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Smile from Heaven
an anthology of religious humor
Compiled by Mikhail Sergeev




5.5 x 8.25"
176, ill
April 2012

Soft laminated cover




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About the Author

Mikhail Sergeev was born in 1960 in Moscow, Russia. He holds his Master’s degree (1993) and a doctorate (1997) in the history and philosophy of religion from Temple University in Philadelphia. Mr. Sergeev has taught in several universities and colleges of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Now he teaches history of religions, philosophy and modern art at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Dr. Sergeev is the author of numerous articles on philosophy and religion, which were published in Russian and American scholarly journals, as well as of several books, including The Project of the Enlightenment: Essays on Religion, Philosophy and Art (2004) and Sophiology in Modern Orthodoxy: Solov’ev, Bulgakov, Losskii and Berdiaev (2006).

About the book

“…The collection of jokes in the book represents the tradition of spiritual and self-sacrificial humor… There is a proverbial saying in Russia—force a fool to pray to God and he will beat his forehead. Many anecdotes portray in a comic light just this pseudo-piety, the eternal human intention to follow the letter of religion to the detriment of its spirit…

Religious anecdotes mock blind imitation of the authorities, literal (and often absurd) interpretation of the Scriptures, inappropriate claims to sainthood, and an insatiable desire to use God and religion in self-interest. Religious humor awakens respect and compassion toward those people who profess another faith or hold different views and opinions, and belong to diverse races, nations, classes and civilizations—an attitude needed in our contemporary world, stricken by the fever of religious intolerance and fanaticism…”

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