Urban Space As A Space Of Coexistence And Interaction Of Religious Cultures

Abstract

The article analyzes the urban cultural space as a space of coexistence and interaction of religious cultures. Urban culture is described in terms of its localization and structure, the ontological status of urban objects and phenomena. The past, present and future of the cultural space as a space of interaction of religious cultures are described. This makes it possible to identify and analyze the problem of spiritual and material expression of religious cultures in the cultural spaces of cities. The main goal is to determine parameters of philosophical and cultural studies of the role of religious phenomena in the cultural space of a city by analyzing spatial characteristics of these phenomena. The religious aspects of development of urban space are the subject of a number of philosophy and metaphysics of the city, sacred geography and sacred topography, history of culture and urban planning, etc. Based on a comprehensive analysis, a comparative method is used to identify mechanisms of interaction of cultures in the spaces of cities. A religious analysis of the urban space as a space where different religious cultures interact can unite efforts and achievements of these studies. The results can be the determination of the world outlook for the development of the religious space of the city; the identification of the ontological status of religious buildings and their place in the cultural and territorial organization of the city; the identification of the role of religious buildings as special symbolic cultural markers that determine characteristics of an urban space.

Keywords: Cultural spacereligious culturesworship placesurban metaphysicssacred space

Introduction

The study of the city in terms of its cultural space is very relevant. It makes it possible to examine urban culture in terms of its localization and structure, the ontological status of urban objects and phenomena, and reveal the role and functions of cultural phenomena.

A comprehensive study of the cultural space of the city aimed at identifying mechanisms of coexistence and interaction of different religious cultures can determine the dynamics of the development of religious life in the local cultural space. A comparative analysis of the developed spaces of certain cities was carried out to identify universal patterns and specific features of religious interaction, determine ways to prevent cultural and religious conflicts.

Problem Statement

One of the research problems is definition of the concept "cultural and religious space of a city." Currently, there are a lot of scientific works examining the cultural space; a number of definitions have been developed. Saraf (2011) emphasizes the structure and integrity of the cultural space: “Cultural space is a systemic integrity, a condition for developing a person in a particular historical cultural era. The cultural space forms the diversity of cultural texts, acts as the unity of cultures of a particular area” (p. 15). According to the researcher, there is “a single cultural space and multiple cultural spaces” (Saraf, 2011, p. 17), the cultural space integrates different cultural spaces and creates the opportunity for their interaction. The cultural space of the city can be considered in terms of its past, present and future. The actualization of spatial characteristics of culture makes it possible to identify and analyze the problem of meaningful spiritual and material expression of the role of certain religious cultures in developing cultural spaces of cities. It is necessary to determine directions, theoretical and practical significance. An important issue is the role and possibilities of interdisciplinary research in this scientific field. It is an issue of both humanitarian interdisciplinarity and integration of humanitarian, natural and technical sciences.

Research Questions

The research subject is the existing cultural space of the city, including religious structures and objects that perform sacred functions and have religious purposes. The sphere of construction of religious buildings, which includes construction, political, legal, historical, cultural and social regulatory issues, is becoming the subject of research within this problem. The research subject is a role of religious buildings in the development of the cultural space, and regulatory problems. Metaphysics of the city is not as a set of abstract descriptions. It is an expression of the urban culture embodied in culture objects (Krivykh, 2017; Mezentsev, 2014). Religious buildings represent religious cultures, shaping their ontological status in the city.

Purpose of the Study

The aim of the article is to determine parameters of philosophical and cultural studies of the role of religious phenomena in the cultural space of the city by analyzing spatial characteristics of these phenomena. The research aims to analyze the relevance of such studies, the rationale for their interdisciplinary status, the place of different approaches and methods; to identify productive ways to describe forms and mechanisms of spatial representation of religious cultures in the urban space; to justify the social significance of studying the cultural space as a sphere of actualization of various religious meanings and coexistence of various religious cultures.

Research Methods

The work is based on a comprehensive analysis that allows us to consider the cultural space of the city as a single spatially-localized system, including a number of integral cultures that have specific features, occupy a specific place, and are capable of interaction. The interdisciplinary approach is based on methods of various scientific disciplines: philosophy of culture, cultural studies, religious studies, history of urban planning, history of architecture, sacred geography, sociology, political science, etc. The comparative approach identifies invariants and general mechanisms of interaction of religious cultures.

Findings

To identify the ontological nature of religious objects, determine their place in the semantic and symbolic space of the city, it is advisable to consider the existence of these objects in the urban space in the context of “metaphysics of the city”. It considers a city as a phenomenon “having certain ontological structures and meanings and occupying a special place in the symbolic space of culture” (Gurin, 2003, p. 10). A city is both a holistic symbol associated with archetypal consciousness, and a subject of "the production of meanings, symbols" (Gurin, 2003). These meanings and symbols are included in the hierarchical structured space of the city, where its own system of meanings and symbols is created at each level. This hierarchy is reflected in urban planning and architecture, forming a space for implementing a spiritual purpose, filling this space with a sacred content. In the works on metaphysics of the city, the city is a "metaphor of consciousness", the place of "conscious existence", part of the triad "I-City-World", an "image-mediator connecting the unconnected" (Starodubtseva, 1999). Urban geography, toponymy, and locations of architectural monuments are considered as a “miracle of manifestation of the Higher Meaning, which has been carried out over many centuries,” a special cultural and semantic symbolic cartography (Rakhmatullin, 2009).

A number of approaches to the role of religious objects in the urban space “metaphysics of the city” is close to one of the areas of cultural geography – sacred geography (Ataman, 2015; Khudyaev, 2015; Uvarov, 2011) Its object is sacred spaces as spaces whose specificity (function and meaning) is associated with a religious activity. Methods of sacred geography include both methods of physical geography and social geography, psychology and philosophy. Ataman (2015) writes that special religious, natural, and historical properties of the sacred space are associated with a “spiritual function”. The expressed sacred space is included in the cultural and religious system.

At the same time, the very creation of this sacred space is associated with issues of legal regulation of the construction of religious sites. In the Russian Empire, there were special documents containing rules for the construction and use of religious buildings and structures (Bernyukevich, 2018; Pirozhkova, 2010). In 1832-1900, various editions of the "Building Charter" were published. The five chapters of this document regulated the construction, maintenance and repair of “prayer buildings” of various religions (except Buddhism). There were rules of accommodation and juxtaposition of religious buildings relative to each other

Cultural and religious aspects of the history and modernity of urban planning are identified on the basis of an analysis of the history and socio-cultural role of architectural monuments presented in such works as “Architectural monuments of Moscow: past and present”, “Rulers of Russia and development of construction” and a number of articles by Russian authors (Byzova, 2014; Frolov, 2014; Molokova, 2019).

The modern practice of creating opportunities for the coexistence and interaction of different religious cultures in urban space still needs to be understood. In the context of formation of the all-Russian national space, projects of construction of religious buildings are of interest as an expression of the national unity of the country. For example, in 1993–1998, on Poklonnaya Hill in Moscow, an Orthodox church, a mosque and a synagogue as symbols of the multinationality of the army of liberators were built. It is planned to build a Buddhist temple there. Today, projects aimed at creating local urban spaces that demonstrate the religious diversity and coexistence of different religions are developing. The spiritual and educational complex of Russian traditional religions in the Otradnoye district of Moscow includes: an Orthodox church and a chapel, a Sunni mosque, a Shiite mosque, and a synagogue. This complex is a result of the implementation of the original project of religious consent by R. Bayazitov.

Conclusion

The religious aspects of the development of urban space are the subject of philosophy and metaphysics of the city, sacred geography and sacred topography, history of culture and urban planning, etc. The religious study of urban space as a space where religious cultures interact can unite efforts and achievements of these studies (Zhukov & Bernyukevich, 2018). The results can be the determination of the world outlook for the development of the religious space of the city; the identification of the ontological status of religious buildings and their place in the cultural and territorial organization of the city; the identification of the role of religious buildings as special symbolic cultural markers that determine characteristics of an urban space.

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

31.10.2020

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2020.10.05.379

Online ISSN

2357-1330