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The Concept of Otherness Illustrated by Ancient Russian Literary Texts (Historical and Psychological Peculiarities)
Abstract.The subject of the research is the medieval idea of the other world as well as different interpretations of the earthly paradise in the minds of the Ancient Rus'. The object of the research is the content of orthodox, apocryphal and legendary texts about the other world. References are the translations of exegetes' texts (Severian of Gabala, John of Damascus, and Cosmas Indicopleustes) as well as their Slavic interpreters (for example, John the Exarch). As a comparison, the author of the article also analyzes apocryphas about the earthly paradise ('Walk of Agapius to the Paradise', 'Life of Macarius of Rome', 'Walk of Zosimos to the Rahmans') and original Ancient Russian writings about the other world ('Interpretative Paleya' and 'Message about Fair Paradise' by Vasily Kalika. In his research Milkov analyzes cultural and historical features of Ancient Russian thanatological phenomenon and its historical and psychological specifics. Views on the other world are analyzed by the author from the point of view of the interdisciplinary approach that allows to unite the religious interpretation and ethnofunctional analysis adopted from psychology. The results of the research demonstrate that there was no single understanding of the other world in Ancient Rus which was reflected in the debates around the paradise. The author concludes that in Ancient Rus the belief in the earthly paradise was developed under the influence of Antiochian theological tradition, apocryphal walks to the paradise and folk legends about the end of the world. Ancient Rus' thanatology is viewed as an important feature of Russian mentality that was developed on the basis of interaction between canonic, apocryphal and pre-Christian views.
Keywords: folk legends, Russian mentality, apocrypha, Antiochian theology, earthly paradise, another world, Vasily Kalika, ethnofunctional paradigm, Ancient Russia, Tolkovaya Paley
Article was received:09-02-2018
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .