Conversation with Hegumen Job (Talats), Confessor of Cosmonauts

  1. Lemma
  2. Беседа с игуменом Иовом (Талацем), духовником отряда космонавтов
  3. English
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Orthodox view on technology and engineering - Co-existence
  6. 04-07-2018
  7. Лев, Марина [Author]. Беседа с игуменом Иовом (Талацем), духовником отряда космонавтов
  8. Русская беседа
  9. Cosmonaut - Russian Orthodoxy - Outer Space
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Лев, Марина (2013). Беседа с игуменом Иовом (Талацем), духовником отряда космонавтов. <em>Русская Беседа.</em> Retrieved from: <a href=",6209.15.html">,6209.15.html</a> </p>
    1. In his interview, Hegumen Job states that most cosmonauts are Orthodox Christians. Many of them come to the Trinity-Sergius Lavra before going to Baikonur where they go to a service and Hegumen Job sprinkles them with holy water and gives them icons and a small Gospel. If cosmonauts do not ask for a confession and communion directly on the eve of the flight, Hegumen Job stays at the Lavra. But sometimes he is asked to fly to Baikonur to conduct ceremonies and see the cosmonauts off with a cross right by the spaceship.

      Hegumen Job believes that the fact that he became a cosmonauts’ confessor is due to the Providence of God. Hegumen Job had had particular interest toward space flights since childhood and remembers meeting a professor of the Space Academy who invited him to Star City. He was eventually invited to the Lavra by cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov and later by a whole detachment of cosmonauts. During those visits Hegumen Job and his guests had long conversations on spirituality: that is how the idea of inviting cosmonauts to the Lavra before flights for prayer and blessings came into being. Eventually all cosmonauts, except one – even some foreigners – went to the Lavra before flight for Hegumen Job’s blessing.

      For Hegumen Job there is no opposition between religion and science. He mentions the words of a famous Greek theologian - Bishop Hierothei (Vlahos), who said that cosmonauts and monks have one thing in common - aspiration to heaven. The difference is that astronauts are drawn to the Second Heaven, and monks go straight to the Third. According to Christian cosmology, there are three heavens. The first is the atmosphere, the second is the cosmos (or space), and the third is the so-called Mountain World (higher world). This third world is not material. There is no space or time in it. Only those who have pure hearts can go to this spiritual third world and meet God. 

      Hegumen Job adds that many cosmonauts-believers have a special experience in space. Yuri Lonchakov for example thoroughly studied the Bible during his stay at the International Space Station (ISS) and said that he could easily feel the presence of God there. He admitted losing this feeling when back on Earth. Another cosmonaut who was originally an atheist became a believer after going to space and seeing the beauty of the universe.

      Hegumen believes that morality and technological progress are related. Only by purifying oneself and by fullfilling the Gospel’s commandments will humanity be able to carry out long distance flights to stars, planets and galaxies.