Metropolitan called the establishment of departments of theology in universities

© RIA Novosti / Sergey Pathiterator in fotoreceptori Hilarion of Volokolamsk. Archival photoMetropolitan called the establishment of departments of theology in universities© RIA Novosti / Sergey Pathiterator the image Bank

Creation of chairs of theology in secular universities in Russia are not pursuing any missionary goals and has the aim of «recruiting» students into the ranks of a particular religious tradition, said on Thursday the rector, Metropolitan Hilarion.

The statement was made at the first joint meeting of the members of the scientific-educational theological Association (NOTA).

«The creation of chairs of theology in secular educational institutions are not pursuing any missionary goals. We do not create these departments to recruit students into the ranks of particular religious traditions. Of course, we don’t mind if it will happen, but on an individual basis and solely because of personal choice,» — said the rector of the Church postgraduate and doctoral studies, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk.

According to him, it is necessary for the development of theology, including «in the confessional mode.» Scientific specialty «theology» has already been adopted, and now, said the Metropolitan, developed three passport confessional: Orthodox theology, Islamic theology and Jewish theology. According to him, the religious orientation of each religious tradition will be reflected in the relevant passport.

Metropolitan Hilarion also spoke about the teaching of religious subjects in schools, noting that there is a expansion project in the fourth the taught classes of the course ORKSE («Basics of religious cultures and secular ethics»), and, «with the expansion of this course, all the more acute will be the question of teaching personnel for this discipline.»

«And here professionals with theological education will be more in demand than ever,» added Bishop.

According to Metropolitan Hilarion, the assistance of Russian President Vladimir Putin has greatly assisted the adoption of theology in Russian universities.

«If not for his decision, not his intervention, and repeated, this question probably would not have been accepted in the decisions taken which allow us to develop this scientific area», — he said.

Extended session of the Council and of the General meeting of the members of NOTA was the first time. The meeting had a presentation of certificates to members of the Association of rectors of 20 universities from different regions, implementing educational programs in theology.

The NOTE was created a few months ago as an open inter-religious Association, is ready to cooperate with universities, which are interested in the development of theological science.

Theology was recognized as an academic discipline by the higher attestation Commission in 2015, and in 2016, created dissertation and expert advice. In June 2017 he defended Russia’s first dissertation on the new scientific specialty «theology». Its author, the Dean of the faculty of theology of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox humanitarian University (pstgu) Archpriest Paul Hondzinsky, received the degree of doctor of philosophy for his thesis, dedicated to St. Philaret of Moscow.