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“Theology of Maidan” and its methodological nuances

“Theology of Maidan” and its methodological nuances

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Unquestionably, the “theology of Maidan”
cannot be called uniform, comprehensive, or coordinated. It contains a fairly
wide spectrum of positions. What they have in common is that they are thought
through. In this sense, the “theology of Maidan” continues a long tradition of
“theologies of…” (of revolution, of God’s death, of freedom, of process, of
faith, etc.), which were very popular in the twentieth century. It’s possible
that a more precise name for this ideological movement would be “theologizing
about Maidan,” however this more nuanced version would probably not be as well-understood
and accepted as the shorter and more concise version – “theology of Maidan,”
suggested by Andrei Dudchenko and Cyrill Hovorun.
The best formulation was discussed during
preparations for the interconfessional round table which took place January 15,
2014, as a result of which a title, “Theology in the Presence of Maidan,” was
developed, which Orthodox, Catholics, Greek Catholics, and Protestants all
agreed upon. However even the event’s participants, for the sake of simplicity,
spoke of the “theology of Maidan.” Therefore the title and contents of this
article are oriented not towards the demands of academic theology, but rather
towards a means of self-identification for participants in the events, their
words and positions; towards the forms and formats in which the theology became
public and practical.
Here something else must be clarified –
the structure of this “theology.” Its focus is clear – the events of Maidan.
However its contents and structure are less clear. So much so that the question
might arise whether it is worth calling such a fragmented and unclear movement
a “theology.” But could it be otherwise, taking into account that this theology
was not written in offices, but arose on the streets and in squares, in fire
and in clashes? Unquestionably, under such circumstances there was not and
could not be a theological system. Instead there was a theological search for
answers to a simple question: how can the Church, through its various
representatives, understand itself in light of the events of Maidan?
Naturally, on the basis of this search,
and the deeds and statements of its participants, we can reconstruct a more
holistic “theology.” However for us something else is more important – recording
its first intuitions and intuitive manifestations. It is important to clarify
the theological process once more: Christians found themselves on Maidan in
response to very different convictions, and afterwards they tried to understand
themselves and the events which were taking place, the place and role of the
Church on Maidan, and also possible adjustments to their theology in light of
what was happening. The adjustments to their theology were so significant that
the idea arose of not only a renewed, but rather a new theology, the “theology
of Maidan.”

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As a matter of
fact a comparison was drawn between the Reformation and what is happening now
in terms of social change. The “theology of Maidan” serves as an attempt to
bring together the Church and society, examining their relations from within a
crisis situation, i.e., a situation in which there is no continuation and no
backwards movement. Therefore the main elements of theological structure of
this movement were three related points: ecclesiology, missiology, and social
theology. However, once again, this is a reconstruction and attempted
systematization of what was a grassroots movement and a summation of personal
stories. Here a narrative approach is preferrable.

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