New tendencies in interpretation of science and technological progress by the Russian Orthodox Church

  1. Lemma
  2. Новые тенденции в современной интерпретации науки и НТП русской православной церковью
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Ecumenism and dialogue > Education - Modes of interaction - Ecology and the environment - Orthodox critique of science - Education, Science and Orthodoxy - Various approaches to the problem of correlation between science and theology
  6. 18-01-2017
  7. Цесник, Ярослав Сергеевич [Author]. Новые тенденции в современной интерпретации науки и НТП русской православной церковью
  8. Известия Российского государственного педагогического университета им. А.И. Герцена
  9. Russian education system - Russian Academy of Sciences - Soviet Union - History of the Russian Orthodox Church - Russian Orthodox Church
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    1. <p>Цесник, Ярослав Сергеевич (2009). Новые тенденции в современной интерпретации науки и НТП Русской православной церковью. <em>Известия Российского государственного педагогического университета им. А.И. Герцена. </em>Retrieved from <a href=""></a></p>
    1. The author argues that systematic scientific research in Russia appeared after the reunification with Ukraine (1654). The Kiev-Mogilan Academy (est. 1615) played a major role in establishing the Slavic Greek Latin Academy in Moscow in 1687, preparing the ground for the reforms of Peter I (1672-1725). Peter I established the Russian Academy of Sciences (1724) which became the centre of research for natural sciences. In the West such academies were founded with support from Catholic monasteries.

      The author believes that a relationship between science and the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) was established during the times of Peter I, during which time the ROC was in fact in conflict with Peter I’s reforms. The relationship between the state and the ROC became normalized only at the end of the 18th century. In 1797, the St. Petersburg Theological Academy was opened as a new type or religious educational institution in Russia. According to the author, it was the ROC that pushed the conservative ideological doctrine of “Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality” after the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) in Russia. The new doctrine implied some form of religious control over science to make it more ethical. In 1887 the ROC confirmed its legal status of the leader of people’s education. At the beginning of the 20th century Russia was one of the most theocratic countries in the world and the tsar was the head of the ROC. The Church was deeply integrated into the state structure.

      After the October Revolution, the new Soviet state nationalized the property of the ROC and dramatically reduced its influence in society. It is only during the Second World War and after that the ROC got support from Soviet authorities. By this point the ROC had developed new approaches toward modern science.

      A good example of this are the works of Archbishop and surgeon Luka Voyno-Yasenetsky (1877-1961) who clearly supported modern science.[1] Voyno-Yesenestky wrote about the intuitive method developed by the ROC to help scientific research. In fact the ideas on science developed after WWII continue to be applied by the ROC to this day. History is presented as driven by God’s will, including revolutionary events, and the Church considers itself responsible for the ethical control of science (e.g. ecological crises). In 2000, the Church adopted the “Social Concept of the ROC”, which has a chapter on science. The latter is seen as one of the most important parts of human culture; a tool in understanding God; an instrument for the improvement of the human condition.

      Currently, the ROC specifically stresses the fact that it does not have conflicting views over modern science, appeals to scientists’ religious inclinations, and tries to establish moral control over science. This is why, Tsesnik argues, the ROC is trying to integrate itself into the state system of school education – to continue to exert moral control over science in a more established manner.


      [1] Luka Voyno-Yasenetsky Svyatitel Dukh, dusha i telo Atros Media Moscow 2006, 10, 16.