This is the first entry in our new biweekly department, Evangelical Minds, which covers developments in research and higher education.
Journal Watch: Faith and Learning in Russia
The integration of faith and learning has taken center stage in Christian higher education in the United States. While we work out the implications of the concept in symposia, journal articles, and the classroom, the long-suppressed Russian church has been at work, too. Baylor University's Perry Glanzer and Konstantin Petrenko recently wrote about heartening developments in Russian higher education for Christian Scholar's Review (the article was previewed in March by Inside Higher Ed). I interviewed Glanzer about their research.
CT: Your article in Christian Scholar's Review says the Russian Orthodox Church is beginning to make real efforts toward providing a distinctively Christian education for college students. One thing that struck me about the article was that it notes that efforts in higher education beyond the training of clergy are relatively new for the Orthodox church. What explains that omission from a church that reaches directly back into antiquity? And why have they decided to take this new route now?
Glanzer: One reason simply concerns historical-political realities. Whether it was the Russians under the Mongols, Ukrainians under the Poles, or the Bulgarians and Romanians under the Turks, many nations with Orthodox majorities were ruled or threatened by foreign powers. It would have been difficult to start a university in those circumstances. Nonetheless, there were also other factors. Church-state relations played a key role. The Catholic church in the West successfully achieved a greater degree of institutional autonomy and power from ...