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Problems of Teaching Church History Discussed in St Petersburg

On 13 May, St Petersburg hosted the conference ‘Methodology of Teaching Church History in Higher Education Institutions’ organised by St Philaret’s Christian Orthodox Institute in conjunction with the Russian Christian Academy for the Humanities.
Заведующий кафедрой церковно-исторических дисциплин СПбДА протоиерей Георгий Митрофанов

Protopriest Georgy Mitrofanov, Head of the Department of Church History at the St Petersburg Orthodox Theological Academy; Yulia Balakshina, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Church History at St Philaret’s Institute; Alexander Kopirovsky, Professor of St Philaret’s Institute

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Problems of teaching church history were discussed by Professor Priest Georgy Kochetkov, Rector of St Philaret’s Institute; Protopriest Georgy Mitrofanov, Head of the Department of Church History at the St Petersburg Orthodox Theological Academy; Vladimir Egorov, Head of the Scientific Information Section at the Russian Christian Academy for the Humanities; Alexander Kopirovsky, Professor of St Philaret’s Institute, members of the SFI Department of Church History, students and graduates of the Institute.

Nowadays, the teaching is most often reduced either to an unstructured citation of facts, without identifying problems and conceptual emphases, or to an ideology that is characterised by an unceremonious approach to ‘inconvenient’ facts. These problems are common even to the scientific community.

Although libraries at church higher schools and education institutions for the humanities have no shortage of publications, there are no readers. In fact, there is no students’ community that would take serious interest in issues of church history.

According to Professor Priest Georgy Kochetkov, such a community might appear within informal Christian communities that consider the understanding of history as a vital priority, a spiritual and intellectual need. As for the teaching perspectives, the Rector of St Philaret’s Institute is convinced that these will appear when the problem of the sense of history is raised. It is the issue that one should start a course on church history with.

Christians are the only people not enslaved by history because a window into metahistory is open to them, Protopriest Georgy Mitrofanov recalled. But it is the way to where the reality of the Kingdom of God is revealed. However, it does not occur automatically but requires constant spiritual efforts.

 старший преподаватель кафедры церковно-исторических дисциплин СФИ Юлия Балакшина
 профессор СФИ Александр Копировский

Ректор СФИ священник Георгий Кочетков

Priest Georgy Kochetkov, Rector of St Philaret’s Institute; Konstantin Obozny, Head of the Department of Church History at St Philaret’s Institute

 заведующий кафедрой церковно-исторических дисциплин СФИ Константин Обозный
Заведующий сектором научной информации РХГА Владимир Егоров
Старший преподаватель кафедры церковно-исторических дисциплин СФИ Екатерина Алексеева

Vladimir Egorov, Head of the Scientific Information Section at the Russian Christian Academy for the Humanities

Ekaterina Alexeyeva, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Church History at St Philaret’s Institute

Ekaterina Alexeyeva, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Church History at St Philaret’s Institute

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