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The Cyclical Movement of Religions: From Unity toward … Unity

Abstract

The cyclical character of the formation and development of confessional spaces as affected by competition between religions has been established. As a result of a weakening monopoly and growth of religious competition, a once prevailing religion is gradually ousted either by another religion (the R-cycle of religious competition) or—which has become a distinctive feature of the 19th‒21st centuries—by secular ideologies (in the case of social secularization, the S-cycle; political secularization, the SP-cycle). In addition, considerably long intercyclic stages of religious saturation have been identified. The common property of the three types of cycles is their aperiodicity. Characteristic of R- and SP-cycles are also intermittence, reversibility, and the ability to develop in parallel to one another and to R-cycles. The territorial expansion of the cycles is wavelike but is differentiated within the structure of the confessional space: R-cycles are confined to countries and their administrative territorial units, and SP-cycles, to the world’s macroregions. Note that the S-cycles have no limitations.

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Funding

This article was supported within State Assignment no. 0148-2019-0008.

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Correspondence to S. A. Gorokhov.

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Translated by B. Alekseev

Stanislav Anatol’evich Gorokhov, Dr. Sci. (Geogr.), is a Leading Research Fellow at the RAS Institute of Geography.

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Gorokhov, S.A. The Cyclical Movement of Religions: From Unity toward … Unity. Her. Russ. Acad. Sci. 89, 388–395 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1134/S1019331619040026

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1134/S1019331619040026

Keywords:

  • confessional space
  • religious competition
  • cyclicity of development
  • R-,S-, and SP-cycles
  • secular waves