Center for the Study of Religions

The Center functions as a department of the University and combines teaching and academic research. It is the biggest Russian institution focused upon the interdisciplinary study of religion. It offers bachelor and masters programs and covers a wide variety of religious phenomena, from early primal religions to cutting-edge encounters of religion with today’s world. The faculty of the Center offer classes in history, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, psychology of religion. They also develop a program of field trips to provide the students with first-hand experience of contacting a wide range of religious communities in Moscow area.
The Center’s vision is to promote academic, non-confessional religious studies placed into a broad knowledge universe of the modern university.
Here follow a list of some of the courses we offer:

  • Introduction to Biblical studies
  • History of Judaism
  • History of Christianity
  • History of Islam
  • History of Buddhism
  • History of Hindu religions
  • History of religion in China and Japan
  • The sacred books of world religions
  • Hermetic tradition and western esotericism
  • Special focus on Eastern Orthodox Christianity
  • Russian religions from the beginnings to today
  • Psychology of religion
  • Anthropology of religion
  • Sociology of religion

We also offer special-focus courses that correspond to research agendas of the Center and particular faculty. Here are some of them:

  • Russian spiritualism of the 19 th -early 20 th centuries
  • Russian religious heterodoxies and spiritual sects
  • Religion and post-Soviet experiences
  • The sacred in the digital media environment
  • Russian religious philosophy
  • Religions in the Caucasus
  • Christian motives in Russian twentieth century literature
  • Theology of innocent suffering in the twentieth century

Faculty of the Center and their teaching/research areas:

Nikolai Shaburov, director — World Christianity, Hermetic Tradition, Russian Old-Believers, Religion in the movies.
Ludmila Zhukova, vice-director — Anthropology of religion, Introduction to New Testament, The Russian subbotniks (Judaizers).
Alexander Agadjanian — Religion in a Secular World, Religion and Nation, Religion in the Caucasus, Buddhism.
Svetlana Babkina — Kumranic studies, Hebrew, Islam.                                                                                                                                                                                    Natalya Kireeva — Kumranic studies, History of Second Temple Judaism, Introduction to Old Testament.
Petr Chistiakov — Methods of archival research, Orthodoxy in the twentieth century.
Boris Falikov – New religious and occult movements.
Anna Greshnykh – Ancient religions.
Boris Malyshev – Religions of the Far East.
Maxim Pylaev – Philosophy of religion, Russian religious thought.
Vladislav Razdyakonov — Religion and science, History of the religious studies, Russian spiritualism.                                                                                                Nikolai Muskhelishvili — religious experience, mystical and other altered states of consciousness, prayer practice.
Svetlana Ryzhakova — Indian religions.                                                                                                                                                                                                              Iliya Semenenko-Basin — History of Russian Orthodox Church XVII-XXI, russian hagiography, canonization of saints in the Russian church, the history of religious and philosophical thought in Russia
Elena Shapovalova – Religion, politics and conflicts; Religious wars in Europe.
Karlygash Sergazina — Field research methods, Russian spiritual sects.
Anna Shmaina-Velikanova – Biblical religion, Early Judaism, Religion in Russian literature.