Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

The Role of Spiritual and Theological Literature in Tatar Culture of the XVIII and Early XX Centuries

Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

The Role of Spiritual and Theological Literature in Tatar Culture of the XVIII and Early XX Centuries

Article excerpt


The urgency of the problem under investigation is caused by the growing interest in the spiritual roots of national cultures, where there is Tatar culture among their number. Religious and theological literature is an essential part of the Tatar national culture and has played an invaluable role in its formation process. The purpose of the article is to identify the most significant works of the Tatar theological and spiritual literature of the period studied, to classify, to establish their basic cultural, historical, linguistic, functional and stylistic features. The leading methods of investigation used were the descriptive-comparative method and structural-linguistic analysis. These methods made it possible to observe the complex process of development of the Tatar religious literature from the XVIII century to the first decades of the XX century and to identify the main features of this process. It was determined that the Tatar theological literature of the XVIII - XIX centuries was enduring the same processes as the literary language of the same period. The most prominent and well-known works of the Tatar theological literature of the time were created by the intellectuals, who were known as the most educated part of the society, encyclopedic scientists fluent in several languages. Materials of the article can be useful to university teachers dealing with the courses on the history of Tatar literature, to oriental literature researchers, students and post-graduate students.

Keywords: Tatar theological literature, Tatar spiritual literature, Quranic exegesis, hadith

1. Introduction

1.1 Urgency of the Problem

In modern multinational and multi-confessional Russia theological experience of different nations and religions living in the country plays a very important role. In Russia, especially in the life of Volga basin Tatars, Islam possesses a rich tradition of religious and reformatory ideas. The history of the Tatar people shows that there was the period of cultural and civilizational revival at the turn of XIX - XX centuries, and it coincided with replacing of the traditional worldview with a new worldview based on a rational rethinking of all aspects of human life, including such a category of consciousness as faith. Tatars' awareness of their faith - Islam - nature paved the way for the harmonious development of the Tatar society, their tolerant coexistence in a multi-confessional country and their dynamic entry into the process of world community globalization.

Spiritual literature or literature with some religious content takes a significant layer of the Tatar culture. It was originated on the bases of translations from the Arabic, Persian and Ottoman-Turkish languages in to Tatar which were creatively processed by Tatar Muslim theologians (Bigiyev, 1905). We can rank among them the comments of the Koran and hadith (legends about the speeches and actions of Muhammad the Prophet, which affect various religious and legal aspects of the Muslim community life (Islam, 1991)), the Koranic and the hadith studies, didactic and other edifying literature.

1.2 The Need for Historical and Linguistic Research of Tatar Theological Literature

At the present time, due to the growing interest in the spiritual roots of Russian national cultures, spiritual literature is becoming the object of diverse researches of different types where there are philological, philosophical, historical and many others among them. Therefore there is a need to explore it in a historical and linguistic frame.

The Tatar spiritual literature plays a special role in the history of Russia peoples' literature. The range of issues raised in the Tatar theological thought of the XVIII and early XX centuries include both purely dogmatic problems associated with the Islamic faith, with the Islamic law and also the problems of philosophical, historical, social, political, as well as the issues of scientific knowledge methodology. …

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