Russia between the Past and the Future: Guardians and Trailblazers

Moscow and the Moscow Region

The Transfiguration Brotherhood (Fellowship of Minor Orthodox Brotherhoods) 
Saint Philaret’s Christian Orthodox Institute  
Russian “Dvorjanskoje Sobranije” (League of Aristocrats) 

6–8 November, 2018

Continuing our theme from the 2017 Conference, Spiritual Results of the Russian Revolution: Collective Man and the Tragedy of the Human Person, the conference organizers propose a discussion on what should be the foundation of our thinking about Russia’s future today, given our understanding that after the catastrophe the Russian people lived through in the 20th century, “Russian man” – along with his religious, cultural, state, political, national-traditional and interpersonal relations – have sustained significant damage.   
In the Biblical text and context, we find the concept of the “remnant”, which is the living root of the people – a root which remains, even when it seems like all has been destroyed and lost, down to the very foundation (see, for instance, Isiah 6:11-13). Can we also hope that such a living remnant of our own people exists somewhere? Will this living remnant produce new shoots?  

If so, then who can channel this revival or this new life on our Russian soil? 

On the one hand, perhaps we should be looking to those who, in the face of persecution and personal trauma, ripped away from their roots, were nevertheless capable of maintaining their internal freedom and passing on to future generations not only the best of our church, academic and cultural traditions but the very spirit of authentic life. Among these “guardians” who “bent not the knee to Baal and Molech”, we might count Anna Akhmatova, Nikolay Berdyaev, Fr. Sergei Bulgakov, Archimandrite Tavrion (Batozsky), Sergei Averintsev, Fr. Pavel Adelgeim, Nikita Struve, Fr. Alexander Schmemann and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.  

On the other hand, in order to speak about the future, we need to be able to adequately measure the pulse of the contemporary situation not only in a critical way, but in such a way as to see potential and perspective for moving forward. These “trailblazers” are those who strive today to live according to their consciences, contributing new energy to the life of our nation, providing direction and forcing us to recall the highest standards for human life. 

We invite philosophers, theologians, scholars of language, history and culture studies – any and all who study how traditions are born and passed along, as well as those who can share testimonies on the lives and ministry of such “guardians” and “trailblazers” – without whom “neither village, nor town, nor our land has any worth…” (Solzhenitsyn, “Matrona’s Place”, 1963) 

The working language of the conference will be Russian; simultaneous interpretation will be provided. 

Yulia Balakshina  
Chairman of the conference organization committee  
D.Phil. and Academic Secretary of St. Philaret’s Christian Orthodox Institute  
Senior lecturer at SFI and Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia  

Ekaterina Alekseeva  
Secretary of the conference organization committee  
Tel/fax: +7 (965) 359-59-47  

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