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The Quarterly Journal of St. Philaret’s Institute

ISSN: 2658-7599 (print)
2713-3141 (online)

Traditionalism and innovation in the formation of the educational program of the St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris

Natalia Likvintseva, Cand. Sci. (Philosophy), Leading Researcher, Alexander Solzhenitsyn Centre for Studies of Russia Abroad, Moscow
pp. 9–30
DOI: 10.25803/26587599_2022_41_9
The article examines the initial period of the history of St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris, especially close attention is paid to the first year of its functioning in 1925–1926 and to the period of development of its educational program. The author of the article examines what goals and objectives the new higher theological school was facing, where its organizers followed the traditions of the former Russian theological academies, and in what they tried to introduce elements of novelty, to make the education and spiritual upbringing of students correspond to the new historical tasks associated with revolution, persecution of the church in Soviet Russia and emigration. For this purpose, the Charter of the Institute of 1926 is analyzed in detail, the special attention paid to the need for educational work, to the semimonastic lifestyle of students, to the inseparability of the educational process from church and personal prayer. At the same time, with the orientation of the educational program as a whole to the program of the former theological academies, innovations are immediately introduced into it. Even at the level of the name, the organizers prefer to call the new educational institution not an academy, but an Institute, noting the genealogy with the Petrograd Theological Institute. The special attention is paid to the importance of social and historical sciences, to the European history and culture, to the need to respond to new challenges of history and be open to the dialog with the Western world. The article also analyzes the relationship between the Institute and the Russian Student Christian Movement and the creative atmosphere of the Institute, which made possible the theological work of its professors, which remained in history as “Parisian theology”, and the education of pastors and church activists who creatively respond to new challenges of the time.
Keywords: theology, Church history, St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris, history of theological schools, innovation, traditions, Charter of the Institute, Metropolitan Evlogiy (Georgievsky), Parisian theology

Last Issue2024. Volume 16. Issue 2 (50)

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