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Academic Periodical

The Quarterly Journal of St. Philaret’s Institute

Issue 29 (winter 2019)



The Light of Christ Enlightens All : Academic periodical of St. Philaret's Christian Orthodox Institute. Issue 29. Moscow : St. Philaret's Christian Orthodox Institute, 2019. 166 p.

Theological Studies
The nature of the church and its boundaries

Ministry and structure of the church

Church History

Religious Education

Alexander Kopirovsky, Ph.D. in Education, Associate Professor, Professor SFI (Moscow)
Ways to Preserve the Spiritual Content in Russian Art Pedagogy in 1920–1930s
pp. 94–104
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2019.29.25885
The article provides insight into the specifics of the content of Russian art pedagogy in 1920s–1930s, as exemplified in the theory and practice of teaching various subjects related to the introduction to art. It is shown how the ideological approach gained momentum in this area leading to such consequences as shortening the training time for art teachers and decreasing the number of specialised schools, and most importantly, simplifying the forms and content of artworks, which were analysed primarily in terms of their ‘usefulness’. Examples are given of how some psychologists and art teachers (first of all, L. S. Vygotsky and A. V. Bakushinsky) were able, at least in part, to keep their focus on the depth of the aesthetic content of artworks and on their individual perception. It is argued that the well-known theorist of Christian pedagogy V. V. Zenkovsky, though recognising the strength and positive significance of the aesthetic impact on students but opposing the religious and moral movements of the soul, underestimated the importance of beauty in bearing witness to spiritual values. It is concluded that within the Marxist conceptual approach it was the deepening of the aesthetic component in art pedagogy that turned out to be a form of preserving its spiritual content.
Keywords: spiritual content of education, art pedagogy, artistic perception, experience, Orthodox pedagogy, Christian anthropology


In memoriam

Ekaterina Poljakova, Ph.D. in Philology, Associate Professor, Associate Professor, SFI (Moscow)
The Miracle of Reality. Reflecting on G. B. Gutner’s Book “The Basis and Motivation of Scientific Knowledge. Discourse on Wonderment”
pp. 129–150
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2019.29.25886
The article deals with the philosophical context of G. B. Gutner’s book in relation to its central thesis of the non-utilitarian origin of scientific practice which reveals itself as wonderment. The latter is understood not as a psychological state but as perplexity caused by the complexity and the obscurity of an object that does not fit into models created by scholars. This perplexity is fraught with converting the tool of theory into the object of research. As shown in the article, this approach to the research practice is fundamentally contrary to the assertion of the primacy of practice over theory which determines the evaluation of scientific progress starting with the modern age until now. Gutner’s thought runs counter both to the position of the so-called new realists and that of radical constructivism reinforced by evolutionary epistemology. Hidden debates with Heidegger and Wittgenstein as well as the “images of wonder” which were revealed by such outstanding thinkers as Euclid, Plato, Kant, Descartes, Einstein, and Heisenberg are also highly original. The article concludes by considering another important aspect of G. B. Gutner’s book, his understanding of the specificity of religious practices, their irreducibility either to explanatory theories or instructive rituals. Although, in part for this reason, religious and research practices differ from each other, they share their relation to reality as a miracle which is revealed by virtue of existential balancing between belief in it and wonderment that it actually happens.
Keywords: knowledge, realism, constructivism, reality, miracle, religion, G. B. Gutner

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