Development of homiletics in Kyiv Theological Academy: western influences and the search for its own way

Наукові Записки Наукма. Філософія Та Релігієзнавство 2:57-64 (2018)
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The article is devoted to the review of history of homiletics as a science in the Kyiv theological tradition. On the basis of the analysis of the first domestic work on the theory of the sermon, made by Yoanykyi Haliatovskyi, process of influence of the Catholic baroque sermon on original homiletics in Kyiv in 17th century is shown. The article also analyzes homiletic views of an archbishop Theofan Prokopovych, who sought to reform the domestic church sermon, depriving it of the extremes of Baroque literature. The author discusses contribution of professors Yakiv Amfiteatrov and archpriest Nazariі Favorov to homiletics as a science in Kyiv Theological Academy in 19th century. Special attention is paid to the analysis of the Professor Vasyl Pevnytskyi’s views who criticized the traditional approaches in Orthodox homiletics. In particular, Professor Pevnytskyi rejected the view on homiletics as a purely practical discipline, designed to provide students with knowledge about the preparation and delivery of the sermon. He believed that homiletics should not teach the method of preparing a sermon, but morally educate preachers. Pevnytskyi offered to rename homiletics to “spiritual literature” and introduced a historical method in its teaching. The course of “spiritual literature” had to show students how the living word influenced people and changed the world. Consequently, homiletics should turn into an analytical history of spiritual literature. The poetics shares the opinion of a number of Protestant theologists that success of the sermon does not depend on the perfection of its external form, but on how deeply a preacher captures the truth. He attributed the decisive feature of the preaching word not to abstract rules of drafting and preaching, but to a special inner inspiration (“animation”) of the preacher. Similar opinions were observed, in particular, in Protestant thinkers such as Philip Jacob Schpener, Franz Theremin, and Friedrich Schleiermacher. Prof. Pevnytskyi tried to creatively rethink their ideas. An alternative to scholasticism he saw in the holy tradition. It was on the foundation of patrician homiletic heritage that Pevnytskyi aimed to build a new course in homiletics.

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