The Research and Education Center for Religion, Philosophy and Culture Studies was founded in 2011 at the St. Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation (SUAI) on the initiative of the honored worker of science of the Russian Federation, member of the International Academy of Higher Education and Humanitarian Academy of Russia Federation, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor Valery Mikhailovsky (1941-2011).
Since 2012, the director of the Center is the Head of the Faculty of Humanities of SUAI and the 014 Vice-Rector for International Affairs of SUAI, Doctor Konstantin V. Losev.
The main purposes of the Center are:
• Study of the logical and conceptual structure of the ontological interdependence of theological, philosophical and scientific knowledge.
• Study of the ethical implications of the theological, philosophical and scientific knowledge in the context of their relationship.
• Study of the cultural and linguistic context of the formation of theological, philosophical and scientific forms of knowledge and models of their returns to cultural and linguistic practices in regional and civilizational context.
• Investigation of the role of the East Christian and West Christian theology in the continuity of the philosophical and historical traditions from antiquity to modern times.
• Combining scientific research carried out in these areas.
In accordance with these tasks a vast field of research has been allocated including the following subjects:
• Conceptual framework of philosophy and theology: unity and difference.
• The problem of scientific positivism and materialism in philosophy and theology: rational and logical analysis of the project of formation and development of modern scientific knowledge.
• The positivist and materialist critique of philosophy and theology: argumentative strategies and their logical and philosophical analysis.
• ethical and political discourses in philosophy, theology and science: knowledge, ideology and moral principles.
• Cultural and linguistic artifacts of theological, philosophical and scientific knowledge.
• Formation of modern European science in the context of philosophical and theological knowledge: disciplinary division, conceptual structure and filiation of concepts.
• German classical philosophy as a universal project of onto-theo-logical knowledge: its origins and influence on contemporary forms of philosophy, theology and science.
• Problems of patrology: cultural and historical context of the formation at the crossroads of ancient philosophy and science, as well as western and eastern forms of religious practices.
• The problem of rational theology in the western medieval scholasticism.
• The problem of natural religion and natural law in philosophy and theology.
• The philosophical, scientific, moral and legal aspects of contemporary Western and Eastern tradition of theological thought.
Currently, the Center develops its activities in four main directions.
The main edition of the Center is a scientific journal “EINAI. Problems of philosophy and theology” (the editor in chief is Associate Professor, PhD Alexander K. Sekatskiy), which has an online (einai.ru) and a printed version. By now, the magazine has become popular also in academic circles. The journal publishes research papers, annotated translations of the world classics of philosophy and theology, reviews of books written primarily by Russian-speaking authors.
The second scientific edition of the Center is the international scientific journal “SCRINIUM: Revue de patrologie, d'hagiographie critique et d'histoire ecclésiastique” (the editor in chief is Vadim M. Lurye). It is dedicated to the research of patrology, critical hagiography and church history. Journal is indexed in the Scopus and is published in New York in both English and French. This is a joint publication of SE the Center and Vadim M. Lurye.
Staff members of the Center publish articles in scientific periodicals in Russia and abroad and are the authors of many books, translations and commentaries to the translations in the Russian and foreign publications. Many of them are authors of articles published in periodicals included in international citation indexes Scopus and Web of Science. They regularly make reports, also as guest speakers, at Russian and international conferences in Russia and abroad. The leading staff members of the Center give public lectures, also as visiting professors, in foreign universities.
Research and organizational activities the Center are financed by SUAI and by grants of Russian scientific funds.
The Center constantly attracts the financing of its
projects by Russian and foreign scientific funds. Since 2011, the Center has implemented seven two- and three-year research projects supported by grants from the Russian Humanitarian Science Foundation, the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the Council for Grants of the President of the Russian Federation. During this time, three young employees of the Center also won research grants in the field of philosophy of the Council for Grants of the President of the Russian Federation.
During its existence The Center has organized a lot of conferences and round tables (see “conferences”).
The Center has become one of the leading research centers in the field of philosophy, theology and science in St. Petersburg and Russia.
The Center carries out vigorous international activity. International conferences are organized regularly. In 2013, a workshop was held on-site at the University of Turin. The Center regularly publishes research papers of foreign scientists in its journals. The center also cooperates with representatives of centers and institutes conducting studies in history, philosophy, patrology and Slavic studies in Bulgaria, Poland, Austria, France, Serbia, Slovenia, Greece, Germany, Great Britain and USA.
By the beginning of 2016 the Center has held the following conferences:
1) May 16, 2012 a round table "Are theology studies possible in the modern Russia" was held. The round table brought together the foremost researchers of religious and philosophical thought of St. Petersburg as well as interested members of the Faculty of Humanities of SUAI including the Head of the Faculty of Humanities.
2) 5-10 September 2012 in the framework of the XIII International Forum of SUAI "Modern information society formation - problems, perspectives and innovative approaches" a round table "Intelligent Strategies of XXI century: science, philosophy, theology" was held.
3) November 16, 2012 a conference "Traditions and innovations in spiritual culture and education: from antiquity to the post-historical era" was held at SUAI as a part of the Days of St. Petersburg Philosophy organized by of the St. Petersburg Philosophical Society.
4) June 3-5, 2013 a round table "Humanitarian analyst modernity: the philosophical and theological aspects" was held in the framework of the XIV International Forum "Modern information society formation - problems, perspectives and innovative approaches".
5) November 21-22, 2013 at the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy of the University of Turin scientific seminar «Mithopoesis and Literature» was held. The seminar was organized as a part of the research program of a professor of the Department of Philosophy of the University of Turin Roberto Sollitsioni “Ethics and Aesthetics. The responsibility of art“. The seminar was a series of four reports by philosophers representing the St. Petersburg State University Faculty of Philosophy and the Research and Education Center for Religion, Philosophy and Culture Studies on mithopoesis in Russian literature, the relation of the mythical and poetic spirits of texts in its classics: Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, Harms and Platonov.
6) June 2-3, 2014 in the framework of the XV International Forum of SUAI "Modern information society formation - problems, perspectives and innovative approaches" a round table "Modern humanitarian analytics. Languages of the culture language" was held.
7) June 1-5, 2015 aboard the ship "Mikhail Sholokhov", which made a cruise from St. Petersburg to Kizhi, Petrozavodsk and Valaam, XVI International Forum "Modern information society formation - problems and prospects, innovative approaches” was organized. As a part of the forum a round table " Modern humanitarian analytics. Tragedy and farce of historical consciousness” was held.
8) June 29 - July 3, the conference "Modern Ontology - VII: The Problem of Time" in memory of Valeriy N. Sagatovsky was held.
9) September18-20, 2015 the International Historical and philosophical conference "Horizons of Natural History of Eastern Christian Middle Ages" was organized at SUAI. Scientists from Russia (Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Perm, Novosibirsk, Ferapontovo), Germany, Great Britain, Denmark, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Uzbekistan participated in the conference in attendance and via Skype.
10) October 4-6, 2015 the International historical-philosophical conference "The Alexandrian school of Origen, Clement and its heritage" was held.
11) September 9-11, The tenth annual conference of the Asia-Pacific Early Christian Studies Society (APECSS) to be held at St Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation (SUAI), St Petersburg, Russia