By John Sanidopoulos
It appears that even atheists today have a hard time giving up on their former religious traditions, as it was reported this past week where they continue to see some of the benefits of Great Lent even after they have lost faith. In reading this report, I was reminded of another famous atheist who could not altogether abandon the religious traditions of his Orthodox Christian upbringing, especially that of Great Lent and Easter - Ivan Pavlov.
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936), a brilliant Russian physiologist, is most famous for winning the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1904 for his research in conditioned reflex. Before his rise to scientific fame, however, he was a Seminary student in line to be a priest from a devout Orthodox family of eleven children. For six generations, since the time of Peter the Great, the Pavlov men served the Russian Orthodox Church as clergymen. His father, Petr Dmitrievich Pavlov, and his two brothers, both named Ivan, all graduated from seminaries and served parishes in Russia. His father was a respected clergyman who served the Nikolo-Vysokovskaia Church in Ryazan, about 200 miles from Moscow, and his mother also was the daughter of a Russian Orthodox priest.