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June 2-3, 2012, St. Petersburg, Russia, International Conference "Phenomenology and Aristotle" dedicated to Prof. Dr. Alexei Chernyakov, sponsored by SRPh in the frame of the project The Problem of Multidisciplinary Collaboration in Science, Religion, and Culture: Preparing Community Leaders for the Twenty-First Century, supported by the Templeton Foundation (see the Program-PhA, Report-PhA and Photos-PhA).

November 16-18, 2011, St. Petersburg, Russia, Round Table: REFLECTIONS ON PHILOSOPHICAL, SCIENTIFIC, AND THEOLOGICAL DIMENSIONS OF INTERFACING, and the Second Readings dedicated to Prof. Dr. Alexei Chernyakov in the frame of the project The Problem of Multidisciplinary Collaboration in Science, Religion, and Culture: Preparing Community Leaders for the Twenty-First Century, supported by the Templeton Foundation (see the Program, photos and report).

SRPH 20-th Anniversary. Academic Staff. 19th November 2010.

International conference "Decision Ethics and Global Conflict Resolution: Economics of Globalization and Globalization of Economic Thought". 18-23 March 2010, NYC, 2010.

Prof. Parviz Morewedge (Director GSP, USA), Dr. Weixiaping (Director CAC, PRC), Dr. Natalia Pecherskaya (Rector, SRPh) participating in the Nowruz (First Day of the Spring Celebration at the United Nations to meet some of the 170 Ambassadors from the United Nations. 21 March, 2010, NYC,USA.

SPECRS seminar in the MGNI project realm took place 13 October 2009. Professor L. Perlovsky (MIT, USA) presented "Why Adam was exiled from Paradise (from the Perspective of Cognitive Sciences)."

Participants of the1st SPECRS/MGNI Russian-American Consultation The Problem of Multidisciplinary Collaboration in Science, Religion, and Culture: Preparing Community Leaders for the Twenty-First Century in Collegeville, USA, CIECR, July 28th - August 2nd 2009 Don Ottenhoff , Director CIECR with the MGNI project participants Noreen Herzfeld, N.A. Pecherskaya, Kirk Wegter-McNelly Fr. Kirill Kopeikin, A.A. Oskolsky, Darrell Jodock, Fr. Dimitri Kirianov (is making the photo) (Program)

Lecture at Saint John University, Collegeville, MN, USA, 3 December, 2008

Announcement about N. Pecherskaya' Fulbright lecture at the University of Minneapolis, Institute for Advanced Study, Center for Science, Technology and Public Policy, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, MN, USA, 31 October, 2008.

SPECRS Coordinator Interview to St. Louis magazine about the Conference on Faith, Science and Culture held by the Institute for Theological Encounter with Science and Technology (ITEST), Belleville, IL, USA, 19-21 September, 2008

Newsletter of the Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research (CIECR), St. John's University, September-December, 2008 during N. Pecherskaya' research time there as CIECR Fellow.

At the ceremony of awarding the Honorable Sign îf St. Tatiana in the nomination of “Advisory of Youth” at St.Isaak’s Cathedral in St.Petersburg by Archbishop of Tikhvin Konstantin to SRPh Prof. Dr. Gleb Ershov, 25th January 2008.

Russian Delegates participating Annual Conference Rotary in Russia, Charter Districts of the American-Russian Intra-national Committee, 8-10 June, 2007, Skokie, Illinois, USA.

Presentation SPECRS main results on the GPSS project 2005-2006 and the Ideas for the future, by Dr. Natalia Pecherskaya and Prof. Alexei Chernyakov , Paris (France), 26-28 July, 2006

SPECRS Workshop Spiritual Investment and Scientific Research in the frame of the conference "Charity in Russia", 16-18 June, 2006, Awarded by a Supplement Grant Award from the Metanexus /LSI 2006.
SPECRS stated goal for the workshop "to provide together with the other LSI groups from CIS and Eastern Europe a common publicly known place of cooperation in Europe where scientists and scholars from the former communist countries could find the possibilities both to plan and elaborate research and by this to fulfill strategic functions in science, education, and religion in their societies." The society planed to organize "the first public discussion ever held in Russia to address the concepts of charity, sponsorship, and investment in science." The investigation operated on both a scientific and a spiritual level, and promoted a highly practical approach-a combination of something like "spiritual capital" research and practical fund-raising. Members of LSI societies from across the region were invited to participate.

Metanexus Award Ceremony 2006:
Dr. John M. Templeton, Jr., Alexey Chernyakov and Eric Weislogel. Paper presentation Mathematics as a Formal Ontology: the Hermeneutical Dimension of Natural Sciences and Eastern Patristic was presented by Prof. Dr. Alexei Chernyakov at the Metanexus/LSI Annual Conference "Continuity and Change", 5-8 June, 2006, Philadelphia (USA) more.

A lecture for postgraduates The One and the Many. Plotinus' concept of number and contemporary set theory by Prof. Alexei Chernyakov, 24 May, 2006.

Prof. Grigory Benevitch gave a talk on The Present State of Science and Religion Relations from an Orthodox Perspective at the Conference on Science and Religion at the ST.Petersburg State University, Department of Philosophy, April, 2006

Seminar for postgraduates On the Anthropology of the Species Homo Sapiens by Dr. Alexei Oskolsky, 22 March, 2006

SPECRS sponsoring the International conference Russia and Phenomenological Tradition, 14-18 September, 2006, ST Petersburg. Co-sponsored by Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology, Inc.Department of Philosophy, Florida Atlantic University.

SPECRS lecture for students "The yawning of Freedom in the Determinate World" by Rev. Dr. Kyrill Kopeykin, 1st December, 2005.

Paper presentation in the frame of GPSS Consultation by Dr. Natalia Pecherskaya and Dr. Alexei Chernyakov THE RELIGIOUS BASIS OF CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS IN THE NATURAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES in Paris (France), 18 July 2005

On April 16th, 2005, our guest from Italy, from the University of Venice, Prof. Dr. Vittorio Possenti presented a paper Faith and Reason in the Contemporary Research: The Problem of the Human Being (with the transalation from Iralian by Dr. Yuri Romashov). Prof. Possenti is also the editor of Seconda navigazione. Annuario di filosofia  (Mondadori, Milano), Per la filosofia; La società Senso Comune, and is a member of the Italian National Committee for bioethics of the Papal Academy of Political Sciences; the author of more than 20 books, some of which are translated into foreign languages. Among them are: Filosofia e Rivelazione, Città Nuova 2000, 2ed; La filosofia dopo il nichilismo, Rubbettino 2001; Religione e vita civile Armando 2002, 2ed, Città Nuova 2003. We publish here one of the many questions posed during the discussion after the presentation.

Question by Dr. Alexei Chernyakov:

You have criticized the reductionist’s attitude of the contemporary science from the point of view of the metaphysical tradition. What sort of argument can metaphysics oppose to this project?  

Prof. Possenti: The task of the contemporary metaphysics is to present a systematic overview of the ontological concepts including those that are descendant from theology and to prove on this  basis that the reductionist project is ontologically inconsistent, for it does not take into account different meanings and dimension of being.

SPECRS is planning a series of broadcasts for “Radio Russia”. Three of them have been held already by Prof. A.G. Chernyakov on “Radio Russia” dedicated to the science-religion interface in the context of contemporary Russian culture. According to the format, these were live broadcasts under the general title “The Priest’s Hour”, carried out by journalist Olga Afanasyeva, with the participation of an Orthodox Priest, the head of the Missionary Department, St. Petersburg Eparchy (Diocese), the priest Rev. Georgy Joffe. The audience of “Radio Russia” numbers up to 1,000,000 people.

 The interactive regime of the broadcasts (live questions and answers) allows discussions on a wide spectrum of views and beliefs, voiced by representatives of different social groups, concerning the dialogue between science and faith and their coexistence within contemporary Russian culture. The questions range from: “Are there some scientific methods that allow us to calculate the exact date of Christ’s Birth?” (The broadcast on the eve of Nativity) to “Why do the scientist (A.G. Ch.) and the priest (Father Georgy) agree with one another on main points concerning the relationship between science and faith while it has been proven that the scientific picture of the world entirely contradicts the religious one?”. Some listeners want to know more about the activities of the world scientific community directed towards new forms of dialogue with world religions: do such activities and collaborative conversations exist? What are their goals, forms and institutional structures?

 This forum is an excellent way to build rapport between scientists, clergy and the general public. It promotes further learning about the ideas and beliefs that divide us and also discussion about those things which bring us closer together as human beings. 


The St. Petersburg Educational Center for Science and Religion (SPECRS) the St. Petersburg School of Religion and Philosophy (SRPh)together with St.Petersburg Association of Scientists and Scholars, are pleased to announce a conference on the topic of "SCIENCE, IDEOLOGY and RELIGION", scheduled for March 30th - April 2nd, 2005,  in St. Petersburg, Russia.  For participation, please, send us to  the following file with your personal data.

Dr. Vladimir Vasilik, SPECRS Organizing group member,  took part in the section “The Turin Shroud” held in the framework of a conference “XIII International Christian Readings” in Moscow, 26 January 2005. The theme of his paper was “The History of the Shroud in the first millennium A.D.”  The main idea of the presentation claims that for the most part of the first millennium the Shroud was in Jerusalem Church and only in the IX century it was brought to Constantinople. The judgment is based on analyses of various Greek, Latin, Georgian and Ethiopian sources.

 Other main paper presenters at the conference:

1.    Dr. Alexander Belyakov - “The origin of the image on the Shroud”

2.      Andrey Ivanov (Dr. of Physics) - “The problem of radio-carbonate dating of the Shroud and alternative ways of physical dating”

3.      Dr. Fr. Cyril Kopeikin (Dr. of Physics) - “The theological significance of the hypothesis about the fiery body of Christ”

4.      Irina Vishnevskaya (Dr. of Arts) - “The shrouds of the Moscow Kremlin”

 This conference took place in the Sretensky monastery under supervision of its abbot Tichon Shevkunov, who is also a rector of Sretensky Theological Seminary.

October 26th, 2004 at SPECRS seminar there was a presentation "Beauty and the
Theory of Mathematical Intellect" by Dr. Leonid Perlovsky (Boston, USA). Dr. Leonid Perlovsky is Principal Research Physicist and Technical Advisor at the Air Force Research Laboratory. In his presentation Dr.Perlovsly talked about interactions among concepts and emotions, conscious and unconscious, language and mind, and how these interactions determine the evolution of languages and cultures. Initial theories of mathematical intelligence were based on logic. We know today that logic is a result of the working mind, and also that the mechanisms of the mind are more complex than previously imagined. The mind uses concepts and emotions. The mind is governed by special instincts for knowledge, which drive us to understand the surrounding world. Contemporary mathematical theories of the intellect come close to suggesting a scientific understanding of the nature of beauty and the spiritually sublime.

Metanexus Conference June 5th - 9th, "Science and Religion in Context", University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (see more at For SPECRS/LSI ("Local Societies Initiative") Dr.Pecherskaya and Dr.Chernyakov gave a presentation: "The Nature of the Science and Religion Dialogue in Russia and its Basic Ground(s)": "...At the start of this new millennium we are aware that the notion of 'truth' presents many more aspects than the traditional adaequatio intellectus et rei takes into account. We know that searching for truth, knowing truth and remaining in truth have a bearing not only on the norms and canons of theoretical and empirical knowledge, but also on the creative activity and behaviour, religious life, and even culture as a whole. That is, truth has (or should we say, truths have) various manifestations, which involve all aspects of human life on this Earth. However, the idea of a liberation from the universal claims of science at the beginning of the 20th century, which is currently under way, must not mean giving up attempts at responsible and, in a certain sense, rigorous thinking. It is such a personally-involved world view that has at all times determined the norms of existence of the scientific community and also supported the Church's belief that it is possible to live according to a greater truth that encompasses and guides the whole of human existence.
Although Russian philosophy has always maintained the thesis according to which the human intellect is fundamentally whole and that all the energies of a man's soul should be united in an ascension to an innermost core (or perhaps precisely because of this circumstance), the problem of 'science vs. religion' in Russian culture has not had the tension and importance which allow us to speak of it as one of the major factors determining the history of Western thought. Because of that the discussion of this most important dualistic problem goes on rather languidly in Russia, the outlines of related problems remain unclear, and the manner of posing questions and the strategy of thinking about them are more often than not completely irresponsible"...

21 June - SPERCS meeting with the representatives of the new Templeton Program 'Global Perspectives on Science and Spirituality' ( with Prof. Pranab Das, Principal Investigator, Dr. Alexei Nesteruk, GPSS Expert, Dr. Tom Mackenzie, Project Manager.


On the 6th April 2004 the Round Table meeting "Religion and Science as Two Ways of Interpreting the World: Community of the Hermeneutical Problem" with the post-graduate (doctoral) students of St. Petersburg research institutions belonging to the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) took place at the Conference Hall of the St. Petersburg Scientific Center of RAS. The meeting had been organized by St. Petersburg Educational Center "Religion and Science" with the assistance of St. Petersburg School of Religion and Philosophy, St. Petersburg Chair of Philosophy (RAS) and St. Petersburg Association of Scientists and Scholars (SPASS). Additional information...

19 February 2004, Minsk (Belarus) - SPECRS Round table “Science and Theology:  Two Ontological Paradigms” with the participation of Academician A. Mikhailov (Rector EHU), Metropolitan Philaret (Dean of the EHU Theological Department), members of Philosophical and Theological Faculties of EHU (Minsk) and Prof. Dr. A. Chernyakov (SPECRS Chairperson). Additional information...

We are planning to start creating in January 2004 a special SPECRS Forum in Russian and English at the SRPh website.

December 1, 2003 - St. Petersburg, Center of St. Petersburg Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences. SPECRS Round Table “The Perspectives of Science-Religion Interface and the Possible Shifts in Humanities” together with Coordinative Council (Chairperson - Dr. Leo Borkin, zoologist) and the Academic Council (Chairperson - Prof.Dr. Michail Libenson, laser physicist) of St. Petersburg Association of Scientists and Scholars (SPASS) at St.Petersburg Scientific Center of Russian Academy of Sciences. Additional information...


October 31– November 1, 2003, Rostov-on-Don (Russia) - SPECRS Round table “Science and Faith” within the framework of the Conference “The Ways of Cognition: Similarities and Distinctions”, organized by the Club of Practical Philosophy (Rostov) with the support of “Stella” Joint-Stock Commercial Bank. Moderator - Prof. Dr. A. Chernyakov (SPECRS). Additional information...



In August 2003, the collection of the papers presented during these SPECRS sessions has been published under the title “Science and Faith”, vol. 6 (now available for purchase) (SPECRS Publications). The authors are leading scholars from Russia and some other East European countries. The Contents of the Volume together with some selected papers (and other items concerning SPECRS activities) are placed on the Russian part of the St. Petersburg School of Religion and Philosophy (SRPh) website http://www. srph. ru

 During the years 2002-2003 series of seminars on science and religion interface (List of SPECRS events), supported by Center for Theology and Natural Sciences (CTNS) grant, was held by the SPECRS in St. Petersburg, and the new LSI project is meant as continuation and broadening of this activities in a new form.

 See also these newsletters:

Newsletter15.doc (June, 2004)

Newsletter14.doc (March, 2004)

Newsletter 12a.doc (February, 2004)

Newsletter 12.doc (23 january, 2004)

Newsletter11.doc (18 december, 2003)

Newsletter 10.doc (9 december, 2003)

e-mail phone: 007 (812)933-4124, (812)927-1622, fax: (812)703-72-79