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Russian-Serbian Inter-University Meeting at STOU
On May 26, 2023, Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox University of the Humanities hosted a meeting on “Pedagogical Heritage of Serbian Saints in the Spiritual and Cultural Context of the 20th Century”.

It was attended by students of STOU and Lomonosov Moscow State University studying Serbian language and culture, STOU 1st-year Master’s students studying Religious Education in Russia and Abroad, as well as the lecturers Elena Arkadievna Osipova (Associate Professor, Department of Slavic Philology), Elena Osipova (Associate Professor, Department of Russian and Serbian Studies), Elena Osipova (Associate Professor of Slavic Philology at STOU), and Ekaterina Yakushkina (Associate Professor of Slavic Philology at Moscow State University), a specialist in Slavic lexicology and ethnolinguistics.

The meeting was attended by guests from Serbia and Montenegro: Biljana Pumpalović, General Director of the company Globecast Moskva, which traces its ancestry to the Serbian region of Kosovo and Metohija; Stefan Milosević, Lecturer at the Faculty of Philology of Belgrade University; Mila Cerović a postgraduate student at MGIMO/Moscow State Institute of International Relations from Montenegro; and Dejana Malović, a master’s student at the Faculty of Philology of Belgrade University.

The meeting began with the story of Kira Eremina, a 1st-year Master’s student at the Faculty of History and Philology, about the history of Moscow Eparchy House from the moment of its inception to the present. Master’s students Maria Tishkina and Anastasia Medeksha prepared reports on the problems of personal upbringing and modern education based on the works of famous Serbian spiritual authors Archimandrite Justin (Popović) and Bishop Nikolai (Velimirović). Each presentation aroused great interest among those present and a lively discussion in Russian and Serbian.

The participants of the meeting shared their impressions.

Anastasia Medeksha, a 1st-year Master’s student at the Faculty of History and Philology at STOU: “St Nikolai of Serbia, St Justin (Popović): these are our contemporaries who clearly saw the beginning of those destructive processes for society of which we are reaping the fruits now. With love and pain, they instructed us in their writings, relying at the same time on a heritage that is understandable for Russians (albeit, in today’s world, not for everyone). For example, St Justin was a Serbian church writer and researcher who deeply studied the personality of Fedor Dostoevsky and his work. He even called Dostoevsky a ‘fifth Evangelist.’ And St. Nikolai of Serbia’s books War and the Bible and The Serbian People as the Servant of God helped me prepare a sharp and relevant report on the state of today’s young people, backing up the saint’s opinion with statistics and facts.”

Maria Tishkina, a 1st-year Master’s student at STOU’s Faculty of History and Philology: “The reports on the spiritual heritage of Archimandrite Justin (Popović) and Christian nationalism, about which many Serbian authors write, sounded acute. All participants at the meeting exchanged opinions and asked questions, and expressed their desire to continue the tradition of holding such evenings. After all, this is already the second intercultural meeting. The first one took place at the Russian State University of the Humanities, the second one here at Likhov Lane, and the next one will be at Moscow State University. We are looking forward to the announcement of the evening and the invitation.”

Igor Kamennov, Alexandra Morenova, Evdokia Dadykina, 1st-year students of Serbian at the Department of Slavic Philology at Lomonosov Moscow State University: “I would like to express my gratitude to my colleagues from Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox University of the Humanities for their hospitality and friendly attitude. It was very interesting to learn the history of such a beautiful building filled with history, and also to get acquainted with wonderful colleagues from Serbia and Montenegro, to learn their point of view on many issues of cultural interrelations and traditions. At the meeting, we were familiarized with a number of entertaining reports on the specifics of teaching in the context of modernity, heard performances of Serbian songs, practiced our communication skills in the language we were studying. And, of course, the unforgettable end of the evening was the performance of the folk dance Kolo”.