Question of the day: does Moscow University need another Orthodox church?

Question of the day: does Moscow University need another Orthodox church?
Question of the day: does Moscow University need another Orthodox church?
29 October 2020, 14:40Society
The media and social networks are actively discussing the news that another university Orthodox church will appear in Moscow.

What is Moscow University missing? Budget seats? Teaching staff? Modern equipment? No, we need a new church so that at least 1000 people can fit in there. Oh, if only the number of domes was taken into account in the international ranking of universities ... Why an Orthodox church, has the university already been renamed? - such responses were caused in the journalistic community by the message that a new university church will be built on Vernadsky Avenue in Moscow.

Social networks immediately joined the discussion of this project. So, the historian Pavel Puchkov drew attention to the aesthetic side:

“The project of the Moscow State University church is below any criticism. Aesthetically miserable, but ideologically ... Firstly, the wildest eclecticism, scruffy even by the standards of the end of the century before last. Secondly, she clearly appeals to the times when there could be no university in Russia. Revenge of the archaic under the university guise (well, at least honestly, yes). Probably, the university can still have a temple, but why should it be made like this? The Church of St. Tatiana was very modern, like the university itself. And this ... All the hope is now on the Moscow authorities: what for was it to do all these pretty Euro tracks if they lead to such a church? "

Political scientist Maria Snegovaya did not agree with the historian on everything:

“I don’t agree with the“ appeal to obscurant times”. Since the Russian pattern is directly related to the European late Renaissance. This is a Russian pre-Petrine version of the Renaissance to some extent. That period refers to the undoubted flowering of Russian culture. This is not an obscurantist period, the country was recovering from the Time of Troubles, there was economic growth, which found its expression in architecture. Peter the First did not appear from scratch, he comes straight from that period. The connection between this architectural "masterpiece" and Russian ornamental patterns is direct - the same architectural elements, eclecticism, the same principle as the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg..."

Journalist Andrei Malgin was interested not so much in aesthetics as in ethics:

“The network is actively discussing the project of the Moscow State University temple, which is confusingly similar to Disneyland. And I don’t understand one thing. Moscow State University has a church, close to the journalism faculty, on Mokhovaya. For this, the Moscow State University club was kicked out and the student theater of Moscow State University, which was located there, was killed. Well, since you have a new temple, let's return the club and theater to the students! Why do you need so many "Moscow State University churches"? "

Deacon Andrei Kuraev did not pass by either , who found even more arguments against this idea:

“A new temple for Moscow State University. How not necessary.

The temple at the university should be emphatically canonical in order to be a visual teaching aid. It will be inconvenient if at a lecture the teacher talks about the canons of church painting and architecture, and when they go to the nearest church, students will see that these canons have long been forgotten.

In this project, everything turned out the opposite.

The construction of hip-roofed temples was prohibited in the 17th century by Patriarch Nikon.

MSU students may well know about this. This means that this temple will teach them the relativity of all church prohibitions.

In the figure, the number of dome-heads is 21. And what does this mean? How to explain their symbolism?

Or is it not, and the author followed the principle "make us beautiful"? An attempt to find the "symbolism of the number 21" will again be read as voluntarism and readiness to find an artificial justification for any whim of the authorities.

And one more thing: the picture shows no wheelchair ramp. The temple is needed here. The nearest temple is already in Ramenki. It will be located in a residential area, not in a park (although it will be cut off from houses by roads). So there will be strollers: both for children and for wheelchairs. But behind the front door, at ground level, there is probably a staircase that leads to the prayer hall. And how to defeat her?

"The temple has two underground floors, which will house the parish premises and the spiritual center of Moscow State University."

And then what kind of symbolism? The underground spiritual center of Moscow State University? Wouldn't it be better to make a parking in the basement, but make a museum-library-lecture hall on the parking lot, providing for them with good natural light-glazing?

And another question: one day Moscow State University will withdraw the maintenance of this complex from its budget. Does the project provide for savings in energy and heat consumption?

I will add that the main building of Moscow State University is not visible from this place..."

But the Orthodox journalist Anna Danilova found many arguments in defense of the temple:

“Since the morning, the district groups have been filled with indignation. "Or maybe a hospital is better" "And how many trees will be cut down" "Isn't it better than new laboratories for students of Moscow State University".

I can't help but write a few words.

  1. No trees will be cut down - these are wastelands and old garages, which are popularly called Shanghai, which are constantly burning, in principle, it is scary there and there is nothing but freestanding office towers. This is a huge wasteland, not occupied by anything. Here, the Capitol was built some time ago, perhaps.
  2. This land also has no relation to Moscow State University, the laboratories of Moscow State University are being built for themselves, but this is generally a different territory, different money, etc. It's as if you were told, "Why are you doing repairs in your apartment for yourself, here in the next apartment all the wiring is rotten, it would be better repaired."
  3. The temples on Vernadsky Avenue are VERY bad. I was born on Vernadsky Avenue, on Udaltsova Street, all my children were born here, and forgive us, we have absolutely nowhere to go to church.

- There are several churches in Ramenki, there is no way to get there without a car (I have five children and no car for quite rational reasons).

- The temple on the observation deck is again inaccessible without a car. It is tiny, accommodates one and a half people.

- The temple at MGIMO is a wonderful temple to which we go. But for us to go there, excuse me, it takes half an hour and it is now completely overcrowded, it is very difficult to go to Sunday services with children, although the wonderful rector serves three Liturgies in the morning.

- The temple in Troparevo on Yugo-Zapadnaya is again very far away and it is also packed to capacity.

- On the territory of Vernadsky prospect - m. University there is nothing at all.

This temple is not only and not so much for the students of Moscow State University (although, in fact, it is clear that the House Church of the Martyr Tatiana is a university temple, now it is located where there are only 3 or 4 faculties, and the main life of Moscow State University is on the Vorobyovs), but for those who live in the area and who need a temple.

You know, I have such an observation. When any temple is being built, everyone says "Who will walk" and "Who needs him." I myself have personally seen many such temples built from scratch. And you know - in 4-5 years you won't go to every such church. In addition to the services themselves, there is a huge Sunday school, a youth club, social projects, that is, just a lot of cool and useful things are usually built around the church. This is an argument about "Why is he and who needs it".

Once, this is how the church was built on Cape Timiryazevskaya, where I also lived for a long time. I went there, by the way, as a student at Moscow State University - and found for myself there a great meaning of life for all my life. My relatives and acquaintances of my parents also said something about “the bell ringing will interfere,” but I don’t know how my life would have turned out if I didn’t have a church within walking distance.

But this is already the lyrics.

Personally, my family and I really need the temple.

Architectural projects can be discussed, chosen and voted on, but it has always been difficult for me without a good working temple in the area.

Lecturer at the Philological Faculty of Moscow State University

resident of the Vernadsky Prospekt district since 1981 (and my family - since 1960)

a mother of five who takes them to the temple.


  1. There are enough clinics, gardens and schools in the area. I didn't have a single problem.
  2. This is - once again - different money. Polyclinics and gardens are built with the money of TAXPAYERS, but churches are not. The temple has private sponsors. If you want to sponsor the construction of, for example, a garden - go ahead!
  3. If there is no church, excuse me, the day after tomorrow there will be infill buildings. Several houses have already been built there (but the gardens just won't be added)
  4. The church is not a hindrance to the square. Even the largest temple occupies a tiny part of the park - look at the same Olympic Village or, for example, Dubki Park and the temple at the Straw Gatehouse. By the way, when they decide to optimize the park, it is the temple that usually interferes with this.
  5. I would like to leave the argument about "A feat for you, the Orthodox are not familiar" without comment. Alas, such arguments are written by people who have more than five children and have a car. We walk beautifully for half an hour to the church, both in the rain and in the slush. But those who live, for example, across the avenue, have no such opportunity at all. I know many people who, in Soviet times, actually traveled with 7 or more children to church across all of Moscow. They do not call anyone to such a "feat" (and also, tomorrow they will just tell you - and earlier they went to the doctors through all of Mother Russia on foot, now what do you want?)
  6. The argument about science is also written by people who have little to do with science. I will only say here that the need for a temple does not prevent me from publishing on Pravmir one of the strongest series of medical texts of the highest level in modern media (thanks to our authors - the best scientists of our time).
  7. At the 210th commentary, I stopped reading them, sorry..."

It remains to admit that in any case, in one form or another, this temple will be built, since the Russian public is so fragmented that it will not even be able to organize a civilized discussion on this score. But now, if she really wanted to, she could have influenced at least the appearance of the temple. And perhaps even in the way suggested by one of the participants in the discussion:

- Why not do it the way good universities do? To give this to a diploma project, to students who study there... Competition: whoever wins and builds... It looks not only stupid, but also humiliating - really, over the past four hundred years, the architectural idea has not stepped anywhere... there were beautiful churches in the Baroque style, Art Nouveau... A good cathedral can be, as in Barcelona - a city-forming... And then some kind of gingerbread house...

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