The author speaks of the need to explore the spiritual and academic philosophy of religion in the pre-revolutionary period and offers a special methodology of studying theological works to identify their non-theological content. The article shows that the spiritual and academic thinkers could talk about the essence of religion, disciplinary boundaries of the philosophy of religion, and its methodology from non-theological perspective. The author criticizes popular opinion about the uselessness of studying spiritual and academic heritage for the development of contemporary religious studies.
In the array of spiritual and academic philosophy of religion modern scholars can pay attention to the analysis of the metaphysical foundations of methodology, the use of a holistic approach, and the principle of complementarity. Studied thinkers sought to overcome methodological and metaphysical one-sidedness in the philosophy of religion through synthesizing different discourses.
In works of spiritual and academic thinkers modern researchers can also found philosophical analysis of different concepts of religion and typology of these concepts; analysis of the critics of religion; interest in anthropology and the psychology of religious experience; reasoning upon the natural ability of man to the formation of religious experience; analysis of the relationship between the structural components of religious experience; attempts to classify and identify the types of religious worldview; interest in structure and problems of religious-metaphysical constructions; reasoning about the criteria of authenticity and destructiveness of religious experience; trying to figure out the essential relationship of religion and adjacent parts of being.
In spiritual and academic literature the author finds paradigms, methods, and conceptual conclusions similar to those, which are available in the academic study of religion today.
Key words: philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, spiritual and academic tradition, methodology of religious studies, pre-revolutionary philosophy, Russian religious philosophy
About the author
Ivan V. Mezentsev – Senior Lector at Theology and Study of Religion Department, Far Eastern Federal University;