Kyiv in the Global Biblical World: Reflections of KTA Professors From the Second Half of the 19th and Early 20th Centuries

Kyiv-Mohyla Humanities Journal 5:37-59 (2018)
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The focus of this article is the global and European experience of the reception, assimilation, and social application of the Bible, reproduced in the works of a number of prominent Kyiv Theological Academy (KTA) representatives from the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The analysis specifically covers the works of professors Stefan Solskyi, Kharysym Orda, Nikolai Drozdov, Afanasii Bulgakov, Mykola Makkaveiskyi, Vasylii Pevnytskyi, Arsenii Tsarevskyi, Volodymyr Rybinskyi, Dmytro Bohdashevskyi, and Aleksandr Glagolev. The author uses the metaphor of the Biblical world to describe the historically developed spiritual and cultural component of the European world, for which the Bible played the role of a normative and symbolic core. Affiliation with the Biblical world — as a way of broad social application of the Bible and assimilation of the norms and public behaviors sanctioned by this text — was and still is a stable symbolic marker as well as a cultural and ideological factor of integration with European civilization. The historical panorama of the reception of Biblical knowledge and the inculturation of Biblical morality by Christianized nations, reproduced in the writings of Kyiv academics, is presented as a field of centuries-old intercultural contacts and active inter-confessional interaction, and as an important ideological and moral factor of the socio-political integration and development of civil society. The issues addressed by Biblical studies in Europe and the rest of the world and considerations and solutions prompted by these issues proved to be fruitful for both the academic research and public practices in which academics of the Kyiv Theological Academy were engaged. The past and modern foreign experience related to the inculturation of the Bible was interpreted by the Kyiv researchers in the local context, more specifically, in the modernization attempts of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Therefore, the reflection of European and worldwide experience, though not fully implemented, was productive and was a potential factor that could have contributed to the European modernization of Kyiv cultural and religious life of the time and its integration into the global Biblical World.


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