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Academic Periodical

The Quarterly Journal of St. Philaret’s Institute

Issue 23 (summer 2017)



Academic periodical of St Philaret's Christian Orthodox Institute. Iss. 23. 2017. 104 p.

Table of contents

Theology and philosophy

Athanasios N. Papathanasiou, Doctor of Theology, Hellenic Open University (Greece, Athens)

Christian Fasting in Postmodern Society: Considering the Criteria

pp. 7–27
The article focuses on the meaning and criteria of Christian fasting in the postmodern consumerist society associating the attitude to food with a certain body image and dieting, which has become a sort of secular fasting in the “religion of thinness”. The author considers the Christian attitude to receiving food as to an act of thanksgiving, whereas fasting is seen as an act that introduces into everyday life a foretaste of the eschatological freedom from necessity. For Christians, both feasting and fasting have a strong communal dimension. The article also addresses the most pressing aspects of the eventual reconsidering of the forms and rules of fasting in the postmodern world.
Keywords: Christian fasting, postmodernism, consumerist society, ecology, “chemical” theology, debate on reconsidering the rules of fasting.
Alexander Markov, Doctor of Philology, Professor, Russian State University for the Humanities (Moscow)

The Polemic Meaning of Hannah Arendt’s Dissertation on Saint Augustine

pp. 28–38
The technique of “slow reading” of the first pages of Hannah Arendt’s dissertation on St. Augustine shows that the main task of this work is a polemic against psychologism and early existentialism. Externally showing loyalty to her teacher Karl Jaspers, Arendt argues contra a number of his existentialist presumptions to prove that existentialism is merely a particular way of conceptualizing time. Relying on the concept of “acquisition”, Arendt interprets time as a field of the projections of the good; not as an area of experiences and solutions, but as a field of conceptualization of hope and salvation. Thus, under the guise of an existential treatise, Arendt creates a reserve for her future political philosophy as the philosophy of meaningful ethical choice.
Keywords: Arendt, Augustine, Jaspers, existentialism, love.


Karina Gizdatova, B.A. in Theology, St Philaret’s Institute (Moscow)

“Missionary presence” of Charles de Foucault

pp. 39–57
The article describes the missionary work of Charles de Foucault, the French Catholic monk and priest who lived in the second half of XIX – early XX century. In Charles de Foucault’s practice one can see not only traditional forms of mission of the time but also a special form of bearing witness, which later became known as “missionary presence”, the presence of Christ among non-believers. Charles de Foucault could let Christ be present give himself as well as through the Holy Gifts of the Eucharist and through the neighbour, commanded to be loved. Charles de Foucault’s major dream was the birth of brotherhoods which would spread the message of Christ among non-believers. His dream came true later, but not in his lifetime.
Keywords: mission, Foucault, missionary presence, Africa, Tuareg people, brotherhood.

Religious studies

Faris Nofal, Postgraduate student, Vladimir Dahl East Ukrainian National University (Ukraine, Lugansk)

Ancient Arabic Jewish-Christian Tradition: Reading of Classical Islamic Apologetic Treatise

pp. 58–73
It is considered the reconstruction of religious systems of the Arabian Judaism and Christianity in the article. Analyzing the legends which have been a part of both early Islamic chronicles, and the classical Islamic apologetic treatises, the author draws a conclusion about “dogmatic” and “liturgical” unity of Ancient Arabic monotheism. Also the fact of identity of a so-called Hanifizm and Abrahamic religious traditions of Arabia is established.
Keywords: Ancient Arabic monotheism, Djahiliyya, Islam, Qur’an, Sunnah, Hanifism.

Religious pedagogy and education

Alexander Kopirovsky, Ph. D. in Education, Professor, St Philaret’s Institute (Moscow)

Structural, Educational and Methodological Basis of a Church Art Course Aimed at Prospective Church Ministers and Catechists

pp. 74–90
The article presents an outline and analysis of an immersion church art course taught over several study days.Examples provided in the article illustrate the methodological basis of the course: rather than being a summarised art history and theological narrative, it is cohesive perception of the church building and the unity of its conceptual and artistic elements. The article lists arguments in favour of introducing local church monuments as part of the course. The author argues that creative goal setting facilitates perception of the study material and stimulates an interest towards it. It is concluded that proprietary courses of this type could be designed for religious colleges, seminaries, theology institutes and catechetical certification programmes, and adapted to their local contexts.
Keywords: church art, art education, church building, concept, cohesion, comparison, methodology, academic course, catechesis.


Lidia Kroshkina, Senior lecturer, St Philaret’s Institute (Moscow)

The Resolution of the 1917–1918 Local Council “On Church Preaching”: Historical Context and Crucial Tasks

pp. 91–100
This article analyses one of the resolutions of the 1917–1918 Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, entitled “On Church Preaching”, focusing on its origins and related debates. The author also addresses the question of how the issues raised in the conciliar document were discussed before the Council and solved in the years since. The article is based on various publications on church preaching dated back from the late XIX – early XX centuries. Of particular interest are the Resolution’s paragraph concerning the establishment of missionary brotherhoods and the consideration of how this initiative was further implemented.
Keywords: sermon, church preaching, the Holy Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, pastoral ministry, missionary brotherhoods.
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