SFI’s basic research interest lies in the field of Catechetics, Liturgics, study of the Holy Mysteries, modern Ecclesiology, Christian Anthropology, 20th c. Russian Church History and the Teaching of the faith.
The Institute’s highest priority research is in the field of the church’s catechetical tradition (formal proclamation of the gospel before a person joins the Church). To a large extent, this research is supported by Fr. Georgy Kochetkov’s experience of several decades, collected and summarized in his dissertation, A Mystical Introduction to Orthodox Catechetics, as well as in catechetical manuals and teaching materials for catechists and their students. This wealth of experience comes together in the Institute’s Research Centre for Mission and Catechesis.
For more than 30 years, under the directorship of Fr. Georgy Kochetkov, SFI has been translating liturgical materials used in worship services from Ancient Greek and Church Slavonic into modern Russian. The entire corpus of invariable liturgical texts has already been translated and republished several times.
Within the field of Church History, the Institute seeks to understand and interpret the experience of the most influential personalities, brotherhoods and community movements from the late 19th and 20th centuries, and the inheritance of the Russian New Martys and Confessors.
The Institute runs theological and research conferences, roundtables, seminars in Orthodox Christian Ecclesiology, Missiology and Catechetics, Liturgics, the History of church/society relations, Christian Anthropology, Philosophy, Biblical Studies, Sociology of Religion, Social Work and the Teaching of the faith. Since 2013, SFI has regularly held a Physics and Theology Conference with the participation scholar Alexey Starobinsky, one of the leading thinkers in modern cosmology, and other leading theoretical physicists. Since 1995, the Institute has run its annual Meeting of the Lord Research Conference for students, graduate students and younger teachers.
SFI cooperates with well-known specialists from the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow State University, the Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg State University, and other Russian and foreign institutes of higher learning, regularly participating in international theological and research forums, and co-hosting conferences on important contemporary topics for church and society, together with liberal arts universities, various Christian movements, museums, diocese and synodal departments of the ROC.
The research Journal of St. Philaret’s Institute is a scholarly review journal listed by the State Commission for Academic Degrees and Titles under the rubric, “Theology” (26.00.01). On a quarterly basis, the SPhI Journal publishes articles from the fields of Theology and Philosophy, History, Biblical Studies, Liturgics, Sacramentology, Religious Studies and the Sociology of Religion.