The Department of Religious Studies and Theology offers a program for the study of the contemporary state of religion in the world; particularly our aim is to revive and promote studies in tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church within the broad context of the contemporary Christian and non-Christian religious landscape in the world (list of subjects and professors). The course offering comprises the following topics:
Biblical Studies. The stress here lies on the history of the Bible and exegesis of the Old and the New Testaments. The leading specialists in this field participated in the "Biblical Readings" organised by the School in 1998-2000.
Patristics studied from theological, philosophical, philological and historical viewpoints. Special attention is given to the Cappadocian Fathers, Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagite, St. Maximus the Confessor and the hesyhast tradition, the history of Western Patristics and Scholasticism.
Church history: This includes the history of both Early Christianity and Modern Christianity, and the history of the Russian Orthodox Church in the XXth century.
Comparative religious studies including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Greek and Middle Asia Polytheism. On the other hand, Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Christianity are compared as regards their dogmas and spiritual traditions.
Hagiography studied from theological, philological and historical standpoints, as well as in the context of iconography. This course allows elaborating special skills in exegesis of the Lives of the Saints both in the context of the Church tradition and modern culture.
Current trends in theology are taught to show the changes in the civil and spiritual quests of contemporary inner world of a man. SRPh plans to open new educational courses on social and ethical aspects of relation between church and society, civil education, and interconfessional dialogue, contemporary science and religion. These courses are prepared in close collaboration with St. Petersburg Theological Academy and Seminary.