Several events involving high clergy took place in Tatarstan this week.
A conference titled “The Kazan Icon of the Holy Mother in Russian and World History” was held in Kazan on July 19th – 20th. Despite its ecclesiastical name, the conference included many contributions on matters of state and secular education. Rector Ilshat Gafurov was among the speakers at the plenary session on July 20th. He presented the latest achievements of the University in religion studies, cultural research, studying the coexistence of Orthodox and Muslim communities, and extremism prevention. KFU now has a comprehensive system of religion and culture studies covering all the major Abrahamic teachings that have existed in Russia and their respective cultural implications.
July 20th was also marked by the opening of the bust of Gavriil Derzhavin, famous Russian poet and statesman. The statue was placed in his native village of Kaipy in Laishevo Municipal District in Tatarstan. The opening was visited by Patriarch Kirill during his first ever trip to Tatarstan in his capacity as the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. His program also included many other meetings, including the ceremonial placing of the first foundation stone of the future Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of the Holy Mother. As for the Derzhaniv’s bust, it was a gift from the Russian State University of Justice. Its Rector Olga Alexandrova was present, as well as President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov and Presidential Envoy to the Volga Federal District Mikhail Babich.
On July 21st another very representative meeting happened at the Galeev Mosque where the planned Bolgar Islamic Academy was discussed. Rector Gafurov joined the event because KFU is a very active participant and an educational supervisor of the programs for the future institution. The Department of Religion Studies and the Islamica Resource Center provide support for the bachelor and master programs that the Islamic Academy plans to offer. President Minnikhanov and Envoy Babich were present together with State Counselor Mintimer Shaimiev. The latter is the head of the Revival Foundation, the Tatarstan government’s special body engaged in preserving and promoting cultural heritage of the Republic.