DOI: https://doi.org/10.29357/2521-179X.2019.23.02

Heritage of the Professor of the Kyiv Theological Academy Vasyliy Ekzempliarskiy as a Prologue to the History of the Domestic “Public Theology”

Volodymyr BUREHA

Abstract


The article is dedicated to the intellectual history of the early twentieth century
of the Kyiv Theological Academy. In the years of the First Russian Revolution (1905-1907) in the Kyiv Theological Academy was formed a liberal party of professors. They were advocating the idea of a reform of theological education system. In particular, the reformers called for the democratization of the inner life of the theological academies, for the academies autonomy in relation to the power of the bishops, and for the election of higher administrative positions in the academies. In addition, liberal professors tried to find new ways of Orthodox theology developing. They advocated the approximation of theology to the needs of the present, for overcoming the closeness and scholasticity of academic theology. One of the brightest representatives of this ideological course was the professor of the Kyiv Theological Academy Vasiliy Ekzemplyarskiy (1875-1933). In teaching moral theology, he tried to discuss with the students the actual social problems.


In his publications in the 1905-1912, one can see the seeds of what is now called “public theology”. In particular, his program articles were dedicated to the problem of the morality of international politics and the problem of the death penalty. A wide resonance was caused by his article devoted to the comparison of the social doctrine of St. John Chrysostom and Leo Tolstoy. The views expressed in this article caused the discontent of the church leadership. In particular, Ekzemplyarskiy here severely condemned the “official” theology, which, in his opinion, tried to justify the non-Christian actions of the state through biblical arguments. As a result, in 1912, Ekzemplyarskii was dismissed from the Academy and was able to return to teaching only after the February Revolution, 1917. In connection with further revolutionary upheavals, the ideas of professor Ekzemplyarskiy, unfortunately, did not develop. Nevertheless, the legacy of Vasiliy Ekzemplyarskiy was an important prologue to the formation of domestic “public theology”.


Keywords


Kyiv Theological Academy, Russian revolution 1905-1907, public theology, moral theology, Ekzemplyarskiy Vasyliy, Leo Tolstoy, John Chrysostom.

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