Ukrainian Theological Scholarly Society

Image - Bohosloviia (1977). Image - Bohosloviia (2002).

Ukrainian Theological Scholarly Society [Українське богословське наукове товариство (УБНТ); Ukrainske bohoslovske naukove tovarystvo (UBNT); Theologica Societas Scientifica Ucrainorum]. An association for the advancement of Ukrainian Catholic theology, religious education, and scholarship. Until 1939 it was called the Theological Scholarly Society. It was founded in September 1922 in Lviv, and its statute was written by the society’s key figure, Rev Yosyf Slipy, and adopted in December 1923. The UBNT was housed at the Greek Catholic Theological Seminary in Lviv, and its presidents were the seminary’s rectors, Rev Tyt Teodosii Halushchynsky (1923–6) and Rev Slipy (1926–39). The general secretaries were Rev Yosafat Skruten (1923–5), Rev M. Galiant (1925–8), Rev Petro Khomyn (1928–31), Konstantyn Chekhovych (1931–9), and Ya. Chumak (1939). The UBNT membership grew from 27 in 1923 to 236 in 1939; approximately 80 percent were clerics. Its full members (17 in 1923, 52 in 1938) were grouped in four sections: biblical studies, philosophy and dogma, history and canon law, and practical (pastoral) theology. The UBNT published a theological quarterly, Bohosloviia (17 vols by 1939), edited by Slipy; the monograph series Pratsi Bohoslovs'koho naukovoho tovarystva (Works of the Theological Scholarly Society, 13 volumes by 1939); the offprint and book series Vydannia bohosloviï (Publications of Theology, 29 issues by 1939); and the religious and community affairs monthly, Nyva (1933–9). It also established a library and archive containing, by 1939, over 12,000 volumes; over 300 valuable manuscripts and old books; and icons, vestments, and other religious artifacts. From 1933 to 1938 the UBNT sponsored more than 120 public ‘academic evenings for a Catholic world view’ in Lviv and nine other Galician towns, and the scholarly ‘Union Congress’ in Lviv (December 1936). In September 1939 its library was destroyed by a German bomb, and the UBNT itself was abolished after the Soviet occupation of Galicia.

In October 1959 the Conference of Ukrainian Catholic Bishops in Rome revived the UBNT. The society’s presidents in the West were Rev Atanasii Velyky (1960–4) and Rev Ivan Hrynokh, and its general secretary, Rev Ivan Khoma. Major Archbishop Yosyf Slipy became the society’s patron in 1963. He housed it at the new Ukrainian Catholic University (Rome) and revived the publication of Bohosloviia. The UBNT’s three sections at that time were: (1) biblical studies, theology, and philosophy (based in Canada), (2) canon law and pastoral theology (United States), and (3) history and Eastern Christian studies (Europe). In 1997 the society’s headquarters were moved to Lviv and Rev Lubomyr Husar became the society’s president. Since that time other UBNT presidents have been M. Dymyd (2001–7) and A. Bodnar (2007–). In 1998 the archive and editorial office of Bohoslovia was also moved to Lviv and Ivan Havanio became its editor. In Lviv UBNT works closely with the Ukrainian Catholic University and the Shevchenko Scientific Society.

Hlynka, Lev; Chekhovych, Konstantyn. Bohoslovs'ke naukove tovarystvo u L'vovi v pershim desiatylittiu svoho isnuvannia (1923–1933) (Lviv 1934)
Ianiv, Volodymyr. ‘Narys istoriï Ukraïns'koho bohoslovs'koho naukovoho tovarystva (z bibliohrafiieiu vydan') v 45-littia zasnuvannia,’ in Studiï ta materiialy do novishoï ukraïns'koï istoriï (Munich 1970)
Senytsia, P. (ed). Svityl'nyk istyny: Dzherela do istoriï Ukraïns'koï katolyts'koï bohoslovs'koï akademiï u L'vovi, 1928/29–1944, vol 2 (Toronto–Chicago 1976)

Wasyl Lencyk

[This article was updated in 2020.]

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