grigulevich; SOVETSKAYA E~iOGRAFIYA, Nov-Dec 80) 97 Once More on Religion as a Social Phenomenon (A Reply to my Critics) (S . A. Tokarev; SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA, Jan-Feb 81) 10_4 - b - FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 FOR OFF[CIAL USE ONLY ~ ~ RELIGION AS A SOCIAL PHENONJENOI3 (THOUGHTS OF AN ETHNOGRAPI~R) - Moscow SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA in Russian No 3, Mar-Apr 79 (signed to press 31. May 79) pp 87-~05 i [~rticle by S. A. Tokarev) ,i ~ [Text] There are ma.ny definitions of religion. But they frequently differ only in nuances. In essence there two dePinitions or two understar.dings of religion which differ funda.mentally. One understanding belongs to the believers, the theo- logians and defenders of religion and the other to its opponents, the atheists. The first understanding proceeds from the view that outside of us there exists a certain mighty supernatural Porce upon which man is dependent. Hence religion is understood as the establishing of certain relationships between man and this force. These include: an expression of sub~ission to this force, fear of it, recognition of dependence, obedience to its will, the desire to draw closer and merge with this force and so forth. The nature of this supernatural force, the degree of its might, the contents of its demands and admonishments, the attitude �cowoxd moral principles (good or evil, a forgiving or wrathful god), the degree of personifica- tion and so forth--all of this differs in the individual religions and is differ- ently reflected in the defining formulas of religion. However the differences con- cern only particulax features and details. The second or "atheistic" of religion proceeds, in contrast to the first, from the de~ial of the existence of any supernaturat being. Seligious ideas and images which develop in the consciousness of man are only the fruits of his imagina- tion. Fear of supernatural forces is a fear of something nonexistent; the efPort to placate them is an effort to placate something illusory.and unreal. For this . reason the task of understanding religion, its roots and essence from this view- point comes down to the question of in what manner there axose in the human con- sciousness those ideas or views of things which do not exist in the real world. The - supporters of various scientific currents heve answered and do answer this question differently (the theories of fetishie~n, animism, magic and others), but th~y all have agreed and do agree on one thing: a recognition of the illusoriness of aIl and any religious ideas. However, if one looks closer at the "theological" and "atheistic" understanding of the essence of religion, with some amazement we will notice tha.t they, with all - their polar opposition, also have something in cotmnon. This common feature is an 1 _ FOR OFFICIAL USE ONL~I APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2407/42/09: CIA-RDP82-40850R000400450016-5 . . - understanding of religi.on as an aggregate of ideas concerning an o.ther worldly force standing above man. But the theologians say that tfiis force actuallp exists while the atfieists deny it exists. 2 Let us try to ask ourselves the question: Is it possible,generally speaking, to - consider the main thing in religion to be the con~cent of the religious notions, that is, the images of religious fantasy? Are ~hey the most essential and the pri- mary aspect of any religion? y The question is a bold one and at the first glance even strange. What else but a belief in god (or in gods, spirits, an evil force an3 so forth) would seemingly com- prise the very essence of religion? Where else but here is its essence to be sought? However let us look more closely at the question. Anyone who has been involved with ethnographic or other descriptions of the beliefs of any people cannot help but notice the extreme haziness, lack of claxity and often contradictoriness of these beliefs. In terms of one or another people, one re- searcher describes these beliefs in one manner and another in a quite different one ~ (this depends upon the choice of the informant and upon other factors). Let us take at random two or~three examples out of hundreds. The totemic beliefs of the Central Australian tribes have been described more than once and by well-trained researchers such as B. Spencer, Fr. Gillen, Carl and Thomas Strelow and others, but still the content of these beliefs remains uncleax. Are the images of the totemic ancestors people or or both together?~~ Are the sacred churingas the spiritual part of the ancestor or the second body of man2 Is the "altgira" a god or the ancient ~ythical times2 And so forth. - In the hunting cults:of the Siberian peoples a prominer.t role is played by honoring the "hosta" of nature, the tayga and animals. But who axe these "hosts"? Are they spirits, that is, the protectors of animals, of the vaxious phenomena of nature or are these the very phenomena of natuxe (the tayga, mountains, the sea and so forth) ~ which serve as the sub,ject of veneration? If these are spirits, do they have any relation to the images of ancestors or to the shaman spirits?1 And 3ust what are the notorious "fetishes" of the West Africs.n ~eopies? Are they venerated material ob,jects which have been ascri~ed supernatural properties? Or ~ are they spirits or other. imaginary beings which dwell in these ob~ects or axe some- how related to them? There have iong been disputes about this in science.2 With such ambiguity concerning the sub~ects of religious veneration and with such haziness in the very content of beliefs it is no wonder that every field ethnog- - rapher, in describing these beliefs, like it or not, has endeavored to fit them within the framework of the customaxy concepts for him regaxdless of whether these concepts have been taken from the arsenal of theological t�~rminology (~od, the devil, the soul and so forth) or from scientific (fetish, totem, mana and su forth). It is no surprise that the beliefs (of the same people) figure in the scholaxly lit-- erature as ethnographic illustrations of either animistic, fet,ishistic or magical , (preanimistic) notions, depending upon the author's theoretical views. 2. FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2407/42/09: CIA-RDP82-40850R000400450016-5 Fc,~R oFFtc~At. c?sr: c~h~.~~ Hence, the long disputes among ethnqgra~hers as to what is "mana," what is a "fetish," what is a"to~em" or wha.t is a~'~la,ni.tau." Hence, the disputes which have become particularly shaxp over whether there has been any people with a notion of a celestial creator god and ~he intense ef~orts by the followers of the theory of "premomonotheism" (particu?arly V, Schmidt to #'ind such noticns in the Andamanese, Semangs, Bushmen, Tierra del Fuegans, Tasmanians and ether backward pe~ples. Hence also the hopeless efforts to adapt vaxious notions of backward peoples about a vital force to the Christian notion of a"soul." Among the still unresolved but more particulr~.r questions one might mention that of whether the Siberian peoples have an ancestor cult~ Previously this answer. was usually answered affirmat;ively and the "ancestor cult" was usually spoke of as an obvious and indisputable fact among the Altays, Khanty, Mansy, Ch`uckchees and others. However, in recent years doubts have arisen over this and certain rese~.rchers are in- clined to deny the existence of ancestor cult among a ma~ority of the 8iberian peoples.3 One other example: Since the end of the previous century, the vipw has been wide- _ spread that agrarian cults among the a~ricultural peoples of ancient ~,nd modern - Europe have beAn based upon the embodiment of the "spirit of vegetation" (Mannhardt, ~ Wundt and Frazer�). But in recent years the opinion has been voiced (Von Sydow) that : personifications of these do not actually ~~tist and the "r,ye wolves," "grain ~ maidens," "grain mothers" and others described by Ma,nnhardt were thought up under the influence of the ~ythological theory which prevailed in the 19th century, but the people actually knew nothing about them.4 It would be possible to gyve many other examples that behind the descriptions which are seemingly the most conscientious of specific beliefs of one or another people or groups of peoples there stands not a definite categorf of concepts but rather a certain hazy group of ideas in which each researcher sees what corresponds to his own views. It is no wonder that after 200 years of efforts to understand and define the natuxe of the early forms of religious beliefs, science has still not found a convincing answer to the question of what they actually represented: a veneration of nature, ancestor cults, animism, fetishism or something else. If the ~ust-named concepts reflected development stages of religion, then in what sequence did they follow one another? A critical examin~.'cion of descriptions found in the literature of beliefs of vari.ous - peoples led Paul Radin, one of the most prominent American ethnographers, to the - bold but very sound conclusion that generally speaking a predominant ma,jority of beli~�fs described by researchers for peoples in various countries belongs not to the people themselves, not to the mass of the population, but only ~o a small group of shamans, priests and other "religious thinkers." They axe not only the protec- tors and experts on the beliefs (and the ethnographers largely gained their informa- tion from them), but also the creators of these beliefs. But the simple people, that is, a predominant majority of the "believers," does not know these beliefs and is not particularly interested in them except at moments of disasters and then it is merely a questi.on of performing the established rites and making sacrifice.s 3 - FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 ruK urr~~iAL u~r. ~~vLY 3 . If onA turns to t.r.e later s~age in the history of religion, that is, to the reli- - gions the ancient st~tes such as Egypt, MESOpota.mia, India, the Cla,ssical World and so forth, it is not difficult to see that although the information available to us on the content of religious idea~ and on the images ~f gods ~,nd other super- natural beings at times are more complete and more reliabl~� due to the religious texts and iconography, stil.l much remains guesswork. This is particulaxly so if one poses the question oY the origin of these images, that is, what is the origin of the Egyptian Osiris, Isis, Ra, !~non and others, the ~3abylonian Marduk., Tshtax, Shamash~ and others, the Classica.l Zeus,Apollo, Athena, Hera, Poseidon and others? A11 the more as many and the most impArtant (from the'viewpoint of the believers) aspects of theology in the hands of the priests were turned into esoteric strictly secret, sacred knowledge totally inaccessible to the people. This is also inaccessible to our science. This is why we know so little in essence even about the religions of the Classical World, about the actual content of the beliefs themselves. We are acquainted essen- tially oril.y with esoteric ~~yths about the gods, their artistic literary translation and even satirical parodies. The true religious notions of Ar.cient Greece were per- petuated in the secret cults of m,ysteries, among the priests and mystics, and die3 with them. But it is not enough that we know little of the ideological content of �~e ancient natiori-state religions; it is not enough that the worshipers of the an- .cient gods had no clear notion of them. It must re recognized, ho�aever strange it may seem at first glance, that this content of the ancient religions was in no way their essential point. Otherwise how can one explain the fact, and I have written about this already,6 that the religions of the ancient states which stood approxi- mately on the same level of overall historical development and which performed the same socioideological function, differed extremely from one another in their ideo- logical content?, While the religions of the Classical World, and particularly th2 Ar_::ient Jewish religion, were almost completely oriented at terrestrial life, the - Egyptian religion was, on the contrary, subordinate chiefly to the idea of the after- J.ife. The same Egyptian religion with its excessive concern for the body of the de- ceased (mummification, pyramids and funerary temples) differed sharply from the Iranian Mazdaism which with superstitious terror avoided the impurity of the ' cadaver. The mystical asceticism of India which reached the point of fanaticism was very unlike the d~corousness and purely formal ritualism of Confucian China. The infinite pantheon of the gods of India, Japan and other nations contrasted sharp- ly with the strict monotheism of the Jews in the post-captivity age. Within the limits of the Classical World, the rich, colorful religious mythology of the Greeks stood in contrast to the dry, colorless and abstract images of the gods of the Romans. And one could mention still a number of other such contrasts. They, how- ever, in no way prevent the researcher, at least the Marxist, from linking together these ancient (although some have survived in certain nations up to the present) national state religions as religions of a completely definite type. Finally, as for our contemporary ma~or "world" religions such as Buddhism, ity and Islam, here we also find an analogous picture. First of all, it must not be thought that the content of the dogma in these religions is universally known. This is not the case at all. It is known by the professional theologians ar~3 cer- t.ain "secular" specialists. For exaample, the enormous mass of believers have a very hazy understanding of the content of Christian belief. It can be said that a ma~ority of the believers do not know it at all. This is shown from the data of a ~4 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2407/42/09: CIA-RDP82-40850R000400450016-5 _ FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY special religious soicological survey conducted in the United States. For example, according to a poll taken by the Gallup Insti~Gute (.1951+~, although ~6 percent of those questioned stated that they were believing Christian5, 60 percent of them were unable to name the persons of the "Holy Tx+~ni.ty"; 65 percent did not know who had given the "Sermon on the Mount"; 79 percent did not know.the name of a single Old Testament prophet. According to another survey, 53 percent of those~ questioned did not know the names of the Fou..r Apostles.~ � Something even more important. As in the national state religions, here also we - discover that the contents of the beliefs of the three world religions are extremely different. These differences are particularly striking in terms of Buddhism and Islam, where the contrast approaches an ex~reme (in this sense Christianity holds ~ something of an intermediate po~ition). In Islam there is the fanatical preaching - of belief in one divinity (A11ah), while in $uddhism there is a recognition of an in- definite multiplicity af divinities of various ranks. Tn Islam there is uncondition-__ al and passive obedience to C~od, while in Buddhism, initially there was a complete disregard of divinities in favax,.q~~m.8n'~_independent, and later a reli- ance on the aid af living divine humans and their ma.gical actions; in Islam there i~ belief in a single directed and irreversible historical process which ends with, ~ the Fina1 Jud~ent cf G~d over people, while in Buddhism there is a.n infinite cycle of world periods controlled consecutively by various divinities; in Islam there is the idea of personal salvation for the immortr~l human soul, and in Buddhism the de- nial of personal immortality and the teacr~~ngs o" the eternally decomposing and recombinin~ dharmas....8 Again, as is the case in the national state revisions, here also the presence of sha.rp contrasts in no way prevents us from linking Buddhism, Christianity and Islam - into a single category, into one type, the type of "world religions." ~4 All that has been stated above explains sufficiently the`extreme diversity which pre- vails in the scientific literatuxe on the question of the classification of reli- gious phenomena and the periodization of the history of rel,igion (Hegel, Comte, Lobbock, Frobenius, Achelis, Paxrish and many others). Some have endeavored, al- though by stretching a point, to construct a periodization of religion from the change in venerated ob~ects, while others have done so accor~ding to the type of re- l~~ions between man and the divinity.9 The most recent attempts of this sort such as Eric Fr4mm (authoritarian and humanis- _ tic religioasl~) or Arnold Toynbee (progressive and cyclical systems}11 ~.e of in- ~ terest but do not solve the problems. At the same time, the Marxist teachings concerning society and the general course of _ its historical development already contain a sufficiently sound basis for const.ruct- - ing a more ordered and ob~ective history of religion. From the Marxist viewpaint, religion is a social phenomenon, it is one of the forms of ~ociaZ eonseiousness. In ~ other words, tY~is is one of the forms of "ideological" relations between people. From this follow~ the very definition of religion: it is not so much the at~itud~ of man toward god (the gods) as it is the attitude of peopZe tor~ard one another over the question of the notions of god (the gods). 5 , FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00854R004400050016-5 FOIt OFh'l(:tAL U~E UNLY 5 Before moviug on to a detailed examination of this sub~ect, let us try again to touc:h on ~he question of the very ideolog3cal content of religious ideas. C~rtai.~ly the very fact of the extraordinaxy diversity of religious heliefs in the vz~rio~.s as well as even in. approximately the same levels of historical development ine~vita'bly poses for us the question: In such an insta.nce What corrnnon feature re- ma.ins 'in all these religious ideas from the viewpoint of their content, what is that ~eneral feature which ~ustifies their categorizing to one sphere of social con- ~ciousn��ss and delimits them from any other "nonreligious" spheres? Such a question is most often answered by pointing to the "belief in the supernatur- al" as the main or even the sole reliable feature of a religion.which separates it fro~.any "nonreligion." For now let us accept this definition without indulging in any criticism of its impreciseness and certain haziness. But just how is this be- lief in the supernatural specifically manifested, that is, in human consciousness or in actions? ~ ~s it in the attempts to explain the incomprehensible (or generally any) phenomena of the world around us? For example, the Qrigin of the universe, anthropogenesis, the visible movements of the sun, the moon and stars? Certainly not. Of course, there was a time (the European Middle Ages), when the Christian Church theology replaced knowledge about the world. Theology also subordinated to itself _ both philosophy and the ti.mid rudiments of the precise sciences. But this time has long passed. The history of the struggle of science for emancipation from church dogrna and the history of its victories over the medieval pseudoscience and scho?as- - ticism are well known. At present religion does not even try, at least in the civilized countries, to refute the achievements of the precise or natural sciences or even the humanities. It does not endeavor to rival them in understanding the world. Modern theologians--catholic, protestant a.nd athers--themselves are excel- lently formed on the achievements of astronorqy, atomic physics.and other sciences. _ Many prominent natural scientists remain believers and religion in no way prevents - them from making scientific discoveries. 6 Without claiming for a long time to "explain" the material world, on the other hand religion has claimed a general analysis of life and a solution to cardinal philo- sophical and philosophical-ethical problems. And primarily, a solution to the ques- tion: What is the source of evil in the world and how we must combat it. If we therefore return to the above-posed question of the very con,ten.t of reli- gious ideas, it can be said that the main thing in this content is not the names of gods or theological teachings about their properties and relationships and not even the ideas of the relationship of man to god, but rather what reply is given by one or another religion to the question of the origin of 2v~ in human life. It is even possible to view the entire history of religion in all ages and among all peoples from the view~point of how it has and does settle the question of the causes of evil and the means for overcaming it. Obviously here one can speak about a gradual ascent, in keeping with the overall growth of culture and the complica~~ing of social relations, from a primitive specific physical solution to this question to a more generalized and abstract solution to it; also from the immediate pt~ysical sensation of pain to a concept of social evil and the methods of escaping from it. 6 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02109: CIA-RDP82-00850R400440050016-5 FQR OFFICIAI, l?SF. ON1.1' At the earliest level of historical development (examples would be the Australian , tribes, the Papuans of New Guinea and the South American Indians), evil was the witchc,raft caused by 'che enemy of another tribe; and this witchcraft was represented in a completely material manner by an in~ury in the form of a certain small bone in- serted by the enerqy into the victim�s body. Thi~ in~ury could be removed by having it sucked out (this was a matter for a special sorcerer)or by killing the witch. Later, obviously, the idea appeared of an evil spirit which kidnapped the human soul; then it had to be found and retLxned. Or there was the idea of a spirit which inhabited the body of the sick person; then it had to be expelled. This was the profession of the shamans who were able to control the spirits. Here, as before, . there was no abstract understanding of ~vil but rather a purely practical, material perception o' it. But even at this stage there axose as a certain generalization an overall notion of evil spirits as a separ~,te category of invisible beings which caused illnesses and other misfortunes. Who were these spirits, where did they come from, were they the spirits of a hostile tribe or the embodiment of the ter- rible forces of nature or ancestors angered by the disrespect of the people--all of this wa,s a different question. The ethnographic eacamples of this stage are the American Indians; the peoples of Siberia, the peoples of Africa and so forth. In the ancient national (class) religions, the concept of evil assumed a more gen- eral and intelligent form. Evil itself operated predominantly as social inequality, suppression, violence and in~ustice. The reason of evil lay in the anger of the gods who were vexed by the disrespect of their worshipers, by the meagerness of the sacrifices or by other failings of the believers. Here there were ma.ny shades of difference. Some gods were evil by nature, others were patient but toucY~y, others required human sacrifices while still others were satisfied by sma11 tributes. In Classical Religion, where religious philosophical thought reached a high level, a generalized idea of the gods was developed as completely anthropomorphic beings, with human qualities of the soul. The gods punished a mortal for disrespect, for pride and conceit, but they could also send misfortune for a person merely out; of envy of the too great fortune o~'this person (let us recall the classic history of Polycrates). In any event, however, any, predominantly social, evil. was trans- ferred to the gods. In the monotheistic religion of Israel, the same idea gained a one-sided but com- pletely logical development. Evil was the serving of foreign gods instead of serving or.e's own god, Yahweh. For such apostasy, Yahweh punished the entire . people as a whole and also individuals. He also punished. for even the slightest disobedience regar dless of how it was manifested. In other strictly systematized national religi~ns of the East, the problem of evil was solved simply and uniforml.y. In Chinese ^nnfucianism, evil was the violation of nonperformance of established "ceremonies" (iij, that is, symbolic acts of obedience to the existing order of life. In Hinduism, evil or the cause of evil was the nonobservance of the laws of the divinely-established castes. In the dualistic religion of Iran the religious-ethical idea of the cause of evil in the world was raised much more highly. Here good and evil were c~~bodied in the - form of two great and for the time being equally powerful gods: the evil, dark, tainted Angra Mainyu and the bright god of truth and purity, Ahura Mazda. The en- tix~e world and all human life were an arena of the unceasing struggle between these ,7. FUR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2407/42/09: CIA-RDP82-40850R000400450016-5 . rux urr~~~AL ~~a v~vL~ twa ~ods-. ,A man who worshiped Ahura Mazda should partic~.pate with all his strength on the god''s side in this millenium-long struggle. At the end of the world Ahura Maz~d~ would 'be v?ctorious and the evil Angra Mainyu would be destrovFd and the d~~rt of li~ht would arrive. T~~.~ ~rdered, consistently optimistic concept of world evil and its destruction was o~~r~sed ~n~r another, also consistent but pessimistic moral religious philosophical s~{~tem, the Buddhist teachings about evil and suffering as an inseparable property ~af any ~xistence of any life. It was possible to get rid of suffering only by sup- pressing in oneself the very desire for existence. This path was difficult, the goal was distant but a person who believes in Buddha and his teachings could ulti- ma~tely achieve this goal and enter Nirvana. Both in Buddhism and Zoroastrianism, ~i~raan philosophical thought, although cloaked in a religious form, reached a high degree of abstraction. This shows the generally very high level of philosophical m~ral thinking. Research should raise and explain why the results of this t:~inking ~.n bath instances were diametrically the opposite. 7 ~ The Christian concept of evil and sin unexpectedly disrupted the general, very ~ ordered picture of the gradual ascent of philosophical thought to an evermore con- - sistent and generalized solution to the problem of evil in the world. It was ex- tremely illogical and strange. Why did evil reign in the world? Because the world - is sinful. And wY~y is it sinful? Because the �irst two people disobeyed God and ate the fruit from the forbidden tree. The reply is to say the least strange. Since it is nowhere apparent that the forbidden fruit itself was in any way haxmful (the words of God that the person who ate it would die on the same day--Gen., II, 17--were untrue), then obviously the misdeed of Adam and Eve was merely in dis- obedience, in the very act of violating tY:e prohibition. But if this was a morally bacl misdeed, no human morality could ~ustify the consequences of the misdeed which are given there in the text of the bible: the damnation of God by a11 mankind, all the world and everything living and growing on it, in brief, the establishment of the kingdom of evil on the eaxth. Here there is not the slightest reasonable tie. It is very strange that the fathers of the Christian Church who over a period of several centuries elaborated the bases of the faith did not find, with the excep- tion of this Ancient Jewish very incoherent myth, nothing in the stores of reli- gious philcsophical thought to use as ~ustification of the teachings of the expia- tional sacrifice of Jesus Christ. What precisely was Christ atoning for with his extreme suffering and his torturous immolation? Could it really be ~ust the two eaten apples? ~It would be difficult to imagine anything.more absurd. The image of the Devil (Satan) holds an equally uncleax place in Christian belief. In the Old Testament this figure plays virtually no role. The "Fall from Grace" of Adam and E~re in the book of Genesis is ascribed to the serpent (which was "the cleverist of all beasts of the field") and in no way can it be seen that the devil was concea.led behind this image. Satan is mentioned three times in the Old Testa- ment (,lst Chron., XXI, 1; Job, I, 6-9; II, 1-7; Zach., III, 1-2), but in no way as the opponent of God rather as a spirit obedient to him. A certain "zvil spirit" tortures King Saul, but he also was "from the Lord," although it is also reminis- cent of a shaman.spirit (lst Kings, XVI, 14). In the New Testament, Satan is an ~mage obviously borrowed not from Judaism but rather from Zoroastrianism and plays a much more noticeable role. He "tempts" Jesus in the desert (Matt., IV, 1-11). Subsequently Jesus himself repeatedly drives out "devils" ("unclean spirii;s" or "devilish spirits") from the sick and insane, as the shamans do; but these minor 8� FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02109: CIA-RDP82-00850R400440050016-5 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY devils have no bearing to evil in the world or the sinfulness of man. Jesus him- - self is accused for curing the ill "with the.strength of Beelzebuh, the Prince of the Devils" (Matt., XII, 2~+-27; Luke, XI, 15, 19). Only does Apocalypse speak more definitely about the "great dragon, the ancient serpent called the devil and satan"~ and his "overthrow in the world" (Rev.�, XII, 9). But this work stands by itself in the Christian literature. The thesis of the devil has not become part of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan symbol of faith. Its role as the cause of evil and sin in the world remains completely unclear in Christian dogma.12 Here is an open field for religious research. _ 8 The idea is often voiced that the main thing in the question of death, its inevitability, the possibility of avoiding or "Belief in God," and "belief in the immortality of the soul" (in the "afterlife") are two concepts - which very frequently are considered indissolvable. Belief in God and belief in imsortality are, supposedly, essentially the same thing. However, facts show that this is fax Prom the case. F~~~ from all religions endeavor to somehow settle the question of overcoming death. Moreover, a ma,~ority of reli- gions does not even pose this question. Of course beliefs related to death and - burial rites exist in all peoples. With all the diversity of burial.rites and cus- toms, their general sense is the virtually everywhere. It is a dual one: in . the first place, to materially and ~ymbolically dispose of the deceased, to remove = and render him harmless; secondly, symbolically to restore and strengthen the sys- tem of social ties in a co~nunity which has been upset by the death of one of its members. Self-defense of the human collective and its symbolic reintegration are the general tone in the response ~to the death of a human. Only in the burial of a certain leader, king, emperor or priest does the deceased ~ himself become the central figure of a ritual. He is presented with burial gifts in order to placate or si.mply pay him off. Here arose the idea of.creating condi- tions for the well-being of the deceased in the afterlife, the ideal of a certain continuation of earthly life. In the beliefs of the American Indians,.a brave _ hunter after death will hunt in game-rich.lands; a�cording. to the beliefs of the Ancient Scandinavians, a sold.ier who fell in battle would fight against enemies in the world,beyond the grave. But such a relatively benevolent afterlife is not promised to everyone. Many, even relatively developed.religions do.not have this. The Classic Greek religion did not promise its followers anything attractive be- yond the grave. The same is true in the Ancient Jewish religion. In these and other similar religions, if the gods (or god) even heap good fortune on the person protected by them, this good fortune concerns only the terrestrial life of the _ person and his offspring and does not stretch beyond.the grave. Only the "soteriological" religions actually endeavor to settle the question of death as an essential evil and its surmounting. The rudiments af the idea of vic- tory over death were, in addition to the above-given examples, also found in Ancient Egyr+.ian and Iranian religions. This idea began to be dominant in Chris- tianity, bu~ in the very inconsistent and essentially paradoxical teac}aing about _ "recompense beyond the grave" in which the bliss of paradise was promised only to a minority of people. The is essentially true in Islam. The Indian reli- gions and Buddhism which grew out of them settled the question of death in their ~ own way, by the doctrine of reinca.rnation. But this reincaxnation, at least for 9 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2407/42/09: CIA-RDP82-40850R000400450016-5 ~'ul~ Vl'l'll.illL VJIi V1~L1 Buddhism, represents not a desired overcoming of.death but, on the contrary, a persistent continuation of a torturous existence. In a word, the formula "religion as the overcoming of death," although imaginable, in no way replaces the above-given formula of "religion as e.n explanation and ~us- tification of evil and suffering." '9 Thus, as we see, over the entire lon~ history of religious beliefs, they, regard- less of the extreme diversity of forms of belief and religious-~ythological images, in essence settled one ma~or question: f~om whence evil and suffering in human life and how to escape from them? Different answers were given, but this depended primari~jr~upon the general level of social and cultural development but these were answers to the same question. Evil itself was understood differently and this de- pended upon the same general historical conditions. These historical conditions _ in the most general form came a tendency for a gradual decline in the de- pendence of man upon the forces of nature and the ever-crueler dependence of the suppressed masses upon ~he gower of the possessing classes. Subordination to the - forces of nature of course rema.ined (sickness, old age and natural disasters) but they were more and more mediated by the social structure, that is, the rich suf- fered less from sickness and from natural disasters than did the poor. But common to any religious explanation of evil was the fact that the sought-after cause of evil was presented in a distorted, mysticized, imaginary and fantastic form. The cause resided in that sphere which we now term "supernatural" or "other worldly." For this reason the means for overcoming evil have also been borrowed from the same "other worldly" axsenal: prayers, invocation, propitia,tion, sa~rifice, atonement n and the search for "salvation." Huma.n thought relying on a self-sundered and self- contradictory earthly basis"13 could not give any other solution to thP question. From this it also follows that the expZanation of the causes of evil would also mean its ~justification for religious thought. Over the centuries the religions of a11 peoples have ~ustified material and soeiaZ evil instead of combating this. Hence, religion has distracted and does distract people from an effective strup3gle against evil in the world. If all that is stated above is correct, then an important conclusion follows. We can say that the real difference in the understanding of the essence of religion by be- lievers and atheists is not in the hope3~ess and sterile repet,ition of the phrases "god exists" and "there is no god," but rather in the absolutely fundamental oppo- sition of the two practical lines: to call to god (or to the gods) in order to - escape from evil, suffering and in~ustice or to fight with ones own forces against the evil, sufferings and in~ustice. Any religion disaxms and demobilizes people in their struggle for a better future; socialist atheism arms and mobilizes them. ~ Here, and this is particularly important, religion "separates" people who are struggling for happiness (to which god.they should pray and how they should pray), while socia.list atheism unites them by the common aim of the struggle. It is here that we come close to that aspect of religion which should�first inter- est science and particularly ethnographic science. ' 10 Religion, let us rep~at what has already been said, is not so much the attitude of ma.n to god (to the gods) as an attitude of peopZe to one another over the question . of the notions of god (or gods). . 10 . FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY ~ APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 . FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Certainly there is no single religion of all mankind and there never has been. Each people has its own religion, its own rites, its own "faith." With good reason among the people, and particulaxly the Ru~sian people, in the past a persons's re- ligious affiliation was always viewed as a sign (and even as a synonym) of ethnic affiliation. They asked a person of a different nationality whe.t was his "faith." Not only in everyday parlance but also in scientific usage, in modern ethnographic science, we have come to consider religions demonination (confessional affiliation) one~ of the permanent ethnic features and sometimes even one of the most important which distinguishes the given (ethnoconfessional) group from others, neighboring or _ related groups. The Yezidis are Kurdish fire worshipers; the Parsi are Indian fire worshipers; the Sikhs are a Hindustan-Moslem sect; the Copts axe Egyptian Chris- tians; the Khemshins are Armenian Moslems and the Bosnians are Yugq~lav Moslems. Although these definitions may be inaccurate and although there may not be a full . congruity between the ethnic and confessional affiliations of a person, still for national statistics, for practical political administ:*ative measures and for the drawing of state and administrative frontiers, the religious affiliation of people is taken into account. It often acts as ~,n important and even at times the most ' i.mportant determinant. Here the very content of ~he belief or its theological- dogmatic aspect would be o:f interest to few. It can be said that both for a purely scientific understanding of religion and its history of most importance is not a study of the nt~mes of the gods or the spirits, not the ~ythological stories about them, and not a description of the cult rites, not even the most.detailed one, or even the dogmatic content of one or another religious system. No, the most impor- tant is to study historically the social function of the given religion (and gener- ally any religion) as one of the social features which sepaxate one group of people from another. Of course, this does not mean that we have no need to study the content of reli- gious beliefs. They must be studied, but this must not b.e considered the main aim of the research.14 If this idea seems strange to some it is only because we have still not complete~jr escaped from the theological tradition in the study of reli- - gion. Certainly this entire area of knowledge for many centuries has ~een in the hands of the theologians. For them precisely the beliefs of each given religion (both of one's own denomination and others) and its dogma comprised and comprise ' the sub,ject of their professional interest. Our science has rejected the truthful- ness of religious dogina, the truthfulness of the beliefs of any religion, but it has not overcome the theological tradition having kept precisely the content of be- lief as the main (if not the sole) sub~ect of research.~5 This has been logical and understandable for theology but not for science. In this sense, religion is no exception among other social phenomena. On the con- trary, it, like an~y other phenomenon of culture, both material and spiritual, per- forms a most important social function: to somehow unite and unify a certai^ group of people and thereby set it in opposition to all other groups. This dual, or perhaps better "two-in-one" role of religion--as a factor of integration and simultaneously segre~ation--is inherent to all cultural elements without a single exception. Religion is one of them. It perhaps more visibly and explicit- ly performs and always has performed this role.l~ 11 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00854R000440050016-5 � Vl\ V~ ? ~\�~AL VJL.~ VL\L� The history of rcli~ion is the history of the various relationships which have de- veloped between people in the course of social development and how these relations have been pro~ected into the ideological axea, into the area of relig9.ous views.l~ This principle should be used also as the basis of the scientific periodization of the history of religion, a periodization which in its basic outlines corresponds to the general division of history into periods. The earliest period of the history of religion was the tribaZ or more accurately the kinship-tribaZ cuZts. With a11 the diversity of the details, their essential traits, as is seen from the extensive ethnographic material, are similar for peo- ~ ples in all parts of the world. Most importantly, their social aspect is every- where the same. One of the most ancient forms of a cult was the burial cult. This expressed the idea of concern for the deceased member of the community and the symbol of the reintegration of the group (community) which suffered a loss. Totem- ism, another very ancient form of a cult, is an awaxeness of the solidarity of the kinship, symbolized by the totem, by the rites and ~qyths about the totem ancestors. Witchcraft and belief in harm is an expression of a confused recognition (or sense) of intertribal prejudice and hostility. A cult of a tribal-wide god is the limit of the recognized social integration achieved in the communal-kinship system. In all these forms of beliefs which axe well known to ethnographers there is a com- bination of a manifestation of the force of intrakinship and intratribal integra- tion and intertribal (interkinship) segregation. With good reason all the totemic rites, the ceremonies of coming-of-age initiations, the secret alliances which grew up out of them and so forth have always been surrounded by forms of strict secrecy. Obviously even the most primitive forms of religious beliefs were never the common knowledge even for the membex~s of one tribe or one community. - 11 ~ The "natioruzZ" and."state " religions correspond to the a~e of the early class (slave- owning and eaxly feudal) societies. They were different but their overall scheme was the same. A national or statewide pantheon developed by the merging and gener- alizing of the kinship-tribal cults. The integration encompassed large masses of peo- ple and large territories. The ancient tribal protector gods of the nomes [districts] of Egypt (Horus, Khnum, Hathor, P~ah, Osiris and others) became an ob~ect of venera- tion by all the people. The ancient protector gods of the Greek polis make up the Olympian pantheon. In places the head of the pantheon develop into the image of the strongest, almightiest and even sole god. This rappened with the Jewish Yahweh. But in parallel, and even more sharply, the forces of segregation grew. At first religion operated, per se, not as a factor of segregation but rather as an indicator of it. The intertribal wars cha.racteristic for the transitional period from a pre- class to an early cla~s system with conquests, intertribal associations with their accompanying various forms of dependence (trieute, slavery, a client state and so forth)--all of this arose not out of religion but rather was caused by material factors. But these forms of intertribal antagonisms were reeognized in the form - of the clash of cults, the victory of certain gods over others, theological co- submission and a hierarchy of gods. The princes who worshiped the god Horus uni- fied all of Egypt placing their god above all the others; later supremacy in the Egyptian pantheon moved, as the dynasties and capitals of the states followed one ' another, to the god Ptah, to Aton (Ra) and to Amon. In Mesopota.mia, the struggle of the city states was reflected in the primacy of Enlil, then Ninurta, Marduk and , FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY final~y Ashura. The formation of the extensive monaxcY~y of the Persian Achaemeni.ds meant the triumph of their national god Ahura Mazda over all others. But up to the end of the Ancient World, until the Late Classic Age, the cult con~- munity nowhere gained independent significance. It did not become distinct from the et~inic co~unity. The gods of Egypt were united into a general pantheon but they remained Fgyptian gods. And their cult for the time being did not cross the Egyptian frontiers. Even the formation of extensive multinational empires did not _ lead to mixing of cults. The victorious people did not impose their gods on the conquerF,d peoples. Even the Persian kings who worshiped Ahura Mazda and made its cult required among the Persians did not extend it among the scores of conquered peoples, graciously permitting them to continue to venerate their own national gods. ~ Only in the Hellinistic and Roman Age, do to the intense and ever-broadening ethnic shufflings, sorts of international cults began to develop. Some of the particular- ly populax local national gods began to extend beyond their narrow ethnic limits of veneration and acquired follo~rings far beyond their homeland. This was the case with Theban Amon, Serapis, Isis, Cybele and Mitra. This was the first step toward the formation of "world religions," the third great age in the history of religions which will be taken up below. The national gods were the personification of the forces of segregation and of re- ciprocal separation of those ethnic (national) groups or states which venerated th~m. But this reciprocal separation also recognized many shades and degrees from peaceful, although separate coexistence to irreconcilably bloody reciprocal exter- mination. The worshipers of Ionian Apollo were not hostile to the venerators of Attic Demeter or poric Poseidon, with the exception of sporadic military clashes. On t:~e contrary, the cult of the Israeli Yahweh reached an extreme degree of fanat- ical intolerance. In the age of the conquest of Palestine by the Jews, Yahweh pre- scribed his followers to destroy mercilessly, down to the last man, the population of the conquered cities who worshiped their own local deities (in the Bible they were called "abominations"). Later, in the age of the comparatively peaceful co- habitation of the Israelis with the Cananaean, Yahweh again ordered his "chosen" people to isolate themselves completely, particularly in terms of maxriage. A strict national religious endogamy was established: "The family of Israel separated itself from all foreigners" (Nehemiah, XIX, 2). This national religious endoga.~y has survived among the Judaic Jews almost until our times, reinforcing their separateness and exclusiveness. The same inner exclusiveness has been inherent up to the present to the system of the Hindu castes. And this has gone even farther. In the first place, because r~ot Hinduism as a whole but each of the social units comprising it is closed off in it- self, for orthodox Hinduism permits only marriages within the caste; secondly, be- cause Hinduism as a whole, at least theoretically, represents an ideally isolated system. In contrast to Judaism it does not recognize individual proselytism. It is impossible to convert to the Hindu faith (regardless of the wide attraction for Hindian religious systems in the West); it is essential to be born in one of the castes. The reciprocal isolation of the national religious organisms (peoples, states) had another, extremely important aspect. The fiction of the inner solida.rity of 13 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 r~ec urr~~ ~r~i_ ~i~r, v~v~~ each of these organisms w~.s created by this reciprocal isolaticn, that is, the inner social contradictions were thereby obscured. In opposing the E.~yptians to � all non-Egyptians, the Romans to all non-Romans, the national religicns blunted the class self-awareness of the masses of people and, of course, this was completely in the interests of the ruling classes. In comparison with this most important func- tion of the national religions, that is, to serve as the indicator and factor of _ international segregation and thereby play into the hands of the dominant social stratum of each individual people, the very content of religious beliefs is a much less important aspect. These religions could be monotheistic (Judaism), dualistic (Zoroastrianism) or polytheistic (a majority of the ancient religicns); they could be oriented toward terrestrial life (Confucianism, Judaism and the cults of the Classical World) or to the after-life (Egypt); they could have a rich ~ythology (the C~reeks) or have almost none at a11 (the Romans); they could 'be full of mysti- cism (Hinduism) or be profoundly hostile to it (Confucianism and Rome). All of this did not change their basic social function. 12 The following, third age in the history of religions began with an unique histori- cal paradox. This is the age of the so-called t~orZd (supernational) religions. Z`he paradox is that these religions arose as an attempt at a radical and fundamen- tal overcoming of any segregation. Universal, world-wide integration was preached. Ethnic, cultural and political differences were denied in principle. "Here there ax e no differences between Jew and Hellene because all have one Lord," wrote the Apostle Paul (Rom., X, 12). In the ?Cingdo~ of Christ, he ~rrote, "there is neither Hellene nor Jew, neitYier circumcised nor uncircumcised, baxbarian, Scythian, slave or free man, but all is in Christ" (Col., III, 11). The teachings of Sakyamuni Buddha were also directed to all people, without distinc- tion as to caste or ethnic group. The universalism of the Moslem religion was not expressed in clear verbal formulas, but the very objective fact of the unusually rapid expansion of the teachings of Mohammed in Africa and Asia bespoke the exist- ence of a certain integrating force. But this force evoked as a sort of antithesis an even stronger and sharper segregation. The Buddhist "student" monks were sharp- ly distinct from the secular and from everything worldly. In Christianity this was - even more sharply expressed. Jesus himself who taught the indistinguishability of the Helene and the Jew openly adm?tted and even emphasized that he had brought to the world "not peace but the sword" (Pdatt., X, 3~+). He even demanded from his - followers that they "come to hate father and mother, wife and children." The Christian "believers," "brothers" and "persons called" separated themselves from the "heathens." In Islam the opposition between "believers" and "infidels " reached extremes, to the point of waging a merciless wax against the "infidels." A different segregation soon commenced. The new religions did not maintain their unity. The Christian Church from the very first steps was split into a multiplic- ity of sects, "heresies," and local churches~and the struggle between them extended for centuries, constantly bursting forth and assuming fierce, bloody forms. The rival churches and sects repeatedly damned each other. In Islam the struggle be- tween the sects (Sunni, Shia and others) was no less fierce. In Buddhism the struggle between the sects did not lead to such mass bloodshed,but at times it ciid approach great intensity. 14 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 - FOR OFFICIAL USE ONL1' The successive splits and splinterings of the Christian Church (churches) led at times to an unexpected result, to the reestablishing to a certain degree of a sys- tem of national religions. Thus, the monophysite "heresy" condemned at the Council of Chalcedon of ~+51 became the national church of the Armenians (as well as the Ethiopians); Presbyterianism became tr.e national church of the Scots and the Angli- can Church of the English; the Maxonite.Church became the church of the Lebanese Christians. 13 Integration and segregation ax e two insepaxably linked aspects in the functioning of any cultural phenomenon. In principle they balance one another. The more strongly and closely united a certain group of people marked by a given cultural cp~unity, the more sharply and profoundly opposed it is to all remaining mankind. And the reverse is true. But in practice the equilibrium is often upset. Certainly there are cultural phenomena in which the integrating force greatly pre- vails. This is true of art. Works of literature, a musical composition, a play, a work of painting or sculpture--all these are forms of communication through which the artist, author or performer transmits his feelings, his ideas to the viewers, listeners and everyone around. The coffinunication of people in art is the highest form of human communication. Of course, there axe also elements of sPgregation and separation here. People may perceive the same work of art differently.� An Euro- pean finds it difficult to understand Chinese music, while the Chinese experience the with European music. The "abstract" painting in modern Western Europe and America is comprehended by 'ar from everyone even in Lurope and America. Within Europe some esteem the classic Italian or Flemish painting while others prefer the Russian realistic school. Some are~ fond of Glinka, Chopin and Schumann while others like Nla.hler, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. This is a question of personal tastes and general cultural traditions. But while at times there may not be mutual comprehen- sion between the fans of various tastes, still there is no hostility between them. In history there have still been no cases of blooc~y between the fans of clas- sical and romantic music or between the followers of David and Picasso. Moreover it is beyond dispute that the reciprocal influence of the various artistic schools with the general rise and deepening of cultural ties in the modern world has led to a further expansion of integration in axt. A modern cultured person more and more becomes used to understanding the axt of various styles and may en~oy both Indian music as well as Mozart and Shostakovich. He may be fond of European classic painting and African wood sculpture. In a word, in art the forces of integration are growing and the forces of segre~a- tion are weakening. This is not the case in religion. Here the factor of segregation has prevailed since the very outset. Of course, the totemic rites unite their participants but on the other hand they {and this is the most important thing) not only put them in opposition to all persons of other tribes but even within the commuxiity do not cre- ate either equality or unity. The '~uninitiated," the women and the ~uveniles can- not, under the fear of death, even approach the place the rites are performed. The same is true of the initiation ceremonies. The institution of secret societies which grew up later out of them is directly designed to sharply oppose the members to the nonmembers. And even between the members usually a sharp distinction of 15 ~ FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02109: CIA-RDP82-00850R400440050016-5 ' rVx u~c, ~tvLY ranks and strict hierarcY~y are establi~hed. Even within the community-kinship system and in the tribal cults there are sorcerers, diviners, witches, "the makers of weather," shamans and later on piiasts, all sorts of persons who carried secret knowledge and abilities inaccessible to others. Above we quoted the very soundly based view of Paul Radin that these "religious thinkers" not only perform the func~ _ tions of intermediaries in the coumiunication of persons with the spirits or gods, but that they themselves created the world of spirits and gods, in deceiving their own fellow tribesmen, and ultima.tely themselves. That this "religious segregation" grew even stronger in the age of national and state religions can be seen from what was said above. International hostility and pre~udice assumed the form of a clash between the gods. But within each state there appeared a clearly separated (in a ma,jority of instances) caste of priests and perpetua.tors of secret esoteric knowledge and rituals. Within the individual ethnoses ~n places there arose secret cult s which were even more strictly clandes- tine. In Ancient Greece there were the cults of the Cabiri, Curetes, Orphic cul~ts, Pythagorenas, the Eleusinian mysteries and others. The appearance of world religions was, as was already said above, a powerful upsurge of the integrating trend. The~r in fact created communities of people that were of unprecedented scope. Virtually all af Asia was divided between Buddhism and Islam. 2`he religion of Christ w~.s dominant in Europe. But this integration was ephemoral, deceptive and more apparent than real. Above we have already mention- ed all sorts of splits, heresies, sects, mutual persecutions and wars between them.18 It would be extremely naive to think that this splintering, these splits and all sorts of conflicts were based on dogmatic differences or a differ~ant understanding of theological truths. That the Armenians, Copts and Abyssinians became separated from other Christians because they believed in a single (and not dual) nature of Christ. That the Russians, Romanians, Serbs, Bulgarians and Greeks 3o not recog- nize the authority of the Roman Pope because they are convinced that the Holy ~ Spirit derives solely from the Father and in no way from the Father and Son...and so forth. A predominant ma,jority of the simple believers knows nothing of these theological finepoints. The theologians know of them but for them the ~nain thing is the subordination of the Church and not dogmatie disputes. The Armenian hier- archs split from the "Chalcedonian" diophysites because they di_d not want to sub- mit to the Byzantine Patriarch but wanted to have an independent Church. The East- ern Orthodox hierarchs split from the Western Church because they did not :~rant to be subservient to the Roman Pope (and they could not even if they wanted for they were subordinate to the Byzantir.e ~nperor). One can also name examples of church split s where there were no dogmatic differ- ; ences at all. The most vivid example is the Russian Old Believers movement. The Old Believers stubbornly, from the 17th century up to the present, refused contact with the "Nikonians" from whom they differed not over any details of dogcna but only over ritual finepoints such as the writing of the name "Isus--Jesus," the twice- stated "Hallelujahs" and the position of the fingers during prayer. However for these insignificant differences people were sent into exile and death; they burned them- - selves and others. The Old Believer fanatics sincerely considered the entire world opposing them to be the "Kingdom of the Anti-Christ." 16 ~ FOR OFFICIAL USE ~NLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY The forces of segregation do operate in world reli~ions, as in the national ones, not only in the peripheral zone, between the churches, demoninations and sects but also within these co~�nunities. There is no equality within them. There are the Clergy and the laity; the numerous gradations in the clergy such as deacons, arch- deacons, priests, archpriests, bishops, archbishops, metropolitans, exarchs and patriarchs; monks and laymen, anc~ within the monastic orders there are novices, the black cassocks, monks, father superiors and archimandrites and so forth. And this is ,just within the Orthodox Church. In the Catholic Church there is ~ust as much hierarchical diversity. Hierarchy in the Protestants is significantly simpler ~ but also clearly expressed. The mass of the "laymen" is also heterog~neous. Women cannot be priests; a woman cannot enter the sanctuary; the rich who have made a large contribution to a monestary or a church have privileges.... In a word, the "fraternity" within the church community is a very relative frater- nity. Even in terms of the idea that each layman sllould be concerned only with his personal salvation" and at most with the "salvation" of the members of his family. In the New Testament literatu-re (on behslf of the Apostle Paul) the believers axe - given even such perfidious advice that each person can secure the salvatian of his soul at the price of the loss of the soul of another. "Do not take vengeance on yourself, beloved, but give room to the wrath of God," said Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Romans. "...Thus, if your enemy is hungry, succor him; if he thirsts, give him drink: for if you do this you will bring down hot coals on his head" (Rom., XII, 19, 20). What more can be said about this kind forgiveness, this kir.d love of one's neighbor! Need it be sai~l that in the world religions, like in the national ones, the fiction of the religious community of like believers merely conceals and camouflages the sharpest class contradictions, creating an illusion of common spiritual interests be~tween the rulers and the ruled. "The idea of God," said V. I. Lenin, "ha.s always bound the suppressed classes by belief in the divineness of the suppressors."19 ~ Thus, religious morality is essentially self.ish. It is selfish because it replaces an3 mediates relations between people by relations of ~ach individual to God. The Gospel commands that we love God more than "others" (that is, man). To the ques- tion of what is the greatest comm~,ndmer.t in the law, Jesus replied: "Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all they soul, and with ~,11 thy mind; this is - the first and greatest commandment. The second is like unto it: love thy neigh- bor as thyself" (Matt., XXII, 36-39; Mark, XII, 30, 31; Luke, X, 27). We have just seen how "love your neighbor" was sometimes interpreted and by such authorities as Apostle Paul! Hence, from the religious viewpoint (in the given instance, Christian, if love for man contradicts love for God, the former must be sacrificed to the latter. From this, with logical necessity, followed the ~ustification of the religious wars, the crusades, the inquisition and the persecution of "heretics" and atheistis. The value of human life was denied in the name of the absolute ob- ligation of man to God. Strike down the heretics! Strike down the nonbelievers! - Strike down the enemies of God! 14 Why, it might be asked, has the author of this article up to now said nothing about fear crrtd impotenee as the root of any religion? Why has he said nothing about the function of religion as a means of pZaeating a suffering man`t Are these generally known Marxist ideas obsolete or incorrect? ,17 . FOR OFFICIAL USE O1VLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 ,�vn vrc,~~r~a., v.~c., vi~a.,� No, they are absolute~}r correct and in n~ way obsolete. But it is essential to have a cleax er understanding of what the issue is here. The fear and impotence of man before the blind forces of nature or the social ele- ments which suppress him are a psychological prerequisite of a religion but not its real root. Animals also feel fear and impotence before danger. They feel it but are not conscious of it. Consciousness appears only in man. But this is not an individual consciousness but rather a collective one. The individual man never re- sisted nature; nature was always opposed by sociaZ man, the human collective.20 Let us recall the remaxkable words of Marx on the "restrictedness" of the relations of people "to one another and to nature," out of which arose the ancient "natural and popular religion."21 Feeling their impotence, people (not "man" but "people"!) resorted to the defense and protection of our totem, our god. A foreign god does not protect, but on the contraxy, protection must be sought from him (and from enemy witchcraft). But what about fear and impotence when confronted with social forces? Here it is clear that protection against them must only be sought from our god: from "Sweet Jesus," the "Virgin," or the "Almighty Creator." Religion as false consolation? Yes, but again from whom does the suffering man seek this consolation? Not god generally but rather our god! From the polytheis- tic assembly of gods usually several or even one were established as the saviour or , consoler.. This was the case of Osiris and Isis in Egypt, the "Great Mother" a.mong the peoples of Anterior Asia and Mitra among the Iranians. When the old gods had - begun to perform this consoling function too poorly, in the age af general crisis and. mass calamities in the Roman F~npire, a new consoler was needed, and one for the entire diverse and suppressed population of the ~npire. This was Jesus Christ who promised and for a time gave consolation to "all who travail and are heavy laden" (Matt., XI, 28).22 15 The great materialist thinker Spinoza is responsible for the aphorism: "If Peter tells us something about Paal, we learn more about Peter than about Paul." The aphorism is very profound; however, of course, it must not oe understood too liter- ally and raised to an absolute truth. Can it be applied to the science of religion? Seemingly it can. The great sculptors of Ancient Greece such as Phidias, Polyclitus, Praxiteles and Leochares have left us fine sculptural images of Zeus, Apollo and the other gods of Olympus. But from them we learn not about these gods but rather about the creators of the statues and of the high artistic culture uf Classic Greece. The poems of Homer, the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey" tell about the same gods of Olympus. But from these poems we know more about Homer (and about ~.he other story tellers of that age), about the great "Homeric" epic poetry than about the Gods of Olympus. Andrey Rublev painted the ikon of the Virgin and many other ones. But from them we learn more about the artistic genius of Rublev and about the cultural environment from which he came than we do about the Mother of God or the saints. The theologians of inedieval Europe left many works, some very profound, about the properties of divinity and about the various doctrines of Christian dogma. But 18 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY _ APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY from these works we learn not about God and its qualities, but rather about the flexibility of the human intellect anfl those sociocultural conditions under which this intellect was directed to examine purely ima.ginary sub~ects. The Gospel and other New Testamen~ literature provide ma~}r details about Jesus Christ and about his life and teachings, But from the New Testament works we do not leaxn about Jesus Christ (we axe not even precisely sure whether such a person actually existed) but rather of the social and ideological struggle wi.thin the con- � text of which these wor.ks were written. In a word, from Spinoza's a.phorism we again draw confirmation that the main task of a historian of z�eligion is not penetration into the essence of the images of gious fantasy or their sinilaxity and differences, but rather a study of that socio- cultural environment and those specific historical conditions under which these images were created. The task is to study the position of people, their solidaxity an3, conversely, isolation which were reflected in the creation of religious id~as. FOOTNOTES 1. See, for ex~mple: L. Ya,. Shternberg, "Pervobytnaya Religiya v Svete Etno-- grafii" [Primitive Religion in Light of Ethnography], Leningrad, 1936, p 31; . V. G. Bogoraz, "Chukchi" [Chuckchees], Part 2, Religiya, J~eningrad, ~939, pp , 11. 2. See V. N. Kharuzina, "NotPs on the Use of the W~rd 'Fetishism'," ETNOGRAFICH- ESKOYE OBOZRENIYE, No 1-2, 1908. - 3. See, for example, B. P. Shishlo, "Istoki Kul'ta Predkov [Sources of the An- cestor Cult], Leningrad, ~972. 4. K. von Sydow, "Selected Pa.pers on Folklore," Copenhagen, 1g48. 5. P. Radin, "Primitive Religion," New York, 1937 (2d Edition, 1957)� 6. S. A. Tokarzv, "Problems of Periodization in the History of Religion," VOPROSY NAUCHNOGO ATEIZMA, Nc 20, Moscow, 1976, pp 77, 78. 7. W. Hesberg, "Protestant, Catholic, Jew. An Essay in American Religious - Sociology," New York, 1956, pp 14, 236; see also Yu. A. Levada, "Sotsial'naya Priroda Religii" [The Social Nature of Religion], Moscow, 1965, p 198. 8. S. A. Tokarev, "op. cit., p 80. 9. S. A. Tokarev, "Ranniye Foriqy Religii i ikh Razvitiye" [Early Forms of Religion and Their Development], Moscow, 1964, pp 6-10. 10. E. Fromia, "Psychoanalysis and Religio:~," New York, 1967, pP 3~+-37. - 11. A. Toynbee, "An Historian's Approach to Religion," Oxford (USA), 1956, pp 10- 13. 19 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00854R000440050016-5 rux vrri~.~r?1. v~c vivi,i 12. The well-known Russian philosopher Vladimir Solov'yev made a curious attempt to combine Zoroastrian teachings about the great impure spirit, the antagonist of God, with Christian beliefs. He viewed the very concept of evil not in a negative sense, as the absence or lack of good, but as a positive and active world force fighting against good. Vl. Solov'yev understood the Apocalyptic "Anti-Christ" in a completely realistic and completely material manner, as an opponent of Christ which had to be born. See V. Solov'yev, "A Brief Tale about the Anti-Christ," "Sobr. Soch." [Collected Works], Vol 8, St. Peters- burg, 1901. 13. K. Maxx and F. Engels, "Soch." [~lorks], Vol 3, p 2. 1~+. This was clearly seen by certain more perceptive bourgeois scholars. Thus, Robert Lowie, an ethnographer from the same very sound school of Boas as was Radin, wrote: "If we know that a tribe practices witchcraft, it believes in spirits and recognizes a secret force residing in inanimate nature, or, pos- sibly, the primacy of any~ supernatural being, then we know precisely nothing about the religion of the given people. All depends upon the interdependence of various areas of supernaturalism, upon the emotional weight ascribed to each of them" (R. Lowie, "Primitive Religion," New York, 1925, P 53). But even more, we might add, depends upon the type and structure of that group of people which adheres to these beliefs and performs these rites. 15. See, for example, I. A. Kryvelev, "Religionznaya Kartina Mira i Yeye Bogoslovskaya Modernizatsi a~'~The Religious Picture of the World and Its - Theological Modernization Moscow, 1968, pp 3-13 and so forth. 16. See S. A. Tokarev, "The Delimiting and Unifying Functions of Culture" (Papers for the Ninth International Congress of Archeological and Ethnographic Scien- ces, Chicago, 1973), Moscow, 1973� 17. In foreign countries a solid literat~zre has already developed on the "soci- - ology of religion." See, for exam.ple: G. LeBras, Etudes de sociologie reTi ieuse " Vols 1-2 Paris 1955, 1956� W. Herberr' o cit.� W. Stark g' , ~ > > Se P� > > "The Sociology of Religion," London, 1969; R. Robertson, "Einfiihrung in die Religionssoziologie," Munich, ~973, and others. Of the Soviet works, see particularly Yu. A. Levada, op. cit. 18. This segregating function of religion has been very correctly and clearly ex- pressed by the modern American sociologist-jour.nalist Harold Isaacs who has put religion in the same rank as the other social factors which disunite people (race, language, historical traditions and so forth). "All accumu- lated (historical.--S.T.) data show that the stronger the reli~ious beliefs and ties, the greater the hostility for other religious beliefs and their supporters" (H. R. Isaacs, "Idols of the Tribe," New York, ~975, p 151). In truth, religious dissention has often served merely as a cover-up for purely earthly interests. But the belligerents have always sought the blessing of their gods. Here the leaders could behypocrites and cynics, but the masses of people led by them, in believing blindly in them, also believe in the divine blessing. They murdered and were murdered because they felt their beliefs and rites correct" (ibid., p 153, 154). "One thing can be said with confidence 20 ~ FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 FOR OF~ICfAL i.1SE; ONI,Y when we become acquainted with the conflicts of group individualities of our times: to one degree or another religion figures in all of them" (ibid., P 15~)� 19. V. I. Lenin, PSS [Complete Collected Works], Vol 48, p 232. - 20. Modern psychological science has reached the conclusion that "the individual does not enter into ar~y ties with nature, any abiotic or biotic factors of the environment except for the various social functions involved in the use or conservation of society's natural resources" (B. G. Anan'yev, "0 Problemakh - Sovremennogo Chelovekoznaniya" [Q~ the Problems of Modern Anthropology], Moscow, 1977, p 248. 21. K. Marx and F. Engels, "Soch.," Vol 23, pp 89, 9~� _ 22. The above-men~ioned Harold Isaacs writes completely correctly on this question: "...It must be pointed out that whatever consolation an individual receives, _ in thu.s entering into religion, he rece~ves it not as a single individual but as a member of a group. Even in the most contemplative and the most exotic sects and, of course, in all the reborn or millenarian sects in these processes co-contemplaters and like thinkers axe essential." "They seek not only inner peace, but also an external tie...a feeling of general belonging to the others who feel the same way. These seekers of salvation do not go off alone to sol- itary mountains or on a desert vigil, rather they gather together in churches, temples, coffinunes and communities" (H. Isaacs, op. cit., p 168). COPYRIGHT: Izdatel'Stvo '~Nauka"~ "Sovetskaya etncgrafiya", ~979 10272 Cso: 8344/0982 21 FOR OFT~CIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2407/42/09: CIA-RDP82-40850R000400450016-5 t'VK VPC1l.lAL VJL' V1VLY ON THE MARXIST UNDERSTANDING OF RELIGION* - Moscow SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA in No l, Jan-Feb 80 (signed to press 2~+ Jan 80) - Pp 66-71 [Article by D. M. Ugrinovich] [Text] S. A. Tokarev is widely known both in our nation and abroad as one of the most prominent Soviet students of religion. His works devoted to primitive religion and to the history of religions have been and remain desk references for many Soviet - readers interested in the problems of scientific atheism. For this reason the ap- pearance of S. A. Tokarev in print in an article devote3 to the methodological prob- lems of Marxist religious studies cannot help but attract close attention. The article by S. A. Tokaxev is marked by a wealth of historical and ethnographic material. It contains a number of correct and interestin~ 3udgcnents, observations and conclusions. At the same time, the treatment of a number of fundamental method- ological questions evokes argument and a desire to refute the author. The present response is a re~oinder to such a dispute. It touches predominantly on those qizes- tions the treatment of which seems unconvincing to us in the article by S. A. Tokarev. In Marxist religious studies, the thesis of religion as a social phenomenon is gen- erally accepted. No researcher defending Marxist positions would deny this thesis. The disputes start when the question is raised of an interpretation of the given genera.l thesis. In the opinion of S. A. Tokarev (and this obviously expresses the basic idea of his article), "the main task of an historian of religion is not to penetrate into the essence of the images of religious fa,ntasy, their similarity or the differences be- tween them, but rather a study of that sociocultural~milieu, those specific histori- cal conditions under which these images were created; that placement of people, their solidarity and, conversely, separateness which were reflected in the creation of religi.ous notions" (p 105) ~his general conclusion stems from that definition of religion given by S. A. Tokarev at the start of the axticle, on page 91: '~On the question of the article by S. A. Tokarev "Religion as a Social Phenomenon" (SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA, No 3, 1979). Further references to this article are given in the text. **[Pages cited in this and subsequent articles refer to pagination of Tokarev article in SOVETSF.AYA ETNOGRAFIYA No 3, Mar-Apr 79] 22. . FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 FI~R OFFICIAL USF: ONLY religion "is not so much man's attitude toward God (,the gods~ as it is the attitude of people to one another over the question of the notions about God (the gods)." First of all we would dispute the author's presenting religious faitfi (religious consciousness) as if it ~rere sometfiing apart from and insignificant to those rela- tions between people which occur in connection with and as a result of religious belief and which, in the autho~"s mind, should be the main ob~ect of research by an historian or ethnographer studying religion. There is no doubt that the desig- - nated relations (in modern literature on religious studies they are designated - as "religious relations")1 require a careful study and that they comprise an im- " portan~. element of the religious superstructure. However is it wise to put them in opposition to the religious beliefs of people, emphasizing the little signif i- - cance of the beliefs (the attitude toward God is also a belief in God) in compaxison with the relations? In our view, it is not. The problem is that religious rela- tions (this is also recognized by S. A. Tokarev on page 91) are among the "ideo- - logical" (in the terminology of V. I. Lenin) relations which differ from the "mate- rial" (that is, economic) in the fact that they always deveZop in passing through the consciousness of people,2 that is, they are formed in accord with their views and ideas. For example, it is scarcely correct to put the moral relations between people in opposition to their moral ~udgments and views. Certainly outside these moral judgments and views (even in elementary, undeveloped forms) the moral rela- tions themselves are impossible. Thus, moral criteria are inapplicable to the behavior of a breast-feeding child or a mentall.y ill person. The situation is analogous in the area of religion. Outside an analysis of religious beliefs and - ideas it is impossible to understand the basis of that real community which - links the believers together and unifies them into a religious community. Cer- _ tainly the very cult actions of people in this community represent a symbolic em- - bodiment of definite religious ideas, images and notions.3 The relations of people _ _ _ . _ . _ _ . _ - - - _ "over the question" of belief in God are impossible if there is no belief and the content of this belief has a substantial impact on the content and form of reli- gious relations. In this regard let us compaxe the relations between the clergy and the laity in Catholicism where the particular role of the clergy stems from the = dogma "there is no salvation outside the Church," and the same relations in certain Protestant organizations which proceed from the dogma that only individual belief provides salvation and they are guided by the principle of a"universal priesthood." Obviously the content of the religious beliefs is in no way somehow secondary or un- important for understanding the other elements of the religious superstructure, that is, the manner of worship, religious attitudes and relations and institutions. The article of S. A. Tokarev raises not only the question of the relationship of re- ligious belief and religious attitudes. The author endeavors to create an opposi- tion between the study of religious beliefs and religious consciousness and a study of the social roots of religion and its social functions. (Let us recall the al- ready quoted place on the main task of the historian of religion.) Such an oppo- sition seems incorrect to us. In actuali~y, is "the penetration into the essence of the images of religious fantasy" possible, fro~a the Marxist viewpoint, outside and in addition to a study of that social milieu in which such images arise? A scientific understanding of religious beliefs inevitably presupposes an elucidation of their social base. But a study of the social base for religious beliefs is im- possible if we neglect their content, For example, is it possible to seriously study the social causes for the rise of Christianity if we divorce ourselves from 23 _ FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00854R000440050016-5 tr.e specific religious beliefs of th~ Ear1y Christians which were reflected in the "Confessions of St. John"? Here let us recall the scrupulous and most detailed analysis by F. Engels of the content of this New Testa.ment book and which he makes i:~ his well-known articles on primitive Christianity.4 On the basis of an analysis - of the content of the "Confessions," Engels explains the social sources for the rise of Christianity and its rapid spread. In this regard it must be pointed out that the historian far from always had an op- portunity to recreate the economic and social context of one or another state or - people proceeding from the sources which describe directly the economy, the social or politic al system. It sometimes happens that the religious texts are the only sources which come down to us. In this case the researcher is confronted with the task of reconstructing an economic and social system which at one time existed for a certain people proceeding from a knowledge of the religious superstructure and an understanding that it always reflected the basis in a mystified manner. An example of such a very successful reconstruction would be the book by the well-known Soviet historian N. M. Nikol'skiy in which on a basis of the surviving Phoenician religious texts he has been able to prove that Phoenicia was not exclusively a trading country _ and that ancient agricultura.l communities played a significant role in its economy.5 ~ And S. A. Tokarev himself has a number of works in which he carefully compares the content of religious beliefs with the social environment in which they appeared and - thus gives them a scientific explanation. We might mention the work of S. A. Toka- rev "The Essence and Origin of Magic,"6 in which he provides an informative and pro- found analysis of the social roots of the various types of magic: for hunting, for casting an evil spell, for love, meteorological and so forth. It is obvious that opposing the study of the content of religious beliefs to the study of their social basis is also incorrect in methodological terms and can only mislead the res.earcher. In the article by S. A. Tokarev, the "penetration into the essence of religious fantasy" is viewed as an unimpartant and secondaxy task also from the viewpoint of disclosing the social functions of a religion and its role in society. This asser- - tion by the author is also refutable. - Initially, one general methodological comment. The social functions of one or an- other phenomenon in the sphere of social consciousness cannot be correctly described without consideration of to what degree it reflects reality truly and objectively. - A true reflection of reality in the consciousness of people always objectively plays - a fundamentally different role in society than does a false, illusory one. This applies completely to religion. The attempts to describe the social functions of religion outside of its gnoseological assessment (that is, an assessment as a dis- _ torted, perverted reflection of reality) are typical for the modern bourgeois soci- ology of religion, and in particular for that current which has been called "func- tionalism." The functionalists, in following E. Durkheim, assert that the social functions of religion do not depend upon the truthfulness or falseness of the re- ligious ideas. In their works they give a one-sided, incomplete description of re- ligion's social functions over-stressing its integrating and communicative function and ignoring its main function, the function of an "opiate," that is, an illusory _ compensation for the social weakness of people. In ignoring a gnoseological esti- mate of religious consciousness as a false consciousness, it is impossible to under- stand the objective social role of a religious faith which creates an illusion of = � 24. FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-04850R000400050016-5 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONI.Y a temporary sub~ective consolation and at the same time ob~ectively diverts a person from the real problems and contradict~ons of reality and prevents his involvemer.� in the active transformation of social relations.~ There is no doubt that these general Marxist theses are known to S. A. Tokarev. It must be pointed out that in his description of religion's social funetions, there are mar~y interesting and correct statements and extensive historical material has been brought in. One cannot help but agree with S. A. Toka.rev when he points to the role of religion as a factor dividing people and setting into opposition members from different religious and ethnoconfessional communities. Using enormous histori- cal material the author has convincingly shown that the role of religion has been (and presently remains) not only a force which integrates and unites people but also an important factor of their segregation, their disunity, and both the religious in- tegration and religious segregation in a class society have ob~ectively served and do serve the interests of the ruling classes. However, one can scarcely agree with the author when he feels that segregation is "the most important function of national religions" (p 99). In our view, the most important function of any religions, including the national ones, is the illusory- compensatory function, that is, the function of an illusory compensation for the social weakness of people. Marx had precisely this function in mind in his famous thesis: "Religion is the opiate of the people.i8 Why precisely is this function of religion the main one? In the first place, because it reflects the specific essence of religion and sep- - ~ arates it from all other forms of social consciousness and cultural phenomena. Certainly not only religion operates as a factor of segregation, but so do many other cultural phenomena which manifest the uniqueness of ethnic communities, the selfish class and estate interests of people and so forth. For example, here one would put certain rites and traditions which have developed within a certain ethnos, and here also in a class society one would include the moral, political and legal views of the ruling classes. The latter ~ustify and reinforce both class and estate as well as racial and national discrimination and they put persons of different national, racial and social origin into opposition. For this reason the segregation function is not specific to religion and does not express the essence of this social phenomenon. On the contrary, the illusory-compensatory function stems from the very essence of a religious depiction of thP world, as a false and distorted reflection brought about by the limited nature of human practice and by the inability of people to consciously realize the laws of social development. Secondly, the illusory-compensatory f~nction is inherent to all religious phenomena regardless of under what social conditions they function. Of course, this does not mean that the given function is realized uniformly in any historical conditions. For example, religious consolation is certainly not the in primitive magic and in modern Christianity and in Christianity religious compensation plays far from an identical role under the conditions of capitalism and socialism. Nevertheless, re- ligous consciousness always and under all historical conditions (even when religion serves as an ideological banner of progressive social movements) ob,jectively per- forms the function of an "opiate" which distracts people from reality, impedes the social activeness of the masses and directs this activeness into a false channel. There is the other question that the social role of religion does not come down to the mentioned function but also includes many other areas of social action; some - 25 FOR OFFIC[AL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2047/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000404050016-5 of these were examined in detail in the article by S. A. Tokarev. But, in our view, it is fundamentally incorrect to overlook the illusory-compensatory function of re- ligion. We would also point out that it is impossible to study the illusory-compensatory function of religion without a careful analysis of the con~;erts of religious beliefs and without a clear gnoseological assessment of religion as a perverted, reality- distorting consciousness. In this regard it must be stressed that a Marxist approach to religion presupposes a unity of its gnoseological and sociological analysis. A gnoseological approach to religion not enhanced by the sociological in pre-Marxist - atheisr~ led to enlightenment but impeded an understan~ing of the real w~.ys to over- come religion. But the sociological approach which ignored a gnoseological assess- ment of religion led Durkheim and his contemporaxy followers to conclusions on the eternal nature of religion and its inevitability in any society.9 We would point out that in his article S. A. Tokarev has not strictly followed the principle proclaimed by him and according to which the content of religious beliefs is of secondary significance for the historian of religion. Thus, on page 91, he raises the question: "But what...remains common in all these religious ideas from the viewpoint of their content, that common feature which justifies putting them in one sphere of social consciousness and separates them from any other, nonreligious spheres?" Thus, the author endeavors to settle the question of the main specific feature of religious consciousness, a question the solution to which is laxgely de- termined by an understanding of the place of religion in a society and its social functions. In completely sharing the very positing of the question, we, unfortun- ately, again are unable to agree with its solution. In the opinion of S. A. Tokarev, the main thing in the content of religious ideas is _ "not the names of gods and not the theological teachings about their properties and relationships and not the ideas on the relationship of man to god, but rather what answer is given by one or another religion to the origin of evil in human life" (p 92)� In our view, the question of the "origin of evil in human life" cannot be considered the main thing in the content of religious ideas for several reasons. In the first place, because in the rudi.mentary relig'ious ideas of the primitive age a concept of evil had not yet been differentiated from the concepts of "bad," "harm- ful," or "disgr~c:eful." The formation of specific moral ,judgments, standards.and concepts occupied an extended historical period and ended, obviously, only in a class society. This presupposed: a) an abandoning of the identification of society and nature, the "cosmos and the socium"; the moral ~judgment gradually assumed its own specific ob~ect, man; b) a gradual separating of "good" from "useful," that is, the forming of moral ,judgments per se which were distinct from other value ~udgments; c) the separation of "what is" from "what should be." Moral obligation ceased to be based exclusively on the authority of custom and tradition and assumed its own inde- pendence.l0 Secondly, the question of the origin of evil is not the main thing in religion, since the solution to it was always determined by the belief in the existence of supernatural beings, properties or relationships. This in essence is also recog- nized by S. A. Tokarev. He writes: "...Common to any religious explanation of evil has been the fact that the sought cause of evil was presented in a distorted, ~ysti- fied, ima.ginary, fantastic form; the cause was in that form which we now term the 26. FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2447/02/09: CIA-RDP82-44850R444444454416-5 FOR OFFICIAI. USF, ON1.Y 'supernatural' or 'other worldly'" (p 96). Thus, in order to prove what the common factor is in a religious explanation of evil, S. A. Tokarev was forced to turn to a belief in the supernatural which is the very core of any religious consciousness and its main content. As for the problem of evil and ethical problems generally, in re- ligion they play an extremely great role and it would be wrong to underestimate them, but here it is essential to bear in mind that they are not specific to religion (a nonreligious solution to them is possible) and for this reason they cannot be viewed as its~main content. Moreover, in declaring the ethical problem to be the main con- tent of religion, we thereby involuntarily do service to the defenders of religion who er_deavor by all means to show the impossibility of the existence of morality without religion. We agree with S. A. Tokarev that the tasks of athiests does not come down to a mono~ onous repetition of the thesis "there is no god," and that it is essential to be able to draw practical conclusionsfrom either the religious or atheistic premises: To ca11 on god (the gods) to escape from evil, suffering and injustice or to fight with one's own forces against evil, suffering and injustice"(p 96}. However, it must not be forgotten that correct conclusions can be drawn only from correct premises. If _ the atheistic premises (including the thesis "there is no god") are not just rnechani- cally instilled by rote but rather are given a thorough scientific and philosophical basis, they comprise a core of an individual's scientific ideology. And in no way should they be neglected. FOOTNOTES 1. See I. N. Yablokov, "Sotsiologiya Religii" [The Sociology of Religion], Moscow, _ 1979, pp 105-110. 2. V. I. Lenin, PSS [Complete Collected Works], Vol l, p 137� 3. For more detail on this see: D. M. Ugrinovich, "Obryady. Za i Protiv" [Rites. Pro and Contra], Moscow, 1975� 4. See F. Engels, "Bruno Bauer and Primitive Christianity," K. Marx and F. Engels, "Soch." [Works], Vol 19; F. Engels "The Book of Revelation," ibid., Vol 21; - Engels, "On the History of Primitive Christianity," ibid., Vol 22. 5. See N. M. Nikol'skiy, "Etyudy po Istorii Finikiyskikh Obshchinnykh i Zemledel'cheskikh Kul'tov" [Studies on the History of Phoenician Communal and Agricultural Cults], Minsk, 1948. _ o. S. A. Tokarev, "The Essence and Origin of Magic," "Issledovaniya i Materialy po Voprosa.m Pervobytnykh Religiozynykh Verovaniy" ~R~search and P~Iaterials on the Questions of Primitive Religious Beliefs] ("Trudy In-ta Etnografii AN SSSR" [Transactions of the Ethnography Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences], vo~ 51), N~oscow, i959, PP 7-75. - 7. For more detail on a critique of functionalism, see: D. P~. Ugrinovich, "Vvedeniye v Teoretic}ieskoye Religovedeniye" [Introduction to Theoretical Re- ligious Studies], Moscow, 1973, pp 98-104; D. M. Ugrinovich, "Functionalism in Modern American Sociology of Religion," VOPROSY FILOSOFII, No 9, 1976. 27. FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02109: CIA-RDP82-00850R400440050016-5 . . 8. K. Marx and F. Engels, "Soch.," Vol l, p~+15. 9. For more detail on this see: D. M. Ugrinovich, "Vvedeniye v Teoreticheskc~ye...," pp 82-83. 10. For more detail see: 0. G. Drobnitskiy, "Ponyatiye Morali" [The Concept of Morality], Moscow, 1974; A. A. Guseynov, "Sotsial'naya Priroda Nravstvennosti" [The Social Nature of Mora~ity], Moscow, ~974; A. I. Tatarenko, "Struktury Nravstvennogo Soznaniya" [Structures of Moral Consciousness], Moscow, 1974. _ COPYRIGHT: Izdatel'stvo "Nauka", "Sovetskaya etnografiya", lg8o 10272 CSO: 8344/09~2 28 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 FOR OFFICIAI. USF. ONI_1' - ON THE ESSENTIAL AND NONESSENTIAL IN THE STUDY OF RELIGION~ Moscow SOVETSKAYA ETNOGR.AFIYA in Russian No 1, Jan-Feb 80 (signed to press 2~+ Jan 80) pp 72-79 [Article by I. A. Kryvelev] [Text] Among the numerous and not very interrelated ideas found in the article, for a start we would point out one which seems basic. Its essence is as follows: the most essential feature of religion, as a form of social conscience, is not the con- tent of the religious beliefs but rather the social functions of the religion. For this reason "the task of a historian of religion is not to penetrate into the essence of the images of religious fantasy..., but rather a study of that sociocul- tural milieu and those specific historical conditions in which these ideas were cre- ated, that placement of people, their unity and, conversely, disunity which have been reflected in the creation of religious ideas" (p 105). In other words, a his- torian of religion should study not so much the history of religion as that milieu, that historical situation in which the religions arose and function, that is simply the history of society, the production relations of people, the class struggle, the history of science and generally culture. The motivation of this thesis as given by the author appears somewhat unusual. In and of themselves religious beliefs, he states, are very hazy, uncleax and even "frequently contradictory." Their descriptions in the ethnographic literature often do not agree with one another. There have been contradictory descriptions of totem- istic beliefs, fetishism and fetish, mana and manitou, churinga and ancestor spirits. Moreover, it must be assumed, much in these descriptions has merely been thought up by the ethnographers themselves. For example, "in recent years the opiniqn was voiced (von Sydow) that in essence there are no personifications of these (spirits o� vegetation.--I.K.) and that the 'rye wolves,' 'grain maidens,' 'grain mothers' and otners as described by Mannhardt have been thought up.... The people know nothing about them" (p 89). Von Sydow "voiced the opinion" and this was enou~h to declare numerous statements in the ethnographic literature on the cult of vegeta- _ tiox~ spirits as absurd. *On the question of the article by S. A. Tokarev "Religion as a Social Phenomenon" (SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA, No 3, 1979). Further references to this article are given in the text. 29 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 wlzat has been said about the unreliability, sparseness and unsubstantiability of our information on primitive beliefs has also been applied by the author to the re- _ ligions of ancient class societies. Although the information available to science on the ideas of the gods and the content of other religious notions from this age is - richer still "much remains guess~rork" (p 89)� For this reason the ethnographers and historians of religions constantly argue in their attempts to agree not only on the content of the concepts oi animism, fetishism, the veneration of nature and so forth but also on the images of Osiris, 7.sis, Marduk, Ishtar, Zeus, Poseidon and o~thers. The situation is no easier with modern religions. Here there should not be any such difficulties as there are fully enough materials on modern beliefs. But the author still considers the situation difficult in terms of s~udying mcdern religions. He feeis that the contents of. beliefs are presently little known to the people. Relying on materials from a poll by the American Gallup Institute which show that many believing Christians have a poor understanding of the content of Christian dogma, S. A. Tokarev asserts that "an enormous mass of be- lievers...has a very hazy notion of the r.ontent of Christian beliefs. It can be said that a majority of the believers does not know them at all" (p 90); the profes- sional theologians and a few specialists do know them. This also is proof in favor of the thesis that the contents of religious teachings are not of essential signifi- _ cance for religious studies and the history of religions. The line of argument for this idea lies on a somewhat different plane than for the primitive and ancient religions. In one instance, in addition to the fact that the masses had a poor - knowledge of their beliefs, modern science can also say little about them. In the other, the scholars can understand, but the believers themselves do not know what they believe. A co~non conclus;:.on can be drawn that it is not worth the while elu- cidating the content of either the ancient or modern beliefs for the content is nonessential and difficult to explain. As is known, the task of science is to study the essential phenomena, wnile the beliefs, as S. A. Tokarev asserts~are nonessen- tial for a description of religion. As for the difficulties invoZved in studying religious beliefs, the auth~r is cor- rect. Between the scholarly schools and their individual representatives there have actually been disputes over the question of the content and scope of various con- cepts used in religious studies. Many oF tnese concepts are indefinite and 'nazy. The orioin of a number of phenomena. has been explai.ned differently by the various schools. P~any diverse systems of classification have been proposed. But which of the humanities does not suffer from this? For exa.mple, is there complete unanim- ity between the scholars of the various schools and currents on the question of the content o~ the basic concepts in the science dealing withsociety and social develop- ment? Are certain basic categories of philosophy and their relationship and their origin in our consciousness interpreted uniformly by all philosophers? Can this "clash" in the interpretatior. of these concepts and problems be considered justifi- cation for taking them off the scholarly~iagenda" or simply abolishing them?! We feel the opposite solutiori to be more correct, that is, the less one or another problem has been elaborated in science, the raore effort must be made for its truly scienti- fic solution, under the condition, of course, that t~iis is not a pseudoproblem bu~; - a real, urgent one which ha.s beset science for an extended period. But that the content of religious beliefs and such ideolo~;ical phenomena which have been reflected in religious studies in the form of generally accepted categories does not represent an aggregate of pseudoproblems seems obvious, for they are linked to the basic ques- tions of ideology. 30 FOF~ OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2407/42/09: CIA-RDP82-40850R000400450016-5 FOR OFFICIAI. USF. OtiLY To the above-given argument in favor of the "nonessentialness" of beliefs, S. A. Tokarev adds still another recognized by him as even more important (.p 91). Three religions such as.Buddhism, Islam and Christianity are compared in terms of the con- tents of their beliefs. It is correctly pointed out that there are great differ- ences between t hese beliefs. But still, supposedly, "the presence of sharp contrasts in no way prevents us from putting Buddhism, Christianity and Islam into one cate- gory, into one type the type of world religions" (p 91). Of course, it doesn't prevent us nor is it clear why it should [prevent us] because the categoriza- tion into a single group is carried out in the given case by using a feature which has no bearing on the content of the beliefs. It is rather a question of the geographic distribution of the correspondi.~g religions. As is known from elementary logic, a phenomenon can be classified using various criteria, following, certainly, one principle of division in each individual classification system. The existence - of the concept "world religions" for this reason in no way eliminates either the fact of the presence of doctrinal d~.fferences between them or the necessity of studying these differences. Finally, one other argutnent in favor of the "nonessentialness" of religious ideas and beliefs which we touched upon in passing. The author shows decisive skepticism over whether or not various beliefs exist or arise in a"people" or whether they are imposed on the people by various ideologists. In relying on the American ethnog- rapher Pa.ul Radin, he asserts that "generally a predominant msjor�ity of the beliefs described by researchers among peoples of various nations belongs not to the people themselves, not to the mass of the population, but only to a small stratum of shamans, priESts and other 'religious thinkers'; they are not only the repositories and experts in ~;ne beliefs but also the creators of these beliefs" (p 89). In de- veloping ~hi~ idea, S. A. Tokarev goes on to say that trie "religious thinkers"... "themselves created the world of spirits and gods, deceiving their fellow tribesmen and ultimately themselves" (p 101). As is known, scientific religious studies for a long time has not seriously accepted the vulgar theory which explains the rise and existence of a religion by the deceit with which the fools were ensnared by clever manipulators playing on their stupidity. It is unlikely but a fact that the author has arrived at the deception theory! The reasons and t he material for repudiatin~ the basic idea in the studied article are easily disclosed even in the article itself, for, as strange as it may seem, at a number of places the author argues against himself. He -reminds us that Marxism views religion as a form of social consciousness (p 93)� This is correct but precisely from this it follows that research on religion is pri- marily research on the content and nature of this specific form of sociaZ conseious- ness. The author goes on to raise the question of what is "common " in all these religious notions from the viewpoint of their content...?" He then answers this question ambiguously and evasively. Most often, he says, as the basic feature characterizing all religious ideas they point to a belief in the supernatural. Does the author agree with this solution to the question? It appears as if he agrees but at the same time disagrees. For the pres- ent le+ us accept this definition without indulging in a criticism of its inaccuracy and a certain haziness (p 92). The importance of this "for the present" soon becomes apparent in the sense that the author essentially rejects this "definition." 31 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00854R000440050016-5 Religion, from his viewpoint, in no way creates an opposition between a scientific ideolo~}r its view of the world. Possibly there was a time when this opposition did exist, but not now. Theologians have a good knowledge of natural science and do no dispute its theories just as ~hey do not dispute the achievements in the humani- ties. On the ideological level, hence, there are no contradictions between religion and science. It goes without saying that this is decisively wrong, for a religion, even an ultramodern one, cannot abandon the bifurcation (in fantasy) of the world into the natural and supernatural elements, and if it does abandon this, then it ceases to be a religion. But we would like to emphasize something else here. The author has engaged in analyzing the content of those very religious beliefs which, in his opinion, is ines~ential. In the subsequent exposition he constantly speaks precisely about religious ideas, notions, beliefs and views! On many pages of the text, S. A. Tokarev is concerned with analyzing precisely the religious teachings, but not always (in truth, from my viewpoint) correctly and ac- curately, as I will endeavor to prove subsequently. He raises the question: What - is the main thing in the concept of religious ideas? And he finds this main thing in "what answer one or another religion gives to the question of the origin of eviZ in human life" (p 92)� He then describes in detail how the various religions symbol- ize and personify in their teachings the abstract category of evil, how the idea of satan and other personifications of evil arose and what role was played by this idea in the Old and New Testa.ments. On this level the myth of the fall from grace of Adam and Eve was criticized on a rather flat, rationalistic level, and in the conclusion of this criticism the author exclaims: "It would be hard to imagine anything more absurd!"(p 92). It is stated that "the thesis of a devil did not become part of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan symbol of faith" and draws the general conclusion: "here there is a wide-open field for religious studies" (p 9~+)� On the contrary, S. A. Tokarev does not see a wide-open field in the problem of the overcoming of death," for "a majority of religions does not even raise this question" (p 95)� This to say the least unsubstantiated assertion is needed by the author in order to draw the - conclusion that the formula "religion as the overcoming of death," although imagin- able, in no way replaces the above-given formula of "religion as the explanation and justiiication of evil and suffering." Why one of these formulas should replace the other and not complement it is not very clear. But re~ardless of the above- given thesis of S. A. Tokarev is essentially valid or not, we would point out that the author, in spite of his basic view according to which religious teachings are unessential for a description of religion, here views the latter precisely as an ex- pression of definite teachings, whether concerned with the origin oi evil or the overcoming of death. _ Regardless of how he endeavors in his description of religion, to escape from an analysis of its teachings, he is unable to do this and is continuously caught up in the sphere of religious ideology. He repeatedly declares that "it is most important historically to study the social function of the given religion (and any religion ~enerally) as one of the social fea,tures separating one group of people from another" and that "it is most important not to study the nan;es of the gods or the spirits, not the mythological tales about them and not a description of the cult rites...," , but rather a study oi the above-indicated "social function of religion" (p 97)� Here, in truth, a stipulation is made: this does not mean, of course, t;hat we do riot need to study the content of religious beliefs. They must be stuclied but this must not be considered the main purpose of the researcn." This ultimately confuses 32 FOR OFFIC[AL USE ON1LY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 ~ the entire question. S. A. Tokarev speaks about the advisability of studying reli- gious ideology, but he does not consider such research the main thing in religious studies. Consequently,�~deology must be studied but this can be done without study- ing its component ideas. It goes without saying that there cannot be any argument against examining the social foundations of religion as a whole and individual religious phenomena andforms, in par- ticular. However, why should this be done at the expense of studyingthe ideology it- self? We find all the more unconvincing the complaints directed by the author against those Soviet students of religion who are concerned with studying religious ic~eology. He accuses them of nothing more than a theological bias (p 97)! One can- not help but find such odious labeling not a veryconscientious move. With suffi- cient justification S. A. Tokarev could criticize himself that by his constructs, whether he desires it or not, he encourages research on religious teachings and their history. He writes: "The history of religion is the history of what differ- ent relations developed between in the course of social development and how these relations have been pro~jected into the ideological area, into the area of religious ideas" (p 97). Is it possible to understand in what manner the "various relations" - have been projected into the area of religious ideas if one does not study these ideas?! S. A. Tokarev refutes himself approximately in the same manner when he uses such formulas: " not so much man's attitude toward God (the gods) as _ it is the reZation of peopZe to one another over the question of the ideas of God and the gods" (p 96}. If this is the case, then these ideas (about God and the gods!) are of primary significance for the student of religion and there are no grounds to put their study in the department of divinity. In truth, our author does have an argument which, it seems to him, rescues his posi- tion. He does not condemn an interest in studying religious ideology generally; he is only against giving primary importance to this problem in religious studies. In fact such a move does not alter anything. In order to understand ideology, it is essential to study precisely ideology and its terrestrial (of course, social!) roots. But it is wrong to put one in opposition to the other. There is the other question: Should ~;he student or historian of religion himself be concerned with studying the general historical problems and phenomena or can he use the work of his colleagues specialized in such research ex professo? For example, is it his ,job to study the productive forces, production relations, the course of the class struggle, political history, cultural history, for example, in the Roman E~npire during the first cen- turies A.D., when Christianity was spreading there? Why should he not use the colos- sal material which has been acquired on these questions by the general historiography of the given age and continues now to be continuously filled out by the efforts of the Soviet and foreign historians of the Classical World? But the research on reli- gious ideology, in the given case, Early Christianity, is his immediate specialty where he possesses special knowledge and in which an historian of any other specialty cannot replace him. For example, it is impossible to force an art historian to be concerned with independent research on the history, for example, of military affairs on the grounds that battle painting played a ma,jor role in the development of fine arts and the actual wars of the corresponding period were reflected in it. 'Phe actual call to abandon an analysis of the content of religious ideology links S. A. Tokarev with an unique ideological neutralism. The question of a divine being is viewed by him only on a disrespectful ironical level. The author depicts the quarrel between religion and atheism over this fundamental question which divides - 33 ~ FOR OFFiC[AL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2447/02/09: CIA-RDP82-44850R444444454416-5 ~'VI'~ Vft'1\lML IJJI'. Vl\Ll them as a hopeless and pointless repetition of the phrases 'God exists' and 'there is no f~od'" (p 9n)� One would not like to see in our press such a caricaturization of the struggle between the apologists of religion and its opponents, particularly one that puts both on the same level. And it is not merely a question of God! It is an issue of the supernatural world, the supernatural beings, their recognition or nonrecognition. And we are in no way engaged in a hopeless repetition of the phrase "there is no god." In fighting against the religious ideology, we criticize the sense and content of its basic postulates, in particular, the teachings about God, and we do for t'1e sake of establishing a scientific materialistic ideology. In atheis~tic propaganda, S. A. Tokarev recommends abandoning the theoretical ideo- logical problems and being concerned only with the "absolutely funda.mental opposi- tion of two prac~;ical lines: to appeal either to God (to the gods) to escape from evil, suffering and injustice or to fight with one's own forces against evil, suffer- ing and injustice (p 9~)� Supposedly it is not our concern whether God exists or not as long as we do not appeal to him. But if he does exist, how can one help but ap- peal to him?! On individual questions the discussed article contains a number of equally confused and unsound assertions as on the t,asic question which we have examined above. The exposition starts with the definition of religion described by the author as "athe- istic" oeing recognized as similar to theology. This is achieved by a simple al- though somewhat stran~e str~,tegem. With the imaginary, as the author fe~ls, diversity in the er,isting definitions of religion, there are only two of them, the theological and the atheistic. He gives a generally correct description of the first, although he forgets to point out that it is based upon the teachings of divine revelation. As for the second, the author iinds only one feature to describe it: it proceeds "from a nonrecognition of the existence of anything supernatural" (p 87). Thus, scientific religious studies end up bein~ based on only a certain negative feature, the "not." It goes without say~- ing that such an assertion has no real sense for nothing can be based on a vacuum. In terms of Nlarxist religious studies, up to now we nave assumed that it proceeded from certain basic theses of dialectical and hi~torical materialism concerning the mai;erial nature of the world, the relationship of social existence and consciousness and teachings about the forms of social consciousness. The classic definition of religion as a fantastic reflection ia the human mind of those e~:ternal forces which dominate over man (F, Engels) in no way seems to us based either on a"not" or on a kinship with theology, as the author asserts, experiencing here, at his own admis- sion, "some amazement" [p 8i]. Incidentally he detects such kinship with theology in all the "atheistic" definitions of religion. On what grounds? On the grounds that all these definitions interpret religion "as an aggregate of ideas dealing a certain othPr-worldly force standing above man" (p 37). The difference is slight: "The theologians say that this force actually exists while the atheists deny its existence." Al1 these constructs lead to the same basic idea of S. A. Tokarev ac- cording to which ideology can be studied without studying the ideas contained in it. We will not return to a critique of this strange concept but would merely point out that in formulating and defending it, the author recommends a procedure which is rather well known and discredited in the atheistic camp called the deideologization of religi4n. 34 FOR OFFtCL4I, i)SE ONI.Y APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 I~UR ()!~FI('IAI. U~1~: ONI..ti' On certain questions S. A. Tokarev evidences a r~.ther real affin~ty for traditioi~al theological views. For example, he shares the concep~; of "strict monotheism" ~~rhich is apolo~etic for Judaism. In this instance he relates this descri.pti.on to i;he Judaisrn of the age "after the Captivity" (p 90) and in othcrs disre~r~.rds thiu l~li:z~- al feature and speaks merely about Judaic monotheism. Here he often contr~,dic~;s himself. It turns out, for example, that "in the monotheistic religion of Israel... evil is the serving of foreign gods instead of serving their own god of Yahweh" (p 93). If it is a question of belief in really existing fo.reign gods then wha.t ' sort of fait~ figures in a niajority of the books from the Old Testament. What sort oi monotheistic religion is it if it recognizes the existence of many gods?! Here we are confronted with an ethnotheistic variety of ordinary polytheism. In affirming the "strict monotheism" of Judaism, the Jewish and Christian theologists pursue dif- ferent but equally reactionary objectives. The former endeavor to thereby emphasize the "~;od-chosenness" of Israel and boast what a good deed it has rendered mankind in showing us ilie inost eleva.ted form of worship. The latter, in deriving Christianity from Judaism, as is known, link them by a, rather close dogmatic proximity and. defend their� own adherence to s~:rict monotheism, although this is somewhat paradoxical in li~ht of the teachings about the Trinity. Generally speakir.~ an iriterpretation of the concept oi monotheism merits a separate ar,d serious examination which we will not be concerned with here due to the la~k of space. We have touched upon it here onlf as regards individual mistaken ideas found in the article under discussion. Also among such mistakes is the assertion that the teachings of original sin as the source of evil in the world was first given by Christianity. The author depicts tr.ings as if the ancient- religions were steadily and consistently working toward a solution of the question of the origin of evil in the world. The Hellenistic reli- - gions and Judaism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Mazdaism were involved in a number of these searches. One discovers "a very ordered picture of a gradual as- = cent of philosophical thought to an evermore consistent and generalized solution to the problem of evil in the world" (p 93)� Suddenly Christianity intervenes in this salutary process (which was almost crowned with success?). "The ordered picture... was unexpectedly disrupted by the Christian concept of evil and sin." There follows~ a critique of this concept which "is extremely strange and illogical"--in contrast to those which preceded it--and the myth of the fall from gra.ce of Adam and Eve is described. Why did S. A. Tokarev not point out that this myth is found in the Old Testament which was based not on Christianity but on Judaism. It is a different question that in the contents of the remaining Old Testament books this myth does not play a major role for the authors of these books were interested not so much in the fate of mankind as that of the god-chosen people. But the erroneous historical assertion still remains. But most importantly are there grounds to put the Chris- tian concept of origin of evil in the world as "strange and illogical" in contrast to the other preceding religious explanations of this question as lofty and philo- sophically profound?! They [the latter] are in no way better and are no less "strange and illogical." In the article by S. A. Tokarev a large place is given over to the problem posed by him (possibly not without his own reasons) of that role which religion played in the integration and segregation of people and social groups. The question itself inerits special examination, but the schematic solu- tion offered by the author seems unconvincing. On this level he compares religion with art and asserts that while in the course of historical development "in art 35 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 F'UR OFFICIAL USH: UNL\ the forces of integration have been growing and the forces of segregation weaken- ing ; in religion, on the contrary, "the segregation factor from the very outset has"prevailed" (p 101). And even the appearance of wcrld religions did not alter things. Of course, the "appearanc~ of world religions was...a powerful upsurge in the integrating trend"; but "this integration was ephemeral, more apparent than real, as well as deceptive" (p 102). [He] begins a search for the basis on which to assert that the appearance of world religions was a factor for segregating, not integrating people: First, branches, sects and schools formed in these religions. Second, the churches of the world religions strengthened segregation in the world by nor instituting orders of universal equality: The clergy was separate from the laymen, and within the clergy there were various gradations such as deacons and archdeacons, priests and arch priests and later on even bishops, metropolitans and exarchs with patriarchs (p 102). What sort of integration, indeed, can there be in a society where archdeacons and exarchs exist separately from each other and even Friest-monks from archimandrites? Absolute segregation! Thas, can one sub- merge a serious question in unserious wordiness. For des~ribing the level of religious studies i.n the given article, the footnote found on page 94* is of interest. It turns out that no one else but Vladimir Solov'yev introduced into Christianity the figure of the devil as a personified embodiment of evil. "He viewed the very concept of evil not in a negative sense, as the absence or lack of good, but as a positive and active world force fighting against good. Vl. Solov'yev understood the Apocalyptic 'Anti-Christ' in a complete- - ly realistic and material way as the enemy of Christ which had to be born." But by whom and when has this ever been understood differently. Was it just at the begin- ning of the 20th century that the notion arose of an Anti-Christ which had to be born? In order to make such statements all the history of Christianity must be - forgotten. Generally speaking, to my great regret, in the article by S. A. Tokarev I do not find that content which would cause one to view it as a contribution to scientific religious studies. ~[See fn 12, S. A. Tokarev, SE, No 3, 1979.] COPYRIGHT: Izdatel'stvo "Nauka", "Sovetskaya etnografiya", 1980 10272 CSO: 8344/0982 36 - f~OR OF'FI('i:1I_ 1;'ti}~: Otil.l' APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2047/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000404050016-5 r Oid THE ESSENCE OF RELIGION h4oscow SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA in No 2, Mar-Apr 80 (signed to press 2~+ Mar 80) PP ~9-63 [Article by Y~,. I. Semenov] ~?'eYt] The article by S. A. Tokarev "Religion as a Social PYienomenon (Thoughts of an r~`thnographer)"1 cannot help but attract attention. In it one of our most promin- ent specialists in ~his area makes a critique of certain established ideas about re- ~ lieion and at the same time presents his own understanding of ~he given phenomenon. One can agree with S. A. Tokarev or not but undoubtedly his article will force us to turn again to the question to the essence of religion. A critical study of the views given in the article t~ a significant degree is compli- cated by the circumstance that the author is ~ot always clear and consistent. But, - in any event, to the degree that one can understa,nd the article, S. A. Tokarev ev:i- dently is not in agreement with the concept prevalent in our literature according to which the main, basic feature of religion is belief in the supernatural. Regardless of individual statements of a different sort (p 92), in his article he, in our view, essentially tries, if not to refut~ it, than at least tc rut it .in dotibt. S. A. Tokarev does this in pointing ou+ that theologi~ns also understand religion as an aogregate of ideas concerned w~~~h an other-worldly supernatural force standing above mar (p 87). Finally, he dire~~tly challenges such an understanding of religion in raising the question of whether or not the main thing in religion is actually the content of the religious ideas or whether belief in God (or in gods, spirits, an un- clean force and so forth) is actually the essence of religion (p 88). Immediately after this question the author essentially gives a negative answer to it. In essence S. A. Tokarev supports tY~e "bold ~.nd well-grounded conclusion" of P. Radin - that a predominant majority of the beliefs described by researchers for peoples of various nations belongs to a small group of shamans, priests and other "religious thinkers" who have actually created them, while "the simple people, that is a pre- dominant majority of the 'believers' does not know these beliefs and is not particu- larly interested in them...." (p 89)� ihe author not only does not dispute this thesis but also endeavors to show~ tY!at it is tr~ze in terms of the religions of the ancient world as well as the tY1?'GP world religions (pp 89-91). But let us pose the question what actually does it mean by "ao~ to know -the beliefs"? Does this mean not to have beliefs and nct to believe in a supernatural force? No- where does S. A. Tokarev specifically explain this. But the entire logic of his 37 FOR OFFTCIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 r~ec vrri~.iHL v~a vivL~ exposition ma.kes it possible to understand it precisely in this manner. In the - first place, in this section he considers as identical the concepts "the content of religious ideas," "belief in a supernatural force" and "beliefs" (pp 88-89); - secondly, the entire system of his line of argument is aimed at showing that be- ]_ief in the supernatural is not in any way an essential featuxe of religion. What could be a more convincing proof of the last thesis than the data snowing that a _ predominant ma,jority of the followers of religion does not believe in a supernatural force? It is in no way accidental that S. A. Tokarev in saying that a majority of Lhe "believers" do not know their beliefs, puts the word "believers" in quotes (P 89). But if these people do not believe in a supernatural force, what gives him grounds - to consider them religious and not persons without a religion, that is, atheists. Actually S. A. Tokarev provides not one but rather several answers to this question. One of them he gives in passing. In saying that the simple people do not know the beliefs and are not interested in them, S. A. Tokarev immediately adds: "for them it is enough to perform the established riies and make sacrifices" (p 89)� But wY~y did these people perform the rites and make sacrifices? There can only be one an- swer: they performed the rites and made sacrifices to affect the supernatural forces. In other words, the performance of rites irrefutably shows that these peo- ple believed in a supernatural force and thereby had a definite idea of this. It is impossible to have a belief and not k~ow it. Hence, in giving this answer, S. A. Tokarev contradicts all that he has said on these very pages. In practical terms he recognizes not only that the simple people who he has declared not to know the beliefs in actuality believed in a supernatural force but also that this belief is a,n essential and necessary feature of religion. However he recognizes this only in rractical terms. e ~ Aiso contradictory are all the answers (and precisely the answers and not the an- swer) o� S. A. Tokarev to the question of the essence of religion, including those which he does not give in passing but specifically sets'out to establish. If the content of the religious ideas is not essen~ial for a religion, as S. A. Tokarev repeatedly states, then their forms are all the more unessential. If it is possible not to religious ideas, not to know the beliefs and nevertheless be a religious � perso:~, this means that relibion is not part of the sphere of consciousness and is not a form of social consciousness. However, S. A. Tokarev does not directly draw such a conclusion. On the contrary, immediately following the pages which contain the above-given idEas, there is his assertion that religion "is one of the forms of sociaZ consciousness (p 91)� However the author immediately explains: "In other words, this is one of the forms of 'ideological' relations between people" (p 91). rirst of all it is essential to say that an identity cannot be dra.wn either between social consciousness as a whole or any of the forms of social consciousness with ideological relations. Although social consciousness and ideological relations are a L-~ost closely linked, they nevertheless represent different phenomena which must be clearly differentiated. After such an unfortunately far from precise theoretical a introduction, S. A. Tokarev finally gives his own definition of religion: "It is not so much man's attitude toward God (the gods) as it is the attitude of peopZe to one another over the question of the ideas of God (the gods)" (p 91)� It must immediately be said that this definition is not among the clearest and most comprehensible. However, without going into the question for the moment of what one must understand by the relations of people to one another over the question of the ~~eas about the gods, we would point out that having given this definition, S. A. Tokarev has contradicted his own views. 38 ~FOR OFFiC~A~. ~SE O\LY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2047/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000404050016-5 Fou orricir~~. c~s~; o~a.~~ If this definition is understood literally, then in such an instance it must be felt that religion arose only with the start of the transition to a class society. It is well known that in primitive society ideas did not exist about the gods. In order to fit what is called primitive religion to this definition, the concepts of "god" ("gods") must be replaced by different, broader ones. And such broader con- cepts exist. These are the concepts of the "supernatural" and "supernatural forces." But one has merely to incorporate them in the definition given by S. A. Tokarev~and belief in a supernatural force immediately operates as a necessary and essential feature of religion. If religion is the relations of people to one another over the question of the ideas of supernatural forces generally and gods in particular, then undoubtedly people can enter into these relations only in the event that they have such ideas and not merely have them but rather believe in the supernatural force, in the gods. But even if nothing is changed in the definition of religion given by S. A. Tokarev, belief in a supernatural force acts as a necessary feature of reli- gion for it is indisputable that a notion of the gods is nothing more than a notion of supernatural force. In this manner S. A. Tokarev, in giving his own definition of religion, again assumes the position that belief in a supernatural force is a necessary and essential feature of it. And again he accepts this only practically and not theoretically. Theoretically he continues to refute it. While in the second and third sections of the article S. A. Tokarev, in reducing the content of religious ideas to a belief in supernatural forces, declares tris un- essential for religion (pp 88-90), in the sixth section he settles this question differently. As he now points out, in addition to information on the gods, the con- tents of religious ideas also includes ideas on the origin and essence of evil in human life (p 92). Now these, and not belief in the supernatural, are the main thing in religious ideas (p 92). Since S. A. Tokarev views religion in this and the following section merely as a form of social conscieusness and nothing more, he therebV declares the ideas on the origin and essence of evil to be the main thing in religion generally. If it is now considered that directly before this, the author, in commenting on the excessive diversity of religious beliefs, raises the questi~n: "What in this instance remains - cormnon in all these religious notions from the viewpoint of their content, that gen- eral factor which justifies putting them in one sphere of social c~nsciousness and delimits them from all other, 'nonreligious' spheres?" (p 91) and that the declara- tion of the ideas of the nature of evil are the main thing in religion is the ~.nswer to this question, it is not difficult to realize that he sees the distinguishing feature of religion, its specific nature, its essence precisely in the presence of these ideas. However, such a viewpoint is in an obvious contradiction to the facts. Thinkers far removed from religion, as is known, have also been concerned with the problem of the ori;in and essence of evil. And they solved this from positions not only distinct from religious ones but also directly opposed to them. On the other hand, primitive religion was not concerned with the problem of the origin and essence of evil. Prim- itive religion generally did ilot pose and did not solve any ~eneral problems. Of course, in primitive religion there t~ere ideas about misfortune, danger, harm and so forth and correspondingly actions aimed at preventing misfortune and eliminating harm. But it is scarcely correct to feel that here we are concerned with the very 39 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 . . _ . fiz�st posint; ot' t.l of s'cieer fa.^.t~.sizin~;, ~o:;plete ignorance reflecting the moment of man's absaZute ~in~~otenee when confronted witn necessity (natural or social); 2) an unique conglomer~,te or even uni.ty oi know- , led~e and ignorance witr the ignorance having the form of knowiedge or ttie resulc of the ~nadequate reflection by consci~ousness of really existing processes and p:oolems an,~? a Manifestation of reZative impotence when faced with objectiv~ n~cessi.ty; 3) real iac;,ual knowledge which coincides fully in ~erms of content with the reflec- ted reality, particles of truth, the product and appearance initially of ~~n extreme- ly narrow sphere of human freedom, and rule over the forces of nature and social forces. These particles of tru~;h must be co:~sidered in constructing any ideolo~icul system but actual knowledge is never sufficient. It must always be pondered and _ conceived of with the aid of fantasy and this entails an a3ditional opportunity of error. rantasy is a necessaxy component of any truly mental activity, inc?.udin~ _ strictly scientific. But scientific f~.ntasf is always orienteci at the po~,i~i~ity o~ chpcying in accord with certain criteria for distinguishinF truth frori error, u r,^.eas~~re which by its nature is aimed at achieving objectivity. Id~olo;,ical (in tlie ir.itial Marxist sense exc]uding the possibility of scientific ideol.ogy) fantasy in principle does not presuppose such a criterion. "...The person who con~tructs the *[See Sections 10 and 15, Tokarev article in SE, No 3, 1979] 65 FOR OFFIC[AL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2407/42/09: CIA-RDP82-40850R000400450016-5 . . system is forced to fill in an infinite multiplicity of gaps with his own inven- tions, that is, to irra+ionally fantasize and be engaged in ideologizir.g."10 Pre- - ciseiy such irrational fantasy is inherent to a religious ideology in contrast to a scientific fantasy, that which is subordinate to rational criteria. Thus, all the _ ;,::ree above-mentioned layers of early class consciousness were permeated with fan- ;~sy; but +_he nature and measure of this fantasizing differed for each of the mani- ~ - ~,~stations of this consciousness. If one does not fear forgiveably schematic solu- ti.ons for a complicated and even more confused problem, it can be said that blind - r~iigious faith and religious form of consciousness are related to "sheer" fantasiz- i:~o arising out of the absolute impotence of man. Fantasy related to an inadequate - understanding of the really existing phenomena is most inherent to mythological consciousne:s as the very appearance of the myth was caused by attempts to answer tne question of how one or another phenomenon was "arranged." These attempts were based on an illusory idea of any existence as a product of activity (compare Plato's ~.riy existence is creation). Such a.n approach to my~thological consciousness possibly would permit one to understand the bases of the unity of mythological and religious consc.iousness as a manifestation of man's impotence (in one case relative and in ti~e other absolute} confronted by uncomprehended necessity as well as the reasons tnat ~istorically mythology often played a subordinate role in relation to religion. Ther�e is always a share of the absolute in the relative. At the same time from stich an understanding of mythology there follows the mistakenness of identifying it w:th religion. The boundary of the relative and the absolute is also relative but it does exist. Finally, a more profound boundary separates religion and mythology from the rudiments oi scientific knowledge. "Scientific" fantasy from the very be~ir.ning was aimed at the possibili+y of an experimental check and this excluded _ ;ne necessity of appealing to supernatural forces. Precisely this distinguished the - iirst scientific (natural philosophical) constructs. Here even the gods were sub- ordinate to natural necessity. Thus, "scientific" fantasy differed from the reli- ~ious ~.r_d mythologica~ not only quantitatively but also qualitatively.ll Never mind that occasionally re'ligious fant ~y had a substantial influence on scientific. This circumstance could not destroy the fact that a profound and fundamental difference existed between them. Ultimately the prevailing of aspects of truth or error in an ideology depends upon the degree to which the interests of the given class coincide with the objective course of historical development. Ideological illusions are a particular type of error . These are errors forced on consciousness by the system of prevailing pro- , duction relationships and in this sense such errors operate as necessary and inevit- _ able.12 As was pointed out, religious teachings were the form in which ideology first arose. For this reason the process of the rise of religious teachings was a - process of converting religious illusions into religious-ideological_ ones. Reli- ~ious illusions arose out of the impotence of human practice. Tt-~e religiaus- ideological ones arose out of a system of production relations. The question for the e+hnographer is to disclose how far this process has gone, to what degree the rAligious illusions serve the ideology of the ruling class ancl what specific forms have been assumed by tne process of forming ideological illusions. For exarnple, - tnere is a clearly expressed class character to +he idea of a reward after death and ' the degree of its development can serve as an unique indicator of the formative ' stages of ideology. ~ 66 ~ FOR OFFIC[AL USE ONI.Y APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPR~VED F~R RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 Ft)R ~FFiCIAI, t1SF, ON1.1' Ideological illusions, in being errors the roots of which have a co~ripletely real, economic basis, are not only imposed on the masses by the selfish ideologists of the ruling class. The ideologists themselves share the illusions which are implanted by the ideological constructs they have created. Moreover, those for whom these illu- sory constructs are basically designed, the exploited masses, by economic reality itself are ready to accept the constructs worked out by the ideologists. Of special interest is the process of the break-up of the old system of ideological illusions and its replacement by a new one. It is importarit to stress that it is a _ question of the process the various stages of which can be watched by an ethnographer, even now, for exaxnple, in many of the developing countries. What has been said, we feel, makes it possible to explain a frequently serious theoretical mistake and at the same time to point out all the seriousness of the consequences from confusing the Whole and the part, that is, religion and religious - ideology.13 This is the question of the supposed "progressiv~ness" oi' religion in the individual stages of' mankind's historical development. The suppr~rters of such a view are inclined to refer to eras ~~f the flourishing of religious painting, music and art generally, to the outstanding role of individual religious f'igures in the historical development of ore or another society and so forth. If one considers that in all these instances it is a question of reZigious ideoZog~ and not religion generally, the given fact is simply explained. We have already seen that under the religious shell of ideological systems there can be a breakdown of ideological illu- sions, the accumulat:;.ng of moments of truth and a change in ideological orientation. _ As for religion as a whole, and it has never been reducable to ideology, it, bein~ - a blind faith in the dominance of supernatural forces over r~an, never played and in principle could r_ot play a positive role in any social process whatsoever. This fact is obscured by the circumstance that over an extended historical period reli- gious ideolo~y has remained the sole form of the existence of ideology. The conse- quences of identifying religion in general with its part--religious ideology--are far from harmless. - In the context of the "thoughts of an ethnographer" it would obviously be very in- teresting to examine another entire series of problems in religious studies relz~ed to gnoseology. For example, it would be interesting to draw attention to the re- lationship of scientific (philosophical, theoretical) illusions and their role in maintaining religious illusions, to take up the problem of the relationships of idealism, theology and so forth. However, all of this would lead ;~s too far away from the article by S. A. Tokarev the basic purpose of which, as we see it, is to challenge our thoughts. , ~ FOOTNOTES - l. SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA, No 3, 1979, PA 87-105. Subsequently references to this article are given in the text. 2. See Yu. I. Semenov, "Vozniknoveniy~ Chelovecheskogo Obshchestva" [The Genesis of Human Society), Krasrloyarsk, 1962, pp 400-403; Yu. I. Semenov, "Kak Vozniklo Chelovechestvo" [How Mankind Arose), Moscow, 1966, pp 368-370; Yu. I. Semenov, "Idealism, Religion: Similarity and Difference," NAUKA I RELIGIYA, No 9, 1976. 67 � FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2407/42/09: CIA-RDP82-40850R000400450016-5 ~ 3. For more detail on this see the book by Yu. I. Semenov, "Tak Vozniklo Chelovechestvo," pp 347-4~+6. 4. S. A. Tokarev, "Delimiting and Unifying Functions of Culture," (Papers at the Ninth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnographic Sciences, Chicago, 1973), Moscow, 1973. 5. S. A. Tokarev, "Ranniye Formy Religii i Ikh Razvitiye" [Early Forms of Reli- � gion an~i Their Development], Moscow, 1969; S. A. Tokarev, "On the Marxist Periodization of Religion," NAUKA I RELIGIYA, No 12, 1974. 6. See Yu. I. Semenov, "The Development of Socioeconomic Formations and the Objec- tive Logic of Religion's Development," VOPROSY NAUCHNOGO ATEIZMA, No 20, Moscow, - ~976, PA 5~+, 55 � 7. The concept "practical illusion" used by K. Marx is internally contradictory. On the one hand, etymologically the term "illusion" presupposes a tie with the - sphere of contemplation. Its attribution as a practical one draws us to the sphere of activity. This contradiction is only one of the manifestations of the dialectical nature of practice with which its very existence is tied. 8. Cl. Levi-Strauss, "Mythologiques," Vols 1-4, Paris, 196~+-1971. g. See K. Mar~ and F. Engels, "Soch." [Works], Vol 20, p 92; V. I. Lenin, PSS [Complete Collected Works], Vol 29, p 51~+� For more detail on this see also our article: Yu. A. Murav'yev, "The Dialectics of Truth and Error in the De- velopment of the Theory of Genetics, Nauchnyye Trudy Ryazanskogo Meditsinskogo Instituta" [Scientific Papers of Ryazan' Medical Institute], 1970, Vol 29 ("Scientific Methodology. Methodological Problems of Biology and _ Medicine"), pp 288-318. 10. K. Marx and F. Engels, "Soch.," Vol 20, p 630. 11. Artistic fantasy has a special nature but an elucidation of its nature cannot be part of our plans in the given instance. 12. For a long time Marxist teachings on ideological illusions were not a matter of attention fcr Marxist philosophers. After long neglect these teachings were first analyzed in the work by Maurice Kornforth ("Dialectical Materialism," Vol 3, "The Theory of Knowledge," London, 195~+)� Great attention is given to _ the problem of the relationship of truth and ideology and to the problem of ideological illusions in the book by L. Zhivkovich, "Teoriya Sotsial'nogo Otrazheniya" [The Theory of Social Reflection], Moscow, 196g. 13� Such a mistake has not only been made by S. A. Tokarev. One of the recent ex- amples can be seen in the work by A. P. Midler, "Philosophy and Religion," "Filosofiya i Tsennostnyye Forir~y Soznaniya" [Philosophy and Value Forms of Consciousness], Moscow, 1978. Here we encounter the identification of religion with religious ideology. COPYRIGHT: Izda~Lel'stvo "Nauka", "Sovetskaya etnografiya", 1.980 1.0272 CSO: g3~+~+/0982 6s FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2047/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000404050016-5 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY ON THE CONTENT OF RELIGION1 Moscow SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA in Russian No 4, Jul-Aug 80 (signed to press 31 Jul 80) pp 88-97 [Article by Ya. V. Minkyavichyus] [Text] l. A "Strange" Question The question of the main content of religi.on raised by S. A. Tokarev (p 88), can scarcely be considered strange. The presence of many definitions shows the com- plexity of the question, the ongoing search for the essence of religion and the ir_- tertwining of all sorts of its conceptual interpretations. These interpretations can scarcely l~e uniform and complete as long as religion exists (and hence, is evolving, substantially changing and is under new conditions) and as long as various methodological positions and different ideological orientations clash over the solu- tion to this question. - The author of the discussed article "witn a certain amazement" points out that with all the polar opposition between theological and athei~tic understandings of the essence of religion, there is "something in common" between them (p 87). In his opinion, the co~non thing is that atheism in essence perceives the theological conception of religion only in a negative sense. Consequently, such atheism does not have its own conception of religion. Certainly one cannot help but agree that the opposing of atheism and religion only in the sense of denying its "idea of a certain other-worldly force standing above man" (p 87) is futile and, of course, does not correspond to the essence of the Marxist-Leninist conception of religion and atheism. S. A. Tokarev is correct in drawing attention to the fact that "we have still not finally parted from the theological tradition in the study of reli- gion" (P 97)� Unfortunately, the methodological pressure of the theological tradition on atheism can be felt both in the theoretical and in the practical ax ea. How much energy of - practical atheism is channeled into combating the "flimsiness" of reJ.igion! In the _ scholarly and popular literature atheism is often simplistically represented as a denial of what religion affirms. Certainly we must emphasize the shakiness of the religious understanding of the world and the corresponding solution to the problems - of human existence. However, if atheistic criticism is aimed at the ideas of religious fantasy as supposedly the chief content of religion, then such criticism - is distracted from viewing religion as a social phenomenon. The essence of reli- gion can be understood from the pasitions of a materialistic interpretation of 69 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2047/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000404050016-5 social phenomena onl~-� in bearing in mind the philosophical and ideological "ground- ing" of i�eligion, its gnoseological roots in the cognitive process (_including its parasitic role in natural sciences and the exploitation of natural scientific prob- lems), the historical context of its existence, its psychological nature and so forth. Any other proof of the unsoundness of religion would logically lead to its exclusion from the structure of social consciou~~ess which reflects social exist- ence. This would actually be philosophically (materialistically) unsound. The theological apology for religion, in mysticizing its essence, actually removes re- ligion from its natural sociohistorical context as there axe many aspects of a methodological similarity between trivial atheism and a theological interpretation of religion. Such a lamentable miscomprehension stems from the fact that trivial a+heism in its comprehension of religion proceeds primarily from a complex of ideas and concepts _ of "god," "the immortality of the soul," "personal salvation," "divine judgment," - "predestination," "the reward of the afterlife" and so forth. How little this says about religion as a social phenomenon, all the more from a materialistic philosophi- cal position! Even within the theological tradition, the named ideas and concepts do not apply to religion as a whole, for they are lacking in many religions.2 It also happens that atheistic criticism of any specific form of religion, for exa.m- ple Christianity, misses the essential point. Let us assume that the main thing in Christianity is the very belief in Christ. Then all the polemics between the athe- ists and Christians will revolve around the problem of Christ. In such an instance the question of the essence of Christianity is replaced by the question of the his- toric or mythological fact of Christ. Christianity is "unmasked" by the atheists by denying the very existence of its founder. But then is Confucianism or Islam more valid than Christianity merely because Confucius and Mohammed axe historical figures while the historical fact of Christ's existence has still not been proven? 41~hen atheism is basically aimed at a criticism of the images of religious fantasy, is it not burdened down by the entire tradition of bourgeois enlightenment which certainly has its own historical justification? As is known, the limitations of this tradition to a significant degree were already removed by German classic phil- osophy and not only by the materi~.list Feuerbach but also by the idealists Kant, Fichte and Hegel who viewed the phenomenon of religion dialectically. In pre- _ Marxist philosophy, only Feuerbach was able to validly turn the question of the - essence of religion into the sphere of human existence, that is, that sphere in which it (the essence of religion) only can appeax.3 In overcoming the abstract anthropological conception of man and the related Feuerbachian theory of religion and atheism, the founders of Marxism-Leninism shifted this question into the sphere of the specifically social, class existence of man. Having turned the question of the comprehension of the world into the question of its revolutionary transforma- tion and mastery, Marxism eliminated the enlightened tradition. The phenomenon of - religion meant not so much the flimsiness of man's comprehension of the world as an illusory attempt to master it and to survive in this alien world. "Religion is only an illusory sun which moves around man until he learns to move around himself."4 Religion and science as forms of social consciousnc5s, in differing over the object of reflection, the form of reflection, the result of reflection, over the structure and functions, can coexist and do coexist not only chronologically but also in the same culture, in the same man. Science and education are not only not the sole but also not the main antifactor (crisis factor) of religion, all the more in the modern . 70~. ~ FOR OFFICIAL ilSE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2047/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000404050016-5 FOR OFFICI:~L USE O~iLY age, in the age of the scientific and technical revolution. This is exj~lained by the fact that the main thing in religion is not the contents of the far.tastic ideas and not the view of what the absence of can ne proven scientifically. 0� course, the fundamental opposition of science and religion does not dispute tnis, but atten- tion is drawn to the fact that science alone is not sufficient to ov~arcome religion. Religious fantasy arose and developed not out of ignorance and exissts not as a re~ sult of igr.orance and i_t is eliminated chiefly also not by knowledge. Religious ideas on man and the world, the soul and salvation, the symbols af faith, the prin- ciples of worship and coniessional communications can be understood (including from the atheistic viewpoint of "establishing" their ~o-called flimsiness) not by them- selves but only in the real context of the social life of the believers, the culture of the peoples, the ethnic structure of society and the ideol~~gical process. Reli- _ gion does not exist in a"pure form," that is, outside of morality and art, politi- cal consciousness and philosophy, and the entire culture of a certain people with _ their ethnic features, traditions, value orientation, psychological structure and - entire way oi life. Precisely in such a context it is possible and necessary to examine the ideological content and worship of Hinduism, fiuddhism, Taoism, Confucian- iam, Shintoism, Judaijm, Christianity and Islam, not to say the tribal religions. Soviet scientific religious studies are developing precisely in this direction and the historical and ethnographic sciences and Marxist-Ler.iinist methology are mainly contributing to this. iVo, a strange question did not occur to the ethnograp~ier who views religion as a social phenomenon. This is a question of the correctness of the scientific (Idarxist) content of religion in the confrontation with the ideological and theological inter- pretations of it, with the tradition of its enlightened and metaphysical- materialistic criticism, with the scientific fetishization of modern science and with the limitations of the methodology of technological determinism in understand- ing modern scientific-technical and social progress and its influence on religion. The article "Religion as a Social Phenomenon" is primarily valuable in methodologi- cal, theoretical and practical terms. 2. The Socioethnic Context of Religion's Existence The ideological content of reli~ion, that is, the ideas and cancepts of religious fantasy, is not autonomous. It exists in an entire involved structural-functional complex of religion which, in turn, is woven into the sociocultural type of an eth- nically determined society. S. A. Tokarev views the history of religion, its periodization and the historical types of kinship-tribal cults, national (national- state) and world religions from the viewpoint of relations between people existing in the course of their social development and pro,jected intn the ideological sphere. He traces the integrating and se~regating functions of religion. Al1 of this is very important for understanding religion as a social phenomenon. When we s~.y that religion is a form of social consciousness and define it by the well-known statement of F. Engels ("Any religion is...a fantastic reflection in the minds of people of those external forces which rule over them...a reflection in which the earthly forces assume the form of unearthly ones"5), we are dealing wi~;h this definition as an abstraction divorced from its concrete historical content. It appeared as a result of the polemics between F. Engels and E. Dtlhring who "out- Bismarcked Bismarck himself," having banned any religion as "a primitive infantile , 71. FOR OFFIC[AL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 notion tihat behind nature or above it there dwell beings which could be influenced by sa~ri~ices or prayers."6 As we can see, the u-.entioned definition of religion was set down as a matter of polemics and it can be adequately understood only in the corresponding cor~text. Its idea is that religious fantasy reflects man's position confronted by external forces which rule over him and not simply these forces (.as - might be the case in taking the text of F. Engels literally). Here F. Engels is speaking not about people generally but about various peoples, in mentioning the Hindus, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Germans, Celts, Lithuanians and Slavs who in an unique manner developed their own ways of worship. In defining religion as a fan- tastic reflection of external forces, F. Enoels was drawing chief attention to the social attributes of this reflection, that is, to the social status of people and to the social nature of religion. He considered that compaxative mythology had a one-sided view of the gods only as a reflection of the forces of nature. But he was interested in religicus ideas primarily as a reflection of historical forces.~ Precisely this focus is of decisive significance in understanding the essence of , religion. Consequently, only genetic and structural-functional analysis of the his- torical forms and types of religion, as disclosed in the historically dynamic socio- ethnic structure of kinshi.p groups and tribes, nationalities and nations, makes it possible to disclose the content and essence of religion. The basic components of religion--religious consciousness, religious worship and religious institutions--in turn are also complicated. Religions consciousness can and must be viewed (in a vertical breakdown) on the levels of ordinar~ and theoreti- _ cal consciousness, social psychology and ideology, as well as (in a horizontal breakdown) as an intertwining and interaction of images, concepts, ideas, feelings, moods, will, customs, tra.ditions, conceptual apparatus and so forth. The aggregate of components comprising a religious consciousness is related and interacts with other forms of social consciousness: science, philosoph,y, morality, art, law and politics. Religious consciousness is objectified by very diverse means in the prac- tice of the cults which differ both in ob,ject and in forms. The carrier of reli- gious consciousness is the social sub~ect with his spiritual world and is always a specific repr~sentative of a certain ethnic community. Religion performs its spe- - cific (idealogical, compensatory, psychosuppressive, regulative, organizational and - communicative) ana nonspecific (economic, political, legal, aesthetic, cultural, caritative and so forth) functions not so much in relation to the inner world of a believing individual as in terms of his social existence wY:ich also possesses socioethnic specificness. The concrete content oi religion is apparent when all its complex in a structural and functional aspect is viewed in the historically concrete context of its exist- ence in a certain system of the ethnosphere. The ethnos with its social and natural determinants and with its components (language, folklore, morals, customs, rites, national characters, commonness of origin and historical destiny and endogamy) places a substantial imprint on the entire religious complex and this is not felt uniformly. It is a question of the varying degree of interaction and interconnec- tion of the various structura.l components and functions of religion (including the world, supranational religions), on the one hand, and the ethnosphere, on the other a If ~ne views the integrating and segregating functions of religion and the ethnos, modern ethnic corrununities can be characterized from the viewpoing of their mono- ~ or polyconfessionality while the modern confessional communities can be described as monoethnic ar polyethnic. By comparing the mono- and polyethnic confessional , 72 . FOR OPFiC[AlL ~~E ON~,Y APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00854R000440050016-5 - FOR OFFICIAL USF. ONI,Y structures, one can make a further typologization of the kinship-tribal cults, the national (state) and world (supranational.) religions. In bear�ing in mind the socio- ethnic nature of religion, it is also essential to distinguish in its content vari- ous more or less e~ressed orientations such as transcendental or natural, humanis- tic or cultural-historical, theocentric or anthropocentric and so forth. For exam- ple, in terms of their orientations the Eastern religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, , Taoism, Confuc~anism and Shintoism) differ substantially from the monotheistic traditi.on of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Comparative religious studies show that characteristic of the Western religions and Islam are a dualistic dividing of the world, creationism, personification of the deity (monotheism), individualism - and personalism, strict definition of doctrine, exclusiveness and historicalness, while the Eastern religions are naturally and cosmically oriented. In them the world is understood as un~fied and eternal, time is little sensed; their divinities are impersonal, little interest is shown in strictly determined doctrines; individu- ality (the personality or individual) is dissolved in the universal and they are in- clusive.9 Such substantial differences in the symbols of belief, in the ur~derstanding of nature, man and history, in worship and the religious idea of life, as well as in the structure of the professional community certainly cannot be explained within the religious concepts and ideas them~;elves. The specific nature of the Eastern reli- gions must be sought in the history and culture of the peoples of Inciia�, China - and Japan and in the particular features of their ethnic life and regional contacts. The same applies to Judaism as the monotheistic religion of the Jeas. Arab culture is so closely tied to Islam that it is often identified with Moslem culture. The K_oran and Sunna adop-ced a multiplicity of cultural elements of the peoples and eth- nic groups inhabitin~ the Arab empire, the caliphate. The history and culture of the Roman, Slavic and German peoples to a significant degree determined the specific- ness of the three basic varieties of the most cosmopolitan religion, Christianity: Catholicism, Orthodo~}r and Protestantism. Of course, this compa,rison of confessional and ethnic forms of a human community has a very tentative, schematic, imprecise and incomplete character. But it is of fundamental importance for studying the content and essence of religion, its nature and functioning. With such an approach attention is drawn to the fact that the pluralism of religious concepts and ideas arose not as a result of affiliation of ideas, dogmatic disputes of theologians or doctrinal and instit,u~ional,schisms. Certainly the appearance of Orthodoxy is explained not by the doctrinal dispute about filioque but rather by the conditions of the Byzantine Ilnpire. The action of Martin Luther in Wittenberg against indulgences served only as a pretext for the broad Reformation in Germany, for the need for a reformation of Christianity had matured within the humanistic culture of the Rennaissance when the Catholic ~hurch a serious obstacle on the path to tre establishing of new social relations, including the ethnic development of the German nation. The appeal of the founder of Protestantism to the authentic source of the Christian belief, the Bible, and the opposing of each believing individual to the integral institution of the Church (the turning directly to God in bypassing the Church) could have become so effective only in the real context of the socioethnic, cultural and ideological conditions in 16th-century Germany and not because they were based on the "purity" of the Christian faith. Although Christianity arose as a fundamental denial of ethnic, cultural and politi- cal differences and although it endeavored to integrate many peoples, cultures and - . 73. = FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY ~ APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2447/02/09: CIA-RDP82-44850R444444454416-5 political systems; nevertheless,it was itself sub~ected to ever-greater disinte- gration as a consequence of the influence of various ethnic, cultural and political factors. :dith all the claims of Catholicism to "universality," the cosmopolitan Catholic service is inconceivable outside the national organism of the Ttalian or Spanish, Austrian or Irish, Polish or Lithuanian, Mexican or Chilean peoples. This religion has been introduced and is being introduced into the national organism, imbibing elements of pre-Christian beliefs of the given people and taking on a na- tional form through the sphere of everyday life, traditions and customs, folklore and the mental attitudes of the people. The ethnic and confessional elements are closely intertwined in the art and moral standards of the people. A certain cult element of Christianity which is most widespread and deeply rooted and which has be- come popular in the given country becomes a national specific feature.l~ The orien- - tation of Catholicism toward national specific features in the various countries was strengthened after the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965)� 3. The Modern Evolution of Religion As is known, the ideological content of religion with all its conservatism has not remained unchanged. Religion as a whole is evolving because it is a social phenome- non. Scarcely any other age can be compared with the present one in terms of the scale and profoundness of the changes in the awareness of society and involving its attitude toward religion. Conditionally one can speak of three different global regions of the contemporary religious situation. These are the countries of the world socialist system, where religion has lost its position as the most mass and dominant ideology and the church has been deprived of its former very solid socio- politica.l status. There ar e the developed capitalist countries in which the socio- political and cultural life has been more or less secularized while religion and the church are in a state of crisis. There are the developing nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America where religion has great reserves in mass consciousness of the believers, in the way of life of entire peoples (particularly the Moslem, Buddhist and other), in their cultural tradition and in state policy. Still, regardless of these essential differences, in all three regions there is a certain common situation which in its contradictoriness differs from all previous crisis situations. Social dynamism and scientific-technical progress with their con- tradictory consequences have confronted mankind with vitally important economic, military, moral and other problems which have created a real threat to his existence. This not only undermines the entire age-old tradition of religion but also revital- _ izes it and creates a different soil for its existence in an altered form. The gnoseological and social nature of religion is being modified. Christianity most of all has been exposed to the action of the modern factors. Precisely in extensive regions of Christianity's spread, the religious tradition has been broken by secu- larization and atheism. But the violation of a religious tradition in no way means its end. The most inter- esting thing is how this tradition has altered. The very Western and obviously the most socialized (along with Islam) religion, Christianity, has been exposed to the contradictory action of antagonistic sociocultural factors which have given rise to new forms of alienation. Man was confronted not only with creative but also natural- ly destructive, uncontrollable, although self-created forces (the mighty scientific and tech.nical potential, industry, the militaristic means of mass destruction, the , ,74, . FOR OFFIC[AL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/49: CIA-RDP82-00850R040400050016-5 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONiY mass information media, the world o.f things~ mass culture, bureaucracy and so forth). This uncontrollable force of man in an antagonistic society has been twisted by its weakness. Western non-Marxist philosophy (.particularly the philosophy of life, ex- istentialism, philosophical anthropology, phenomenology, he~~neneutic~s and others) has dramatized the spiritual atmosphere of capitalist society. A~1 of tris and much else have not only contributed to the de-Christianization of the trelieving "lower ranks," but have also agitated certain theological circles among whom have appeared _ such unorthodox figures as the Frenchman P. Teilhard De Chardin, the German Kar1 Rainer and the Swiss Hans Kung. The Dutch catechesis and the Latin American varie- ties of "theology of liberation," "theology of revolution" an3 finally "theology without god" are these not the proof of the shattering of ~he strict doc~trinal system of Christianity (primarily Catholicism)? To put it brief~jr, exclusive, theocentric and definitely tra.nscendentally oriented Christianity with its strict theological doctrine that divided the world and person- ified the deity has been undermined in terms c,f all these features. It has been de- formed as a consequence of the weakening of doctrinal, liturgical and institutional discipline. The theocentric religion has been weakened by the detheization of reli- - gion, by its inner secularization and by the strengther~ed anth_rop~centrism. With good reason at present in the West ~cheolooical and secular sociologies of religion have begun to speak widely about pseudoreligions and substitute religions. With good reason in Western Europe, the Un~ted States and Canada the religious- philosophical and ethnic ideas of the Eastern cults have become popu]_a,r (particularly ~3uddhism and Zen Buddhism), the system of Yaga and so forth in which there is no - great interest in strict doctrines, the dichoto~y of the world, the personified divinity, transcen~3ence and so forth. It is not accidental that one of the most con- servative, strictly disciplined, intolerant, absolutist confessional institutions - with cosmopolitan claims, Catholicism (the Vatican or Papacy) at present has been _ forced (startir.g with the Papacy of John 23d and the 2d Vatican Council) to revise its i;raditional positions, to face the real world, to actually admit its ideological pleuralism, to co~ence a dialogue with non-Catholics, with non-Christians, with non-believers, to abandon anathema, to even rehabiiitate its victims, to recognize the Protestant ideas of ecuir.eni:-m and so forth. With good reason the first encycli- cal of John-Paul II "Redemptor hominis" (1979) emphasized the dramatic situation of man in the modern world. It even used the funda.mental term of existentialism "alien- ation" (for the first tine in a Papal encyclical) evidencing an existential modifi- cation of t he Catholic view of man. Characteristic of the present-day ideological and sociopsychological situation in - bourgeois society is an unique syncretism of the traditional, church-controlled re- ligions and any manifestations of occultism, astrology, horoscopes, theosopY:y, mysti- cism, and countercultural extremism. This process is eroding the orthodox theistic ' traditions; it is shifting the accent from theocentrism to anthropocentrism and is existentializing religion. Thus, the former ob,jectivization and ontologization of the ideas of religious f~ntasy and the symbols of faith lose their sense and religion more a.nd more is sub,jectivi:ed in the inner experiences of man, ful:filling the func- tion of a certain spiritual a~.nd moral therapy. In stressing these aspects, certain _ bourgeois religious students have asserted that the essence of religion coincides with the essence of mar.,. For example, the professor of psychology at Toronto Uni- versity D. Bakan, in endeavoring to reconcile psychology, theology and Christian religious "therapy," proposes that religion is "a mental phenomenon from the essence of which it follows that the roots of human existence and what in the naxrow sense ~ - 75;~ _ FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 is represented as religion are basically the same."11 Of course, it is possible to agree that the essence of religion consists in the essence of man. Only in this sense does religion in an illusory manner replace the unrealized essence of man. - The modern socioethnic, cultural, political and ideological processes in the world, in warping and destroying the traditional content of religion and in bringing to life new ideological phenomena as indications of alienated consciousness provide the grounds for a very extensive hazy interpretation of reli~ion. For example, a group of American students of religion, members of the American Academy of Religion, in examining "religion as a basic human affair in many of its measurements," came to the conclusion: "religion is any confidence (reliance) of man in a basic value in which he finds his essential fullness as an individual and as a social man; for him all other values are subordinate to this main value."12 The authors propose overcoming "Western provincialism" by such an axiological interpretation of reli- gion (that is, to assimilate the Western and Eastern cults), to consider confessional pleuralism in the context of socioethnic, cultural and ideological pleuralism and ensure a sound future for religion under the conditions of further scientific- technical and sociocultural progress. In actuality, the scientific-technical revolution, secularization and the inter- nationalization of culture and the way of life have confronted the entire complex of ethnoconfessional structures with not an apocolyptic but rather a natural dramatiz- ing of world history in which the fate of man has been fused with a system of the biotechnosocionosphere. Under such conditions, as many foreign non-Marxist ideolo- gists and philosophers as well as certain theologians assert, there must be a global, universal, cosmic consciousness, a new world transconfessional and transethnic religion. A11 these new trends show that in the alienated world of an antagonistic society, the alientated man is unable to overcome his alienated consciousness and alienated vision of the world. Is this not proof of the main content of religion? S. A. Tokarev correctly emphasizes the chief orientation of religion, its "claim to a general reasoning out of life, to solving the cardinal philosophical and philosophical-ethical problems" (p 92). But can these problems be reduced to the problem of evil (although in the broadest sense) as the main one. For religion ex- ploits not only existing evil but also the axiological, moral and aesthetic atti- t~:de of man toward reality and the desire to understand it. Religion, as a social pnenomenon, reflects not nature, not the cosmos, not man, not history, but rather the alienated situation of man in relation to nature, society and himself. In the present age of social dynamism and the scientific-technical revolution, more and more in the forefront is the alienation of man when confronted with the contradictory consequences of his own activities;and religion is also ori- ented to this, exploiting any components of alienation. For this reason it can be assumed that scientific atheism should pay more attention to philosophical and sociocultural research on the problems of man as a social sub- ~ject, certainly, in cooperation with other social sciences. , 76; ~ FOR OFFIC_'IAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 FOR OFFiCI.aL USF. U~iI,l' The fact that religion is in the sphere of the ideological struggle between the two confronti:~g social systems, that it is motivated by the most diverse class, politi- cal and national interests o:' peoples and states and that it is eminently part of t:~e awareness of law and m~ra1 relations as well as the way of life oi^ many socie- ties shows that the role of religion cannot derive simply from the co~aplex of its fantastic and illusory ideas. Finally, on the question of the basic content of re- ligion it is very important to consider that it has its past in a socially and cul- turally little-developed as well as antagonistic society but probably does not have a future in a cormnunist society. Thus, we can briefly sum up a few results. Religion, as a social phenomenon, is an involved complex. The ideas of religious iantasy related to a belief ir~ the supernatural hold an important place in it, but they do not comprise its chief content for they do not possess their own essence. Besides, the diversity of religious ideas does not lend itself to unification. How- ever whatever features religion possesses, whatever its component parts, it in any event exists in the context of the cognitive and value relationship of man, as a social subject, to reality. Its specific feature is that it reflects the dependence of the social subject upon an alien external world and shows his desire by super- stitious means to master it and compensate for his alienation. In religion man is oriented to himself in an aspect of existence and nonexistence. It is an illusory method of man's self-realization in the absence of an adequate cognitive and value mastery of the world and himself. A religious state is subjective and psychologi- cal but it is objectivized in the historically concrete context of man and becomes a definite sociocultural and ethnic reality. Religion does not belon~ to human nature rather it is the product of sociocultural development, but only within his- torically determined limits (while man is exposed to social collisions). Thus, religion is an ethnically designated, syncretic, spiritual (intellectual and emotional) phenomenon which is objectivized in the sociocultural process and arose as a result of the antagonism between objective reality and the ideals, interests, as- pi.rations, subjective sets and so forth and exists as an illusory form for resolving this antagonism until societ,y resolves it bv real means. Whether religion is mani- fested in idea,s, images and concepts of superhuman subjectivity or supernatural objectivity, of immortality or eternity, paradise or hell, divinity or an evil spirit and so forth--all of thi.s is secondary. Again (following S. A. Tokarev), in referring to the aphorism of Spinoza about Peter and Paul, it can be said that the task of religious historians, archeologis~I;s and ethnographers, psychologists, sociologists and philosophers has a sort of hermeneutic character. It consists in considering the symbolic language of religious fantasy as a socially informative and concretely historical language of science. FOOTNOTES i. On the question of the article by S. A. Tokarev "Religion as a Social Phenome- non (Zhoughts of an Ethnogragher)," SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA, No 3, 1979. Further references �o this article are given in ~he text. ; 77;, FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 2. In examining the question of the content of religion, it is essential to dra�~r attention to the terms "religion" and "atheism." In the etymological sense, the term "atheism" is unsuitable for elucidating the content of religion not only because it is negative but also because it is directed not against all but only the theistic religions and theism does not comprise the essence of the latter. As for the term "religion," it has been used very loosely. (See R. Tsanoff, "Religious Crossroads," New York, 1942.) In the most diverse sense, in no way theistic, the term "religion" is found in tre works of Caesar, Horace, Lucretius, Livy, Petronius, Tacitus, Apuleius and other representatives of ancien~; Roman culture in those times when this term was in use. Ci~ero un- derstood religion in the sense of venerating the gods. Lactantius and St. Augustine gave it a Ghristian (monotheistic) sense. 3. See Marx, "Theses on Feuerbach," K. Marx and F. Engels, "Soch." [Works], Vol 3, p 2. 4. K. Marx and F. Engels, "Soch.," Vol l, p 415. 5� Ibid., Vol 20, p 328. 6. Ibid. 7. Ibid., pP 328, 329. 8. For more detail on this see Ya. Nlinkyavichyus, "Religiya v Mnogonatsional'nom - Mire" [Religion in a Multinational Worid], 'vilnius, 1578, pp 27-~;7. - 9� See "Exploring Religious Meaning," Englewood Cliffs, 1973, pp 371-374. 10. For more detail see Ya. Minkyavichyus, "Katolitsizm i Natsiya" [CatholicisM and the Nation), P~Ioscow, 1971, pp 207-227. 11. D. Bakan, "Mensch im Zwiespalt. Psychoanalytische, soziologische und religiose Aspekte der Anthropologie," Munich, 1976, p 11. 12. "Exploring Religious," p 366. COPYRIGHT: Izdatel'stvo "Nauka", "Sovetskaya etnografiya", 1980 10272 cs0: 8344/09~2 - 78, FOR OFFICCAL 'J5E O;~I.Y APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 FOR OF~'IrI.4L ~'S~: tltil,i' - Ci..RTAIN COiVTRGVERSIAL QUE~TIONS IN THE STUDY OF RELIGION i%~oscow SGVETSK.AYA ETNOGRA.~IYA in Russian No 5, Sep-Oct 80 (signed to press _ 3~ ~ ep 80) pp 7~-OS - ~~sticie by G. Grc:nov j - L'~'~xtj The a.rticle by S. A. Tokarev "Rel~gion as a Social Phenomenon (Thoughts of _ ar~ it2nograr,her)"1 b~longs among a comparatively raxe form of scholarly work. This article is the reflections and musings of a prom~inent Soviet ethnographer and student of' religions on the place and role of rel.igious ideas (more accurately errorsj in the life of human society. Hence the artic~e's structure as a study w}iere iri each of the sections S. A. Tokarev endea;rors to state his opinion on what - in his mind are the mos~ impor�ant, pertinent a,nd still unresolved problems. The a~~tror r~peatedly e:nphasizes that the judgmen~s made by him do not obviate and do not renl~.ce all t:~at has been done in the study of religion up to now (pp 103-104). isut ne is conr_erned primarily with the further direction of the study, that is, in wti~st ~aays it snould move and what problems and questions a researcher should set for n~mself. We feel that the somewhat sharp polemical tone set by the opponent~ of S. A. Tokarev in the heated debate is not completely justified.2 Tne a,spects touched upon by S. A. Tokarev in the relationship of religious views and the life of real human society are very broad just as the materials and proofs used - b;; :~i:~ are extensive. It is very difficult to compete with him here. Obviously it would be better ~o accept his invitation to reflect and to state one's judgments not o:: ai:l the quest_or.s raised but only those which are closest to me as a specialist in t'r:e a.rea of Russiar. ethnography. i~; person wno has observed and does obser�e the role and place of religion in the li~e of a population and the real existence of religious ideas cannot help but agree with the the.~is developed by S. A. Tokarev at the beginning of the article. In actu- aiity a:~at we oiten and not, always correctly term a religion in a given group of a acnulation,3 be it an ethnic or local grou~ (for exaxnple, a cluster of vi.llages), with ~ c~oser ana]_ysis turns out to be a ti~ery amorphous, indefinite or, in the term of' S. t,. Tokarev, "hazy" idea (p 88). This arr~biguity involves all aspects of reli- � ~-;icus I~lEdJ. ~'.long with information drawn one way or the other from the Christian�d books, the P1ew ~.nd Olc: Testament, one ca.n hear the story of how the Yrort~~t Elijah, somewhat hard of hearing in his old age, did not hear the request - and instead of sending rain when people asked for it sent it when they had already be~,:un to narvest. In my more than 30 years of field work I have never encountered a ~ , 7 9, ' FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 rutt urrt~ ~wl. u~r.. UNLY coherent exposition oi a Christian conrept for any of the questions which religion _ claims to answer. Both the questions of the creation of the worlcl, the questions of t:~e origin of man, morality, law and etY:ics--all of ~;his in the explanations of our _ inf'ormants ~,t best merely had a certain crus+ of Cnristian dogma. The same hazy and ecJ_ectic approach could also be traced constantly in stud;~ing the rites. Yes, mar- ri~.;e took place in the church, and yes a priest was invitEd to a burial, and yes, i~ was considered essential to baptize a child. But one has merely to listen to a ,:onsistent description of how the rite is periormed from beginning to end and one IIIUSt state that thz purely clerical aspects hold a surprisingly small place. A larger portion of the ritual actions, even those which are performed in the presence _ of the pr~est, have no bearing on Christianity. Precisely in family ritual thz church endeavored to hold strong positions if only because the fee for church cere- monies comprised a significant portion of its income. It would be possible to give many other facts and observations of a similar sort, but these are well enough known by all ethnographers who study religion. For this _ reason the question asked by S. A. Tokarev of "what is the essence of religion?" seems neither ~trange nor untimely, regardiess of the definitions of religion known to all of us. In actuality it is worth investigating this more carefully. Cne of S. A. Tokarev's opponents, Yu. I. Semenov, has already quoted the definition of religion given by F. Engels.`' As a whole, religion undoubtedly is a fantastic reflection of reality in the minds of people. But here it is also wise to recall tne definition of religion given by V. I. Lenin which emphasizes that religion is a barren flower on the tree of knowledge.5 And this is knowledge generally and not just on the tree of knowledge of good and evil, as is possible to conclude from the sixth-ninth sections of S. A. Tokarev's article (pp 92-96)� For human society, knowledge, though~t, un3erstanding of both the world around as well as the society in which he lives and, finally, knowledge of hir~.self as an individual of his place - in this world of very complex relations between one's "ego," society and nature are not a whimsy or a pastime but ra,ther a necessity for his existence as Man. The mediation of the relationships between man and nature through culture, that is, that complicated mechanism of relationships which is created by implement and othzr pro- , duction ?ctivities of human society, inevitably gives rise to the necessity of kriowledge and not the knowledge of individual processes or phenomena, but rather knowledge as a system of ideas concerned with the world surrounding man. Rega-rdless o;� how insignificant the knowledge of the most primitive man may seem to us, it was knowledge and not merely the experience of one individual. The very assessment of such knowledge �rom modern positions always entails a certain distortion as our distant ancestors may not have known so little and the more profoundly and carefully we study the history of primitive culture the more convinced we are of this.6 Un- doubtedly, this knowledge not only quantitatively but primari.l~ qual.itatively is in no way comparable with what science has made available to us. However, an exces- s~yvely pr.ejudiced attitude toward the syste:n of mankind's knowledge in the past is clearly unjusti�ied. At the same time, if we open any, even a very serious ethnographic work, there we will find a. special section on religion, sometimes very detailed and extensive but on the system of knowledge at bes~c there will be a short and cursory essay.~ Inevitably not only c3oes one gain the impression but it has even become an established tradition that little atten~ion is given to the knowledge while , ~ - � _ 8Q ~ ' ~ (~62 i~.~~'c~ i:~i. ~`S~ ONi.`.? APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00854R000440050016-5 FOR ON FdC1AL USF. ONLY excessively much is devoted to the "ba:ren ~lowEr" on the tree of knowled~e. When S. A. Tokarev writes that the content of religious ideas among the mass of people was virtually un~nown and of little interest to them, this can be valid precisely because people in their practical, real life are most concerned with what is so cursorily described in ethnographic works as "positive knowledge." For this rea.son it is quite natural that the ma,jority has preferred "to perform the established rites and make sacrifices" (p 89) and only this or "god is god and will not be bad" - and "one does not get full with prayer." The misfortune of our religious studies is not only that a certain tilt has arisen toward examining the purely theological con- ~ cepts of early beliefs but also that the place and proportional amount of religious ideas in the system of human knowledge in a specific era generally have not been defined with sufficient clarit~. If one turns to the most elementary analysis of any real form of human activity, inevitably a very complex chain of relationsnips unfolds between all the stages of tnis ac+ivity. For example, in gathering, a person h~ to know all the species of useiul plants (and there are o~er a hundredsuch species ) their growing seasons, for ir~ some plants the young shoots were used as food or for other purposes, while in ot~ers it was the green roots and still others the dried seed. It was essential to know the places the plants grew, the associated plants in order to more easily dis- cover such places and so forth, and so forth. Add to this the necessary knowledge on the gathering, processing and preparation of useful plants as food and here we ~ have often entire pr~oduction cycles. It was not merely necessary to kr~ow all this but also to transmit the knowledge to subsequent generations in order not to break the succession oi culture which was not any too strong at the given level of de- velopment. It was also essential to be able to determine such a complex factor as , time as the growing seasons had to be correlated to some more abstract category. The possible influences of the weather alsc had to be considered. In a word, if we endeavor to order this entire process into a chain of reciprocal links without omit- ting one essential one if possible, this would take up more than a page. And w12en � we compare precisely such a full idea about the amount of positive knowledge needed - by man with the magical actions which at times were performed for the sake of "mul- tiplying the harvest," then a belief in the plant spirits is so miserly and "com- munica~ion" with them is so inessential in real life that it becomes understandable why people were not so greatly interested in the various constructs of a purely religious order. Equally com~licated and diverse was the kr.owledge needed by man in hunting, fishing, in all aspects of his daily life. Nor did man find it easy to g~,in experience in social relationships of a varying level and nature, from rela- tions in a family group to intertribal ones. With the greater complexity and development of human culture, with the appearance of new economic undertakings and with the specialization of individual social groups and strata in various a~eas of human activity, inevitably there was ~,n increase in the complex_ity of the necessary real knowledge on the surrounding world and a com- prehending of its patterns. Along with this there was an inevitable further com- plicating of what we classify as religion in the corresponding sta~es of human society. Religion, the cult and the performirig of rites beca~ne the privilege and _ duty of a cert~,in group of persons, the priests. With the lack of data it is dif- ficult to judge whether such groups possessed a secret conception on al1 the ques- tions of the universe and ideology. But even in the most cursory review of the _ --k~ow-n-facts, it is possible ~;o confidently conclude ~hat specialization in the cults 81� FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2407/42/09: CIA-RDP82-40850R000400450016-5 rutt urr~~ia?L u~~. uN~Y and rites developed not ~,utomatically but as a barren flower on that actually nec- essary and completely real knowledge about the movement of the suns, planets and other bodies. At the same time this was essential fo-r determining the op- timum times of field work and for satisfying other more involved needs of society. The fact that sucn knowledge was presented to the population and perceived by them as a miraculous, God-given phenomenon in no way alters its very realistic essence. The ~,ppearance of writing, the first mathematical knowledge and the first medica~ discoveries, on the one hand, were nothing more than a generalization of the very complex previous experience of thousands of generations, and on the other, an out- _ growth of the needs in a new stage of humar. cultural development. While the ancient inhabitants of Sumer or Egypt, India or Peru may have known nothing about tne "mysteries" of the priestly estate in the contents of the beliefs themselves, in being content with the role of observers in performing the rites, the other function of this new social group, a purely practical one, that is, setting the date for planting, the use of writing in the administering of the state, the col- lecting cf' taxes, the calculating of percentages, legal activities and much else which to a ~reater or lesser degree was related to tne activities of the priests, this function very tangiblf concerned the inhabitants of the newly arisen state sys- tem. And here, if we separate the purely religious aspects from the necessary prac- tice of life, the role of religion and its "essence" is very meager and insignifi- cant. Obviously this idea determined the title of one of the fundamental studies by S. A. Tokarev "Religiya v Istorii Narodov P~ira" [Religion in the History of the Peoples of the World] (and not merely "The History of Religion").9 And this is the source, it seems to me, of that harmfulness and insufficiency in working out the ~ religious systems and postulates, their eclecticness, contradictoriness, and incon- sistency, their divisions between the indivi~ual. divinities and cults. It is hard to believe that it was ever different--indeed, r.eligious beliefs, or to be more exact, beliefs of a religious character always parasitically use real kno~~.*ledge and real patterns discovered or just revealed by man as the essence of the e~lanations of these or those phenomena. The religious explanations of such patterns are a fantastic reflection in the minds of people of true reality. But initially there must be tbe true reality. t,1e should note one other particular feature of that complex of ideas which is aften accepted as a definite religious system (as we are talking about such systems), namely what is actually religious in these systems? Take the famous commandments: "Thou shalt not kill," "ihou shalt n~t steal," "Honor they father and motner" and so forth. Is this actually religion? Is tnis not the summing up of long social experience of man and defini.te rules for necessary social intercourse? In the folklore of any people you will find edi�ying tales with the same conclusion about the benefit of good and the inevitable punishment of a misdeed, only in a much more vivid, form and hence more effective in indoctr�inating the moral convic- tior.s of man. UsLally reli~ion contributes one thin~, the fear of divine punish- - ment, to such moralizing sub~jects. One must not kill beca.use on "judgmen~t day" or immediately after death (for example, Christianity does not provide a. definite answer to ihis question), the sinner guilty of violating the comma.ndrr.ent will be - ptu~i~hed. Folklore versions more often promise punishment even in tnis liie. One otYier most essential difference in the religious interpret~.tion is ~nat "thou not kill" not because this is the most unnatural act of human relations, but because "it is against the will oi God." It is not difficult to note that ir. such con- structs, the church and cnurch teachings intrude into ihe E;ener~,lly acceptec? com- mandments of the standards of human con~luct. A~;a~n the chur�cr. an~ religious teach- ings, and here they are loyal to tneir nature, merely dr~w from the soci~,l . 8z : .'f~R OFE~IC1,4~. i~S~ i}tii.Y APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/49: CIA-RDP82-00850R040400050016-5 FOR OFFlCtAI. r,SF: C1N{.1' experience of human society without providing anything positive in merely imposing their own interpretation of the reasons why one must not do something but rather do something else. In analyzing one or another religious system, the researchers, in following the theologians--and S. A. Tokarev is undoubtedly ri~ht in his accusation --analyze a certain system of views, often not taking the trouble to i~olate what is truly religious in it and what is a generalization of human experience, mar~'s observations and that total of acquired, practical (including social) knowledge (norality, law and ethics) inevitable and necessary in the life o� any human society. As a result of such a substitution, rel~~ion itself is presented to us in its im- pressive raiment, although a larger portion of the fabric from which this raiment has been made has no relationship to religion per se. It must be pointed out that we would not be right to attribute every error which abound in the medieval European ideas about the structure of the eartn or universe to religion. The idea of the earth as a certain plane resting on three elephants is, of course, a fantasy and does not cor-respond to reality like tales about persons with dog heads are also fantastic. But such an idea is not religion rather a simple error, a fan+asy, an imrention, an attempt to compensate for a la,ck of Knowledge. In this fantasy trere is lacking the basic thing which is inherent to religion, an other-worldly, supernatural rorce. It is not difficult to trace the gnoseology of such error~eous constructs considering the self-contained world of tk~e medieval way of life which for t~e rnajority was greatly limited. It is easy to understand the purelf human desire in some way to make up for and compensate for the lack of know- led~e by fantasy. We see something quite different in Christianity's solution to the question oi the ger..esis of the world: "In the beginning was the word, the word was with God and the word was God."10 Here there is no hedging. The prime cause is clearly defined. Incidentally, the very picture of the creation of the world and the genesis of various phenomena in it in Christianity has been described in a fra~mentary, inconsistent, eclectic and often contradictory manner as has been re- peatedly pointed out by the critics of Christianity. This applies not only to the concept of "evil and sin," but the system of the Christian ideas about the genesis of the world is extremely illogical and inconsistent and is inferior in terms of logical order to any "pa~an" n~yth about the same subject (p 92}, But is this trait c::aracteristic o? only Chr~stianity as one of the world religions? In no way. Idot one of the largest religious systems or "faiths" possesses an integrated concept of life.ll Moreover, the impression is created that not one of the world religions has se~ for itself tne task of providing such an overall concept, of working it out or creating an in-any-way ordered system of ideas about the genesis of the world, ma.n and all life on the earth, and the basic laws controlling this world. In the reli- giou~ "systems," attention is focused on one or another aspect of human life in its religious under~tanding. Those differences between religions which S. A. Tokarev _ interprets as a different a+titude toward evil concern ra~her the differences pre- cisely in aspeets which are of primary significance in the various religions. On th~s level we have every justification of asking to what degree it is actually right to divide people by religious denominations, according to the corresponding "be- liefs," and do they actually exist? When people are put by religion in the cate- gories of Christians, P~oslems, Buddhists and so forth, what is actually at issue here, are we classifying them according to the followers of a religion or the sup- - porter~ of a certain church? Certainly ~;hese concepts are far from being equal. Very valid is the contradiction noted by S. A. Tokarev between religious self- awareness (of the Christians, Moslems and so forth) and the degree to which a ,83 FOR OFFICIAL USC ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2447/02/09: CIA-RDP82-44850R444444454416-5 majority of the believers is informed of even the basic postulates. This is an obvious reality, although from it it in no way follows that if a person has a poor understanding of the canons of faith then he is a person of "little faith" or a com- plete nonbeliever. Even the degree of performing the rites prescribed by one or another religion is still not an indicator of an adherence t~ a faith. The present existence of religion in Western Europe shows with particular convincingness that the performance of rites has been reduced to a minimum. However, this does not pre- vent many from clearly professing their religion, that is, considering themselves in a certain church. On this level, very curious i.s the observation by S. A. Tc~karev that " not so much man's attitude towar.d god (the gods) as it is the attitude of people toward one another over thc ideas of god (the gods)" (p 91). Here obviously, as in any analysis of ideological phenomena, it is essen- _ tial to draw a clear distinction between ideology per se, the world view of people, and those social institutions which serve this world view and justify their exist- ence. The thesis of S. A. Tokarev on the main difference between religions in their concepts of good and evil does not seem too convincing to me. And the very problem, like many others, goes beyond the limits of just religious views as the claims of the church to a monopoly in solving this problem are as unfounded as the claims to solving other moral and ethical problems. For this reason in the given instance it is a question not so mucYi o� religions generally as it is groups of people united by a single church. Actually the profession of faith is an awareness of one's belong- ing to a certain church as a social institution or organization. Just how much such an affiliation is reinforced by a complete acceptance of the ide~logical canons of the given church in reality is a secondary question both from the viewpoint of the believers themselves and for the church. S. A. Tokarev gives numerous exa.mples of precisely such duality. To be consistent, it must be reco,nized that the differ- ences which comprise the spiritual world of the believer and his ideas about the faitn can be easily detected not only between the masses of the followers of vari- ous religions but also between individual groups of adherents in the same religion. _ T:~e Orthodoxy of the Russian peasantry, for example, differed very strongly from the Orthodoxy of tne landowners, although they prayed in one church and confessed to one priest. Obviously we must speak not about reli~ions as an expression of at- titudes between people but rather about churches uniting the people of one faith and separating the people of different faiths, currents, schools, sects and so forth. From the modern view-poi~t, the difference in the content (or the particular features ef the belief) of different religions is amazingly small. Even smaller is the dif- ference between the currents of' one religion (for example, crossing oneself with _ t~ao f'ingers or three fingers amongst the Nikonians and the Old Believers). People actually did go to their death "for the faith." But for the sake of what? What divided them and made them irreconcilable? Was it really faith? No. It was pri- maril,y a ~ense of belonging to a certain church as a social institution ~:ith all the ensuing consequences. The common accusation in +he Middle Ages of heresy most of'ten f'or a majority of the population was not on?;, not understood but the people did not even try to understand this. It was enough to know that "their" church and "their" p-riests had declaz�ed someone to be a here~ic or apostate and the severest sentence woul.d be carried out. But tne "heretics" proceeded in precisel}~ the same manner if the law and force were on their side. The churcn, and precisely the church, became t'r~e source, the judge of tne "trueness of faith." Bli:Zd obedience and following of tne judgments of the church (not the faith, not the do~ma but the church!) was the most typical trait of a ma~jority, if indeed not all, the trials oi heretics. These medieval processes are striking in their cruelty and fanaticism and in recent times, g4 . !~OR C~FFtCIAL ~.~';w ONI.Y APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2407/42/09: CIA-RDP82-40850R000400450016-5 ~ FOR OFFICIAi. CJSF. O?~1,Y - the judgment of anathema against Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was based u~on the s~e church fanaticism. For this reason the thesis of S. A. Tokarev tnat religiori "like any other cultural pnenomenon, both material and spiritual, carries out a most im- portant sociai function. That is, how in some way to unite and unif'y a certain group of people and thereby set them against all other groups" (p 97), considering all that has been said above, sounds somewhat strange. And primarily beca.use it is scarcely correc~ to so decisively equate religion (a barren flower and error) and other phenomena of human culture. With all the possible both ~~ositive and nega- tive effects of other areas of' culture on society's development, all of them are = phenomena that are real, rational and somehow adding to the richness of mankind. In this sense religion is an irrational, imaginary value. It gives nothing to people. Its unifying or disunifying function is also illusory and imaginary as are all the remaining "merits" ascribed to religion. In actuality it is a question not about the role of religion, but rather about the role of the cnurch, the denomina- tion, that is, abou~; a certain organization of people. That such an organization is very conditionally linked with the real ideas about religion in the mdss of be- lievers is affirmed by nunierous facts, including those given by S. A. Tokarev. Here we would point to just one aspect from the history of the development of dogmas. A large portion oi researchers uses a rather standard development scheme of the world religions.12 Individual ideas, myths, canons and postulates are borrowEd from a certain nuriber of sources from an earlier time. At a certain moment all of this is united by a new dogma and there begins a period of the propo~ation of a new faith and the winning oi adheren~ts. The further development of the faith is depicted as a dividing of a single whole into currents, sects, heresies and so forth. Here the relationships of tY~e new teachings and the new church are viewed as phenomena that are organicaily linked and intertwined, where the f~.ith and its postulates determine tne church and the church organization. If one proceeds from the approach termed "theological" by S. A. Tokarev, then such a scheme is quite logical. But if we con- sider the appeal of S. A. Tokarev that it is essential to study primarily the mass perception o:f the religion and the mass ideas about faith, then the picture cha.nges substantially. Incidentally, the unity of church and do~}na according to the "theo- lo~ical"scheme is a phenomenon that is more desired and declared th~,n real. In a,ctuality, the development of the major religions such as Christianity, Islam and otners foliowed a much more complicated path. First of all here it is essential to emphasize the development of two interrelated but essentially different phenomena, na.mely the formation of the corresponding church, that is, a certain social institu- tion, and the formation of the corresponding dogma. In the given article we do not hc:,ve the right to be diverted to the questions of the formation of the church as this is a separate and complicated problem for history. But the dogma of any major world church can scarcely be viewed as something given or fcrmed by the time the given church arose. ~n the contrary, analysis shows that all modern major churches are based on an extremely hazy, far from original (usually borrowed "from the neigh- bors") and only initial aspects of the new cult. If one takes CY~ristianity specifi- cally, in the early Christian communiti~s, the aspect of social action and not the dogma. is dominant. The initial communities simply endeavored to embody the ideas of equality, justice and morality which without difficulty could be found in any version of any reli~ion or any philosophical system of the past. For social prac- - tive, ready-made, previ.ously more or less elaborated explanations and ideological interpretations of social conduct were chosen fr~m various sources and all of this .85 . FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/49: CIA-RDP82-00850R040400050016-5 was ascribed to new prophets and tY:.e "ne~r" faith for the sake of holiness and as an "aid to memory." Qnly as tlie church d~:r~.~:~ped and grew was there a need to shape a more - or less ccn:,istent statement of the dogma. Here the church fathers did not trouble tnemselves excessively with mental endeavor but usually restricted themselves to si~ple borrowing fro~~ what was already known, quickly adapting or dif.ferently in- terpreting the ideas worked out before them. And hence those infinite contradic- tions, discrepancies and different interpretations which have been such a bother for research on the history of relioion. Regardless of all efforts by theologians, early Christianity remained nothing more than a particular instance or heresy in tne equally eclectic system of Judaism, if one refers to the "tioly" texts. S. A. Tokarev (pp 93-9~+) also points to the contradictoriness and illogicalness of the ea.rly Christian postulates of the faith. One can only be amazed how the churches succeeded in calmly combining simultaneously the books of the Old and New Testa- ment as the sacred sources of the faitn. 4Trien we ~ur�n not to tne "theological" but to the rzal content of Christian teachings, that is, to now this Christianity was understood and perceived by the mass of be- lievers, then here we encounter numerous facts of eclecticism of a completely dif- ferent sort. These facts are well known to the ethnographers. It is a question of tYie absorption by Christi~.nity of local pagan cults, beliefs, superstitions and so fortn (in contrast to such paganism as found in the biblical texts). One can note (in most general terms) two basic paths of such adoption. The first is the accept- ance by the cnurch of local cults in a Christianized iorm (the identifying of local cults with church holidays). For ex~nple, Christmas, Ligo, Ivan Kupala and the Day of John the Ba.ptist, Semik and the Trinity and so forth. In this instance the cnurch wraps the local heathen c~.tlts ur~der :he "covers" oi its holy holidays. The very dividing of the faith and cults into Christian and pagan, as has become tradi- t=onal in the literature is extremely hypothetical. The system of cults recognized by Christianity as its own, nonpagan one, often draws its roots from a similar hea,L'ner: system adopted from the biblica.l texts. ~lerely added to this are the saints a,nd martyrs, that is, the apocr;lphal le~ends about the church-canonized saints. Christianity did not have any elaborated ~.r~d logically correlated system of dogma. The canonizino of saints went on over all the history of the church and in various countries and in different curren�s of Christianity there developed specific "lists" ci saints. Only recently has Christianity erideavor�ed to somehow unify, generalize and iegitimize this portion of its cult ror all. Sucn a combinirg of concepts and postulates from essentially different origins have led and does lead to paradoxical phenor~_ena when, for example, a major church holi- day is de~~oted to the Prophet Elijah, a f'ormer god of thunder, altinou~h the role of this Elijah is not very significant in the church hierarchy. At the same time, the reli~ious holila;~ of the Virgin in tYie Eastern Slavic world holds a much smailer place. Iii Italy, on the contrary, +.he cult ~f the Madonna is almost the central c~lt of all Cnristiar.ity, again in the perception of the mass of believers. All at+,empts oy the churcn and the theologians who were in fa,vor of the "purity" of do~;~~.~. led to nothing in the struggle against such phenomena not oniy because thc lccal cults and adherents to them were too stron~. The point was that the church nad nothing to oppose these local cults witn. We do not k_noa so well frem surviv- in, sources the ideological system of the v~.rious heathens concealed by the later - cover of C~ristianitf (primarily due to tYie fault of the sa,.rne Chri ~tiar. theologians ,r'r~o energetically i~;nored t;he views of their predecessors But w'riat we do know 86 ~ . FOR OFFICIAL li5E Oti1.Y APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 r~u o~~t~?c~o:~z. t,~;~: o~t.~~ about paganism shows more ordered than generally realized, more coordinated, ela,bo-r- ated and logical systems of beliefs about the origin and structure of the world, tne place and role of man in it, the stages of his life, let alone about the moral and ethical standards of conduct. Gradually material is being acquired which makes i~ possible to hope that we will be not only able to partially reconstruct the pa~;an systems in the various groups of the Eastern European population but also create more or less accurate models of such an ideology as a whole, in its most essential parts. The Christian church not so much fought against the local cults as it did abso.rb them and incorporate them in its "dogma," not being very concerned about the integrity and logicalness of the resulting picture. This aspect of Christianity, like the other world religior~s, still needs special research, and the article by S. A. Tokarev gives us cause for thought. But the relation of paganism and Chris- tianity leads not only to a direct contact when actually Christianity itself in- evitably breaks into a number of dogmas, schools, sects and so forth under the ir~- fluence of the differences in the J.ocal cult and religious systems lying at its basis. Equally important is another process. From the very outset Christianity, for example among the Slavs, has acted as the dogma and to a, certain degree the ideology of a very restric-ted group of the local population, the representatives of the dom?nant c"lasses and strata, although f'or them as well the former pagan ideas and beliefs contir,ued for a very extended time to play a crucial role (we might remember the double names of the Russian Princes?). But for a predominant majority of the population, the very fact of "baptizing in the new faith" remained such a formal ac- tion that it could scarcely be considered seriously. Hence that dualism in the dogmas which is so t,ypical for the popular or as it is some~~imes styled "everyday Orthodoxy." S. A. Tokarev has devoted an entire booklet to the beliefs of the East- ern Slavic peoples.13 wherE he has assembled and analyzed +he role, so to speak, of . the junior spirits and deities (wood goblins, water nymphs, brownies and so forth). Of course, this can be described as "vestiges in religious consciousness" (which is very much to the liking of church theologians), but certainly belief in these spir-~ its survived up to the 20th century, and even we, the students of S. A. Tokarev, in expeditionary work have still encountered elderly persons who sincerely believed in the f~rce of such spirits and in their ability to somehow influence the life and ac- tivities of man. If one notes that these junior spirits and deities "in charge" of such important spheres of life for the peasantry as the forest and river areas, that tYiey could predict the fate of man, influence his health, protect or skill livestock and so forth, the role and si~nificance of them, according to peasant views, turn out to be not so slight. Certainly the practical and at the same time the ideological, spiritizal and world-view interests of the peasant family inevitably were focused (~.lthough not restricted to this) on their homes, farms, health and family. If one adds to the list of the junior rr~embers of the Eastern Slavic pan- theon examined in the book by S. A. Tokarev the numerous saints who, in the eyes of the peasantry, combined purely Christian holiness with protection of the endeavors of the simple people, that is, all those Cabbage Barbara.s, Vlasiy the protector of livestock, Pdikolay who in addition to performing miracles was "in charge" of crafts, trade and so forth, tnen we are presented with a rather complete pantheon of aeities encompassing virtuall,y all aspects of peasant life. What remains for Christianity? The creation of the world? The explana~;ion of the bases of the universe and the or~ler of the wor]_d? But certainly the peasants could obtain their own answers to th.ese eternal questions for normal man and not church answers. These answers to one de~ree or another wer~ also Found in the magical tales as has been convincingly - ';87., FOR OFFIC[AL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2447/02/09: CIA-RDP82-44850R444444454416-5 ~ V~? V~ � �~~I~L VJa~ V1\l~l _'~own by the work of ti'. Ya. Propp.14 It can be argued that these are just tales. But how can one explain tneir amazing viability in the memory of the people? Only by their attractiveness? By their aesthetic or artistic value? Possibly, the secret to the lon~evity of the tales is precisely in the fact that for a ma,jarity of the population (this majority up to the 20th century exceeded 90 percent!) they de- scribed a rather detailed picture of the universe which was much closer an3 more comprehensible than the biblical tales wnich could be offered on the same question by Christianity. In this article there is no sense or opportunity to iurther de- velop this question and confirm it by ever-new evidence, although there is a good deal of this. One thing is indisputable. Christianity as a dogma and as a philo- _ sophical system discloses, from my viewpoint, a rather obvious flimsiness even ~n comparison with those "pagan" systems which could be described on the basis of any studied sources. Tne possibilities of finding new sources and a more careful, at- tentive analysis oi the already found ones are far from exhausted. A11 the experi- ence of contact with representatives of the older generations of the Russian pea- sar.try during field work has forced me to critically accept the classifying of them as Orthodo~: Christians. I am convinced that the same holds true for the Christian- ity of other peoples in Europe. When the textbooks and references write about the dominance of Christianity, it is a question of the dominance of a certain church and not the dogna of tnis church. For precisely this reason I would be skeptical of many ideas in the article by S. A. Tokarev where he equates the churcn, the offi- cial religion, the religicn of the ruling upper classes and the religion of the en- tire popul~.tion. Is this not the reason for the ir.completeness and lack of elabor- ation iri the postulates of Christianity, that these gaps were feverishly filled in wi~h the appropriate subjects from previous paganism, while the official church took "care" of a very restricted ran~e of questions often of very accidental and arbi- trary quality which were of interest to a narrow range of theologians'? Church ritual is one of the most important spheres in the activitias o� any religion and any church. Intuitively and consciously a lie endeavors to play not on reason but rather on feelings and emotions. All major religious currents over many cen- turies have r~.ther carefully �aorked out the procedures for such an effect, s~arting from the location of the churches and their form, to church music ~.nd the ves~ments of the priests. But very indicative is che fact that not only clearly pagan ele- ments were incorvorated in tnis ritual. ~~or exasnple, we might recall the famous "autumn feas+s" apples, honey and nuts, when the priests were forced to become orcna.rd growers at~d bee keepers in order to offer the parishoners aplles and honey - on the corresponding days. 4~ere, in which of the Gospels will you find a canon for the church rite of the marria~e of ~ride and groom? Try to compare the burial of Jesus j,ri~;h the burial ritual which is practiced by the Russian Orthodox Church, and you will encounter the same thing. The church ritual did not arise out of canons, ruies and trie prir_ciples of faith which wei�e established somewhere and at some time. The ritual developed on a. strictly local basis and not all at once, but gradually adopting ne~,r rules and traditions over t~~e centuries. What is accepted as the re- ~1j]ZOUJ syste:n of Russian Ortho~oxy in virtually all its major points developed cora- paxativelf late even within the limits of the reli~ion and church of a rulin~ r_lass. r.vi4er.ce of this is four_d in the miniatures of the famous 16th century Chronicle Compendium in which the marriage rite is shown in a drawin~; :~tartin~; only froi:l the 16th century,l5 and before this tne miniaturists limited themselve~ to an obli~atory weddin~;, ~,1_thou~;h tile ma,rriage rite is mentioned in the text. And ttle basic subject of the everyday dr~zwings of this official chronic~e ~s the life of' the 88 FOR OF~'(CI.~~. ~.'SE O\y.Y APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 FOR OFF~CIAL USE OtiLI' princes and not the simple people. For this reason it is not ~.t all surprising tYlat, according to the observations of A. Ya. Yefimenko. ci:.,~ attitude of the peasantry in the hinterlands to the church marriage or baptism rite was purely formal in the 19th century.16 For this reason one of the basic positions in the article by S. A. Tokarev, that is, to study a religion one must have not the opinion of the theolo- gians, their constructs and systems, but rather the real existence of religious views (P~rors) is very essential and long overdue. The scope of a journal article forces one to restrict oneself to just certain ques- ~ions touched upon by S. A. Tokaxev. Other questions raised in his article to one degree or another have been analyzed in the works of opponents involved in the debate. One thing is indisputable. The article by S. A. Tokarev has forced many to reflect again on the problems of the history of religion as a pheilomenon in the ideolagy of mankind and on the place of this phenomenon, its actual importance in the history of spiritual life. _ In con.cluding this axticle, I kould like to reemphasize the following thing. W' we often understand under the general term of "religion" is a complicated and multi- part phenomenon. The religious errors in this concept are frequently intertwined with phenomena of a completely different type and essence, that is, the actua.l know- ledge of people, the presence and effect of the church organization as a social ir- stitution and the emotional efiect (the various forms of art used by the church to es;;ablish its influ.ence). It is not always an easy thing to separate such syncret- ism and symbiosis in our otim days. For ex~.mple, not so long a~;o the influence of the sun and the moon on the health and psychophysical state n� peopie was estab- lished snd scientifically explained, and there was a certain change in the attitude toward the "hea.vy" years (leap years) and to other ideas which prior to this were _ considered simple superstition. It would be possible to give many other examples of a similar sort. Religious idea.s and errors always nourish themselves on thejuices of others and behave like parasitic spiritual orchids on the real achievements of human la,-oor and reason. The role and influence of the church, the denomination and "faith" i.n the real history of mankind are explained not so much by religion itself or by the very postulates of the dogma of one or another sect as by the role an~i influ- ence o~ the real achievements of human culture on which these religious errors are par~,sitic. Research on how iri reality there was (and at present partially is) a mixin~ of rez1. knowledge and real truth with religious interpretations and explan- ations of the achievements of human reason is a difficult but completely feasible - task if we will reJy on a sober an~lysis of concrete historical facts. The entire sense of the art~cle by S. A. Tokarev calls for us to do this. FOOTNOTES 1. SOVETSKAYA ETPIOCRAFIYA (below SE), No 8, 1979, pp 87-106 (subsequent refer- e~lces to this article are given in the text). 2.. D. M. Ugrinovich, "On the Marxist Underst~.nding of Reli~ion," SE, No 1, 1980; I. A. Kryvelev, "On the Essential and Nonessential in the Study of Religion," ibid.; Yu. I Semenov, "On the Essence of Religion," ibid., No 2. '89�, FOR OFFIC[AL USF: ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 . va. va a a.~~na. L~Ja: vl~l.i 3. Tr,e concept of religion is often perceived by the population not only and even not so much as a belief in certain supernatural forces as a complicated syn- _ cretic group of ideas. Legal standards, moral-ethical principles, the explana- tion of the order of the world and much else are mixed up in this group. F. Engels, "Anti-Duhring," K. Marx and F. Engels, "Soch." [Works], Vol 20, p 328. In the article by Yu. I. Semenov, the corresponding reference is given on p 56. 5� V. I. Lenin, "On the Question of Dialectics," "Soch.~ [Works], Vol 29, P 322. 6. It has been established, for example, that even 'Paleolithic man not only knew a numbers system but used this to calculate the lunar calendar. For this question in Rus~ian see B. A. Frolov, "Chisla v Grafike Paleolita" [Numbers in Paleolithic Graphics], Novosibirsk, 1974. 7. Very indicative in this regard is the volume "PJarody Avstralii i Okeanii" [Peoples of Australia and Oceania] (in the series "Narody Mira. Etnografi- cheskiye Ocherki" [Peoples of the World. Ethnographic Essays~, Moscow, 1.976, published under the editorship of S. P. Tolstov and S. A. Tokarev. In it 41 pages are devoted to the religion of the Australians (pp 209-250), and 20 pages to positive knowledge and folk creativity (pp 251-271). 8. Jose de Castro, "Geografiya Goloda" [The Geography of Hung~r], Moscow, 195~+, p~ 61-62. - 9� S. A. Tokarev, "Religiya v Istorii Narodov Mira" [Religion in the Iiistory of - the Peoples of the World], Moscow, 1964. 10. The "Gospel According to St. John," Chapter l. 11. See, for example, S. A. Tokarev, "Religiya v Istorii...," Chapters 13-Z~+� 12. Among such researchers is S. A. Tokarev himself. See S. A. Tokarev, "Religiya v Istorii...," pp 436-526 a.nd so forth. _ 13. S. A. Tokarev, "Religioznyye Verovaniya Vostochnoslavyanskikh Narodov" [Reli- gious Beliefs of the Eastern Slavic Peoples], b7oscow, ~955� l~t. V. Ya. Prapp, "Istor~cheskiye Korni Volshebnoy Skazki" [Historical Roots of i~Iagical Tales], Leningrad, 1946; V. Ya. Propp, "Morfologiya Skazki" [The Mor- phology of ~he Tale], Moscow, 1969. 15� The evolution of the wedding ritual in princel5r life as shown in the drawings of the 16th Century Chronicle Compendium has been tra.ced in the diploma work of G. I. Brozhzhova "The Wedding Rite from the Miniatures of the 16th Century Chronicle Compendium." This work was done uncler the leadership of tkie author of the giv~n artic]e and is kept at the Ethnography Chair of Moscow State Uni- versity. The wedding rite in the church is first shawn in a dr..~wing depicting an event of 1509, the marriage of the daughter of Ivan III, Feodosiya. ~ 90 FOR U~'PiCiAL ~;SE Or�'LY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/49: CIA-RDP82-00850R040400050016-5 FOR OFFICIAL USE OtiL1' 16. A. Ya. Yeiimenko, "Issledovaniya Narodnoy Zhizni" [Research on Folk Life], - Pdoscow, 1884 (the article "Folk Legal Views of ~Iarriage"). COPYRIGHT: Izdate:l'stvo "Nauka", "Sovetskaya etnografiya", 1980 10272 Cso: 83~+~+/0982 ~ 91 . FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2407/42/09: CIA-RDP82-40850R000400450016-5 FOR DEVELOrIN~ RESi1~ii~�~i G:+ ':ii:~ ~:?~~:3~~r~~4S ~',i itLLa fTO:': - Moscow S0~'EiS~i.AYA ~ :i~r ,.n Ru~ s iar. i`ti`c , ~~y- . _ . , ~ i - : , 30 Sep 80} ~p 8li_Sl [Article by M. I. Sh~~itinr:ovicnj [Text] The article by S. A. T~~karevl has attract?ci att~t:`.~.. r, i:~~ was written by a most prominent representative of ~ne e~i:no~,r,�_.-r,i . ~~'r~~:'; religious studies~ the founde~ s of wnich were such autst~;._?:.~.n;~, c,,._. ~4..: . i:~. Shternberg and V. G. Bogoraz-Tan. S. A. Tokarev~who for more than 50 years of his research and teachin~ activities has urged a scientific criticism of religion, with unflagging enthusiasm continues to show the necessity of bold searches for a materia.listic explanation of the most com- plicated and difiicult problems of religious studies. It seems that this interesting articl.e belongs to the pen not of a fasaous researcher who has created a library of remarkable books on ethnagraphy and religious studies but rather a young author who is ready with bold daring and courage to reject all that has been achieved by long-established scholars. He, the author of such funda- mental works as "Ran~~iye Formy Religii i Ikh Razvitiye" [Early Forms of Religion and Their De~,elopment], "Religiya v Istorii Narodov P�~ira" [Religion in the History of the Peoples of the T~iorld;, "Istoriya Zarubezhnoy Etnografii" [The History of Foreign Ethnograpi~y] and others, has proclaimed that after 200 years of efforts to under- stand the nature of early religious belief.s, science has not found a convincing an- swer to the question of what these beliefs represent (p 89)� S. A. Tokarev feels tr~at a majority of t'r~e descriptions of religious beliefs published by prominent scholars is 1.argely the fruit of the fantasy of these scholars. In rightly attack- ing the subjectivism of bourgeois ethnographers, he asserts that in tne descriptions of the beliefs and rites of one or another people they often see only what corres- ponds to their own views. Gne can scarcely uncierstand all of this completely literally. S. A. Tokarev h~.s al- ways been and remains an implacable enen~y of the leftist slogans of "Science Over- boa;~d!" On the contrary, the entire drift of the article and its inner subtext are an appeal to the scientific youth to more profoundly study the works of prominent etnnographers and to develop research on the problems of religion. '~2 FOR OFFICIAI, i1SE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 FOR OFFIC'ir~l. IISF ONI.I' Probably S. A. Tokarev is not disturbed by the fact that his a,r~uments cont~,in much that is inconsistent and contradictory. For him all of this is not the main point. He has set the goal of showing that ~he disputed problems of religion must be ex- _ amir.ed creatively, profoundly and thorou~hly, and fcr doing this the ideas about re- , ligion which have become established among the specialists must be dispu~ed. Howev-er, prominent religious scholaxs and the masters of polemics I. A. Kryvelev and D. ~I. Ugrin~~;ich, in rebutting S. A. Tokarev, have convincingly, it seems to me, shown that he has scarcely succeeded in estab].ishing the flimsiness of many ideas about religion as found in our literature, for example, on belief in the super- natural as a determinir_g feature of religion.2 Why, along w`_th many correct and valuable observations a::d conclusions does the - article by S. A. Tokarev contain numerous dubious and at times incorrect arguments - about'the essence of religion, the origin of views about good and evil and other problems? In my view, this is largely explained by the fact tihat he is not a phil- osopher. With reason the article's title contains the subtitl~ "Thoughts of an Ethnographer." The questions viewed in it require primarily a philosophical analy- sis. ~ However, the importance of S. A. Tokarev's article is not in its controversial judg- ments. The value oi the article and. ~cs true purpose is that S. A. Tokarev, con- trary to the opinion of many bourgeois scholars who preach agnosticism and fideism in religious studies, ardently and convincingly endeavors to show that all the questions of religion which have been and are being debated over the centuries will be resolved as scientific knowledge progresses. ~ Certain arguments by participants in the debate require answering. For example, Yu. I. Semenov does not agree that in a majority of the Soviet reiigious studies belief in the supernatural is pointed to as the basic indication of religion. He = feels that this is not accurate and hence not completely correct, as, in his opinion, the essence of religion consists not in a belief in the supernatural generally but in a force. Yu. I, Semenov proceeds from the preanimistic concept ac- - cording to which belief in a supernatural force comprises the basis of religion. However, religious people believe not only in it but also in super.natural beings such as the spirits and gods, they recognize the presence of an immortal soul and the life in the hereafter and so forth. For example, it is impossible to reduce ~ the essence of the Christia,n religion which preaches the coming of Christ and the end. of the world merely to a belief in a supernatural force. For this reason, when scholars write about the basic feature of religion as a belief in the supernatural, one must understand the entire ccmplex of beliefs in the supernatural, regardless of what form this assumes. Yu. I. Semenov in his papers and articles has actually supported the opinion of G. P~. Gak who in 1960 denied the existence of the gnoseological roots of religion,3 and also defended the origin of religion out of magic. These views ha~ae not been supported in scientific atheistic literature. Yu. I. Semenov asserts that "...the main, basic root of religion was seen by the founders of Marxism in man's impotence when confr.onted with the blind necessit,y of nature, and subsequently the necessity of social development."4 But, in the first place, in K. Marx and F. Engels there are no direct statements of this, and, 93 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 secondly, it is not completely clear what the "necessity of nature" means and why impotence before the necessity of it and social development should give rise to ~ religion. Really, has not a sufficiently correct and clear definition of the social roots of religion been given by V. I. Lenin?: "The impotence of the exploited class- es in the struggle against the exploiters thus inevitably gives rise to a belief in a better life after death, as the impotence of the sa�,rage in the struggle against nature gives rise to a belief in the gods, devils, in miracles and so forth.5 All the publications in the journal SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA on the article by S. A. Tokarev indicate that at present the problems of studying religion, as a social phe- - nomenon, have acquired particularly great political and scientific pertinence. This is explained by the fact that ~_n the modern world, along with the crisis of religion, there has been a noticeable increase in the activities of religious organizations. In the aim of rescuing itself from the crisis, the Christian church has set out on the path of modernization. American reactionary politicians are endeavoring to use religiorl for propagandizing anticommunism and anti-Sovietism and are endeavoring to attract the most conservative portion of the clergy into serving imperialism. In the Near East the Zionists have sanctified the aggression against the Arab countries by Judaism and are politicizing it. There are religious disputes on the Indian subcontinent, in Ulster, Lebanon and a number of the developing countries. In certain countries progressive democratic aspirations of many workers can still assume a religious form due to various socioeconomic factors: the insufficient level of political awareness of the masses of people, illiteracy, as ~ell as the in- - fluence of a clerical upbringing. In Iran, the antiimperialist popular movement which overthrew the rotten regime of the shah is using Islam for its own purposes. - In the USSR, the urgency of developing Ma.rxist religious studies arises out of the need for scientific atheistic indoctrination. Among the younger generation there is a growing interest in the past, in the history of~the peoples, their spiritual cul- ture, and this creates an interest in religion and its monuments. However, as was written by N. K. Krupskaya, "a knowledge of the history of religion is little found in our nation.... Our popular books say little about the history of religion.... In our school curriculums the history of religion is very poorly ~;aken up.... We - have not sufficiently popularized the history of religion."6 Since this was written, the situation, in my view, has not substai~tially altered! It would be possible to give many examples of ignorance. Thus, in ~he TV film "Seventeen Instants of Spring," the anti-Fascist pastor quotes...the "Prophet Ecclesiastes," and in one story an Orthodox priest during a service swings...a church chandelier (the author nas confused the censer with the chandelier which is a nanging light having more than 12 candles). Soviet scholars in the social sciences are conf'ronted w~th serious tasks in the , area of developing P~Iarxist religious studies. Regardless of the fact that in the 1970's such significant works were published as the two-volume "Istoriya Religiy" [The History of Religion] by I. A. Kryvelev, "Vvedeniye v Teoreticheskoye F.eligiyev- - edeniye" [Introduction to Theoretical Religious Studies] by D. M. Ugrinovich, the monograph by~M. A. Korostovtsev on the Ancient Egyptian religion, the research by A. I. Klibanov on the history of the Russian religious-social mo~Tements and many books on religions in the modern world, clearly not enough such fundamental origin- al works are published. There arejust one or two a year. 94 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY ' APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2407/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400450016-5 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY The reader has no encyclopedia of religious studies, dictiona.ries on the sociology and psychology of religion, a dictionary of the superstitions of the Soviet peoples, catalogues of religious monuments in our nation or a religious history atlas. There are no general works on the Ancient Slavic religion, works on the history of the Russian Orthodox Church, the history of the beliefs and rites of the Soviet peoples. We also lack historiographic research on religious studies. There are no religious studies textbooks and readers for the students of WZes. In the 1970's we have obviously forgotten the advice of V. I. Lenin on translat- - ing foreign literature devoted to a scientific criticism of religion: "It is essential to carefully follow all the appropriate literature in all languages, in translating or, at least, abstracting all that is in any way valuable in this area."~ The Izdatel'stvo Nauka must, in ~}r vietir, organize publishing a series of re- ligious studies by Soviet scholars similar to the series "Issledovaniya po Fol'kloru iMifologii Vostoka" [F.esearch on the Folklore and N~ythology of the East] which has been published by the ~Hain Editorial Offices of Eastern Literature of this pub- lishing house since 1969. The series has already published valuable works relating to the problems of religious beliefs: on the poetics of myth, on the mythology of India and Africa and on Georgian and Ossetian myths. The Museum of the History of . Religion and Atheism has the manuscripts of V. G. Bogoraz-Tan on shamanism, by I. G. Frank-Kamenetskiy on biblical mythology and other scholars on various problems of = the history of religion. Certainly these works should be published in a series of religious studies. The socialist nations are also expecting new fundamental works on a scientific cri- tique of religion from the scholars of the Soviet Union where a scientific, mater- ialistic ideology prevails in the social consciousness of peoples. FOOTNOTES l. S. A. Tokarev, "Religion as a Social Phenomenon (Thoughts of an Ethnographer)," SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA, No 3, 1979; below the references to the article are given in the text. 2. I. A. Kryvelev, "On the Essential and Nonessential in the Study of Religion," SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA, No l, 1980, pp 77 et seq.; D. M. Ugrinovich, "On the Marxist Understanding of Religion," ibid., pp 70-71. - 3. G. M. Gak, ""Ucheniye ob Obshchestvennom Soznanii v Svete Teorii Poznaniya" [Teachings about Social Consciousness in the Light of the Theory of Cognition], _ Moscow, 1960. 4. Yu. I. Semenov, "On the Essence of Religion," SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA, No 2, 1980, p 53. 5. V. I. Lenin, PSS [Complete Collected Works], Vol 12, p 142. ~ 6. N. K. Krupskaya, "Iz Ateisticheskogo Naslediya" [From the Atheistic Heritage], Moscow, 1964, pp 154-155. 95 FOR OFFIC[AL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2047/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R400404050016-5 7. V. I. Lenin, PSS, Vol ~+5, p 25� . COPYRIGHT: Izdatel'stvo "Nauka", "Sovetskaya etnografiya", 1980 1027 2 Cso: 8344/0982 1 96 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 FOR OFFICI~1_ f1SE. ONLl' 0~1 THE SOCIAL ROI.~E Or RELIGION (THOUGHTS OF A STUDENT OF RELIGIOPI ON THE THOUGHTS OF AN ETHNOGRAPHER)~ Moscow SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA in Russian No 6, Nov-Dec 80 (signed to press 3 Dec 80) 61-66 [Article by I. R. Gri.gul.evic:h] ~Text] Recently it has become fashionable for prominex~t scholars to speak out on important ideological questi.ons with thereservation thatscattered thoughts, cursory _ sketches and comments are being presented.l S.A. Tokarev has given his, in my view, - important and informative article "Religion as a Social Phenomenon" the humble title of "Thoughts of an ~,t'rulograpner." In following his example, I would also permit my- self to title my reply to it as "Thoughts of a Student of Religion." The reader will understand why I have done +,his from the text of the given comment. The article by S. A. Tokarev has caused, judging from the abundance of replies to it published oti the pages of the ~journal SOVETSKAYA ETPdOGRAFIYA, a broad response - among students of religion and this sh~ws the pertinence of the questions - touched upon in it. In actuality, due to a number of circurqstances at present in- terest in the questions of religion has noticeably increased both among specialist scholars and among the broad circles of the community. There are various reasons for this. In the socialist ceuntries �the combating of religious vestiges still is on the agenda,. Outside the countries of the socialist commonwealth, the traditional religions are experiencin~ a profound crisis and internal decay; they are losing followers and are forced to change their ori~ntation and adapt to new conditions and to the realities of the mod~rn world, There are the generally known facts as the ~econd Vatican Cour_cil, the election of the Polish Cardinal Wojtyla as Pope and the first non-Italian in the last 420 years to the Throne of St. Peter, the activi- ties of the "rebel" clergy who condemn capitalism and imperialism, the role of the Moslen clergy in the antiimperialist revolution in Iran, the appearance of new cults and a.t the same time the ~rowing abandonment of religion by broad strata of the ~ workers ir~ the capitalist countries. Even the naked eye can see in these changes the tie of religion with the sociopolitical changes occurring in the modern wo.rld. ~On the article by S. A. Tokarev "RPligion as a Social Phenomenon (Thoughts of an Ethnographerj," SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA, No 3, 1980. 97 FOR OFFiC[AL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/49: CIA-RDP82-40850R040400054016-5 . v~� v. �....�..a. v~ ~r., a At the same time, religion has been and remains a comFlicatPd phenomenon which is diverse both on the historical level and trie social one, Certainly religion has existed in all latitudes, in all times, and in all historical furmations, with the ` exception of the remote primitive society. There are enormous varieties of it. Certain scholars have counted axound 3,000 of them. And each religion is itself a complicated cembination of such elements as mythology, cult, church institutions, a certain moral and ethical code ar.d specific emotions. Ethnography alone is un- able to encompass this entire range of diverse elements which are in a dialectically contradictory unity. Religious studies as a scientific discipline use the d~.ta of both ethnography and a number of other humanities, p~.rticulaxly as it is not enough to have just the "thoughts of an etrnographer" in solving general problems ~ concerning the very content of this scientiiic disci~line. To limit oneself here to just the criteria and framework of ethnography would mean to show certai~i dis- ciplinar~,,r limitation. I consider myself also not to bt~~ a novice in ethnography, but I view religion not only as an ethnographer but also as a student of religions in - the broadest sense. A Narxist student of religions cannot help but be an atheist. In religious studies a definite interpretation of the very concept of religion, that is, a definition of the latter, is indispensable. S. A. Tokarev has shown certain skepticism for all the possible definitions of religion. He redu::es them to two ty~L~es--theological and atheistic. With "some amazement" comments S. A. Tokarev, both the mentioned definitions with all their polar opposition also have "something in common" (p 87), namely: the theologians assert that an other-worldly force (that is, God) exists ~;hile the atheists deny its existence. In ~~lace the author speaks about the hopeless and pointless repetition of the phrases "God exists'' and "ther:.~ is no gocl" (p 96). Incidentally, the person who many centuries a3o first said that "there is no god" made a beginning to a real revolution in the minds of people. This assertion lies a.t the springs of the scientific thinking of mankind. The m~dern bourgeoisie is extremely shocked by the denial of goa although it was precisel,y from their ranks that recently the "overthrowers" of god emerged. When _ the Mexican artist Diego Rivera drew the words "There i~ no god!" on one of his - frescos, this caused a great scandal in an~iclerical Mexico. Upon the orders of thE fresco's owner the words were obliterated. Many such examples could be given. For this reason it seems to me as a student of religions that the designated wo.rds do not merit being equated in terms of significance with the theolagical thesis about the existence of god, ~articularlf in accompanying them with disrespectful commentary. Proceedin; from the assertion of S. A. Tokarev, it could be felt that - he considers atheism sort of "reverse religion," that is, he adheres t~ a view- point, as is known, of the literature prevalent in Western religious stu~ies and not only in religious studies and aimed at discrediting scientific atheism and - blarxism as a whole. S. A. Tokarev a.d.mits tha.t it is essential "to st~udy the content of religious be- liefs," and he cuts out the word "social," and this allows him to conclude: "They (t2ie beliefs.--I.G.) must be studied but they must not be considered the main goal of the research" (p 97)� Those who do not agree with this stra.nge assertion (un- fortunately, he does not indicate who speci�fically he has in mind) are accused be- - forehand by the author that they su~nosedly "have still not ultimately shaken off. the theolo~;ical tradition in the study of religion" (p 97)� To argue in this manner means to shift responsibility from the sick head to the healthy one. T'r~e de~ire of S. A. Tok.arev to put the believers and atheists on one level causes amaze- ment to say the least. The ~oet K. Bal'mor~t reasoned rnuch more logic~.lly. He wrote: ~ 98 ' FOR OFFfCIAI, L`S3? ONf.Y APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2407/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400450016-5 FOk OFFTCIAL USF. 0~1.1' Yes, li2'e is ~1~~~~, And sleep is all dre~ns. But he whc merits the highest wreath, Is he who does not wish delu~ion in sleep. The atheists precisely do not want delusion. Thisis the fundamental difference be- ttaeen them and i.he believers. But if S. A. Tokarev views this differently, we would like to ask him: where precisely does r~e stand? Up to now we have considered him not only an atheist but also a Marxist atheist. The author ascribE�s to atheism, and in particular to Marxist atheism, the amazing limitation that the entire arsenal of atheism consists supposedly in the formula "there is no god." Such good-�for-nothing at,heists were belittled by I1'ya Il'f and Yevgeniy Petrov, tiaving depicted in the novel "The Golden Calf" the dispute between Ostap Bender and Roman Catholic priest Aloiziy Moroshek. Ostap asserted that there was no god and tk~at this was a medical fact, while Moroshek said there was a god be- cause "everything living was created by Him." To wh.ich Ostap replied: "I know, I know, I myself am an old Catholic and La.tinist. Puer, socer, vesper, gener, liber, miser, asper, tener.10 - Regardless of wnat Ostap Bender was, the Soviet scholars of relig~on, in following the instructior.s of the CPSU, have always cor~demned primitivism in atheisti~ propa- ~ ganda. ThQy proceed from the Marxist understanding of reli~ion as a complicated social phenomer~on. God, V. I. Lenin taught, is"(historically and in actuality) - primarily a complex of ideas arising out of the suppression of man by both external nature and class suppression, ideas which reinforce this suppression and vitiate this struggle." At the same time V. I. Leni.n in no way interpreted religion as out- side an historical framework. At the same place he pointed out: "There was a time in history, when, re~ardless af such an origin and such an actual significance of the idea of g~d, the stru~gle of democracy and the proletariat occurred in the form of the struggle of one religious idea against another."2 The Marxist atheists in no way reduce everything to dispute abolzt; god although this question, of course, does figure in our propaganda. They have never considered the idea of god ~~r religious teachings as a whole as artificial inventions, decep- ~ tion or trickery, but rather viewed them as ideas which arose in a specific histor- ical context and on a definite social basis. Along with these conditions and with th~ base the ideas evolve, they alter and are "alienated," and sometimes show even greater vitality than the conditions which gave rise to them. The author ascribes to Marxist atheism much of which is inherent to the views of the enlightened and the bourgeois anticlericals. For them religion is a collection of "stupid fables," Pvil inventions and clerical deceptions. But the Marxists dis- close the es.rthly roots of the supernatural and in this they differ from the bour- geois atheists. But, as Lenin taught, the works of the great enlightened persons can and should be used by us in the struggle against reli~ious prejudices. Prof Syed Hussein Alatas in the Ui1ESC0 ~journal devoted to social sciences published an ' article entitled "Difficulties in Defining Religion." In this article he wrote: "Unfortunately, the sources of religion remain mysterious and reasoning about this remains largely invention. Some even feel that it is hopeless t~ try to elucidate this question."3 S. A. Tokarev belongs among the latter. He asserts that "after 99 FOR OFFIC[AL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2407/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400450016-5 _ 200 years oi eiforts to understand and define the nature of the early forms of re- li~ious beli.efs, science has not found a cor.vincing answer to the question of what they are..." (p 89) * But even if a scholar agrees with this contentious assertion, he does not have the right to put this question to rest~ Science differs from re~ ligion in the fact that it does not cease working on solving difficult problems. S. A. Tokarev has stated that the ancient religions which stood approximately on the same level of general. historical devel~pment and performe3 the same socioideological functicn differed extremely from one another in their ideological content (p 90). Here it is hard to say what is meant by id.EOlogical content. At� the same time n� S. A. Tokarev asserts that the con~~ents of these reli~ions in no way comprised their essentia.l aspect" (p 90). The conclusion is paradoxical and illogical. The author has evidently forgatten that the world, particularly the primitive and an- cient one, was marked by diversity because of a~;hole number of circumstances and this tolk not only on the differences in the cults but also in linguistic, racial and many other aspects. BuL from this it in no way follows that such differences could be found in a series of inexplicable, mysterious phenomena. The aui;hor as- serts that the main thing in a religious ideology is the problem of the source of evil in the world and in no way the belief in a supernatural, for the latter is lacking in a number of cults. The idea is not a new one. It has been voiced in the past by many religious scholaxs. Thus, the already-mentioned article by Syed Hussein Ala.tas states: "Where good and evil do not exist there is no sociEi~y and man cannot live. A differentiation of actions according to understandings of good and evil is the basis of human existence. Religion meets this need in providing moral normative rules which clearly differentiate good from evil."~ Neverthele~s it is possi~le to find scores of ~:ults in w~zich the probleni of the source of evil does not figure in at all or the center of gravity is shifted to a preaching of nonresistance to evil (Tolstoyism) or even its exaltation as in certain so-called demonic cults. Eut even where reli~ion pz'oclai.ns the st~ruggle against evil to be its main function, it not so much fights it as it does help tc strengthen evil. Let us re~al]_ the fa.mous statement by Lucretius: "How much evil can be wrought by religion" ("Tantum religio potuit an3ere malarum"). This in no way means that the struggle against evil does not :~old a prominent place in many cults, but ~ust as correctly belief in the supernatura.l also is a distinguishing feature of many re- ligious cults. Does this mean that there is no sin~le distinguishing trait wliich is characteristic ~ for all existing religions? In no way. Such a distinguishing trai~ does e:cist, and - it was first pointed out by P~Iarx who termed religior. the opiate cf the people. Tliis is the trait which, in our view, defines religion as a social phenomenon, al- though certainly re~igion is not reduced to this. It was Marx himself who first pointed to religion as a social pher~omenon, ttiereby causing a true revolution in our ideas about religion. These facts, of course, are well known to the author. However, in an article about religion as a social phe- _ tiomenon, he for some reason felt it possible not ~o touch on them.... The founders of ;~arxism-Leninism taught that we should view religion through the prism of class struggle. _ Let us recall the appeal_ of V. I. i,enin in his article "On the Importance of Militant Imperialism": "It is particularly important to use those books and pamphlets which contain many specifi~: facts and comparisons showing _ *(See Section 2, Tokarev, SE, No 3, 197?] 100 1FOR OFF[C[AL ~JSE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 FOR OFFICIAI.. USE ONLY the link between the class interests and class organizations of the modern bour- geoisie with the org~.nizations of religious institutions and religious propaganda."5 , In light of these Leninist statements~is it possible to call religion an "element of - culture" ( ~a 27 ) ? S. A. Tokarev feels that we know little or nothing about the early forms of beliefs. Niodern "believers," in his opinion, know littl'e about the dogma of their religions. This applies also to the "world" religions such as Buddhism, Christianity and Islam where the content of the do~as are extremely different. Furthermore, in referring to the Marxist viewpoint according to which religion is a social phenomenon and one of the forms of social consciousness, the author r~.sserts that from this the very definitior: of religion must follow: it is not so mucr: the attitude of :nan towa,rd god (the gods) as it is the ~.ttitude of people toward one a.nother over the ques~Lion of the ideas about god (the gocls) (p 91). And from this the conclusion is drawn that to study religious ideas is a question of secondary importance. It is hard to agree with this concl.usion. Yes, in truth, our knotirled~e about the early �orms of religion are not sufficiently complete and accurate, but they have made significant headway in cumparison with the previous century. The same is true for other aspects of the understanding of religion. The very fact of the insuffi- ciency of our knowledge about religious teachings in no way means that we should sto~ studying them. "Any religion," F. Engels pointed out "is nothing more than a fantastic reflection in the minds of people of those external forces which prevail over them in daily life, a reflection in which earthly forces assume the form of un- earthly ones."6 It is also essential not to forget that in defining religion as the opiate of the people, K. Marx had in mind its teachings and in no way the relation- ships of people. In the process of studying a religiori we elucidate the circumstances which gave rise to the religious ideas in order to disclose the ways to overcome them. Marxists endeavor to know everythin~ about a religion not merely to scientifically explain its rise, its particular features and the factors af its perpetuation in huulan society, rather they need this knowledge as a weapon to fight for man's liberation from religious pre,j~.zdices. One is also ama.zed by the definition given by S. A. Tokarev as the chief task oi an historian (ethnographer?) of religion: not the penetration to the essence of the idea.s or' fantasy, their similarity and differences, but rather the study of that soci~cultu~al milieu and those conerete historical conditions under which these - ideas a.rose, that placement of people, their unity or, conversely, separation which was reflected in the creation of religious ideas (p 105). If the student of reli- gion is only concerned with this, he will scaxcely attain the essence of religious ideology and disclose the content of religion as a social phenomenon and social evil. Moreover, one cannot understand why the author excludes the class approach from the sphere of studies for the student of religion, replacing this with the integration-separation phenomenon which is a derivative of class contradictions. Religion is too complex a phenomenon and cannot be explained by ,just sociological analysis. The historian, in proceeding from the data concerning the class structure of society, studies the content of religious ideas, the dogma of the given religion, its ritual, church organ~zation, the social activities of the church, the presence of "popular" forms of the cult in a given societ,y, other religions in addition to 101 FOR OFFICIAL US~E ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 tne one being studied, and examines the mechanism of the perception of the religious teachings by the believers and its psychic, ~hysiolo~ical and otr~er aspects. That this is precisely the case is shown by the very example of S. A. Tokarev, a student of religions who in his work in no way restricted iiimself to a narrow ethnographic approach whicr~ could disclose only one of the aspects of the reli_~ious phenomenon. In contrast to some af us he is an ethnograpt;er "par excellence." Possibly, for precisely this reason the ethnographers virtu~::lly did not reply to his article for in it he touch?d on a range of questicns his colleagues do not feel competent. For Marxists there is the important question of whose class interests are served by religious ideas and the chtirch. Marxists endeavor to attract believers to fight for the renewal of the world. This is seen from the fact that many communi~t parties, in criticizing the reactionary positions of the church, do not prevent believei~s from joining the party. !~arxists have always had a negative view of the "aboli- tion" of religion. There i~ one other question which must be taken up. S. A. Tokarev inquires what subjects should be studied by the ethnographers interested in religion? And he re- ' plies: the relationships of religion and the ethnos. This subject is too indefin- ite and at the same time narrow. In actua,lity, if one judges from thP experience of S. A. Tokarev himself, our leadin; student of religions and ethnographer, the range oi nis interests in this area is significantly broader than ~;he formula given by him ' here. And this is natural. The very article by S. A. Tokarev, althoagh it is sub- titled "Thoughts of an Ethnographer," touches upon fundamental, basic questions in all religious studies. In all of this the ethnographers have their own specific questions and subjects. This is ttie reflection of religion in the everyday life of the people, popular beliefs, religious rites and cults 'like "popular" Ca.tholicism, the phenomena of religious syncretism, the vestiges of primiiive cults, tl~e cults oi peoples without writing, the "minor" cults, new sectarian formations, popular beliefs and new rites. In other words, everything relating to beliefs and lying outside the "organized" traditional religions should be a subject of ethnographic research. But this in no way means +hat tne ethnographer students of religion should not study organ~zed religions or tt~eir beliefs. S. A. ToYarev unjustifiably feels that research on religious teachings contributes to the theological tradition. The fact that S. A. Tokarev himself does not study do~as still does not mean that those who do this from the Marxist vi.ewpoir~t are similar to theologians. Dogma is a compor,~nt part of any organized reli,;ion and it would be naive to not study it from Marxict positions merely because S. A. Tol:arev feels that dogma is a group of inventions, absurdities and alo~i.sms. We know S. A. Toka.rev as a prominent SoviE:t scholar, as an histori:ln and ethno~;ra- pner. ~r7e esLeem and respect him for his :~cienti~'ic erudil;ion, his dedicati.on to the interests of science, for his disdain of routine and desire to state his ideas and express a new, fresh thought or consideration. In this regard S. A. Tokarev is a:~ example worthf of following. However, we cannot agree with every~:hing that our prominent colleague asserts, he himself doea not expect complete agreement witn ~ nim and is always pleased if his statements evoke debates and do not; leave his col- lea.gues indifiez�ent. I am hopeful th~.t my comments on tYiis level will be to his liking. i02 F'OR ~FF~I('(A+~~ t.1~E ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/49: CIA-RDP82-40850R040400054016-5 FOR OFFICIAL USE OIYLY FOOTNOTES l. See, for example, the axticle by Academician D. S. Likhachev, ~'Commen~s on Russian," NOVYY MIR, No 3, 1.980. 2. V. I. Lenin, PSS~[Complete Collected Works], Vol ~+8, p 232. 3. SyEd Hussein Alatas, "Les Difficult~s de D~finir la Religion," REVUE IN'~ER- NATIONALE DES SCIENCES SOCIALES, Paxis, XXIX, No 2, 1977, pp 233-276. 4. Ibid. 5. V. I. Lenin, PSS, Vol ~+5, P 28� 6. I{. Marx and F. En~els, "Soch." [Works], Vol 20, p 328. ~ COPYRIGHT: Izdatel'stvo "Nauka", "Sovetskaya etnografiya", 1980 10272 CSO: 8341+/0982 10 3. FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 ~ _6 , ONCE MORE ON RELIGION AS A SOCIAL PHENOMENON (A REPLY TO MX CRITICS) Moscow SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA in Russian No 1, Jan-Feb 81 (signed to press 2 Feb 81) PP 51-67 [Article by S. A. Tokaxev] [Text] My article ''Religion as a Social Phenomenon (Thoughts of an Ethnographer)" published in SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA, No 3, 1979 ~below in referring in the text to this article the corresponding page will be given) has evoked a lively debate.l It was designed to do this. However, I have been somewhat taken aback by something else: written by an ethnographer and directed primaxily to ethnographers, there has been virtually no response from this side. Predominantly philosophers have responded to it. This is both good and bad. It is pleasant that an article writ- ten from the ethnographic standpoint has evoked a lively interest among representa- tives of other (related) sciences; but it is lamentable that there has bEen virtual- ly no debate in our own ethnographic milieu. However, regardless of the differences in the initial positions, it has generally been possible to find a common tongue for the ethno~rapher author and his philoso- _ pher critics. Setting aside certain miscomprehensions--probably, accidental and easily eliminated--it seems to me that a positive~solution to the questions raised in my axticle is completely possible. Although the nine authors who stated their opinion on my article differ greatly in their overall assessment (some were inclined to a posit~ive assessment and others more to a negative one),there was criticism in each of the named axticles and it was more or less the same, a difference only in shadings. The main subject of dissention was, as one might expect, the question posed by me of what is the main and determining thing in religion? I feel that, contrary to the traditional view, the main and determining thing is not the content of the beliefs (not the mythology, not the dogma) but rather a certain form of relationships be- tween people. To put it more specifically, although less precisely, for me, as an ethnographer, religion is one of the ethnic features. From the very beginning to the very end, religion is a form of social contact, of mutual drawing together (in- tegration) of like-thinkers and mutual repulsion (segregation) of persons who think differently. In this sense it performs the same (m~re accuxately, the analogous) role of any other "ethnic feature": language, forms of material culture, folk cre- ativity and so forth. 104 FOR OFFIC[AL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2047/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R400404050016-5 FOR OFI~ ICIAL i!SE ONI.1' The very content of beliefs, t:~at is, the ideas about god or the gods, about their relationships, properties and so forth, from this viewpoint is not the primary or determining elements of each religiori (and religion generally) but;rather der.iva- +ive and mediated elements. This thesis h~s caused cont~ntion from my opponents. Some of them found in this a call not to study the content of religious beliefs at all. At the same time they understood this as an inacceptable "opposition" by me of religious beliefs to the social role of religion (Ugrinovich, pp 67-68; Kryvelev, pp 73-76; Semenov, p 63; _ Grigulevich, pp 62-65). Both these criticisms are pure misunderstanding. To distinguish does not mean to oppose. To consider a certain subject not as primary, not as basic but rather as '.erivative and secondary does not mean to consider it unworthy of study or to ne- glect it, as D. M. Ugrinovich puts it (Ugrinovich, p 67). K. Marx wrate about the forms of social consciousness as somethin~ derivative from social existence, but from this it :in no way follows that he considered their study unnecessary or dis- regarded them. ~Ioreover he never "oppos~d" the material relations of people to their ideological relations. In the given instance our entire quaxrel is over what is primary and wh,~t is deriv- ative in religion. It could be said that both (ttie beliefs and the attitudes of people) are so interrelated that the very questio.i is reminiscent of the well-kno~m problem of the chicken and the egg. But t:~is is not the case. Marxism differs (as a theory of cogniiion) from modern structuralism in the fact that it sees in the system of interacting social iunctions not only their relationship but also raises the question of what the basic thi_ng is here. D. M. Ugrinovich rightlV re- calls the correct solution by Engels to the problem of the origin of Christianifiy; he rightly recalls the correct understanding of the roots of Ancient Phoenicia~ii - religion by the well-known historian N. M. Niko~'skiy (Ugrinovich, pp 67, 68)-. But Pd. M. Nikol'skiy does not consider the cult of the gods to be the basis of agri- culture among the Phoenicians (on the contrary!); and F. Engels did not consider the book of Revelations to be the basis ~f the economic and political crisis in the slaveowning system of the Roman ~npire (on the contra.ry!). And the other examples quoted by my critic in affirmation of his view (Catholicism and Protestantism, Ugrinovich, p 57) actual?y speak more Q,gainst him. Certainly it was not cver dog- matic differences that the Protestant church communities split away from Rome, but r.ather the contrary, the sponta.neous protest against the despotic and plunderous policy of Papal Rome in the countries of Central and Northern Europe developed irito ~ a form of theological disputes about "justification by faith" and "justification by works" and other disputes, which, incidentally, were carried out only by the theo- logians and remained completely inaccessible for the mass of laymen. Incidentally, these disputes were settled (in the first st~,ge of them, in the 16th century, as is - known, on a compromise formula which generally did not contain any dogma but was purely political: "whosever ttie country, so the faith" ("cujus regio, ejus religio" ~ from the Augsburg Religious Truce of 1555), that is, quite simply, obey the super- iors and do not reason for yourself! But this question requres further clarification and elucidation. Let us pose it as fo:low~: what precisely comprises the subject of ethnographic study in religion? (And my article was addressed, let me repeat, to ethnographers.) Should an 105 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/42/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400054416-5 � Vl\ Vl ~ ~~.~!?L ?~?a. Va~La ' ethno~rapher study, for instance, Catholic dogma in its differences from Crthodox or Lutheran? Should he delve into the works of the fathers of ~he church, into the ~heological-philosophical treatises and an analysis of the Old and New Testament sources? Obviously not. But is it enough for him, and here let us go to the other extreme, to know to what faith one or ar.other people belongs in order to immediate?y share this "ethnic" feature? Is it enough for +,he ethnograpn~r to kno?�; that the Serbs are Orthodox while the Croatians are Catholics, that the Irish are Catholics and the Scots are Presbyterians, who are tne Tata Moslems and the Tata Hindus, and = that in Japan th~re are Buddhists and Shintoists? No, of course, this is z~ot enough ' for the ethnographer. Where is the boundary oi the "legitimate" sphere of ethno- graphic science in the area of religion? - For a moment let us turn to the side and examine how analogous questions are settled in terms of other feat�ures of ethnographic study in the area of material and spirit- ual culture. For example, language, another equally important "ethnic feature," is in an analo- gous situation. Linguistics over the 150 years of its existence has accumulsted colossal ma~;erial on the most diverse--if r~ot all--languages of the world. Enor- mous holdings of lexical material have been assembled, the most refined questions of the grammatical structure of individual languages and their phonological typolo- gy have been worked out, the theoretical questions of linguistics, structural prob- lems in linguistics and uthers have also been elaborated. Should and can the eth- nographer understand all this linguistic wisdom? Certainly not! And if not, where is the boundary of his requisite level of knowledge? We feel that an ethno~rapher can and should know tr.e geneological taxonomy of languages, the linguistic i'a.milies and their subdivisions s~zch as groups, subgroups, branches, dialects, ac~ents of at least a certain region; he should also know the facts of social existence and functioning of languages, the relationship of dialects with literary languages, linguistic contacts, phenoment~ of bilingualism and the general problem5 of linguistic communication. Or another example from the sphere of materiai culture. Many ethnographers are in- terested in the food of peoples and there is an entire literature aoout this. But it is not their� job to compile cooking recipes, it is not their job to figure the caloric value of the nutrients or determine the taste qualities of the foods. The task of the ethnographer is to study the functioning of the biological process of eating as forms of human contact: ordinary and holiday feasts, ritual meals, the methods of their preparation, the ritual of commun~,l eating, feasting, banquets, the methods of sharing food, food taboos, fasts, customs, rites and beliefs concern- ing food; in a word, eat~ng as a means of social contact: who could and should eat and drink with whom and who should not? Let us try to apply these examples to the ethnographic study of a religion. The religious b~liefs of various peoples are amazingly diverse. They are much more diverse than languages, than food or the other phenomena of materi~,l or spiritual culture. The reason for this is that religious beliefs are the fruits of religious and mythological fantasy and, as is known, there are no limits to human fantasy. Does an ethnogr~.pher need to study and know these beliefs in all their diversity? Yes, of course, he should. But here it is essential not to view the beliefs as 106 FOR OF~'ICiAL USE OtiI.Y APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 FOR OFFTCIAL USF OtiI,Y things in themselves, as existing independently or se~arately from people. It is ~ essential to raise the question of their social. roots and their socioideoiogical ro~e. Here, and this is particularly important, not in the sense of common, perpet- ually frozen formulas but rather what is a specific historical reality. Iiicidentally, probably any Marxist would agree with this. The differences begin only la,ter. What is more 2mportan.t for understanding the essence of religion as a social phenomenon. Is it thE contents of religious fantasy or tr.e social function- ino of religion? Is iti religion as a type of human mental activity or as a form of the uniting and disuniting of people? I myself prefer the second answer, while ~qy opponents, at least D. M. Ugrinovich, I. A. Kryvelev, Yu. I. Semenov and I. R. Grigulevich prefer the first. But between them there are also differences which we - should take up. _ D. i~. Ugrinovich also feels that in religion the main thing is its social functions. But he sees the most important socioid~:logical roles of religion in its "illusory- compensatory" iunction while he con~~ders the integrative-segregative function of religion to be secondary, for it supposedly is not specific to religion (Ugrinovich, p o9). This is a serious argument. But the entire question is that the "illusory- compensatory" function with all its importance is performed by a religion not in re- lation t~ an individual "man" (which is very often the cancern of the philosophers), not the individual, but always, without a singZe exception, in terms of a certain collective, a certain group of people. An excellent example of this is the Christian teachings about Judgment Day and a reward in the afterlife. In the fu11 sense of the word this is an "illusory-compensatory" doctrine. But when and how did this doctrine _ become an actual force2 Only when there appeared initially small and later mass grc,ups of followers, the Judeo-Chriatians, the "faithful," the "brothers," the "per- sons called," and those who "trav~,il and are heavy laden," who passionately thirsted for deliverance from all the evils of the world. The early Christian communities were formed from these persons and this w~.s the initia~ nucleus of Christianity. This was the case in all other instances. The "illusory compensatory'function of any religion collects its adepts, followers, believers and like thinkers around it and se-~arates them from all other persons who have, as a rule, tl2eir own religiori with their otm illusory-compensatory function. If this cluster (or this mass) of pPOple does not exist, then their religion with all its functions does not exist! Incidentally, one other thing must not be forgotten. The illusory-compensatory function of a religion, with all its importance, does not operate constantly. In an o-rdinary secular situation, during periods of relative well-being (and certainly these exist even in a class antagonistic society!), a person usually does not feel the need for such a compensation, whether it is illusory or not. Even people from the exploited classes such as the peasantry, craftsmen and workers, are usually accustomed to their situation, to their dull routine, to philistine or peasant well- being. During such periods people rarely remember god. fihis is all the more true = of the people in the ruling classes. In benefitting from all the goods of life, - as a rule, they do not require any "illusions" or "compensations." Only in the event of misfortune, severe illness, fire or crop failure do people begin to feel a need for "compensation," or more accurately a need for help, salvation and pro- tection. During periods of social crises, mass disasters, famines, epidemics, enemy invasions, in these extreme moments, this is when religion appears on the scene with its illusory-compensating function. This was the case in the age of the birth of 107 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 . . . _ Christianity, and this wa~: the case repeatedly in the Middle Ages when mass plebian sects appeared which promised their members salvation from disaster. This is wY~y, without denying the enormous role of religion ~,s an "illusory-c.ompensatory" force, I still could not consider it as the main function of religion. I. A. Kryvelev in his arguments emphasizes a differen~t aspect more. One must not underestimate the importance of studying religious ideas and primarily the question of the existence or nonexister_ce of supernatural beings. Otherwise, supposedly, the difference is obliterated between the theo~ogians and the atheists and otherwise it is generally impossible to even approach religions phenomena (Kryvelev, pp 71E-77). In his opinion, without attention to the "theoretical ideological problem" it is im- possible to settle the que~tion of combating evil, that is, to fight against it by one's own forres or to pray tn god. "It is not up to us," writes I. A. Kryvelev in his usual ironic style, "if god exists or not, we will simply not turn to him. But if he does exist, then how can we not help but ~;urn to him?!" (Kryvelev, p 77). It _ is~very possible! In Africa among very many peoples there is the notion of a celes- tial creator god (Njama, Zambe, Kalunga, Leza, Mulungu, Kiumbe and others). But they feel tilat this creator god, having created the world, has long ceased ta be in- terested in it and does not intervene at all into the affairs of man. For this rea- _ son the people consider it useless to turn to him with prayers, to make sacrifices and so forth (ancestors serve as the subject of prayers, sacrifices and the cult). TYiis is the "deus otiosus" ("idle god"). Similar examples are known on a higher level of social development. The founder of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, taught his students that it was futile to turn to the gods. Gods exist but they not only can- not help people escape from a torturous existence (and life is complete suffering!), but they themselves are caught in the eternal circle of existence; only by his own efforts can man achieve the desired goal of blissful Nirvana. The arguments of Yu. I. Semenov are the most decisive but on the other hand they are the least con�rincing. The impression is created that Yu. I. Semenov simply did not understand the contents of my article. For some rt~ason it seemed to him that the main thing in it is my desire at whatever the cost to refute the defiriition of re- ligion "prevailing in our literature" as "belief in the supernatural" (Semenov, pp 49, 50 and 51). Where Yu. I. Semenov got this conclusion is difficult to say. In my article I specifically refrained from discussing how successful such a defini- tion of religion is and accepted precisely it--religiori as a belief in the super- natural (p 92). How is it possible to see the main content of my article in a ques- tion wnich I refuse to discuss? However, in order to the question more or less clear and eliminate any pretext for an incorrect understandin~ of the sense of rr~y article, I am ready to incorporate the expression "belief in the supernatural" in~Lo my formula (SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA, ~10 3, 1.979, PP 91, 96) which in no way alters its sense. In this instance it will read as follows: "Religion is the attitude of people to one another over the ques- tion of belief in the supernatural." I hope that now it would be clear to an;fone that the ma_n purpose of the discussed article does not depend to the slightest de- gree upon the use of nonuse of the words "belief in the supernatural." In his ar~uments directed to me, Yu. I. Semenov goes even farther. He argues against my tiiesis that tne "believers" themselves ordinarily have a, poor knowledge--or even do not know at all--the subject of thei-r belief. In the op~nion oi Yu. I. Semenov, tnis is impossible. "It is impossible to have beliefs and not know them" (Semenov, 108 FOR OFT'IC[AL ~?SE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/49: CIA-RDP82-40850R040400054016-5 I 'IAL i )NLl' p 50 and elsewhere). Yu. I. Semenov here to a cextain degree would be correct if religion in fact came down to merely belief in a supernatural force. Then, of course, if I believed in a supernatural force then I would know that I believe in it and this would be enough. But certainly it is possible to actually believe in the supernatural but not have any idea of what this represents, that is, an indifferent or dangeroua force, the mysterious art of the warlock or witch, an evil spirit, a sacred bull or serpent, a divinity or a whole host of gods.... If one remembers that the religions of the entire world are far from redur.ible to "belief in the supernatural," but include infinitely diverse ideas of gods and spirits, and in complicated religions, a strict dogma, various "symbols of the faith," theological teachings and so forth, then it is strange to even think that all of this could be demanded from a simple layman "believer." But to be con- vinced that it is fully possible "to have beliefs and not know them," one has merely to conduct a simple experiment: ask the parishioner of any church two or three ques- tions on the Orthodox catechism. The dispute will be settled automatically. However, in going even farther in his polemics with me, Yu. I. Semenov reaches as- sertions that are at least strange. The social function of religion, is, in his opinion, not only not its most important element but also generally not obligatory and nonessential. "Generally no approach to religion from a study of its functions can approach an understanding of its essence," writes Yu. Semenov (Semenov, p 52). '�Religion appeared," he writes in another place, "not to perform any definite social- ly necessary function" (ibid., p 58)..."religion arose simply because it could not help but arise" (ibid.)..."but having arisen, religion began to perform definite functions" (ibid., p 58). The idea that the essence of a social phenomenon is one thing (in the given instance religion), and the performing of certain social functions by it is another is an idea reminiscent of the Kantian distinguishing of a"thing unto itself" and the phenomenon understood by us. It has repeatedly been advanced in sociological reseaxch. It was very clearly expressed at one time by Durkheim. However, I feel that such an opposition of the "essence" of religion to the "functions" performed by it (and the idea understood here of the noncompulsoriness of any of its "functions" whatsoever) is wrong. A social phenomc:non which does not perform any social func- tions cannot exist. In order to make this clearer, let me give several clear ex- amples. What is the origin or art? There are various theories about this. If we follow the line of argument of Yu. I. Semenov, then it arose "simply because it could not help but arise"; but having once arisen, it began to perform definite �unctions: communicative, magical, aesthetic, symbolic and so forth. Another ex- ample: what is the origin of .farming? According to such a line of reasoning, it "arose simply because it could not help but axise"; but having once arisen fa.rming began to perform socially necessar.y functions: to supply people with bread anct other food, flax and cotton for clothing and so forth. It seems to me that such reasoning does not lead either to the understanding of the essence of a certain thing or its origin. Certain of ~y opponents evidently are disgruntled by the fact that I consider prim- itive "polemics" on religion of the sort "there is no god--there is a god" to be an empty waste of time. In doing this I, in the first place, have seeming "put believ- - ers and atheists on the same level" (Grigulevich, p 62), and secondly, I cast 109 _ FOR OFFIC[AL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/49: CIA-RDP82-40850R040400054016-5 FOR OFFLCIAL USE ONLY aspersions on the atheists who can only repeat this worr. out phrase. For greater impact, I. R. Grigulevich gives the humorous example of Ostap Bender ~.nd his reli- giou~~ debate with the Roman Catholics (Grigulevich, p 63). He is right, unfortun- ately, that we dc have such "athpists" who in terms of general development are on the level of a fiftY: grader. T am afraid that their average mental level is even lower as Ostap Bender at least knew several Latin words and that there are even many more of them than there are atheist scholaxs of religion. But we are not seek- ing the levPl of Bender's "atlieism"! I would personally prefer to conduct the debate on a higher level, let us say on the level of Spinoza, the ~reat thinker . whose materialistic ideology did not prevent hi.m from calling the "prime substance" "god"! As is known, "Spinoza made the central point of his ontology the identity of god and nature which he understood as united and one, an eternal and infinite suostance which exclud~d the existence of any other principle and hence as the principle of itself (causa sui)."2 Unfortunately, the main thesis of my article remained virtually outside the view of my critics. This was the thesis of the social, segregative-integrative function of any religion. It was virtually passed over in silence. Yu. A. Murav'yev, having initially addressed several complimentary phrases to me ("interesting thoughts," "a nonroutine elucidation of the problems," a:~d "rich erudition"...), subsequently did not even mention my major thesis. V. N. Sherdakov, only in passing although with approval, mentioned it as did G. G. Gromov (Sherdakov, p 66; Gromov, pp 77-78). Yu. I Semenov, having raised this question, decisively rejects my viewp~int. Al- though, he says, "it is indisputable that i�eligion can contribute to both the inte- gration and separation of groups of people," yet "this cannot be seen as a specific feature of religion." What I consider "the main function of religion" is, in actu- ality, a"secondary aspect" (Semenov, p 52). If one were to agree with Yu. I. Semenov, then we would have to close our eyes to the age-long history of the bloody religious wars and to the "accomplishments" of the Inquisition which tortured and imprisoned millions nf completely blameless persons, "hereti.cs" and "witches"; we - would have to close our eyes to the bloody crusades, to "St. Bartholomew's Mas- sacre" and numerous similar crimes, to the bestiality of the Moslem butchers over the Christians, to the Hindu-Moslem carnage, to the years-long wars between the - Catholics and Protestants in Ulster and so forth and so forth.... Is all of this really a"secondary aspect"? Then where is the main aspect? Possibly, in a"be- lief in a supernatural force" or in the dividing of human activity into "free and unfree," as the philosophical method of Yu. I. Semenov demands? I. A. Kryvelev also ar~ies against ~y thesis but more evasively. He considers the very problem of segregation and integration "not without interest," but my solution is "uncon vincing" (why?). But he reduces his argument--out of his literary habit-- to a joke. "What, indeed," he writes ironically, "sort of integration can there be in a society where archdeacons and priests exist separately from each othe~ and even superiors from archimandrites? Absolute segregation!" And here he even crit- icizes me for intending "to submerge a serious problem in unserious wordiness" (Kryvelev, p 78). But who of the two of us is more unserious here? It seems to me that to make a joke of a serio~is problem does not mean to solve it. Only D. M. Ugrinovich made a sensible argument against my thesis. It is very simple. Religion is not the only segregation factor, he says. A~imilar role is performed by other social phenomena such as ethnic traditions, political and legal views of 110 FOR QFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2407/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400450016-5 FnR OFl~ICiAi. (;~F: Qti1.l' the ruling class, class, est~.te and ~ther interests (Ugrinovich, p 69). Completely right! But in my article I was precisely er_deavoring to put religion in the same rank with other social forces which perforra the same basic function, I wrote (I reptat this for readers who have not read all of this): "In this sense (.in the sense of a main social function) religion is not an exception amon~ the other social _ phenomena. On the contrary, it is similar to any other phenomenon of culture, both material and spiritual, and performs a most important social function. It unites and unifies a certain group of people and thereby sets it into opposition to all others. This dual, or to put it better "two-in-one,"role of religion--as a factor of integration and simultaneously segregation--is inherent to all elements of culture, without a single exception. Religion is one of them. And it possibly more clearly and more explicitly performs and always has performed this role'.~(p 97)� Hence, the = ar~um:.�~t of D. NI. Ugrinovich misses the point. I was also very disappointed that little attention was given by my opponents to that _ portion of my article where I speak about the "problem of evil" a.s the main contents cr any religion generally (pp 92-95)� In truth, Yu. I. Semenov has rightly noted that this part of the article is no~: sufficiently linked--and even, perhaps, not at all iinked--with its basic part (~emenov, p 52). He is correct. This question could completely make up the contents of a separate article. However, on the other hand, within the present article it would have been impossible to pass over the question in silence of what has comprised the most important contents of religious beliefs in a.ll ages and countries? Is it rignt that preci:~ely the problem of evil and the m.ethods of combating it com- pris~ ~he most important aspect of religious ideology and religious psychology? This idea is not at all new. Where there is suffering so there is religion, said the philosophers of the 18th Century Enlightenment. The complex "world" religions have long come to be called "soteriological" or ".religions of salvation." Salva- tion from what? From all forms of evil in the world. Cults of "savior gods" also existed in the ancient world. ~.~Y:at here are my opponents arguing against? In the first place, they feel that the very concept of "evil" is applicable only to a class society. In the primitive age the "concept of evil was still not diffeY�entiated from the concepts of 'bad,' 'haxm- ful,' 'awful'" (Ugrinovich, p 70; Semenov, pp 57-, 52)� Secondly, in religious con- - sciousness tYie idea of evil and the idea of avoiding it have always been linked with the notiori of a cer.tain supernatural being which cr~used evil or a sir,lilar being which was c~.pable of freeing man from evil. Hence, here the basic thing is pre- cisel,y a belief in this supernatural being (Ugrinovich, pp 70, 71; Semenov, p 51). Thirdly, and lastly, the "problem of evil" has been the concern not just of reli- gious �igures but also thinkers far from religion (Senemov, p 51). ~Here obviously the dispute is caused bf the fact that the word "evil" is being used gene.rally in different meanings. I have used it for the sake of brevity in the broadest sense, - includin; here any suifering, pain, harm, failure, hunger, disease and so forth, in a word, ever;jthing tnat a normal man endeavors to escape from, regardless of whetY~er or not in each individual instance the concept of evil (in the narrow sense) has been differentiated" from the concepts of bad, harmful and so forth. = The concept~of "evi.l" in the narrower, moral or. soci~,l sense is inherent to a higher level of social development. No one would argue against this, It is a pity to me that my opFonents did not note that in my article precisely an attempt was made to 111 FOR OFFICIAL U5E ONI,Y APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/49: CIA-RDP82-40850R040400054016-5 � Vl\ V~ ~ ~L.ll1L. I~JLi V~~li� ~,�r., in an Ii.isLoi-iccL1 ;ec~ueiire �che developmental stages of the cuncept of "evil" depending upon the ~;eneral course of history, starting from simple physical pain up to the abstract and universal concept of world evil. It is we]_1 known that the concept of "evil" (in the broad sense) at each stage of historical development has been linked in religious cansciousness with ideas of supernatural agents of evil or� with the idea of a supernatural salvation from evil. But here the dependence is precisely the reverse irom what my opponents are think- ing, that is, man endures pain (suffering or evil) and hopes for supernatural sal- vation fron it not because he believes in the existence of such agents but rather on the contrary t:.:ause he believes in them and hopes for their help that he endures the pain and longa to be f.ree of it. Has the problem of evil been solved not only by religion? Of course. This question has been and is the concern of inedicin~ (the treating of diseases), firefigh-ting (the combating of fires) and the public security bodies (the fight against crime). Religion has also fought and is fighting bo'th against the particular manifestations of all th~.t is undesirable and unpleasant as well as against world evil as a whole, t'rie latter in the developed, "soteriological" religions. But the misfortune of re- ligion is that tlie means of the struggle for it are unsuitable and illusory. Inci- dentally, in my opinion, the struggle against evil should not be included in a form- al definition of the concept of religion. The position of I. R. Grigulevich on this question is not completely clear. He, on the one hand, writes that the idea of religion as a"struggle against evil" is "not new (in quoting from an ari~icle of one of the foreign religious scholars) and he is right in th~s. On the other hand, he mentions "scores of cults" in whicYi the problem of evil is not raised at all. It would be interesting to know what sort of cults these were? Possibly, they do exist. But I. R. Grigulevich gives as an ex- ample (very unsuccessfully) such religions (Tolstoyism or "demonic" cults) which quite the contrarily very starkly illustrate my thesis. There is a strange ring to his assertion that "..even where a religion proclaims a struggle against evil as its m~,in function, it d~es not so much fi,ght against it as it does help to strengthen ~ it" (Grigulevich, p 6~+). Indeed! We reject tYie religious ideology because it points out a faZse path to combat evil! That is w%~y K. Marx called religion the opiate of the people"; and D. M. Ugrinovich in developing the ideas of P~Iarx, speaks about its "illusory-compensatory" function. Incidentally, about r.eligion as the "opiate ~f the people." The same I. R. Grigule- vicli i.n his article uses this expression of Marx several times (Grigulevich, pp 6~+, 64), ima~inin~ that in this way he can argue with me. Quite in vain. The for- rnula of K. Ma.rx is a.bsolutely correct and merely affirms my basic thesis. But I. R. G~~igulevich errs in applying this formula, as a"definition" of religion. This is in no way a"definition" (it does not meet the logical concept of a"definition"), - but rather phrase taken out of context where Marx in several expressions aptly - describes the socioideological funetions ~f a reli~ion. Le~ me recall hc~w this nlace reads in context and which is so freeuentl,y abused by an abbreviated quota- tion: "The basis of irreligious criticism is as follows: man creates religion and reli- gion does riot create man. Precisely: religion is the self-awareness ana self- sensation of rnan who either has still not found himself or who has lost himself 112 ~'OR OFF'IC'IAL Y1S~ ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 FOR OI~FIC'IA1. t15F. ON1.1' again. But man is not an abstract being huddling somewhere outside tYie world. P~Iari is the world of man, the state and society. This state, this society gives rise to religion, a distorted view of the world, ~or they ~themselves are a distorted world. Reiigion is general theory of�this world, its encyclopedic compendium, its lo~ic in a popularized form, its spiritualistic point d'honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its triumphal embodiment, its universal basis for consolation and justi- ficat ion. It turns human essence into a fantastic reality because human essence does not possess true reality. Consequently, the struggle against religion is in- ~ directly a struggle against that world the spiritual delight of which is religion. "Religious squalor is at the same time the expression of true squalor and a protest this actual squalor. Religion is the breath of suppressed creatures, the heart of a heartless world just as it is the spirit of spiritless ora.ers. Religion is t he opiate of the people. "The abolishing of religion a,s an illusory happiness of tYie people is a demand for their true happiness. The demand for the abandoning of illusions about one's posi- tion is the dernand to abandon such a position which requires illusions. A criticism oi rel igion is, consequently, in an insipient form a criticism of tYiat vale of tears of' which religion is its sacred halo. "Criticism has thrown off from the chains the false flowers which embellished them r~ot i n order that mankind could cont~.nue to wear these chains in a formed devoid of any joy or any relisYunent but in order that it could throw off the chains and extend a liand to the living flower. Criticism of religion frees man from illusions in order that 'r~e can think, act and order his reality as a person free of illusions and now reasonable; in order that man can turn around Yiimself and his true sun. Religion is only an illusory sun rotating around man until he learns to move around himself."3 I particularly regret that ir~y critics have disregarded the very essential question of the place of Christian teachings in the history of the religious concept of evil. Anyone who is even superficially familiar with the great religions of Asia would not hesit ate to mention the religious and ethical teachings of Buddhism and Zoroastrian- - isM among them. Both these doctrines are an all-encompassing philosophical general- iza~ion although the conclusions in either teachings are the opposite. Buddhism (the early variet~) teaches the universality of suffering as an eminent property of life itself; Zoroastrianism teaches of the eternal struggle of good and evil in natur e and in history with the prospect of the ultimate victory of good over evil. Whatever one may think about the moral and ideological a:,pect of either concept, it is impossible to deny both of lo~ical consistency and clarity. I ca.nnot under- stand how it is possible to conceive o� putting on the level as them or even a little hi~;her (as does Semenov, p 61) the confused dogma of Christian religion on "original si:~" committed by Adam and Eve (out of inexperience!) who tasted the frui t of the forbidaen tree and for which the all-good god punished the completely blameless future mankind and all nature~ .(Gen., TII, 17-19) This is the root and ca.use of evil in the world according to the Christian doctrine! My opponents have also passed over in silence the related question of the place of the idea of the devil in Christian dogma. It is traditionally considered to blame for evil in the world. But in the "sacred writings" there is no support for such a view. In the Old Testament the role of the devil (Satan) is complete]_y insignifi- cant. He does not fi~ure in the story about the "fall from grace," and for this 113 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2047/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R400404050016-5 FOR OI~ FICIAL US~ ONLY reason car.not be considered to blame. Ada.m and Eve were tempted by the clever "snake" (Gen., III, 1-5). In the New Testament there are only hazy mentionings of the "tempter," but nothing at all a,bout the original ca~;se of evil and sin. The devil is not even mentioned in the "symbol of the faith" which is obligatory for a11 Christians (325-381 A.D.). Generally the role of the devil as the party responsible for evil in the world remains theologic~.lly unestablished. But for science this problem in religious studies remains of great interest. Parenthetically I would _ point out the criticism addressed to me by I. A. Kryvelev of a poor knowledge of the Bible. In his opinion, Tokarev "did not notice" that the "myth on the fall from grace" is found not in the New but in the Old Testament (Kryvelev, p 78). In fact, not Tokarev but Kryvelev did not point out tha.t the article mentions explicitly the "ancient Jewish very awkward myth" accepted by the "fathers of the Christian church" (P 9~)~ There are other rnisunderstandings as well. The same I. A. Kryvelev has reproached - me for a whole series of historical or religious studies inaccuracies and in some he is pa.rtially i�ight. He is correct (Kryvelev, p 77), having pointed out ~y in- accuracy of designating the religion of Israel as "monotheistic" (p 93), without - the proper stipulation that it became such only in the postexilic er�a (as I mention in another place; see p 90). He is also incorrect in interpreting my philosophical and reli~ious view of ~r'l. Solov'yev. I mer,tion the "curious attempt" of Solov'yev to "reconcile the Zoroastrian teachings about the great impure spirit, the antagon- ist of god, with Christian teachings" (p 94). But I. A. Kryvelev has understood me as if I were ascribing to V1. Solov'yev generally the "introduction of the figure of the devil into Christianity" (Kryvelev, p 79). The religious-philosophical teachings of V1. Solov'yev generally merit a more careful analysis, but why distort the ideas of Solov'yev himself and those writing about him? The same is true about the idea of the Ai~ti-Christ, the teachings about wYlich, it seems to me, Vl. Solov'yev endeavors precisely to introduce within the world historical process, as the future ' opponent of Christ. "But by whom," exclaims I. A. Kryvelev," and when has it ever been understood differently?" (Kryvelev, p 79)� How, by whom? In the "Apocalypse~ the primary source of the teachin~s about the Anti-Christ, he is depicted as a beast with seven heads and ten horns (Rev., XIII, 1, 2, 7 and so forth). That many historical figux~es from Friedrich II to Peter the Great have been considered as Anti-Christs by believers is well-known to me and everyone and the fact that I do not mention _ these historical "Anti-Christs" still does not bespeak my "obliviousness" to the "entire his+ory of Christianity," but rather bespeaks inattantive readin~; of my article by rny opponent. The same inattentive reading probably explains certain historiographic comments by I. A. Kryvelev. If I mention the critique of Mannhardt's theory cf "agrarian demons" by the ~wedish ethnographer Von Sydow (p 89) as an exarnple of differences in the ur.derstanding of early forms of beliefs, ~his still does not mean that I agree with - this criticism (Kryvalev, 72); on the contrary, I have alwa;~s considered and do consider Mannhardt's theory excellently grounded. My briet mention of the very sound research by Paul Radin on the role oi "religious thinkers" in the early forms . of religion has led I. A. Kryvelev to amazement. "It is unlikely but a fact," he writes, "that the author [Tokarev] has arrived at the deceptiontheory!" (Kryvelev, p 74). We must not confuse the somewhat sensational attacks by Melier or Marechal against the clergy with the conclusions of such a c~nscientious and ultracautious author as Radin, the research of whom would never fit into the confines of a primi- tive "deception theory." 114 . FOR OFF'[CIAL IiSF: ONI.Y APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 FOR OFFICIAL U5E OtiLY Certain of my critics, in ta~ing up only ~n passing the essential aspects of my = article, on the other hand g~ve great impoxtance to certain pliilosophical {ine points. For example, they pose the q,uesti.on: What actually caused the rise of primitive religion, was it the very fact of primiti,ve man~s impotence before the vicissitides of nature or was it a feeling (.awareness) of this impotence. ~Yu. I. ~ Semenov considers the first answer to be a Marxist one and the second to be "purist idealism" ;Semenov, p 53). Yu. A. Murav'yev (Murav'yev, p 81) agrees with him on this, but M. I. Shakhnovich (Shakhnovich, p 85) is decisively not in agreement. However, here again is a misunderstanding. No one doubts that the feeling (aware- ness) of primitive man's impotence before the surrounding forces of nature was just a reflection of the very fact ("real, ob~ective," as Yu. I. Semenov puts it)of impo- tence. But before the rise of social consciousness, this "real objective" impotence could not ~ive rise to any religion for the same simple reason that a similar impo- tence does not give rise to a religion in animals which also "really and objective- ly" are impotent before the vicissitudes of nature but are not aware of this impo- tence. Only by passing through human consciousness (social consciousness) could man's powerlessness engender religious ideas and all that we generally term religion. One can dany this only by defending positions of vulgar, mechanical materialism. After I have above examined carefully a whole series of ~}r differences with Yu. I. Semenov, I am very pleased to mention a question over which I, on the contrary, am in full agreement. "For the ordinary believer," says Yu. I. Semenov, "religion has always been primari- ly a practical matter. He was primarily interested in what must be done (or what must not be done) in order to ensure a favorable action by the supernatural forces on the outcome of his activity and to prevent a bad one. As for the question of the nature of the supernatural forces, he was least of all interested in this. For him, the existence of the supernatural forces operated as something given which did not require any proof, any explanation or any reflection. For this reason he did not endeavor to either reason out his beliefs or disclose the connection between them. Primitive religion never represented any struetured s~stem. It was a chaotic jumble of the most different beliefs, ideas and rites, often not only contradictory but even mutually exclusive" (Semenov, p 57; emphasis mine.--S.T.). Quite right! Here I will not dwell particularly on the #'act that these thoughts of Yu. I. Semenov somewhat contradict what he himself has written in other places. But these completely correct thoughts hit the nail on the head for the modern struc- turalist "semioticians" who everywhere search for "systems," "codes," "models" and so forth. The head of modern structuralism Claude Levi-Strauss directly views myth- ology as a certain independent being independent of human consciousness and subor- dinate to i_ts own immanent logic. My opponents (particularly I. R. Grigulevich) touched only in passing on an impor- tant question which, in truth, in rqy article as well remained virtually unexamined, namely, the question of the relation of religious cc,.vnunities to the class structure. On this question for me there is no necessity to defe:~d any special position as there are no differences here only much that has not been examined. I. R. Grigule- vich is wrong in rebuking me for supposedly excluding a class approach from the sphere of study for a student of religion, in replacing this by the integration- segregation phenomenon (Grigulevich, p 65). I do not exclude it, but in my axticle I had no opportunity, because of a lack of space, to carefully examine this diffi- cult problem. It is more complicated than seems at first glance. At first it is 115 ~ FOR OFFICIAL USE ~DNLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/49: CIA-RDP82-40850R040400054016-5 � va~ vra swna, v.aa:, Vl\Lt essential to study those rather numerous historical facts where i.n a class social system the ruling class adhered to one belief and the ma~ority of the su~pressed classes another. Thus, in Bosnia, under the Ottoman regime the rich landowners were largely Moslems while the predominant ma~ority of poor peasants (the "kmets") were Christians (Catholics or Orthodox). There was an analogous situation among certain Ca,uc asus peoples, paxticularly among the Ossetians, where Christianity (mixed with pre-Christian cults) was the religion of a majority of the communal peasants while the princes and aristocracy were Moslems. On the right-bank Ukraine and in Western Belorussia the nobility or "szlachta" professed Catholicism while the peasantry ("khlops") were Orthodox or Uniates. In Northern Ireland up to the present the ru1-~ ing class has been Presbyterian while the dispossessed peasants were Catholics.. - There are many such examples and in each case there must be concrete historical re- search in order to understand the role and function of each religion. Here reli- gious strife reflects class interests and a class struggle. But undoubted]y even more frequent are the situations in which the ruling and sup- pressed classes are formally united by a common religion. In these instances it carries out a function of a fictitious and illusory "fraternity" in ma.sking class suppression and exploitation. It is quite clear in such situati~ns whose class in- terests religion serves. However here also much still remains unstudied. We would particularly like to take up the article by G. G. Gromov which stands out , starkly among the articles by the other participants in the debate. It is special, in the first place, because it has been written, like my article, from ethnographic positions and, secondly, because it contains many fresh constructive ideas which merit serious attention. We must first of all support G. G. Gromov's desire to shift the center of gravity in studying social conscious::ess (among backward peopies) from the religious and magical ideas and superstitious rites to positive knowledge and the rational practi- cal activities of man. In actuality much of what we habitually consider as super- stitions and magical rites upon closer examination often turns out to be a manifes- tation of positive if not always systematized f.olk knowledge. Even the professional activities of witches and priests who are separate from the people and keep the rites of their profession a secret are ultimately based upon the real knowledge of the people forming a certain "barren flower" on this knowledge. G. G. Gromov sees an analogous relationship, and rightly so, between the standards of morality which have a completely reasonable and useful purpase and their religious garb (Gromov, p 76). But there is no reason for G. G. Gromov to so heighten the difference be- tween the folk religious ideas and the official church institutions with their theo- logical ideol�ogy (Gromav, pp 78-80). No such impassable boundary runs between them. For this reason it is scarcely valid for him to try to restrict my understanding of religion as a force of segregation, that is, to restrict it by considering this func- tion not as part of religion ~.s a whole but only as part of the church. For reli- gion as a whole, this function, in his opinion, is "imaginary" (Gromov, p 78). Un- fortunately, this is not the case. The age-long religious wars were waged not by just the theologians and. clergy but rather the people participated in them! Un- happily, the everyday separation of the followers of different sects (" faith does not sing, eat or marry with another," was how the Russian traveller Afanasiy Nikitin wrote about the inhabitants of India in the 15th century) remains among the backward straia of the population even now. This is a far from "imaginaxy" isola- tion! 116 FOR OFF[CIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2407/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400450016-5 FOR OFFICIAL LJS~E dNI.Y Thus, what is the general conclusion? From what v~ewpoint must religion be ap-. proached in order to und~rstand its vexy essence a,nd to grasp that xole which xeli- gion has play~ed and does play in the life~of people? Let us take a s~ecific case to get closer to the answer. . W~at is the role of Islam in the current international situation and in the events in the individual Asian and African countries? Can this role be understood using rererences to the fact that Islam is "a belief in a supernatural force" (as the position of Yu. I. Semenov requires)? I do not think so. Or by referring to the "illusary-compensatory function" of any religion (from the viewpoint of D. M. Ugrinovich)? Scarcely. In order to understand what role is presently played by the Moslem religion in Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, in Lebanon, Egypt, Algeria and else- where, it is scarcely essential to delve deeply into the dogma of ~slam (which is very simple), to examine all the names, epithets and attributes of A31ah (they run into the hundreds!), to investigate the debates over the divine or h~an origin of the Koran and so forth. All of this is interesting but scarcely helps us in solv- ing the above-raised questions. Obviously, there must be a speciai stuc~y to under-- stand from whence comes this enormous force which has had such a great influence on the ~ociopolitical development of many countries and peoples living urider quite dif- ferent conditions. But this study cannot be replaced by a repetition ~~f formulas abc~ut "belief in the supernatural" or about "free and unfree hurrian activity." A.nother example is the Catholic religion which in the present-day in~ernational sit- uation, having shown unusual flexibility and adaptability, plays a very complicated - role which differs in the various countries. In some it defends the people against military fascist military dictatorships (Latin America), in some it supports the � peasantry and enters in their struggle for land (Ulster) and in some it serves as a buffer between the democratic mas:~es and the neo-Fascist currents (Italy). ror understanding the economic a.nd ethnoconfessional conflicts in the same Ulster not much is to be gained from a comparative study of the Catholic and Protestant cate- chisms. But still I should admit my error here. In being engrossed by the ta,sk of putting precisely the social aspect of religion in first place in studying this phenomenon, that is, religion as a form of the integration and segregation of people, I left , anothEr aspect of the problem too much in the shadow, that is, the study of the very contents of beliefs which has become sanctified by a long scholarly tradition. Althou~h I made a special stipulation on this issue (p 97), this obviously was in- sufficient and I myself provided certain grounds for criticism that I supposedly did not consider it particularly essential to study the contents of the beliefs. I repeat again that a specific study of religious beliefs of a11 peoples has been and - remains an important task of science. Only it is not necessary, in the first place, to confuse--as G. G. Gromov ha,s rightly pointed out--authentically popular beliefs with a dogmatic catechism which the bel.ievers themselves, as a rule, do not know; secondly, in studying the contents of beliefs, it must not be forgotten for a min- ute that these beliefs exist not in and of themselves (as the "semioticians" imagine) but only in the minds of people who over t'ne question of these beliefs axe united or separated. Let me return to what started this article. There has been a debate but the forces of its participants are unequal: two ethnographers against eight philosophers al- though in truth certain of them made an ad,justment for the ethnographic focus. On 117 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/49: CIA-RDP82-40850R040400054016-5 the other hand such a situation gives me grounds to examine the dif~erences in the very method of the approach to religion. Incidenta,lly~ in generally styling my opponents "philosophers," T have in mind~ of course, not their specialt9,es and not the positions held but only the method of approach to the sub~ect. In any religion there is an object and there is a subject. The subject is who be- lieves. The ob,ject is what he believes in. A great deal has already been said about the object of religion. Be it God, the gods, the supernatural or the after- life. Let us accept whatever we like. But where is the subject of religious be- liefs? . For the philosopher this is the thinking man, the "believer" who acts here primarily as the subject of understanding the world around. It is a different question whether the understanding is adequate or inadequate. Of course, a Marxist philoso- pher, in contrast to his bourgeois professional colleague, views the human indivi~u- a1 as a social being and not as a biological speciman. But still for the philoso- pher precisely "man" with his needs, abilities and habits is the sub,ject of the re- ligious understanding of the world. For the ethnographer, the subject (agent) of a religion is the people, the ethnos or group of ethnoses or, in the case of poly- confessionali~Ly, a part of the ethnos. Thus the ethnographic study of religion, in taken as such, organically fits into the problem of ethnographic science per se. For the ethnographer, the Spaniards, Italians, Irish and Maltese are Catholics; the Swedes, Danes and Finns are Protestants; the Greeks, Serbs and Romanians are Ortho- dox; the Iranians are Shiite Moslems. Here the question is not about the personal convictions of the "believers" but rather the objective fact of the predominance of a certain religion in a given country. Among the Catholics of Italy and among the Lutherans of Sweden there can be (and are) people of various views, vacillators, persons indifferent to religion or even convinced atheists. Religious statistics do not take this into account; only in a few countries is the number of free thinkers and atheists considered separately. Thus, the ethnographic method of studying reli- gion--at least in this regard--is purely ob,jective. It seems to me that this must be counted among its merits. Of course, this does not mean abandoning the study of religious views of in- dividual thinkers (Swedenborg, Skovoroda, Lev Tolstoy, Syutayev and others). They are also interesting but for the ethnographer only as individual reflections of certain general, mass (at least in the past) religious currents. One last comment. I intentionally here have virtually not taken up those state- ments by participa.nts in the debate which were either aimed at supporting the ideas defended by me or even developed them further. These would be the comments by Yu. A. Murav'yev (on the level of the theory of cognition), V. N. Sherdakov (reli- gion and morality) and particularly Ya. V. Minkyavichyus (on the sociological level) and G. G. Gromov (purely ethnographically). Here I can limit myself to merely ex- pressing to them sincere gratitude for a well-intended response. FOOTNOTES ~ 1. See: D. M. Ugrinovich, "On the Marxist Understanding of Religion," SOVETSKAYA ETNOGRAFIYA [henceforth SE], No 1, 1980; I. A. Kryvelev, "On the Essential and ~Jonessential in the Stuc~y of Religion," SE, No l, 198~; Yu. I. Semenov, "On the 118 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2407/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400450016-5 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Essence of Religion," SE, No 2, 1980; V. N. Shexdakov, "On the Main Issue in Understanding Religion," SE, No 2, 1Q80; Xu. A, Mwrav'yev, "Reli.gion: Belief, Tllusion, Knowledge," SE, No 1980; Ya. Y~ Mi.nky~avichyua, "On the Content of Religion," SE, No 4~ 1980; M. I., ~~For Reseaxch on the Problems of Religion," SE, No 5, 1980; G, G~ Gromov, "Certain Controversial Questions in the Study of Religion," SE, No 5, 1q80; I. R. Grigulevich, "On the Social Role of Religion (Thoughts of a Student of Religion on the Thoughts of an Ethnographer)," SE, No 6, 1980 (subsequently the references in the text give the name and the page). 2. See "Filosofskaya Entsiklopediya" [Philosophical Encyclopedia], Vol 5, Moscow, 1970, p 112. 3. K. Marx and F. Engels, "Soch." [Works], Vol 1, Moscow, 1955, PP ~+1~+, ~+15� I would note in passing that Marx was not the first to liken religion to a "opiate," and before him such a comparison was made by Rousseau, Marechal, Kant, Heine, Bruno Bauer and Feuerbach. [Editorial Comment] on the Results of the Debate over the Article by S. A. Tokarev "Religion as a Social Phenomenon" Scholars from different specialties including philosophers, students of religion and ethnographers have participated in discussing the article by S. A. Tokarev "Religion as a Social Phenomenon (Thoughts of an Ethnographer)." This has given the debate a comprehensive and interdisciplinary nature and has macie it possible to discuss a broad range of problems. The participants in the debate have raised a number ~f in- teresting ideas which will attract the attention of specialists. L~nphasis was put on the necessity for the greatest possible development of Marxist research on the - urgent problems of religious studies. In a brief conclusion it is impossible to take up all aspects of the debate but the editors consider it necessary to voice their opinion on its crucial questions. Soviet researchers of religion are con- fronted with important and responsible tasks. For successfully carrying eut these tasks it is essential to have a thorough consideration and creative development of the theoretical heritage of the founders of Marxism-Leninism, a profound analysis of the present-day religious situation and a comprehensive examination of the problems in religious studies by the representatives of.all social sciences, including eth- nograph~. As was emphasized in the course of the debate, in our times religion is changing and is endeavoring to adapt to the realities of the modern world. Because of this the of the subject of religious studies are becoming more fluid and the re- ~ search priorities in studying the religious situation are changing. Thus, in the opinion of S. A. Tokarev, the basic thing in religion is not the content of the re- ligious ideas per se but rather the social functioning of religion as a form of ideological relations between people. This approach marks a new focus in the study of religion, particularly from ethnographic positions, but it also evoked the most lively disputes. No matter how religion may evolve, its essence remains unchanged. This essence has been disclosed by the founders of Marxism and the system of their views on the 119 FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5 given quest~cns remai.ns the theoreti,cal founda,tipn fqr Ma,xxist reiigi,pus studies. Proceeding from this the editors see no grounds for disputing the concept widely held in Soviet reli,gious studies that religion is priuqarily a form of social con- . sciousness and only~ after this a form of xelations hetween people. ~nd precisely belief in the supernatural is a specific feature of religion as a form of social consciousness. As became clear in the course of the discu.ssion, S. A. Tokarev also - does not argue against this view. At the same time, no matter how convincing a solution provided for the questions about the nature (essence) of religion and even the groblem of its origin, it is still essential to explain the age-long existence of the same or similar religious systems under very different social, political and cultural conditions. From this it follows that we should study, as is ordinarily done, both the stable "on-going" properties of religious phenomena as well as their historically variable or varying forms and their very specifically understood social functions in the history of human society, in specific situations and in specific ethnic communities. On this level of undoubted interest is the idea of S. A. Tokarev about the impor- tance of studying not only the object of religious ideas but also their subject. And this, in his opinion, for the ethnographer is not "man" generally but rather the people or ethnos. The article which served as the basis of the debate convincingly showed that the everyday beliefs of the masses of people which should be the primary area of study for ethnographers ordinarily do not coincide with the theological systems and offi- cial church teachings. Unfortunately, for this reason the author of the article, S. A. Tokarev, has drawn an unconvincing conclusion (evidently in a desire to ini- tiate a debate) that the study of the contents of specific religions is of secondary importance. The opponents argued correctly against him. However in the course of the discussion not enough emphasis was put on the difference in the tasks which con- front philosophers in the study of religion (the essence of religion as a form of social consciousness), the students of religion (the historical development of reli- gious beliefs and doctrines) and the ethnographers (the everyday functioning of re- ligion and its ethnic functions) and at the same time the necessity of an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to this entire range of questions. Thus, in recognizing that the article which precipitated the debate raised certain _ important problems in modern religious studies, we must also point to the author's clear underestimation of the importance of a scientific analysis and criticism of the contents of religious beliefs. At the same time, as is known, the reactionary social role of a religion is directly - tied to the contents of its teachings. For this reason we cannot help but agree with those participants in the debate who pointed to the invalidity and inadmissabil- ity of any opposition whatsoever between the study of the social roots of religion and its social functions to the studying of religious beliefs and who called for a unity of the gnoseological and sociological analysis of religion. - The editors are hopeful that the debate carried out in the journal will contribute to the further development of a comprehensive study of religion in the modern world. COPYRIGHT: Izdatel'stvo "Nauka", "Sovetskaya etnografiya", 1981 10272 CSO: 83~+~+/0982 ~D 12 0. FOR OFF[CIAL USE ONLY APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2007/02/09: CIA-RDP82-00850R000400050016-5