Religious experts in Kyiv discuss concept of Sophianism in Ukrainian culture and Kyivan Church
The colloquium at the Institute of Philosophy in Kyiv, which took place on April 5, themed “The Concept of Sophianism of Ukrainian Culture and Kyivan Church,” gathered a large number of participants. The colloquium was organized by the Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Commission on Interreligious and Inter-Confessional Relations, the Open Orthodox University and the Ukrainian Catholic University.
It was the UCU to turn to the Institute of Philosophy of Ukraine with a proposal to discuss the idea of a joint event in connection with the message "Our Holy Sofia" by the Head of the UGCC Patriarch Sviatoslav.
According to the co-organizer of the colloquium Professor Lyudmila Fylypovych, PhD, Head of Department of History and Philosophy of Religion of the Institute of Philosophy of Ukraine, it was almost for the first time that representatives of the secular and religious world - philosophers, religious scholars, theologians have gathered. And they discussed a very important topic, “Indeed, we were looking for something around which Ukrainians could rally. Today there is a very strong hope: we call for the wisdom of everyone in different spheres. And I think that this search, this movement will definitely give us the opportunity to reach the dreamed Wisdom of God, both at the individual and the social level.”
“We have supported this idea, offering from our side to expand the discussion, because the idea of Sophia has long been in the air. Therefore, this was our main motive in order to come together and seriously discuss this idea, its application, perception and dissemination,” said Sergey Yosypenko, Ph.D., Deputy Director of the Institute of Philosophy of Ukraine, co-organizer of the colloquium.
Igor Skochylas, PhD, historian, Vice Rector for scientific work at UCU, emphasized that it is very important to “talk about what unites us in the first place, to speak beyond confessional interdisciplinary categories, to speak with people from different worlds, which in fact are united by tradition, faith – in the past, in the present, but most importantly - faith in the future.”
The colloquium was also of purely scientific interest: to investigate the phenomenon of Kyivan Christianity, to trace the connection of philosophy with Sophianism and Sophianism to modernity, and finally to receive answers concerning wisdom from the Sophia Herself, embodied in the form of a cathedral in honor of the Wisdom of God.
Scientific reports were delivered by: Yevheniy Kharkovshchenko, Ph.D., Prof. Fr Andriy Zelinsky, lecturer at UCU; Petro Yarotsky, Ph.D., Prof. George Kovalenko, clergyman of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Rector of the Open Orthodox University of Holy Sophia the Wisdom; Alexander Kirichok, Ph.D.; Assoc. Nadia Nikitenko, Dr.Sc., Prof.
A commentary by Fr Andriy Zelinsky on the message of the Head of the UGCC “Our Holy Sofia” provoked a special debate. What did His Beatitude Sviatoslav mean by saying “Our Sofia”? Was it about the church – St Sophia of Kyiv? Or was it the wisdom as the foundation of a common Sophianic civilization of Kyivan Christianity – both Greek Catholic and Orthodox? After the debate and the thoughts expressed, it was concluded that Sofia – God's Wisdom may be appropriately described as the foundation for the unification of Ukrainians, the understanding between the national elites and the common path of the Ukrainian people to the future.