TRANSFORMATION OF ETHNOCONFESSIONAL IDEAS OF THE ADYGHE OF THE NORTHERN CAUCASUS WITHIN THE ADYGAG’E CODE AS THE FOUNDATION OF ETHNIC HARMONY
Asfar SHAOV, Rashid KHUNAGOV, Svetlana LYAUSHEVA, Vyacheslav NEKHAI
Asfar Shaov, D.Sc. (Philos.), Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy and Sociology, Adyghe State University (Maykop, Republic of Adygea, Russian Federation)
Rashid Khunagov, D.Sc. (Sociol.), Professor, Chancellor of the Adyghe State University (Maykop, Republic of Adygea, Russian Federation)
Svetlana Lyausheva, D.Sc. (Philos.), Professor, Department of Philosophy and Sociology, Adyghe State University (Maykop, Republic of Adygea, Russian Federation)
Vyacheslav Nekhai, D.Sc. (Sociol.), Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy and Sociology, Adyghe State University (Maykop, Republic of Adygea, Russian Federation)
In the course of history, the religious ideas of the Adyghe have been intertwining to form the ethnic, religious, and cultural core of their ethnicity (Adygag’e). Together with religion, it has been the dialectical social integrator of the Circassians, who acquired their homogenous ethnic and religious consciousness by the early twenty-first century. The rich inner potential of the social-regulatory culture of the Adyghe has made it the driving force behind social development and the spiritual and material culture, which has outstripped the culture of production and life sustainability and helped to preserve cultural authenticity. Historical studies were and are invariably interested in spiritual culture, and religion as its foundation. This was especially obvious in the 4th-16th centuries when religion was a central issue, while religious ideas permeated the spiritual culture of any society. It is next to impossible to identify any other factor in the spiritual life of humanity that has played a greater role than religion. It has been present in global social upheavals and in the secret and most intimate aspects of human activities. Study of the religious ideas of the Adyghe makes it possible to reconstruct not only the course of social life in any given period of their history, but also the individual subjective sentiments demonstrated through spiritual transformations and the evolution of images and ideas. Religion can be described as a very specific type of life, or the goal of an individual to assert himself in eternity. The recently revived interest in this subject in the Northern Caucasus is explained by the gradual consolidation of the position of Islam in the region under the pressure of the missionary activities of all sorts of foreign Muslim organizations and Adyghe repatriation. The formally Muslim autochthonous population has not moved far away from pagan and Christian elements (which are mainly manifested in burial rites). In recent years, however, they have been gradually pushed aside by Muslim elements, which have greatly simplified burial and other rites. Overall, despite the consistent interest in the evolution of the religious ideas and rites of the Adyghe, many related problems that call for a systemic and comprehensive approach have not yet been studied.
Keywords: the Adyghe, religion, evolution, traditional beliefs, the Northern Caucasus, ethnic harmony.