European theologians seek credit

Nadezhda MuravyevaTheological education in the West is becoming fashionable, rector of the biblical-theological Institute Alexey BodrovAlexey E. Bodrov – candidate of physico-mathematical Sciences, rector of the biblical-theological Institute of St. Andrew. Is editor of the journals "Pages: theology, culture, education and the World of the Bible", as well as a Board member of the International Association for the development of Christian higher education (IAPCHE) and the Ecumenical Association of academies and laity centres in Europe (EAALCE). Member of the Advisory Board of the John Templeton Foundation.Today the problems of higher theological education in Russia are submitted for public discussion, particularly in an academic environment. It is connected with the question of the relation between religious and secular approaches to the study of religion and the fact that Russia is a participant of the Bologna process – the gradual unification of educational standards of European universities.These reforms also concern and theological faculties of the spiritual and secular universities. Whose experience will help in this area, what are the history and prospects of theological education in our country, the correspondent "NGY" said Alexei Bodrov, rector of the biblical-theological Institute of St. Andrew the Apostle.– Alexey Eduardovich, in July of this year in Graz (Austria) hosted the Second pan-European consultation of theological faculties "Challenges of theology in a pluralistic Europe"... Who took part in it and what was it dedicated?It was attended by representatives of the Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran and Anglican theological institutions and faculties from various countries of Europe. The meeting was organized by the conference of European Churches and the Catholic faculty of theology University named Carl Francesa (Graz).Among high representatives were ján Figel, European Commissioner for education and culture, and Georg Winckler, President of the Association of European universities, who noted the importance of theology in higher education.This event was dedicated to the fate of theological education in the context of the multilevel European integration, particularly in connection with so-called Bologna process. The Bologna process is one of those processes on a European scale, which lead to the creation of a United Europe.The Bologna Declaration was signed in 1999 by Ministers of education in several European countries and contained the statement that by 2010, these countries will assume a number of obligations relating to the reform of education.Oddly enough, in a sense it was a return to the medieval system of education. Europe in the Middle ages was almost uniform, professors and students could freely enough to move from one country to another.The aim of the Bologna process can be called the unification of higher educational standards in different countries and ensuring pan-European recognition of University diplomas. In different European countries, this system is different, so for the present international communication it has become a barrier.– And what solutions were adopted at the meeting in Graz?– First of all, the participants were convinced of the necessity of creating a permanent body, to be called the "Conference of theological faculties and institutes in Europe." This Ecumenical body: its structure will include representatives of the main Christian denominations.It is about cooperation not only within denominations, but also with other world religions. Mandatory exchanges of students and teachers. Of course, that was before: for example, students of theological schools Belarus until recently went to Germany, in educational institutions where they were Protestant or Catholic theological faculties. However, the diploma that they received these faculties, in the same Belarus was not recognized. The same can be said about Russia.Now the situation has changed: if the Orthodox Russian student rides the Catholic theological faculty to enhance their education in one of the countries of Europe, put there exams him here count.– What are the characteristics of theological education in Russia at the moment and how are they different from the Western standard?– In Europe, most of the oldest universities began with the faculties of theology and then became secular. In Russia, Mikhail Lomonosov founded a Russian University, but the faculty of theology was not there, and this issue was not raised until the revolution of 1917.Our theology has traditionally been studied in the seminaries and academies. Orthodox Academy and Seminary were quite high level and, as we know, was cooked really good specialists. Still, until 1917. there was a problem of a complete separation of the secular and ecclesiastical spheres.The Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, 1917-1918 important decisions were taken that radically changes the situation, but for obvious historical reasons in life they were not implemented. Theological faculties appeared in our country only a few years ago. Now in Russia about thirty theological faculties and departments.– What can be extended Russia from the West in this area?– First of all, and most valuable, not to be afraid of close cooperation of religious and secular educational institutions. It's a difficult path in many theological schools are traditionally suspicious of University academic theology.And this must be overcome: because if you educate the future priests in the terms of such "ghetto", the connection to the world that they have to implement, is lost.It may seem strange that religion plays in Europe an important public role. For example, the set on the theological faculty at leading universities in England increases every year. We are talking about secular people, not those who wish to become a priest. Today, theological education in a sense, has even become trendy.It is believed that the graduates of the faculties of theology versatile educated, well know multiple languages. Therefore, it is easy to find a job even in the ministries, not to mention jobs.In addition, if we talk about the theologians, for Europe, their participation in the resolution of vital issues (not only concerning morality or bioethics, but also a wide range of problems) absolutely blends naturally into the fabric of everyday life. In Russia, as we know, the situation is somewhat different.– What are your predictions on the fate of theological education in our country?– Recently deceased American Church historian Jaroslav Pelikan once said that "tradition is the living faith of the dead. But traditionalism is the dead faith of the living". Of course, the fundamentalist trend in any denomination and they can be very slow important initiatives in the field of theological education.This is now a lot of explicit talk, but overall I am optimistic about the situation. I often meet with representatives of different denominations, and none of them wondered whether the relationship of theological education with modern higher education, the problems of our world. It's obvious how it's obvious that a lot in this area can change for the better.

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