Cross, Crescent and Buddha in Shell

Gleb Netchvolodov (3rd year PhD candidate, University of Tartu: Institute of Semiotics)

Numerous social attempts to transfer religion institution into area of secular culture with objective of replacement the former by a paradigm of cultural codes, after a certain period of time ended in failure. The polarity of substitution methods were very wide even within the last century - from forced interdiction of religion after Russian October revolution in 1917 to creation of an “Ultimate” Bahai faith, assuming unification of all members, absence of sects, the primacy of Multiculturalism, etc. Among the reasons that led to the failure, compulsion and the mass character of a process take an important role in destruction of the necessary individual cognitive mechanism, responsible for such fundamental concepts as cultural memory, religious conservatism and foreign culture acceptation/alienation. In light of increasing globalization and disintegration of cultural boundaries an issue of religious assets extrapolation on cultural and secular field regain its value again. However, considering the previous experience and the dominant post-modern individualistic identity orientation, the process of religion integration into secular structures and cultural environment should be developed within an individual approach, i.e. within the semiosphere, in which a depicting of religious doctrines and a multicultural background should operate as an equivalent agents, on their associative, semantic and meaning-generation levels. Thus offered project represents one of such transit solutions and combines uniqueness of landscape urbanistic architecture with social and culturological functionality.

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