Ostroh Academy hosts international conference on Reformation in Eastern Europe

13 April 2016, 16:40 | Conferences, seminars, researches | view photo | 1 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

About a hundred of scholars from different denominations and different countries gathered in Ostroh Academy, which hosts II International scientific and practical conference “Reformation: Eastern European dimensions” on April 13-15. During three days five plenary sessions and three breakout sessions during which more than 60 topics relating to internal protestant and interfaith issues past and present were discussed, RISU journalist reports.



According to the first rector of the National University ‘Ostroh Academy’, professor Petro Kraliuk, who opened the conference, Ostroh is a very symbolic place for such a conference, as in the sixteenth century the center of the Reformation in Ukrainian lands was located here.

The first Protestant congregations were operating in Volyn. Protestant theologians and thinkers influenced Orthodox believers, primarily the Orthodox education and brotherhoods. “Unfortunately, the dialogue of Orthodox and Protestants had no further continuation due to competition between them, but the influence of Protestants gave impetus to the development of Orthodox institutions,” said Dr. P. Kraliuk.


President of the Eurasian Certification Association (one of the conference organizers) Dr. Serhiy Sannikov reported that this event was part of the international project, dedicated to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The goal of the project was not only to tell about the developments during Reformation, but to present it as a global civilizational phenomenon. The first conference was held a year ago in Lithuania. Ostroh conference aims to present the development and impact of the Reformation initiated by Martin Luther on Eastern Europe. Dr. Sannikov stressed that he referred to the ongoing process of social reformation in line with the Gospel values.


Speaking on behalf of the Department for Religions and Nationalities of the MCU, Dr. Larisa Vdovychenko reported that the Protestants accounted for about 30% of religious institutions in Ukraine and were popular for their educational and social activities.


“We need to stop writing the history of illusions –already in the XVI century the Reformation was here in the Ukrainian lands,” said Vyacheslav Horpynchuk, Bishop of the Ukrainian Lutheran Church.


He attempted to refute illusions concerning the history of Protestantism in Ukraine. He also drew attention to the impact that early Protestantism had exerted on Ukrainian religious environment, primarily on Orthodoxy. In a separate report, the Bishop highlighted the phenomenon of Ukrainian Lutheranism, which emerged as a movement in the twentieth century and combined Luther's ideas and Byzantine liturgical tradition.

Виставка стародруків з колекції Острозької академіїThe issue of the Reformation influence on Ukrainian Orthodoxy was further addressed by prof. Volodymyr Burega, rector of the Kyiv Theological Academy of the UOC. In particular, last year marked the 400 anniversary of the foundation of Kyiv Brotherhood School, which further was transformed into Mohyla College and Academy. It was the Reformation that exerted great impact on the reform of Orthodox education at that time.

Representatives of scientific institutions from Belarus, Lithuania and Russia also said their words of greeting. In particular, prof. Tomas Bun from Lithuania noted that during the Reformation, Eastern Europe was the most religiously tolerant and tolerable, so here Protestantism developed more peacefully.

Overall, the historical, theological, and sociocultural aspects of the Reformation movement in Eastern Europe will be discussed during three days. RISU is going to publish some of the conference reports.

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  • Андрій Смирнов | 14 April 2016, 00:31
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    Лариса ВЛАДИЧЕНКО, а не Вдовиченко

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