Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Academy of Education President Wants Bible, Not Tolstoy, in Curriculum


The president of the Russian Academy of Education says it might be time to drop Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace,” as well as several of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s most famous works, from the country’s school curriculum. 

Lyudmila Verbitskaya, who also serves as the deputy chairperson of the Russian Literature Society, told the Moskva news agency that she wants to replace these readings with more accessible spiritual writings, such as the Bible.

“These are deep philosophical works with serious discussions about different topics,” Verbitskaya said. “A child can’t understand their full depth.”

Addressing what should take the place of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, Verbitskaya raised the need for spiritual education: “I think that the course of the school curriculum should include works of spiritual literature, but we need to decide which exactly. Everyone, I think, should read the Bible. This is spiritual and moral education — it’s [our] moral foundations.”

The Russian Academy of Education is currently debating recommendations to make to the country’s education officials regarding curriculum. Verbitskaya says the academy has yet to finalize its list.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.