“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.”

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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