Roerich teaching as an invented tradition

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Abstract

This paper examines the activities of one of the most influential of Russian alternative religious/spiritual movements - the Roerich movement, based on the teaching of Agni Yoga (the Living Ethics). It was allegedly revealed by means of telepathy to its founder Elena Roerich (the wife of the famous Russian painter, philosopher and cultural worker Nikolas Roerich) in the early twentieth century by the great teachers of humankind Mahatmas. The teaching underwent an astonishing rise in popularity in post-communist Russia. While its founders claimed that Agni Yoga was a genuine ancient esoteric tradition the analysis of the teaching has documented its nature as a recent construct - an ‘invented tradition’ the concept, introduced by Hobsbawm & Terence, 1983 [Eric Hobsbawm 1983]. It can be claimed that the Living Ethics had been influenced by different traditions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Theosophy, Slavic pre-Christian (pagan) culture and Russian Orthodox Christian tradition. The research is based on a number of primary and secondary sources and interviews with modern Roerich followers, belonging to different Roerich groups.
Translated title of the contributionРЕРИХОВСКОЕ ДВИЖЕНИЕ КАК ПРИМЕР “ИЗОБРЕТЕННОЙ ТРАДИЦИИ”
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-102
JournalAsiatica: труды по философии и культурам Востока
Volume14
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • AGNI YOGA
  • ROERICH MOVEMENT
  • MAHATMAS
  • Buddhism
  • HINDUISM
  • THEOSOPHY
  • INVENTED TRADITION

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