Higher education for women and the Russian Orthodox Church

  1. Lemma
  2. Высшее женское образование и русская православная церковь
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Ecumenism and dialogue > Education
  6. 2008
  7. Попова, О. [Author]. Высшее женское образование и русская православная церковь
  8. Высшее образование в России
  9. Women's higher education - Higher education - Russian Orthodox Church - Women
  10. Click Here
    1. <div class="tab active"> <p>Попова, О. (2008). Высшее женское образование и русская православная церковь. <em>Высшее образование в России</em>. Retrieved from: <a href="http://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/vysshee-zhenskoe-obrazovanie-i-russkaya-pravoslavnaya-tserkov">http://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/vysshee-zhenskoe-obrazovanie-i-russkaya-pravoslavnaya-tserkov</a> </p> </div>
    1. The author argues that the project of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) to create the first religious higher education institutions for women in 1914 was an attempt to reconcile the conservative wing of the clergy with the demand for education from women and young girls coming from families of priests. According to the author, these schools were an attempt to preserve the structure of social estates by the ROC, and thus secure the clergy’s self-reproduction. At the same time the ROC saw women as more morally stable than men and considered that education in religious schools would help Russian society to avoid revolution.

      In the late 19th century women began to enter universities in progressively larger number to study medicine, mathematics, and law. The Church’s reaction was negative. It criticized the idea of higher education for women, whose role, in its view, was reduced to being housewives. However, the ROC supported the idea of opening special six-year religious diocese secondary schools for girls from priest families (secular schools provided seven-year education for girls). Such schools appeared at the end of the 19th century. Diocese graduates were expected to become schoolteachers in rural areas. Naturally, most of the girls aspired to a better future and hoped to acquire university level education after graduation. Popova mentions that some of the ROC’s leaders had supported the idea of higher education for women but under special religious control. First theology courses for women thus opened in Kazan in 1910 and later the same year in Moscow by priest Ivan Vostogov (1864-1918). For Vostogov, women’s religious schools were a good alternative to morally corrupt secular education. However, education in these schools was limited to courses on theology and did not satisfy students.

      In 1912, the Synod of the ROC worked on turning a secondary religious girls school at Tsarskoye Selo into the first higher education school for women. In 1914 there was a project to open a women’s religious higher school at the Skorbyashensky women monastery in Moscow. The curriculum would include such compulsory courses as ethical theology, history of the Christian Church and the ROC, Russian history, geography and Russian language (including Russian literature), pedagogy, choral, hygiene, housekeeping, needlework, and reading aloud; and facultative courses: painting, icon painting, modern languages. The tuition fee was 100 rubles per year. Students were supposed to live either on campus (for 250 rubles per year fee) or with their parents or relatives. The ROC was afraid of revolutionary activity among the young. Graduates of new religious institutions would thus be able to teach at secondary schools. The project for this university was criticized for lack of specialization and for its three-year program, compared to four years at secular women’s higher institutions. The First World War postponed the realization of the project. The first school opened only in 1916 in Moscow but then closed shortly after the revolutionary events of 1917.