“I See the Only Alternative — to Learn to Live Together”: A. J. Toynbee's Views on Religion, Religious Diversity and Identity
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“I See the Only Alternative — to Learn to Live Together”: A. J. Toynbee's Views on Religion, Religious Diversity and Identity
Annotation
PII
S207987840002444-7-1
DOI
10.18254/S0002444-7-1
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Authors
Olga Vorobieva 
Affiliation:
Institute of World History, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian State University for the Humanities
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Abstract
The article considers the evolution of A. J. Toynbee's religious views, including his attitude to different religions, in the complex and contradictory context of the twentieth century. It is shown that the personal experience of the British historian makes it possible to comprehend contemporary problems of religious identification and to raise broader issues concerning identity as a whole. The article reflects on the excessive simplification of the complex identification process, ignoring of more subtle details, attempts of an identification discourse to reduce it to rigid dual oppositions; on the complexities of multiple identification, including border and intermediate; on the fluidity of the modern world revealed in the course of globalization, which cast doubt on previous ideas about identity, cultivated in specific geographical environments and local interests, showing their volatile and constructed character. The article analyzes such an important conquest of Toynbee's thought as a fundamental openness of history which suggests the rejection of rigid structuring and emphasizes the importance of combinatorics, selection and resonance of meanings as one of the important features of human reality. As a result of consideration and analysis of Toynbian experience and creativity, the redefinition and rethinking of identity under the influence of globalization, the possibility of transferring cultural modules (nations, religions, etc.) born in specific contexts to other spaces, their bizarre intertwining and resonating with the former components is shown. The basic centrifugal forces of the modern world are being comprehended: globalization, nationalism, ethnicity; attention is drawn to regionalization processes that operate on top of ethnic, national and civilizational barriers. The strengthening of syncretic elements in the modern world and the different syncretic potential of world religions are presented. The article analyzes the importance of studying the correlation between the individual and the collective in the process of identification, the need for a special culture of understanding and correlating various aspects of human existence, as well as a special culture of theoretical vision that helps to spot these processes in historical dynamics.
Keywords
A. J. Toynbee, religion, identity, identification, globalization, nationalism
Received
06.06.2018
Publication date
28.09.2018
Number of characters
61069
Number of purchasers
41
Views
1628
Readers community rating
0.0 (0 votes)
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