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Kievan Christianity

Posted By: JohnS.

Kievan Christianity - 03/04/09 01:29 AM

Any recommendations on books?
Posted By: ebed melech

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/04/09 01:36 AM

Well there is this Catechism coming out... ;-)
Posted By: JohnS.

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/04/09 01:44 AM

Fr. Borys' Crisis and Reform is one too...
Posted By: Father Borislav

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/04/09 02:01 AM

Manjava Skete by Sophia Senyk

http://www.amazon.com/Manjava-Skete...mp;s=books&qid=1236133189&sr=8-1

Little Russian Philokalia St. Paisius Velichkovsky by Fr Seraphim Rose

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Russia...mp;s=books&qid=1236133208&sr=1-6

But I would keep in mind the fact that there is no such thing as Kyivan Spirituality, Russian Spirituality, Greek Spirituality. There is only ORTHODOX and HETERODOX spirituality.

The ethnic flavors are secondary.
Posted By: AMM

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/04/09 03:10 AM

My favorite is still probably this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Icon-Axe-Interpretive-History-Russian/dp/0394708466

Although it's a general cultural history, much is about the church. In my opinion the author is even handed and notes that different Soviet historians (since the book was written in that era) have different and often opposing views of Ukraine.
Posted By: Diak

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/04/09 03:58 AM

Crisis and Reform by Borys Gudziak and A Thousand Years of Christianity in Ukraine are both very good. Of lesser importance but still with some useful information is Magosci's History of Ukraine.

For strictly liturgical information, while quite technical, Metropolitan Lawrence's doctoral dissertation The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in the Kievan Metropolitan Province during the period of Communion with Rome is another excellent resource.

A lesser-known but decent book is Katrij's A Byzantine Liturgical Year where he discusses some historical developments surrounding the Ukrainian liturgical year. Some proceedings of symposia, conferences, etc. are also sometimes quite good, such as Millenium of Christianity in Ukraine: A Symposium which was published by St. Paul University; and A More Perfect Knowledge of Our Rite and Church eventually published by Svichado.

Pelikan's book Confessor between East and West on Patriarch Josyp is very good as is Korolevsky's on Metropolitan Andrey. You can also find several good individual articles in Logos published by St. Paul University as well.

A nice pictoral book is Faith and Hope: The Kyivan Church in Communion with Rome . A few off the top that I have enjoyed.
Posted By: Diak

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/04/09 04:01 AM

Quote
Although it's a general cultural history, much is about the church. In my opinion the author is even handed and notes that different Soviet historians (since the book was written in that era) have different and often opposing views of Ukraine.


One of my favorite books about Kyivan Rus' is a Soviet era archeological study of agriculture and village life up to the end of the Kyivan period. While not dwelling on the theological aspects in any great detail, the author admits to the formative impact of Christianity on village life.
Posted By: JohnS.

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/04/09 10:21 AM

Thanks for the suggestions.
Posted By: ebed melech

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/04/09 12:54 PM

Originally Posted by JohnS.
Fr. Borys' Crisis and Reform is one too...


This is a phenomenal text...

It helped me to recognize Islam's role in deepening the separations between East and West.
Posted By: Halia12

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/05/09 09:39 PM

Quote
But I would keep in mind the fact that there is no such thing as Kyivan Spirituality, Russian Spirituality, Greek Spirituality. There is only ORTHODOX and HETERODOX spirituality.

The ethnic flavors are secondary.


Thanks Boris. We Ukrainian Orthodox have to keep reminding the Eastern Catholic Ukrainians about this. There is no "Ukrainian" theology.
Posted By: JohnS.

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/05/09 11:13 PM

So, Christianity was not incarnated in the culture of the Ukrainian people?
Posted By: ebed melech

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/05/09 11:29 PM

I think on some level, Subdeacon Borislav is correct. There is only orthodoxy and heterodoxy.

That said, orthodox truth has taken "root" along three principal theological streams: Latin, Greek and Syriac. Within these three streams, there are multiple substreams of thought that formed from them. The Slavic substream is perhaps the largest of these along with the Alexandrian!

Ultimately, truth is one. But that is not compromised by there being various schools of thought.
Posted By: Father Borislav

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/05/09 11:35 PM

I know this is kind of a who came first chicken or egg statement, but I would in fact argue that it was Orthodox Christianity which shaped Ukrainian culture as we know it today.

Think about it. Can we say that the Monastery of The Kyivan caves which was established by the venerable Fathers St. Anonty and Feodosiy enriched Ukrainian culture? Most certainly we can. But on the other hand can we say that St. Antony and Feodosiy established the Kyivan caves monastery to enrich Ukrainian culture? That would be a ridiculous statement. The venerable monastic Fathers established a monastery save the souls of Ukrainians, and if this enriches Ukrainian culture that is all fine and dandy, but it is not the first and foremost goal of Orthodoxy.

That is just my take on it, and there are people here much more better suited to answer your interesting and important question. I however am of the humble opinion that we, especially in the USA put way to much emphasis on ethnicity. Often one feels that to join a certain Church he/she has to first become Greek, Ukrainian, Russian, Arabic and so on and so forth.

There is a wonderful Priest in our Diocese who is a convert from Protestantism. When he visited a Serbian Church he was asked rather rudely why he in fact wanted to become Serbian.

We need to knock this kind of pseudo spirituality out of ourselves. It is detrimental to both our personal spiritual growth and the growth of the Church as a whole.
Posted By: JohnS.

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/06/09 10:18 AM

Christianity has incarnated itself into various cultures. Yes, there is of course in a sense only orthodoxy or heterodoxy, yet Kyivan Christianity has a particular flavor.

When Kyivan Rus' was baptized many of the rituals of spring were "Christianized" and became a part of Pascha. The doctrine of the local churches is the same, but the experience is a little different. We have pysanky on Pascha and we partake of the blessed foods. Mmm...

Borislav, you have a good point about the venerable Fathers St. Anonty and Feodosiy. Our mission is first and foremost to evangelize. Yet, at the same time as part of the kerygma, in a sense Christianity transfigures existing culture and creates new culture. This is an interesting book: http://www.amazon.com/Culture-Makin...mp;s=books&qid=1236335954&sr=8-1

Posted By: Father Borislav

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/06/09 03:34 PM

But you hit the nail right on the head in your own statement my friend. You said that Christianity "CREATES NEW CULTURE" :)

Posted By: Diak

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/09/09 02:43 PM

Quote
Latin, Greek and Syriac
I would disagree that the Alexandrian is a "substream"; this may oversimplify and pass over the unique Alexandrian as well as by extension Armenian contributions. While certainly these latter two are often called "syntheses" there can be no doubt about unique spirituality and patristic developments associated with these two vital Christian traditions. I would refer to particular developments of the Byzantine tradition in that way (Bulgarian, Greek, Kyivan, Russian, etc.) but not the Alexandrian nor Armenian.

But getting back to the question of semantics, we often use such terms as "Byzantine Christianity", "Armenian Christianity", etc. It is only sensible that the particular development of Christianity in the Kyivan lands be referred to as "Kyivan Christianity". Since even Orthodox bishops have used this term in addition to historians, it cannot be sensibly maintained to be an invalid or innacurate term.

And regarding the notion of communion in the Kyivan Church before the Union, Archbishop +Vsevelod (UOC) of blessed memory makes a very important historical observation (from Logos , 1995):
Quote
It seems to me quite normal that our spiritual forbears in the one Church of Kyiv did not consider "Catholic" and "Orthodox" to be mutually exclusive terms, just as they did not consider it hopelessly incongruous to maintain Eucharistic communion with both the Elder Rome and the New Rome.
.
Posted By: ebed melech

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/09/09 03:11 PM

Originally Posted by Diak
I would disagree that the Alexandrian is a "substream"; this may oversimplify and pass over the unique Alexandrian as well as by extension Armenian contributions.


I'm inclined to agree with you, and certainly did not intend to diminish the great contributions of the Alexandrian Church! (Despite all the best early efforts of Antioch and Constantinople to do so!)

I had thought to see them as a subset of the Greek stream of thought. I am certainly open to differeing views on that, though.
Posted By: Fr Serge Keleher

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/12/09 04:29 PM

Halia 12 tells us that:
Quote
We Ukrainian Orthodox have to keep reminding the Eastern Catholic Ukrainians about this. There is no "Ukrainian" theology.


Either this means that Orthodox theology is identical the world over - in which case, why bother to study the Greek theologians, Byzantine theology (cf. Fr. John Meyendorff's book by that title), the Syriac theologians (including such people as Saint Ephrem the Syrian, Saint Isaac the Syrian, and above all Saint John of Damascus), the Russian theologians (the list is long and impressive) and so on - or that the Ukrainians are so absymally ignorant that they never produced any indigenous theologians (Saint Peter Mohyla either never existed or never produced his Great Trebnyk, his Catechism, or much of anything else; Saint Paissy Velychkovsky is a myth, and on, and on).

This is particularly rich when Halia 12, who identifies herself as Ukrainian Orthodox, writes that
Quote
We Ukrainian Orthodox have to keep reminding the Eastern Catholic Ukrainians about this.


The fact of the matter is that the Greek-Catholic Ukrainians are, indeed, far more interested in Ukrainian Orthodox theology than present-day Ukrainian Orthodox seem to be. To give only one example, Arkady Joukovsky, who is himself Orthodox, and went to considerable trouble to do his beautiful reprint of the Great Trebnyk of Saint Peter Mohyla, tells me that the Greek-Catholics purchased the large majority of the copies of the book. It doesn't surprise me, but it is a striking example of what Ukrainian calls меншевартість.

I could continue at some length.

Fr. Serge


Posted By: Halia12

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/16/09 03:41 PM

Quote
Either this means that Orthodox theology is identical the world over - in which case, why bother to study the Greek theologians, Byzantine theology (cf. Fr. John Meyendorff's book by that title), the Syriac theologians (including such people as Saint Ephrem the Syrian, Saint Isaac the Syrian, and above all Saint John of Damascus), the Russian theologians (the list is long and impressive) and so on - or that the Ukrainians are so absymally ignorant that they never produced any indigenous theologians (Saint Peter Mohyla either never existed or never produced his Great Trebnyk, his Catechism, or much of anything else; Saint Paissy Velychkovsky is a myth, and on, and on).

This is particularly rich when Halia 12, who identifies herself as Ukrainian Orthodox, writes that

Quote:
We Ukrainian Orthodox have to keep reminding the Eastern Catholic Ukrainians about this.


The fact of the matter is that the Greek-Catholic Ukrainians are, indeed, far more interested in Ukrainian Orthodox theology than present-day Ukrainian Orthodox seem to be. To give only one example, Arkady Joukovsky, who is himself Orthodox, and went to considerable trouble to do his beautiful reprint of the Great Trebnyk of Saint Peter Mohyla, tells me that the Greek-Catholics purchased the large majority of the copies of the book. It doesn't surprise me, but it is a striking example of what Ukrainian calls меншевартість.

I could continue at some length.

Fr. Serge

Perhaps I should explain the context of my comments. This topic came up in the form of a question at our church's recent Sobor in Saskatoon this past August and was answered by no less a theologican and professor that Dr. Fr. Oleh Krawchenko.
He said there is no such thing as a "Ukrainian Orthodox faith". We Ukrainian Orthodox share the same faith as the rest of the Orthodox church: Greek Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, Bulgarian Orthodox and yes even Russian Orthodox.
In Western Canada, the some Ukrainian Catholics have in the past claimed that we could create a "Ukrainian" faith based on Petro Mohyla's works.
This is what we are rejecting. Faith is not based on nationality but on doctrine.
Regarding Petro Mohyla: let's remember that his Confession was corrected by Synod of Jassy, in 1642.

Many scholars including Bishop Kallistos Ware conclude that the Confession was written as an answer to Patriarch Cyril Lukaris Calvinist "Confession".

Here is a good quote from an Ukrainian Orthodox theologian:

Quote
"To be sure, the Orthodox Confession of Faith by Petro Mphyla needs to be viewed in its seventeenth-century context. To use the document today as a defense for Orthodox Theology or as a response to protestant or Roman Catholic criticism would be a betrayal of orthodoxy. Rather the document's theological importance and relevance lie in its role as a purely historical treatise of the living faith. Petro Mohyla was a leader of a confused and shattered Church, who kept the spirit alive by contributing, however erroneously, in the larger perspective, to he sanctity."
Andriy Partykevich,
"The Orthodoxy of Petro Mohyla" Faith and Culture, 7 (1985-1989), p. 82.

Posted By: Fr Serge Keleher

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/17/09 10:25 AM

Yes, Saint Peter Mohyla wrote his Catechism in the seventeenth century. It has never gone out of print, so it must have some merit!

And yes, the Synod of Jassy did make some corrections. They did not throw the Catechism in the waste-paper basket.

The harshest critics of Saint Peter Mohyla seem to be constantly quoting each other, instead of quoting Saint Peter Mohyla. But I've written an article on that topic. His Trebnyk is currently available in two editions; one quite beautiful, in two colors, the other almost illegible, in black and white. I suggest reading it attentively.

Fr. Serge
Posted By: Father Borislav

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/19/09 06:42 AM

Saint Petro Mohyla was not canonized fro writing a trebnik, rather it was for saving Orthodoxy in Ukraine.

While the trebnik we are discussing is questionable to say the least, St. Petro's deep faith, and his contributions to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in particular and the whole of Orthodoxy in general are not subject to any questions.

St. Petro without doubt is a giant for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Posted By: Fr Serge Keleher

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/19/09 12:53 PM

Quite possibly the Great Trebnyk compiled and edited by Saint Peter (Mohyla) was a part of his effort to strengthen Orthodoxy in Ukraine. For that matter, it is surely possible that several of his holy thoughts and edifying good works contributed toward the decision to celebrate his glorification among the Saints. Has anyone yet published any of the services for his feast?

I would hesitate before describing his Great Trebnyk as "questionable to say the least", although I would certainly not assert that anything in a Great Trebnyk (be it Saint Peter's edition or someone else's) is infallibly reliable. But I have, at least, read through Saint Peter's edition and compared it with some others. Forgive me, but my experience is that most of those who sneer at it have not read it, which is a strange way to proceed. Arkady Joukovsky's reprint is still available (so far as I know), is beautifully legible, in two colors, and printed in a large size. Mr. Joukovsky is Orthodox, in case someone was wondering. Rumor has it that Philaret of Kyiv has reprinted the reprint, but I can't confirm that of my own knowledge.

Happy reading!

Fr. Serge
Posted By: Miller

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/19/09 01:05 PM

No need to buy it. Petro Mohyla's Trebnyk is available for free online here:


http://www.liturgy.ru/grafics/pmogila1/page.php?p=0&cd=&k=
Posted By: Diak

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/19/09 01:23 PM

Quote
In Western Canada, the some Ukrainian Catholics have in the past claimed that we could create a "Ukrainian" faith based on Petro Mohyla's works.


You'll have to cite some specific references to be fair. I've never heard this at a Sobor or seen it in any theological journals. To base a faith on the writings of one man, even a saint, does not seem sensible.
Posted By: Fr Serge Keleher

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/19/09 11:36 PM

Useful and interesting - and easier to handle than the big book. Thanks for posting the link!

Fr. Serge
Posted By: sotnyk

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/20/09 02:59 AM

Father Anthony (Perkins) discusses some very interesting perspectives in his podcasts. I believe "Forgiveness" has one such discussion on Kyivan Christianity and its affect on Ukrainian/Kyivan culture.
All excellent podcasts!

http://www.orthoanalytika.org/I_Speak_as_a_Fool/I_Speak_as_a_Fool.html
Posted By: Father Borislav

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/24/09 06:34 AM

Father Anthony Perkins is one of my profs. this semester at St. Sophias Ukrainian Orthodox Seminary!

Posted By: Halia12

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/26/09 03:13 PM

Originally Posted by Diak
Quote
In Western Canada, the some Ukrainian Catholics have in the past claimed that we could create a "Ukrainian" faith based on Petro Mohyla's works.


You'll have to cite some specific references to be fair. I've never heard this at a Sobor or seen it in any theological journals. To base a faith on the writings of one man, even a saint, does not seem sensible.


Here is what I said before about the question of a Ukrainian Orthodox faith:

Quote
Perhaps I should explain the context of my comments. This topic came up in the form of a question at our church's recent Sobor in Saskatoon this past August and was answered by no less a theologian and professor that Dr. Fr. Oleh Krawchenko.
He said there is no such thing as a "Ukrainian Orthodox faith". We Ukrainian Orthodox share the same faith as the rest of the Orthodox church: Greek Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, Bulgarian Orthodox and yes even Russian Orthodox.


The proceedings of the 2008 Sobor of the UOCC have not been published yet. I assume when they are available they will be put on the church's web page.

This is what Boris said:
Quote
But I would keep in mind the fact that there is no such thing as Kyivan Spirituality, Russian Spirituality, Greek Spirituality. There is only ORTHODOX and HETERODOX spirituality.

The ethnic flavors are secondary.


As for the second part, I said that "This is what we are rejecting. Faith is not based on nationality but on doctrine."

The idea of having a "Ukrainian faith" based on Petro Mohyla's works for both Catholics and Orthodox came up at a symposium on Petro Mohyla in Canada during the questions and answer period.

See the theological journal Faith and Culture, 11 (1997-98) for the proceedings of Symposiums on Petro Mohyla. It includes articles by both Orthodox and Catholics.

You might want to also read this very good article by this Ukrainian-American Orthodox theologian:
Andriy Partykevich. "The Orthodoxy of Petro Mohyla" Faith and Culture, 7 (1985-1989).


Here ia a quote from his work:
Quote
"To be sure, the Orthodox Confession of Faith by Petro Mohyla needs to be viewed in its seventeenth-century context. To use the document today as a defense for Orthodox Theology or as a response to Protestant or Roman Catholic criticism would be a betrayal of orthodoxy. Rather the document's theological importance and relevance lie in its role as a purely historical treatise of the living faith. Petro Mohyla was a leader of a confused and shattered Church, who kept the spirit alive by contributing, however erroneously, in the larger perspective, to her sanctity."


Posted By: Diak

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/26/09 11:53 PM

Your statement was quite direct.
Quote
In Western Canada, the some Ukrainian Catholics have in the past claimed that we could create a "Ukrainian" faith based on Petro Mohyla's works.
This quite clearly makes allegations of statements by Ukrainian Catholics.

You return by citing Ukrainian Orthodox sources. Your initial statement is no closer to substantiation. As I have stated no such proposal as you allege to have been made has appeared in any proceedings of a Ukrainian Catholic sobor or in any journals that I know of. I have the article in question from Faith and Culture; nowhere can I find any assertion of the creation of "a 'Ukrainian' faith based on Petro Mohyla's works" by a Ukrainian Greek Catholic theologian or cleric.

Posted By: Halia12

Re: Kievan Christianity - 03/31/09 05:38 PM

Originally Posted by Diak
Your statement was quite direct.
Quote
In Western Canada, the some Ukrainian Catholics have in the past claimed that we could create a "Ukrainian" faith based on Petro Mohyla's works.
This quite clearly makes allegations of statements by Ukrainian Catholics.

You return by citing Ukrainian Orthodox sources. Your initial statement is no closer to substantiation. As I have stated no such proposal as you allege to have been made has appeared in any proceedings of a Ukrainian Catholic sobor or in any journals that I know of. I have the article in question from Faith and Culture; nowhere can I find any assertion of the creation of "a 'Ukrainian' faith based on Petro Mohyla's works" by a Ukrainian Greek Catholic theologian or cleric.



The idea of having a "Ukrainian faith" based on Petro Mohyla's works for both Catholics and Orthodox came up at a symposium on Petro Mohyla in Canada during the questions and answer period. I have already mentioned twice that a question was raised at our last Sobor in August about the differences between the Ukrainian Orthodox faith and the Russian Orthodox faith and the Greek Orthodox faith. The answer was given by Fr. Dr. Oleh Krawchenko who said we all are on in faith and doctrine and that there is no "Ukrainian faith". The proceedigns of the Sobor are not yet available onthe church web site.

See the theological journal Faith and Culture, 11 (1997-98) for the proceedings of Symposiums on Petro Mohyla. It includes articles by both Orthodox and Catholics. Unfortunately, the questions & answers were not included in the proceedings.

The issue that I quoted was an earlier issue and article. I quoted it to show that Ukrainian orthodox do not think that the Confession of Petro Mohyla can be used as a basis to discuss union between Catholics and Orthodox.
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