From October 3, 2012 the St Petersburg Orthodox Theological Academy is holding the IV International Scientific and Theological Conference "Topical issues in Theological Research." The participants of the conference comprise more than 60 people from Italy, France, Finland, Serbia, Romania, and Russia.
The conference began with a plenary session chaired by Archpriest Dimitry Jurewicz, Vice-rector for academic and theological work, and head of the Department of Biblical Studies. Lectures are held in Russian and English.
Opening the plenary session, Father Dimitry welcomed all the participants and spoke about the conference program and the participants, and said that the reports presented at the conference represent recent research.
First at the plenary meeting, Rev Constantine Preda (Faculty of Theology, University of Bucharest), spoke on "The modern spiritual interpretation of Scripture." Father Constantine said that any serious study of the sacred text seeks to deepen and actualise its meaning. The attempt to approach a spiritual understanding of Scripture is quite complicated, because the range of its interpretations "in the Holy Spirit" includes all kinds of approaches to the Word of God. In his report, Archpriest Constantine Preda gave an overview of three important moments in the history of biblical exegesis: the patristic heritage, the state of the art of exegesis, as well as prospects and proposals for the future.
A report on "Academic activity as a problem of higher religious education (19th - early 20th centuries.)" was given by Professor NY Sukhova, Department of History of the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Tikhon's Orthodox University of the Humanities. Natalia spoke about the historical development of education up to the 19th century, and also developed a theme systematising the basic ideas for the development of academic research and suggestions to improve the training of academic personnel in the highest theological school in the 19th - early 20th century.
Roman V. Svetlov, Professor of the Russian Christian Academy of the Humanities and the St Petersburg Theological Academy, in his report "The philosopher and his rivals: a teacher in the ancient world" demonstrated how philosophy becomes an important "project" in the classical education program - about which the early Church Fathers argued, and which they studied.
Archpriest Dimitry Yurevich thanked the speakers for their interesting and informative report and gave the participants of the conference a presentation on the new site of the Petersburg Academy’s Department of Biblical Studies.
After a short break, the conference was continued in six sections: theology, biblical exegesis, biblical archeology, church history, church and practical disciplines and the socio-economic doctrine of the Church.