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Astral Karate as a Phenomenon of Late-Soviet Esoteric Underground

Stanislav Panin
Published Online: 2017-09-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2017-0032


The article concentrates on the history of Astral Karate, its doctrine and sources. Astral Karate was a late-Soviet eclectic spiritual movement based on esoteric interpretations of martial arts and yoga. The term “Astral Karate” had spread in the 1980s thanks to spiritual leader and underground esoteric author Valery Averianov who called himself Guru Var Avera. On one hand, the movement reflected global tendencies, such as growing interest in Eastern cultures and spirituality, that characterized esoteric groups in the USSR as well as in the USA and Europe during this period. On the other hand, esoteric groups in the Soviet Union developed in isolation from European and American esoteric currents and under unique ideological and legal pressures. The combination of these factors contributed to the originality of late-Soviet esoteric currents and therefore makes Astral Karate an important object of academic inquiry, which helps us to understand the specifics of Soviet spirituality and its further developments in post- Soviet states

Keywords: Western esotericism; Soviet esotericism; martial arts; karate; yoga


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About the article

Received: 2017-05-31

Accepted: 2017-07-11

Published Online: 2017-09-02

Published in Print: 2017-08-28

Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 408–416, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2017-0032.

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© 2017. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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