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Dedicated to the International Decade for a Culture of Peace In Commemoration of 300-year Anniversary of Saint Petersburg. October 29 – November 2, 2003, St. Petersburg, Russia

Sixth International Congress in Philosophy and Culture

DIFFERENTIATION AND INTEGRATION OF WORLDVIEWS: DYNAMICS OF DIALOGUE BETWEEN CULTURES IN THE 21ST CENTURY (PDF ) (2.2 mb) (PDF ) (1.9 mb) (PDF ) (2.0 mb)

Hosted by the St. Petersburg Branch of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research, Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation

Sponsored by the UNESCO Chair on Comparative Studies of Spiritual Traditions, Their Specific Cultures and Interreligious Dialogue & Russian Foundation for Basic Studies

With organizational assistance from:
  • St. Petersburg Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Administration of St. Petersburg, External Affairs Committee
  • International Association «The Russian Culture»
  • Russian State Pedagogical University
This Congress continues a series of international conferences and symposia organized and convened by the St. Petersburg Branch of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research and the Philosophical and Cultural Research Center “Eidos” in the framework of a long-term scientific research and organizational program of the International Center for Fundamental Studies in Contemporary Culture. Among these were the International Congresses in Philosophy and Culture: "Language and Text: Ontology and Reflection" (1992); "Paradigms of Philosophizing" (1995); "Issues of Communication in Contemporary Culture" (under the auspices of UNESCO, 1998); and the Symposia: "In the Labyrinths of Culture" (1997),"Reflections on Chaos" (1997), "Metaphilosophy – or Philosophical Reflections in Space of Traditions & Innovations" (1998), "Cultural Studies: Issues of Interdisciplinarity" (under the auspices of Russian Commission for UNESCO, 1998), "Symbols, Images, Stereotypes of the Contemporary Culture" (under the auspices of UNESCO and with support from the UNESCO Division for Cultural Pluralism, 1999) "Intellect, Imagination, Intuition: Reflections on the Horizons of Consciousness" (under the auspices of UNESCO and with support from the UNESCO Division of Human Sciences, Philosophy and Ethics of Science and Technology, 2000); the First cycle of Cross-cultural and Interreligious Discussions “Ontology of Dialogue as the Main Value of Cultural and Religious Experience” (under the auspices of UNESCO and with support from the UNESCO Division of Intercultural Dialogue, 2001). Papers presented at each congress, symposium or open discussion, are carefully prepared for press and further published in current issues of the ongoing multilingual edition of International Readings in the Theory, History and Philosophy of Culture (by present time, 17 issues have appeared).

The Sixth International Congress in Philosophy and Culture, Differentiation and Integration of Worldviews: 21st Century, will focus on the challenges of cross-cultural and interreligious interactions in contemporary culture. The focal point of the congress will be an in-depth examination of culture as a complex network of communicative strategies, forming a realm where different changes and re-orientations are intimately linked with basic strata of human existence. Emphasis will be placed on the transdisciplinary investigation of inbuilt structures and patterns of dynamics of worldviews, as well as processes of transformation in human perception of the self and the present-day world. The next International Congress in Philosophy and Culture, Unity and Diversity in Religion and Culture, will occur in Seattle, USA, in October 2004. Its focus will be placed on psychological and philosophical issues underlying religious and cultural conflicts and challenges.

Specifically, these events will:
  • Promote deeper understanding of inherent unity of culture and dialogue, contribute to elaboration of a creative, harmonious Culture of Peace, and take part in global opposition movement to any kind of violence, both spiritual and physical;
  • Improve strategies for cultural pluralism, not only in theory, but also in practical enhancement of dialogue between different cultural and religious traditions;
  • Facilitate the examination of cultural processes in their inherent dynamic patterns, including the ethical aspects of human activities and the nature of individual freedom and responsibility in contemporary culture;
  • Support principles and practices of transdisciplinarity, in search for resolvement of complex problems which cannot be solved within the framework of traditionally separated fields of knowledge.
The congress on Differentiation and Integration of Worldviews is framed within a wider cross-cultural transdisciplinary international research program Toward New Paradigms of Communication: Philosophical and Psychological Aspects of the Dynamics of Mentality in Contemporary Culture. The St. Petersburg Branch of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research initiated this program in 1997 in cooperation with UNESCO and other institutes promoting advanced learning around the world.

This program focuses on transformations in human perception of the self, society, and the world, vis-a-vis the profound changes which are presently occurring in contemporary societies due to the impact of the globalization process and rapid developments in technologies of information and communication. The Congress on Differentiation and Integration of Worldviews will give full possibility to elaboration of the following topics, which are focused upon description and harmonization of factors, decisive for transformation of the inner and the outer space of human person.

These factors include:
  • Structure and the degree of sustainability of the inter-social hierarchy of values.
  • Alteration of types and mechanisms of socialization: power infrastructures and social hierarchies.
  • Design, nature, and opportunities of creative self-expression (self-realization), related to tradition and innovation.
  • Paradigm change of worldviews: cosmocentrism, anthropocentrism, pragmacentrism, and theocentrism.
  • Self-reflection, existential and social freedom: the degree of personal responsibility.
  • Paradigm changes in communicative strategies, ethical and aesthetic orientations.
  • Experience of disasters: challenges of technological, ecological, existential and anthropological disasters.
  • Experiences of revelations and insights; religious, mystical and/or spiritual values.
What need will the Congress-2003 address? The strategic importance of intellectual research efforts, not only for purposes of understanding and description of the on-going processes of contemporary culture, but also accurate forecasting of their possible future consequences, has tended to dramatically increase in the course of historical transformations of human values and orientations.

Increasing cultural and ecological crises impoverish the meaningful prospects of human development, which makes imperative the task of reviving creative and harmonizing potentials of contemporary culture.

Issues of national and cultural identity cannot be properly formulated without considering the role being played by the dynamics of worldviews in self-determination of regional, national and ethnic communities and also in personal development, including the specific hierarchy of basic values and definite horizons of personal freedom and responsibility.

The keynote tonality of the Congress is to gather outstanding representatives active in realms of philosophy and theology, natural science and humanities, as well as artistic activities, in order to initiate interdisciplinary discussions, leading to productive synthesis, aimed at promoting cultural identities, social cohesion, enhancing general vitality and creative capacities in contemporary society.

The work of the Congress-2003 is including daily Plenary Sessions and Parallel Sessions for presentations and the ensuing discussions (25 minutes for Key Speakers and 15 minutes for other presentations). Selected contributions will be published in forthcoming special issues of the International Readings in Theory, History and Philosophy of Culture, Volume 18, 19, 20.


Interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary international congress

NEW DYNAMICS OF PLURALITY PARADIGMS OF COEXISTENCE AND RECOGNITION

(Programm PDF) (384 kb)
(Download the Table of Contents in *.doc format) (44 kb)

June 22 — 25, 2006
UNESCO, Paris

Organized jointly by

IIIT France, International Institute of Islamic Thought, Fifth congress of scholars on Islam (AMSS France),
the UNESCO Chair on Comparative Studies of Spiritual Traditions, Their Specific Cultures and Interreligious Dialogue (located at the St. Petersburg Branch of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research), Ninth International Congress on Philosophy and Culture

in partnership with

The International Institute of Islamic Thought-France (IIIT France) joins the UNESCO Chair on Comparative Studies of Spiritual Traditions, Their Specific Cultures and Interreligious Dialogue, represented by the St. Petersburg Branch of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research, into the organization of the Interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary international congress that will be healed in UNESCO, Paris, June 22-25 2006. This congress aims to be an association between the fifth congress of scholars on Islam initiated by IIIT France and the Seventh International Congress on Philosophy and Culture founded by the St. Petersburg Branch of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research representing the UNESCO Chair on Comparative Studies of Spiritual Traditions, Their Specific Cultures and Interreligious Dialogue.

The idea of this association is to intensify the network spirit in social sciences, philosophy and theology facing the new challenges of the plural world within the pressure of the unification and the conformisation of the world view. It is a large and a cross platform of international fundamental debate as a response to the increasing fundamentalism, fanatism, and thought terrorism. The multidisciplinary character of this congress may permit an intense dynamic of exchange between scholars. The congress proposes four dimensions and aspects: the Epistemological and the philosophical one, the sociopolitical dimension, the ethical and religious dimension and the prospective vision.
There is a double and a complex challenge of managing plurality whether in thought or in sociopolitical reality: the internal management within scholars and disciplinaries, and the increase of collective identities claims in a global world more and more overwhelmed by its uniformity and uniformisation or standardization obsession of the world. The objective of this congress is to understand better the evolution of this double dynamics of plurality, in theories and facts. It will attempt to actualize the reality of renewal in pluralism concepts in order to analyze the distance between reality challenges of plurality and the prospective of new conceptualizations of plurality toward pluralism. Whether in post modern debate or in contemporary Islamic debate, pluralism concepts are facing multiple challenges of violence, and weak alternatives of tolerance. The paradigms of coexistence between cultural and religious diversity imply more and more new reflection on recognition and complete respect of the uniqueness of each identity.
The international meeting hopes to make the diversities of the universal views of the world more dynamic in a fundamental way. Rethinking plurality under the light of the fundamental studies could produce new serious alternatives, and escape the pressure and manipulation of the information. The cross-disciplinary method could develop new conceptualizations based on the internal dynamic between specialties and the capacity of this dynamic to face the new challenges of the cross-cultural society model.
Four main scientific aspects will frame the work of the 2006 congress, with different issues that will be planned in thematic plenary sessions and workshops.
Issues of plenary sessions

Epistemological and philosophical aspects

  • Unity, unification and plurality
  • Plurality, pluralism and identity
  • Ontology and epistemology of pluralism
  • Transdisciplinary issues in multiculturalism
  • Fundamental issues in tolerance and recognition

Sociopolitical aspects

  • Phenomenon and conceptualization
  • Focal points in contemporary politics
  • New issues in social politics
  • Democracy, democratization and freedom(s)

Ethical and religious aspects

  • Truth and diversity
  • Transcendence and responsibility
  • Interfaith communication and cross-religious dialogue
  • Ethical and religious facets of spiritual experiences

Prospective and new agenda

  • Globalization and plurality
  • Peace and conflicts
  • Conflict resolution and peace
  • Mass culture and collective identities
Конгресс прошел в здании ЮНЕСКО Перед началом заседаний Доклад К. Э. Разлогова, директора Российского института культурологии
(Слева направо) Д. Л. Спивак, директор Санкт-Петербургского отделения Российского института культурологии, Мохамед Шеби Местери (директор Международного института исламской мысли в Париже, глава оргкомитета конгресса с французской стороны) и шейх Фелисе Паллавичини, глава исламской религиозной общины в Италии Доклад А. В. Венковой, зам. директора по науке Санкт-Петербургского отделения Российского института культурологии Зал заседаний конгресса
А. В. Венкова и А. А. Хисматулин в холле конгресса Зал заседаний конгресса Зал заседаний конгресса
Участники видеоконференции Париж – Москва «Свобода сознания, культурный плюрализм и ответственность), Международный институт исламской мысли в Париже. 22.06.2006 Участники видеоконференции Париж – Москва «Свобода сознания, культурный плюрализм и ответственность),Москва, 22.06.2006 Трудный вечер первого дня работы конгресса, Д. Л. Спивак


One-day Seminar

SERFDOM IN RUSSIA AND ITS ABOLITION: HISTORY AND PRESENT-DAY ISSUES (PDF ) (482 kb)

Seminar was conducted on December 17, 2004 at the historical Smolny Palace in St.Petersburg, Russia, in the framework of the International year to commemorate struggle against slavery and its abolition, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly, against the general background of the ‘Slave Routes’ project, initiated by the UNESCO in 1993. The seminar was conducted basing on the facilities of the UNESCO chair for comparative studies of spiritual traditions, their specific cultures and interreligious dialogue, and under the auspices of the UNESCO Moscow office. Organizational support for the seminar was provided by the Administration of the city of St.Petersburg, and International Association ‘Russian Culture’. About 25 prominent leaders of academic science, cultural and societal life — philosophers, historians, specialists in cultural studies as well as writers, journalists, publishers — took part in the seminar with reports and/or brief remarks in the course of discussion. Concept of a seminar
Abolition of serfdom, declared by manifesto of the Russian emperor on February 19th, 1861 was a well-prepared and desired step — and at the same time, a massive, tectonic shift which overturned life on the vast territories of Northern Eurasia. Land-owners, dominating in the Russian society at that time, undertook quite considerable concessions, in order not to face a catastrophy shaped after the Civil war in the USA, which took place approximately at the same time.
The program which was so happily initiated by tsar Alexander II and his retinue, opening way for free market and capitalist enterprises, led at the same to chain of events which tended to be regarded by the Russian society as retarded, if not painful. It would be enough to remind that the so-called redemption money, which was to be paid by peasants to land-owners, remained a considerable burden for them practically until the revolts of 1905. As to the psychological trauma, it tended only to gain momentum until that time, and even after its onset. Those people who initiated the Great Russian revolution of 1917 and who gave every possible effort to its diffusion on planetary scale, were mostly children and/or grand-children of those farmers who gained personal freedom a little more than half a century before that time.
We would not commit a mistake emphasizing that colossal collectivization which was undertake in the Soviet Union in the end of the 1920ies — the beginning if 1930ies is seen by quite a few specialists as ‘the second edition of the traditional Russian serfdom’ — somewhat renewed, but basically intact, and this position is regarded by the present-day Russian society as heuristically constructive.
It would be mistake to regard Russian serfdom in terms of its classical counterpart, which contributed greatly to construction of the great empires of the ancient Greco-Roman world, as well as of the slavery which ravaged vast territories of black Africa at the beginning of the modern era. At the same time, some parallels with these well-known phenomena were quite obvious for the Russian contemporaries of ‘the Great Reforms’ of tsar Alexander II. Looking from the position of our time, we feel authorized to regard abolition of serfdom in Russia as part of an inspiring process of liberation, which was initiated by slave revolts which took place on the American continent about two hundred years ago, to gave way to creation of the state of Haiti. As to latest events, which took place in the framework of decolonization and creation of independent states in Africa, Asia and Latin America, we feel ourselves to be their true witnesses.
The general course of events being thus quite understandable for us, there exists a number of difficult problems, which are not yet fully resolved, and at the same time tend form a focal point of both the societal debate, and the scientific analysis.
  • To which extent was abolition of serfdom in Russia a pragmatic undertaking, and to which extent — a ‘reform of idealists’?
  • To assume the first one of the cited positions, how well chosen were the time of its initiating, as well as its means (and, correspondingly, were it the Russian ‘plantators’ or ‘manchesters’ who turned out to be historically true)?
  • To assume the second position, what role was played in the abolition process by the Russian classical literature and journalism?
  • What place in the debates and processes of the contemporary, rapidly globalizing world could be constructively occupied by the Russian experience of Abolition — and in which way could we in Russia gain novel ideas and viewpoints in our struggle to reform our post-communist society, still torn by conflicts, from the general framework, created by the International year to commemorate struggle against slavery and its abolition, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly, together with the materials of the ‘Slave Route’ project, initiated by the UNESCO as early as in 1993?
Working on these problems needs their bringing to the focus of both public and professional attention. A seminar, gathering all those inspired by this realm of thought and action, from historians and specialists in social sciences, to philosophers and writers, seems to be most timely and constructive.

*

In terms of organization, one-day seminar is planned, to be held on December 17th, 2004, comprising about 30 participants, leading in various realms of scientific, societal and cultural life. The seminar would be held under the auspices of the UNESCO chair for comparative studies of spiritual traditions, specifics of their cultures and inter-religious dialogue, which functions basing on the facilities of the St.Petersburg branch, Russian Institute for Cultural Studies. Organisational assistance for the aforementioned seminar would be provided by International Association ‘Russian Culture’.
Materials of the seminar would be widely promoted by means of an illustrated brochure in English and Russian, to be published in 2005, comprising 130-150 typewritten pages. Production of CD-ROM (500 copies) with information on the International year to commemorate struggle against slavery and its abolition, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly, as well as materials of the seminar, including additional information and illustrations, would be also possible.

List of participants

  • E.I. Annenkova, Professor, Head of the Chair of Russian literature, Herzen Russian State Pedagogical University 10, 15, 27, 34 Archimandrite Augustine (D.E. Nikitin), Associate professor, St.Petersburg Orthodox Spiritual Academy
  • S.V. Chebanov, Professor, Chair of National Security, Faculty of Security, St.Petersburg Technical University
  • .G. Chernoukha, Principal research fellow, St.Petersburg affiliation, Institute of Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • V.E. Cherva, Associate professor, Chair of artistic culture, Herzen Russian State Pedagogical University
  • Ya.A. Gordin, Historian, Member of the St.Petesburg Writers’ Guild
  • A.A. Griakalov, Professor, Head, Chair of History of Philosophy, Russian State Pedagogical University
  • V.V. Kavtorin, Member of the St.Petersburg Writers’ Guild
  • L.N. Letyagin, Associate professor, Chair of ethics and aesthetics, Herzen Russian State Pedagogical Institute
  • F.M. Lurie, Member, St.Petersburg Writers’ Guild
  • S.T. Makhlina, Professor, St.Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts
  • А.М. Melikhov, Member of the Writers’ Guild of St.Petersburg, Deputy editor-in-chief, the ‘Neva’ magazine
  • B.N. Mironov, Professor; Leading research fellow, St.Petersburg affiliation, Institute of Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences; Professor, European University in St.Petersburg
  • Е.А. Okladnikova, Professor, Cair of artistic culture, Herzen Russian State Pedagogical University
  • S.N. Poltorak, Professor; Editor-in-chief, “Klio” and “History of St.Petersburg” journals
  • I.N. Protasenko, Associate professor, State Polytechnic University of St.Petersburg
  • A.K. Sekatsky, Associate professor, Chair of social philosophy, Faculty of philosophy, St.Petersburg State University
  • V.E. Semenkov, Associate professor, Faculty of Sociology, St.Petersburg State University
  • A.G. Shchelkin, Editor-in-chief, the “Russian Europe” newspaper
  • V.A. Sobol, Member, St.Petersburg Writers’ Guild; Member, St.Petersburg Journalists’ Guild; State Prize Laureate
  • D.L. Spivak, Director, St.Petersburg branch, Russian Institute of Cultural Research
  • M.B. Sverdlov, Principal research fellow, St.Petersburg affiliation, Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences; Professor, Chair of Russian History, Herzen Russian State Pedagogical University
  • D.Ya. Travin, Deputy editor, “Delo” newspaper

*

The seminar began at 10.00 with an introductory address of the chairman, D.L.Spivak, director, St.Petersburg branch of the Russian Institute of Cultural Studies, and acting chair, UNESCO chair for comparative studies of spiritual traditions, their specific cultures and interreligious dialogue in St.Petersburg, Russia.
Session I (10.15 — 13.00) comprised primarily reports of the foremost specialists in history of the abolition of serfdom in Russia, B.N.Mironov from the St.Petersburg affiliation of the Institute of Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences, and professor, European University in St.Petersburg; and M.B.Sverdlov, principal research fellow, St.Petersburg affiliation of the Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences, and professor, Chair of Russian History, Herzen Russian State Pedagogical University. Their reports were centered primarily upon history of preparation, introduction and initial corrections of abolition of slavery in Russia. Reports presented by historians S.N.Poltorak, professor, editor-in-chief of historical journals “Klio” and “History of St.Petersburg”, and Ya.A.Gordin, member of the St.Petesburg Writers’ Guild provided a detailed insight into the realm of humanitarian issues which provided basis for the “Great Reforms” in Russia, as well as the role of classical Russian literature in their preparation. Archimandrite Augustine from the St.Peterburg Orthodox School of Divinity provided valuable comments upon the spiritual impact of the abolition.
Reports presented further, as well as discussion, were centered upon several key realms, that could be tentatively labeled as:
  1. Historical description. Both well-grounded historical regularities, as well as still unresolved issues were regarded in this framework. Theoretical plausibility of discerning between state and private forms of serfdom in Russia could be cited in this respect. Another issue consisted in emphasizing difficult economic situation that characterized the position of former landlords themselves in the post-reform Russian empire;
  2. Historical comparison. Methodological correctness and psychological plausibility of joining discussion of slavery, serfdom, and present-day forms of human trafficking was regarded, as well as how effective the application of the ‘transdisciplinary paradigm’, promoted by the UNESCO, could be in general terms;
  3. Administrative creativity. Problems and prospects of reforming the post-communist societies were discussed here, primarily against the background of speedy and effective reforms in the 19th-century Russia, duly labeled as a ‘military and feudal empire’. Structural similarities, as well as numerous psychological guidelines, supporting reforming activities, were singled out, as well as aspects, not being constructive for the comparative, cross-cultural research.
In the course of Session II (14.00 — 17.00) talks given by A.A.Griakalov (Professor, head of the Chair of History of Philosophy, Herzen Russian State Pedagogical University), S.Makhlina (Professor, St.Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts), and E.I.Annenkova (Professor, Head of the Chair of Russian literature, Herzen Russian State Pedagogical University), most effectively elaborated on these subjects, basing respectively upon the materials provided by theories of social philosophy, artistic creativity, and of the psychology of literary creativity. Several prominent journalists emphasized the role of mass media, as well as specific patterns of working with mass consciousness, in promoting the reforms. This formed subject matter of reports provided by D.Ya.Travin (deputy Editor-in-chief, “Delo” newspaper), A.G.Shchelkin (Editor-in-chief, “Russian Europe” newspaper), and especially А.М.Melikhov, deputy Editor-in-chief, ‘Neva’ literary journal.
Final session (17.00-17.45) was dedicated primarily to cultural and humanitarian aspects of abolition of slavery and serfdom. In reports presented by writer F.M.Lurie (St.Petersburg Writers’ Guild), L.N.Letyagin (Associate professor, Chair of ethics and aesthetics, Herzen Russian State Pedagogical Institute), and several other speakers, general importance of observation of human rights was emphasized, as well as necessity to conserve and propagate knowledge on slavery, serfdom and various forms of human trafficking, in order to withhold this knowledge as a focal point of societal debate on every new phase of social progress.
Closing ceremony (17.45-18.00) was dedicated mostly to brief revue of main topics and problems, regarded in the course of the seminar, as well as its theoretical and practical perspectives. As it was emphasized by the chairman, D.L.Spivak, the seminar has been dedicated to multi-faceted analysis of the historical, socio-economic, psychological, artistic, and humanitarian issues of abolition of serfdom in Russia, in close correspondence with structurally comparable processes, which took place in the course of abolition of slavery in other countries. As a result, it was unanimously decided to publish concise materials of the seminar in the form of a bilingual Russian and English edition, as well as to create its radioversion.
Radioserial ‘Serfdom in Russia and its abolition history and present-day issues’, presenting a radioversion of the aforementioned seminar, was held under the auspices of UNESCO in December 2004 — January 2005, basing on the facilities of Radio Petersburg, which holds the leading position on the municipal level.
A.L.Vasojević, professor of the State University of St.Petersburg, the Russian State Pedagogical University, and the Russian Orthodox Spiritual Academy of St.Petersburg, has consented to serve as moderator of the radioserial. The serial comprised three 53-minute long parts. It has evoked vivid interest by both the members of academia, as well as wide circles of general audience. In the process of elaboration of the concept of the seminar, it was decided to invite each time two main speakers, one representing the academic world, another belonging to the artistic circles.
The first 53-minute program, broadcasted less than ten days after the seminar, comprised presence of the following participants: D.L.Spivak; B.N.Mironov, Professor, Faculty of History, State University of St.Petersburg; V.V.Kavtorin, writer, member of the St.Petersburg Writers’ Guild; and Ye.A.Lunyaev, research associate, St.Petersburg branch of the Russian Institute of Cultural Studies.
D.Spivak briefly presented ideals which guided the UN General Assembly in proclaiming the year 2004 as the International year to commemorate struggle against slavery and its abolition. He also gave an overview of events which formed focal points of this International year around the globe. Special attention was dedicated to the ‘Slave Routes’ project, initiated by the UNESCO in 1993, which has developed quite a few contact points with events of the International Year. Professor B.Mironov gave a wide overview of both the present-day ‘state of the art’, that is main historical regularities of serfdom and its abolition, as well as specific issues still subject to vivid discussion. Writer V.Kavtorin put an emphasis upon profound influence of serfdom upon mass psychology of the contemporary Russians. Philosopher Y.Lunyaev positively assessed transdisciplinary contacts between representatives of various specialities and scientific schools in study of this unique phenomenon. Professor A.Vasojević kept most actively moderating the discussion, paying special attention to links between historical events and problems of the Russian contemporary post-communist society, which are of special importance for the mass audience in Russia.
The main place in the next, second part of the radioserial was dedicated to the discussion between A.M.Melikhov, member of the Writers’ Guild of St.Petersbutg, and deputy editor-in-chief of the ‘Neva’ magazine; and M.B.Sverdlov, principal research fellow, St.Petersburg affiliation, Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences; Professor, Chair of Russian History, Herzen Russian State Pedagogical University. The former of disputants spoke in favor of presence of certain elements of historical constructiveness in serfdom, as well as of influence of “collective phantoms” upon its dynamics and structure; the latter defended the these of serfdom having been historically regressive, and primarily defined by socioeconomic processes, which is basic for academia.
The third, concluding 53-minute program of the radioserial comprised presence of following participants: D.L.Spivak; V.G.Chernukha, principal research fellow, Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences; F.M.Lurie, member of the St.Petersburg Writers’ Guild; and N.V.Strougova, leading specialist, Committee for external relations and tourism, Administration of St.Petersburg.
The basis of discussion was provided, as well as in other parts of the serial, by dialogue held by two outstanding personalities, leading in their respective fields, one representing the academy, another creative circles. Historian V.Chernukha emphasized the fact that the 1862 reform was undertaken in a pragmatic, operative and radical style, which was linked both to lack of means, and to experience of comparable steps taken earlier in the Baltic provinces. Writer F.Lurie noticed that this hasty reform was in fact quite well prepared, both in terms of legal background, and organizational measures and structures.
D.Spivak reminded of a wider socio-cultural context of abolition of serfdom in Russia, primarily taking into account similar steps, taken half a century earlier in Prussia under the guidance of Stern and Hardenberg. Historian and political psychologist A.Vasojević provided a brief comparative analysis of the reflection of two major reforms in Russian history (1862 and 1991-1993) in mass consciousness. The broadcast was finished by greeting, worded by N.Strougova on behalf of the Administration of St.Petersburg. Having emphasized how important it is for the city to withhold ties of systematic cooperation with the UN, UNESCO, and other international organisations, she cited another program, entitled ‘European Routes in St.Petersburg’, which had been implemented under the auspices of the Delegation of the European Commission in Russia, as positive and constructive example.


Архимандрит Августин (Д. Е. Никитин) слева и В. Е. Семенков А. А. Грякалов (слева) и А. К. Секацкий Участники семинара в Смольном
В. В. Кавторин задает вопрос Я. А. Гордин Участники семинара в Смольном
Участники семинара в Смольном Ф. М. Лурье Б. Н. Смирнов
Ведущий семинара Д. Л. Спивак М. Б. Свердлов Д. Я. Травин




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