On December 30, the fourth issue of the journal «Theological Bulletin of the Smolensk Orthodox Theological Seminary» was released, the final one in the current year 2023 (No. 4(21) 2023).
The new issue of the Theological Bulletin of the Smolensk Orthodox Theological Seminary continues the tradition of cooperation with leading experts in the field of theological, church-historical, and humanitarian disciplines based on partnership with spiritual and secular higher educational institutions. This ensures a high level of scientific research.
The journal «Theological Bulletin of the Smolensk Orthodox Theological Seminary» is a scientific publication of the Smolensk Seminary, one of the oldest theological educational institutions of the Russian Orthodox Church. The journal was created with the blessing of Metropolitan Isidore of Smolensk and Dorogobuzhsky with the participation of the faculty corporation of the theological school. The journal is included in the scientific database «Russian Science Citation Index» and in the General Church list of journals in which it is recommended to publish the results of research by applicants for academic degrees in theology and church history.
The new issue of the Theological Bulletin of the Smolensk Orthodox Theological Seminary focuses on several topical thematic areas: church-historical, theological, humanitarian, local history.
The Theological Bulletin of the Smolensk Orthodox Theological Seminary opens with church historical research.
The section «Church Historical Research» begins with the article «The formation of higher spiritual education in the Smolensk Diocese, the latest period (1988 — 2008)» authored by Metropolitan Isidore of Smolensk and Dorogobuzhsky, rector of the Smolensk Orthodox Theological Seminary. The presented work is devoted to the consideration of the evolutionary processes that took place in the educational field of the Russian Orthodox Church in the post-Soviet period on the example of Smolensk as one of the administrative centers of the Smolensk-Kaliningrad diocese. The author has studied the forms and practices of adapting the educational system of the Russian Orthodox Church to the new conditions of church-state relations. The author tried to analyze the types and forms of modern religious education in Russia using the example of a four-stage system of religious education built in the administrative center of the Smolensk–Kaliningrad diocese — Smolensk in the period from 1988 to 2008.
Further, the article by Archbishop Justinian (Ovchinnikov) of Elista and Kalmyk «Orthodoxy in Bessarabia in the 1930s» examines the events related to the development of church life in Bessarabia in the 1930s. Russian Russian Orthodox clergy and parishioners have shown by their participation in the struggle for the autonomy of the Bessarabian Church, in the defense of old-style worship and other traditions of Russian Orthodoxy, that they continue to consider the Russian Orthodox Church as their spiritual center. The author of the presented work is familiar in detail with the life of the Orthodox in the Republic of Moldova, therefore, he considers it very important to refer to the historical events of a century ago in the Bessarabian lands.
The article of the Candidate of theology Hieromonk Ferapont (Shirokov) «Smolensk Theological Seminary during the reform of the 60s of the XIX century (based on the reports of the auditors of the Educational Committee)» examines the history of the formation of spiritual education during the reform of the 1860s. on the example of the Smolensk Theological Seminary. The purpose of the presented research is: «by analyzing the materials of the audits, to show the nature of the formation of the educational and educational part in the Smolensk Seminary, as well as to identify the main problems and note the general trend of the development of the theological school in the first post-reform years.»
Next, the church history section presents the article «The relationship between the Moscow and Jerusalem Patriarchates in the 60s — early 70s of the XX century based on materials from church and state archives» authored by Archpriest Sergiy Zvonarev, Candidate of Theology. Russian Russian Orthodox Church «The article is intended to popularize the experience of relations between the Russian and Jerusalem Orthodox Churches during the period when Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov), one of the most prominent hierarchs of the Russian Church in the second half of the 20th century, headed the Department of External Church Relations.»
The section «Church Historical Research» closes with the publication of documentary materials dedicated to Archbishop Nicholas (Lviv). The materials of the investigative case of 1933, stored in the Archive of the Federal Security Service of Russia for the Rostov region, have not been published anywhere to date. The author of the publication is one of the leading experts in the field of the history of Renovationism, Candidate of Historical Sciences Archpriest Valery Lavrinov.
The section «Theological studies» opens with an article by associate professor of the Smolensk Orthodox Theological Seminary, Candidate of theology priest Oleg Rebizov. The scientific work «The activity of the Prophet Elijah in the context of the history and culture of the Ancient Near East of the IX century BC» is devoted to the study of the historical and religious context of the activities of the biblical prophet Elijah. According to the author, «the inclusion of the story of the Prophet Elijah in the outline of the historical processes of the eastern Mediterranean in the IX century BC. It is an important moment in the development of biblical science and plays a significant role in the reconstruction of the events of the Old Testament.» The article defines the influence of historical and religious processes that took place in the Ancient Near East in the IX century BC on the activities of the prophet Elijah. As a result of the study, it was determined that the historical and religious situation in the Levant and Near Asia was unfavorable for the existence of the Old Testament religion, of which the prophet Elijah was an active supporter.
Next, a scientific article by representatives of the Smolensk branch of the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation, A.M. Ivanov and E. K. Aksenova «The history of the house of prayer of the Jewish religious community in the second half of the XX century in the city of Roslavl». The presented article is devoted to the history of registration of the prayer house of the Jewish religious community in the second half of the XX century in the city of Roslavl, Smolensk region. The research was conducted on the basis of archival sources stored in the State Archive of the Modern History of the Smolensk region, many of which are being introduced into scientific circulation for the first time.
The humanitarian research section opens with an article by Priest Maxim Mishchenko, Assistant Rector of the Smolensk Orthodox Theological Seminary for Design and Publishing, «Ethical grounds for the prohibition of human cloning in the critical concept of Jean Baudrillard.» The presented article is an analysis of the phenomenon of human cloning in the critical philosophy of the French thinker Jean Baudrillard (1929 – 2007). In his analysis, the author turned to three fundamental monographs by Jean Baudrillard: «Temptation», «Simulacra and Simulation», «Transparency of Evil». The French thinker, in the course of interpreting modern biotechnologies (in particular, cloning), presents an original view of this urgent problem. Based on the analysis of J. Baudrillard’s conceptual provisions regarding the phenomenon of cloning, the author came to a number of ethical conflicts that may be one of the obstacles to experiments with human genetic material. The French thinker sees several problematic areas in cloning technology: reducing the value of a human personality to a set of genetic information in a single cell; the destruction of the classical concept of Otherness and the removal of the classical opposition of the I-Other; the potential for industrial technology of «mass production of man»; a virtual danger to the future of genetic diversity. The author concludes that the upcoming legislative regulation regarding cloning technology within the framework of both international law and within the legal systems of individual states should be guided by philosophical reflection and conceptual positions of leading modern thinkers.
Next, the teacher of the Smolensk Orthodox Theological Seminary, E. B. Kachurina, will present the article «Peculiarities of learning English by bachelors of theology». This article contains an analysis of the peculiarities of studying English by bachelors of theology, the difficulties and problems they face along the way, as well as positive trends in this direction.
Of course, no scientific journal of a higher ecclesiastical institution can do without the theological and ecclesiastical-historical works of its graduates. The final article of the journal «Theological Bulletin of the Smolensk Orthodox Theological Seminary» was a local history work «On the history of the activities of Orthodox brotherhoods in the Russian Empire at the end of the XIX century. (on the example of the Brotherhood of St. Abraham, the Wonderworker of Smolensk)» by the authorship of Abbot Nikolai (Zolotov), vicar of the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Avraamiev Monastery in Smolensk. This article describes the prerequisites for the emergence of fraternities in Russia in the late XIX — early XX centuries, as well as analyzes their structure and organization using the example of the Brotherhood of St. Abraham, the Wonderworker of Smolensk. As the author notes, the experience of the Brotherhood of St. Abraham in educational and charitable work will be useful at the present time for missionaries of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Link to the new issue of the «Theological Bulletin of the Smolensk Orthodox Theological Seminary»: http://theologyjournal.ru/2023_4/
Priest Maxim Mishchenko, Executive Secretary of the journal «Theological Bulletin of the Smolensk Orthodox Theological Seminary»