This group’s tasks include research into the symbols, metaphors and images that are common to the three Abrahamic traditions; an attempt to define where their commonality ends and essential differences begin - not on the level of concepts and theories, but on that of metaphorical systems and imagery. This is both a question of the self-identification of a culture which finds its expression in terms of the framing of signs, symbol and metaphors, as well as an issue of the identification of the Other by means of particular signs, and the formation of an axiologically coloured semiotic field of a culture taken as a whole. This topic is of importance not only from the point of view of comparative studies, but is also highly relevant as a basis for a competent and productive dialogue between the three confessions.
The group’s members have been drawn from among prominent scholars (historians, philosophers, culturologists, arts scholars) engaged in work on the various aspects and different developmental periods of the cultures that have sprung from the three Abrahamic religions. The group’s work takes place in the format of monthly scientific discussion seminars over the space of a year. The year’s work comes to its close in an international conference (link to the programme and video of the conference of March 2014), and the publication of a collection of papers.
— M. A. Boitsov – doctor of historical sciences, professor of the department of political history and head of the Laboratory for Mediaeval Studies at the History Faculty, National Research University – Higher School of Economics.
— U. Gershovich – doctor of philosophy, director of the Research Centre at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre.
— M. V. Dmitriev – doctor of historical sciences, professor of the department of history of the Southern and Western Slavs at the History Faculty of Moscow State University, director of the Centre for Ukrainian and Belarusian Studies at Moscow State Lomonosov University, head research fellow of the Laboratory for Mediaeval Studies at the History Faculty, National Research University – Higher School of Economics.
— L. F. Katsis – doctor of philological sciences, professor of the Russo-American Academic Centre for Bible Studies and Judaica at the Russian State University for the Humanities.
— A. B. Kovelman – professor, doctor of historical sciences, head of the Judaica department at the Moscow State Lomonosov University’s Institute for the Countries of Africa and Asia.
— A. M. Lidov – academician of the Russian Academy of Arts, head of the Moscow State Lomonosov University’s Institute for World Culture, director of the Scientific Centre for Eastern Christian Culture.
— D. V. Frolov – corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, professor, doctor of philological sciences, head of the Arabic philology department at the Moscow State Lomonosov University’s Institute for the Countries of Africa and Asia.
— B. Khaimovich – doctor of philosophy, research fellow at the Jewish University in Jerusalem’s Centre for Jewish Art, scientific consultant for the Museum of the History of the Jews in Russia.
— R. M. Shukurov – doctor of historical sciences, assistant professor of the department of history of the middle ages at the History Faculty of Moscow State Lomonosov University.