Theology Managed to Defend Itself Against its Opponents: The First Dissertation in a Religious Discipline was Approved Almost Unanimously

  1. Lemma
  2. Теология выдержала защиту от оппонентов: Первая диссертация по религиозной дисциплине одобрена почти единогласно
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Ecumenism and dialogue > Education - Education, Science and Orthodoxy - Concepts of knowledge and modes of reasoning > Philosophy of science/epistemology
  6. 16-05-2018
  7. Скрыльников, Павел [Author]. Теология выдержала защиту от оппонентов
  8. Независимая газета
  9. Russian Orthodox Church - academic theology - Ecumenism - Scientists
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Скрыльников, Павел (2017.06.01). Теология выдержала защиту от оппонентов. <em>Независимая газета.</em> Retrieved from: <a href=""></a> </p>
    1. The article dwells on the defence of the first Ph.D. dissertation in theology presented at the All-Church Graduate and Doctoral Studies Institute of the Russian Orthodox Church named after Holy Cyril and Methodius. As the work of Archpriest Pavel Khondzinsky entitled "Solving the Problems of Russian Theology of the 18th Century in the Synthesis of St. Philaret, the Metropolitan of Moscow" was recognized by the state commission on dissertations, it aroused bitter controversy about whether there is room for theology in the system of modern scientific knowledge.

      Before and during the defence, several scientists expressed their negative attitude to the theological method itself, which they viewed as unscientific because it implied the personal experience of the believer. They believed that it would be better to defend the thesis within the framework of secular disciplines - history or religious studies. The article mentions, however, that many humanities and social sciences scholars have supported Khondzinsky. For example, Pavel Kostylev, Senior Lecturer and Chair of Philosophy of Religion and Religious Studies at the Department of Philosophy of Moscow State University, pointed out that the opponents’ criticism was inconsistent. At the same time he expressed doubts about the future of scientific theology, separated from practical theology (religious tradition). He believes that a lot of work and cooperation with Muslim and Judaic theologians is needed in order to create genuinely scholarly institutions (societies, journals and conferences), independent from religious organizations.

      Ekaterina Elbakyan, a religious scholar, expressed a different opinion. She sees scientific theology as unpromising. She is quoted as saying that "theology was a separate sphere of knowledge that was not scientific." She also pointed out that theology had its own specifics and direction, it was always confessional and existed within the framework of a certain doctrinal system. That is why, Elbakyan argues, theology should not try to become religious philosophy.