ISSN 2073-3380 (Print)

List of issues > Series «Political Science and Religion Studies». 2018. Vol. 25

The Concepts of «Purity» and «Impurity» in Religious Extremism

T. V. Izluchenko

This paper demonstrates possibility and practicability of using anthropological approaches to the study of activities of religious extremist groups. It is based on M. Douglas’ concept of binary oppositions – the opposition of «purity» and «impurity». The content of the categories of «purity» and «impurity» has been considered in relation to religious extremists, Islamic extremists in particular. When considering extremist activity a legislative aspect has been emphasized. Institutional arrangements and manifestations of religious radicalism demonstrate a specific worldview, shaped in keeping with political goals. This makes it possible to consider the activity of religious radicals in the frame of the religious community or the extremist religious community depending on the action committed. A distinctive behavior pattern and way of thinking, peculiarities of the participants’ worldview make it possible to study their activity as the activity of holders of the «religious extremist culture». The author has described the mechanisms of the influence on the behavior and consciousness of religious extremists based on natural psychological properties. Binary perception of the reality, attitude to purity and impurity, the desire to protect themselves from harmful phenomena are aimed at establishing the position of «we-they» by religious extremist organizations. This is revealed while interpreting processes and phenomena focusing on ideologically justified ones and those corroborating verity, other ones being presented to be unsubstantial. The extremist community members declare their intention to provide assistance to any person, reveal his or her spiritual nature, provide opportunities for personal realization, and at the same time there is gradually individual worldview is replaced by collective ideas. Thus, when interpreting social reality, religious extremist organizarions function as thinking communities.

About the Authors

Izluchenko Tatyana Vladimirovna, Candidate of Sciences (Philosophy), Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Siberian Federal University, 79, Svobodny av., Krasnoyarsk, 660041, Russian Federation, tel.: 8(391)2062669, e-mail: izluchenko@mail.ru

For citation

Izluchenko T. V. The Concepts of «Purity» and «Impurity» in Religious Extremism. The Bulletin of Irkutsk State University. Series Political Science and Religion Studies. 2018, vol. 25, pp. 103-119. https://doi.org/10.26516/2073-3380.2018.25.103 (in Russian)

M. Douglas, religious extremism, purity, impurity, religious extremist community, radicalism, Islamic extremism, taboo, binary oppositions, culture, sacred
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