Church, scientists clash over theology for physicists

Physics and theology are hard to combine – and an attempt to open a theology department at a prestigious Russian nuclear physics institute has stirred up a storm of protest and verbal sparring between scientists and clerics, highlighting Russia’s increasingly tense religious-secular divide, writes Alexey Eremenko for RIA Novosti.

The new department is due to open in the autumn at Moscow’s National Research Nuclear University, ranked the third best institution of higher learning in Russia, according to a 2012 survey by the business weekly Expert.

But the plan has numerous ardent critics, who call it an infringement on secular education by the Russian Orthodox Church, which has been playing a growing role in public life since the fall of Communism. Church representatives argue that the department would not focus on theology, but on a more general set of subjects in the humanities, and that the idea for the department came from the university’s administration.
Full report on the RIA Novosti site