Eurasia as a Spiritual Realm? Inquiries into an Imagined Continent
Birgit Menzel, PhD, Professor
Faculty of Translation Studies, Linguistics, and Cultural Studies Germersheim
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany
This article discusses Eurasia as a meta-geographical spiritual entity, an imagined continent, which is still much of a provincialized area under western eyes. By applying a cultural-studies approach, various perspectives on spiritual Eurasia are presented, as they have helped to incorporate this territory into a mythologically, ideologically, and symbolically charged space. This implies historical ethnographic descriptions and stories of various esoteric seekers of a re-enchanted spiritual landscape, from Blavatsky to Gurdjieff and Roerich, but also academic experts of oriental studies as translators and transmitters of spiritual ideas from East to West as well as hybrid forms of religious revival among indigenous people in the post-Soviet present time. Two examples illustrate how new myths are created in post-Soviet Russia: Arkaim as a Russian Stonehenge in the Urals and Eurasian spirituality as an instrument of political ideology, particularly Lev Gumilev and Nursultan Nasarbaev in Kazakhstan.
Keywords: Eurasia, spirituality, esotericism, Shambhala, Arkaim, Belovodíe, meta-geography Siberia, religious revival
How to cite:
Menzel, M. (2022). “Eurasia as a Spiritual Realm? Inquiries into an Imagined Continent.” Journal of Comparative Studies 15 (44), 32–58.