Religious enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century Russia: a model for change

In "Religious Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century Russia: A Model for Change," historian Elise Wirtschafter uses the teachings of Metropolitan of Moscow Platon (Levshin, 1737-1812) to raise questions about educational reform and technological development in the twenty-first century. Metropolitan Platon preached at the Court of Empress Catherine the Great (ruled 1762-96), and like religious enlighteners across Europe, he sought to reconcile Christian faith and Enlightenment ideas. His effort to come to terms with scientific learning, philosophical modernity, and new societal priorities provided Russia's educated classes with Christian answers to Enlightenment questions. As is evident from Platon's understanding of equality, enlightened churchmen bridged the intellectual divide between tradition and innovation in a manner that has implications for current discussions about how to reform education in the age of information technology.


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