Islam and the Orthodox Church in contemporary Russia are usually studied in isolation from each other, and each in relation to the Kremlin; the latter demands the development of a home-grown and patriotic 'religious traditionalism, as a bulwark against subversive 'non-traditional' imports.
This volume breaks new ground by focusing on charismatic missionaries from both religions who bypass the hierarchies of their respective faith organizations and challenge the 'traditionalism' paradigm from within Russia's many religious traditions, and who give new meanings to the well-known catchwords of Russia's identity discourse.
The Moscow priest Daniil Sysoev confronted the Russian Orthodox Church with 'Uranopolitism', a spiritual vision that defies patriotism and nationalism; the media-savvy Geidar Dzhemal projected an 'Islamic Eurasianism' and a world revolution for which Russia's Muslims would provide the vanguard; and the Islamic terrorist Said Buriatskii found respect among left- and right-wing Russians through his Islamic adaptation of Lev Gumilev's 'passionarity' paradigm.
On the other side, Russian experts and journalists who propagate the official paradigm of Russia's 'traditional Islam' argue from either Orthodox or secularist perspectives, and fail to give content to the concept.
This allows even moderate Salafis to argue that their creed is Russia's real 'traditionalist' Islam.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations.