A review of the master’s thesis by M.B. Demchenko, Ph.D. in Culturology.

The work is devoted to the study of the religious system of Ancient Egypt in the context of developing a new terminological apparatus to define its key aspects. It consists of two chapters, introduction and conclusion. In the first chapter the author traces the dynamics of development of ancient Egyptian religion from the moment of formation of its basic concepts to the epoch of the Late Kingdom, and in the second chapter he actually solves the task of proving the untenability of its definition neither as monotheistic in the sense of Abrahamic religions, nor as polytheistic, nor as genotheistic in the sense introduced by Max Müller.

The study is especially relevant today, when the need to rethink perceptions of the phenomenon of religion itself is becoming more and more obvious for historians of religion, sociologists, culturologists and philosophers alike. The conceptual apparatus, which the author reflects on, may well be applied in the future to modern forms of religion, which are in the process of continuous development and are adapting to modern conditions. Western science of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was unconditionally dependent on Christian worldview patterns, which were deliberately or unconsciously projected onto religious systems belonging to completely different sociocultural spaces and starting from completely different premises. The master’s student proposes to break out of this limiting paradigm.

The author has done a considerable amount of work, analysed more than fifty English-language sources, scientific literature in Russian, French and German, creating a fairly solid research base. His language is characterised by scientific maturity and clarity of presentation. As shortcomings of the work can be noted sometimes excessive narration of the text, which, however, in no way affects the quality of the content. From my point of view, the Master’s student deserves the highest grade (excellent) and the award of the Master’s degree in the speciality 47.04.03 « Religious Studies ».


Demchenko Maxim Borisovich, Ph.D. in Culturology