Abbot Job (Talatz): On What Gagarin Said about God, on Astronauts’ Faith and on Why an Abbot Needs Weightlessness

  1. Lemma
  2. Игумен Иов (Талац): Что еще говорил Гагарин о Боге, как верят космонавты и зачем игумену невесомость
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Integration - Complementarity - Orthodox view on technology and engineering
  6. 18-05-2018
  7. Васильевич, Александр [Author]. Игумен Иов (Талац): Что еще говорил Гагарин о Боге, как верят космонавты и зачем игумену невесомость
  8. Русская беседа
  9. Russian Orthodoxy - Outer Space - Cosmonaut - Russian Orthodox Church - Yuri Gagarin
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Игумен Иов (Талац): Что еще говорил Гагарин о Боге, как верят космонавты и зачем игумену невесомость. (2011). <em>Русская Беседа</em>. Retrieved from: <a href=""></a> </p>
    1. This is an interview with Abbot Job (Talatz) of the Church in Star City and a resident of the Holy Trinity Sergius Lavra. In the interview the Abbot argues that Gagarin was a believer. He mentions Gagarin’s talk at a Young Communist League Congress in 1965, in which he harshly criticized the destruction of The Christ the Saviour Temple in Moscow. The Abbot also mentions that the fact that Gagarin did not see God in space is quite logical as, according to the Russian Orthodox Church, God and angels “reside” in another Universe where people cannot yet penetrate.

      Many Russian astronauts, the priest points out, are believers. The Abbot Job explains that he himself always dreamt of space flights and even considered entering the Flight Academy. Throughout, he was always a firm believer. In 2003, for the first time, he went to “Star City”(Zvyozdny Gorodok, the location of astronauts training and residential quarters). There he established close relationships with astronauts and their families who would later visit him in the Holy Trinity Sergius Lavra. He even had a number of training sessions on different flight simulators and experienced weightlessness first hand. The Abbot says that he did this in order to be able to experience the same thing as his parishioners-cosmonauts did.

      Abbot Job mentions that cosmonauts’ paths to God are different: some became believers after going to outer space and seeing the beauty of it. They understood that chaos could not produce such wisdom and beauty; there was someone who created it. Others came to God because in extreme situations God is the only one they can count on: in case of danger most cosmonauts pray.

      The Abbot participated in the making of the film Cosmos as Obedience. Notably, he worked with the script-writer Nadezhda Suslova and convinced cosmonauts to participate in the film. He also was one of the initiators, together with astronauts themselves, of the construction of a temple in Star City. The temple currently has several icons and relics which have been to outer space and were used to bless the Earth.

      When asked whether science is contrary to the Orthodox worldview, the Abbot responds that the issue is complex. He points out that the scientific worldview cannot be trusted completely as scientific conceptions have been changing. Ptolemy’s geocentric system was proven inaccurate by Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler. Three hundred years later American astronomer Harbor revised their theories proving that some stars were in fact galaxies. The Abbot also stresses that most scientists have been believers. The priest quotes Einstein as saying that any great scientist who has “penetrated the mysteries of the universe, [saw] the hand of God." He also quotes Lomonosov who said that "the mathematician who wants to measure the will of God with a compass and a ruler is not right. As well as the theology teacher who wants to study the movement of the planets in accordance with the Psalms is wrong.” The Abbot concludes that those who are able to combine the scientific and religious approaches “will be endowed with the wisdom of Solomon.”