Theology (теологія, богословіє or богословія; teolohiia, bohosloviie, or bohosloviia). The study of religious, especially Christian, faith, practice, and experience, including subjects such as God, his relation to humankind and the world, and eschatology.

The origins of Christian theology in Ukraine date from the period of Kyivan Rus’. From the reign of Yaroslav the Wise on, many Byzantine scriptures and collections of homiletic literature were transcribed and translated: eg, the Shestodnev (Hexaemeron) of Saint Basil the Great, the Zlatostrui (Golden Stream) of Saint John Chrysostom, Zlatoust (Chrysostom), Zlataia tsip (Golden Chain), Izmarahd (Emerald), and Pchela (Bee). The first Old Ukrainian theological homilies and epistles were written in the 11th and 12th centuries by the Kyivan metropolitans, including Metropolitan Ilarion, Metropolitan Nicephorus I, and Klym Smoliatych; by Saint Theodosius of the Caves; and by Bishop Cyril of Turiv. Klym Smoliatych advocated the use of ancient texts in philosophical education and the symbolic method of explicating the Bible. A certain revival in scholarly theology occurred after the 1439 Church Union of Florence, as reflected in the 1476 epistle of Metropolitan of Kyiv Mysail Pstruch to Pope Sixtus IV.

In the 16th century, conflict developed between the Ukrainian supporters of the Christian West and the Orthodox; it culminated in bitter polemics (see Polemical literature) around the 1596 Church Union of Berestia between Piotr Skarga and Ipatii Potii on the Catholic side and Stepan Zyzanii, Khrystofor Filalet, Ostrozkyi Kliryk, Herasym Smotrytsky, Yurii Rohatynets, and Ivan Vyshensky on the Orthodox side. In his treatment of a number of general religious and religious-social problems, Vyshensky voiced his opposition to contemporary philosophical and theological teaching methods. The second half of the 16th century saw the rise of a group of translators of and commentators on the Bible (eg, Hegumen Hryhorii of the Peresopnytsia Monastery [see Peresopnytsia Gospel], V. Nehalevsky [see Nehalevsky Gospel], V. Tsiapinsky), the writing of many didactic gospels, and the gathering of a group of theologians in Ostroh around the Ostroh Academy (eg, H. Smotrytsky, V. Surazky, M. Broniewski, Ostrozkyi Kliryk, Meletii Smotrytsky). The supporters of Western Christianity based their views in dogmatics on the Greeks, but used the methodology and certain theological theses of the Roman church.

In the first half of the 17th century, religious polemics became more sophisticated and theological. The leading exponents were Zakhariia Kopystensky, Meletii Smotrytsky (to 1627), Leontii Karpovych, Kyrylo Stavrovetsky-Tranquillon (to 1626), Andrii Muzhylovsky, and, later, Petro Mohyla, Innokentii Gizel, Ioanikii Galiatovsky, and Lazar Baranovych on the Orthodox side, and Ipatii Potii, P. Arkudii, Yosyf Rutsky, M. Smotrytsky (from 1627), Lev Krevza, I. Dubovych, and Antonii Atanasii Seliava among the Uniates. Despite confessional differences, both sides together constituted what could be called a ‘Kyivan theological school.’ In the second half of the 17th century, the ‘school’s’ teachings were introduced by Yepifanii Slavynetsky and Simeon Polotsky in Muscovy; the influence they exerted there evoked a strong negative reaction. In his attempts to reform the Muscovite church, Tsar Peter I turned to the writings of Ukrainian theologians serving in Muscovy, such as Teofan Prokopovych, who was sympathetic to Protestant ideas; Stefan Yavorsky, whose works were rife with Catholic principles and the methodology of scholasticism; and Dymytrii Tuptalo.

In the first half of the 18th century, systematic courses in theology were taught at the Kyivan Mohyla Academy by Yoasaf Krokovsky, I. Popovsky, Kh. Charnutsky, Y. Volchansky, I. Levytsky, Sylvester Kuliabka, Varlaam Lashchevsky, Sylvestr Liaskoronsky, and Teofilakt Lopatynsky. Lopatynsky later introduced similar courses at the Moscow Theological Academy and wrote a book on theology (1706–10). In the second half of the 18th century, theology in Kyiv was guided primarily by Teofan Prokopovych’s Protestant-influenced theological system and teachings, the followers of which included Samuil Myslavsky and Irynei Falkovsky. Over time, elements of the Latin church and scholasticism propagated by the ‘Kyivan school’ became obsolete, as the Ukrainian Orthodox church was Russified. Theological works produced in Polish-ruled Ukraine in the 18th century included Bohosloviia nravouchytel'naia ... (Moral Theology ..., 1751) and Narodovishchanie ... (Public Tidings ..., 1756), both published by the Basilian monastic order at the Pochaiv Monastery Press; A. Zavadovsky’s work on the Holy Eucharist; T. Basarabsky’s book of theological writings (1771); and Yu. Dobrylovsky’s book of parish teachings for Sundays and church holidays (1792).

Throughout the 19th century and until the Revolution of 1917, Russian ‘synodal’ theology held sway in Russian-ruled Ukraine. It was directed against the earlier Ukrainian teachings and system at the same time that theology in general was being destroyed by means of various Russian ecclesiastical and administrative sanctions. Ukrainians who contributed to the development of ‘synodal’ theology included S. Malevansky in dogmatics, M. Olesnytsky and Mykola Stelletsky in moral theology, and V. Pevnytsky in homiletics. The main center of theological thought from 1819 to 1917 was the Kyiv Theological Academy, which published many theological writings in its Trudy Kievskoi dukhovnoi akademii (1860–1917). A major philosophical-theological thinker outside those strictures was Pamfil Yurkevych. During the 1920s the Ukrainian Authocephalous Orthodox church (UAOC), led by Metropolitan Vasyl Lypkivsky, developed its own theological thought, but the suppression of the UAOC in 1930 cut the development short.

In Austrian-ruled Western Ukraine the major centers of Greek Catholic (Uniate) theology were the Greek Catholic Theological Seminary in Lviv (est 1783); Lviv University; and the theological seminaries in Uzhhorod (est 1778), Peremyshl (est 1845; see Peremyshl Greek Catholic Theological Seminary), and Stanyslaviv (est 1907). Ukrainian Catholic theology was also cultivated at the Barbareum in Vienna (1774–84) and at the Greek-Ruthenian College (est 1845) and Saint Josaphat's Ukrainian Pontifical College (est 1897) in Rome. Prominent Western Ukrainian theologians included Oleksander Bachynsky, Ivan Bartoshevsky, Isydor Dolnytsky, Mykhailo Harasevych, Mykhailo Malynovsky, Y. Milnytsky, Yuliian Pelesh, Antin Petrushevych, Klyment Karol Sarnytsky, Sylvester Sembratovych, Ivan Snihursky, and Hryhorii Yakhymovych.

In the interwar period the main center of Ukrainian Catholic theology was Lviv, especially after the Ukrainian Theological Scholarly Society (est 1923) and Greek Catholic Theological Academy (est 1928) were created. Active in those institutions were theologians such as Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky; Bishop Yosyf Botsian; Rev Professors Yosyf Slipy, Ivan Buchko, I. Chorniak, Dionysii Dorozhynsky, Yuliian Dzerovych, Ivan Figol and V. Figol, Andrii Ishchak, Tyt Teodosii Halushchynsky, L. Hlynka, Spyridon Karkhut, Vasyl Laba, Yaroslav Levytsky, Leonid Luzhnytsky, Bohdan Lypsky, Tyt Myshkovsky, S. Rud, S. Sampara, Petro Tabinsky, and I. Tsehelsky; and Prof Mykola Chubaty. The center of Orthodox theology was Warsaw University, where a department of Orthodox theology was created. Ukrainians affiliated with the faculty were Rev (later Metropolitan) Nykanor Abramovych, Vasyl Bidnov, Oleksander Lototsky, Ivan Ohiienko, and Ivan Vlasovsky.

In the postwar West, the Ukrainian Catholic University (Rome) (est 1963) in Rome was the main center of Ukrainian Catholic theology; Revs Yurii Fedoriv, Ivan Khoma, Myroslav Liubachivsky, Ivan Muzychka, and P. Pavlyk, and the lay scholars Bohdan Kazymyra and Wasyl Lencyk, taught theology there. The Theological Academy of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church functioned for several years in Munich after the Second World War. Since then the main centers of Ukrainian Orthodox theology have been Saint Andrew's College in Winnipeg (theology has been taught there by Metropolitan Ivan Ohiienko and Revs O. Krawchenko, A. Teterenko, Stepan Yarmus, R. Yereniuk, and M. Yurkiwsky) and the seminary of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA.

With the revival of the Russian Orthodox church in the USSR after the Second World War, its theological academies in Zagorsk, Leningrad, and Odesa dominated theological thought in Soviet Ukraine. With the revival of the Ukrainian churches in Ukraine after 1989, new theological seminaries of the Ukrainian Catholic church and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox church were established.

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Ivan Khoma, S. Tyshkevych, Atanasii Velyky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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