In recent decades we have observed the recovery of the Christian tradition of hospitality. Christian theologians mostly view hospitality as a fundamental spiritual virtue, an obligation, that is essential for the dynamic expression of authentic Christian faith. Emphasis is given to the moral significance of hospitality. The intention of this article is to demonstrate that a theological framework of hospitality can be enriched by dialoguing with the interpretation of hospitality in continental philosophy. The philosophical approach calls attention to the fact that hospitality is not only a moral virtue that inspires the response of Christian communities to the needs of and the most vulnerable. First and foremost, hospitality should be regarded as unconditional exposure to the Other. This article will conclude with an analysis of preliminary outcomes and of prospects for the further development of a truly hospitable attitude to the other in Ukrainian evangelical communities.
With the collapse of the USSR in 1991 evangelicals received unprecedented opportunity to raise their voices in the public arena. However, as the events during the Revolution of Dignity (2013–2014) in Ukraine demonstrated, most evangelicals could not formulate their attitude towards these events. Instead they assumed existing positions which sometimes were fundamentally opposite to the Christian narrative. This article seeks to explore perspectives of the one of the pioneers of Baptism in the Russian Empire, Vasilii V. Ivanov-Klyshnikov (1846–1919), on the church, Kingdom of God and society with the view to find elements for a public theology. Ivanov’s perspectives are expanded through the concept of the church as visible and political.
This article is based on a case-study of the public debate in Ukraine on the so-called Istanbul Convention ‘on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence’. The debate polarizes churches and more liberal parts of society. The author seeks for the roots of the churches’ position not to address the structural causes of domestic violence as gender-based violence. How does this relate to embracing dignity of the human being as a core principle of the Maidan revolution and of Christian anthropology? Influential documents on moral theology play a detrimental role. The author makes suggestions to address more adequately domestic violence in public theology in Ukrainian context. The coordinates of the proposal are the need for a gender-critical dignity discourse, the need for reimagining the sacramental theology of marriage, and insights for the methodology of a public theology that wants to be both deeply engaged and truly academic.
The response of the Church to the Revolution of Dignity (Революція гідності) in Ukraine in 2013–14 signalled a seismic shift in Christian public engagement with post-Soviet society. The implications and significance of the Revolution extended beyond the national boundaries of Ukraine. The revolutionary events became a symbol of hope for the church and society. Theologians and Christian leaders throughout the nations of the former Soviet Union began to reconsider the public witness of the church. This article uses the notion of public theology to explore how Ukrainian evangelical Christians can engage with matters of public significance in the aftermath of the Revolution of Dignity. I conclude with a proposal for the application of three principles (freedom, compassion and creativity) as appropriate points of departure for evangelical theological reflection on public issues in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union today.
The context of Eastern Europe, where faith was hidden and restricted to the private life of believers for so many decades, requires a rediscovery of the public dimension of faith. This article explores the issue of justice in Paul’s letter to the Romans and shows how this could represent an important resource for thinking afresh about justice in the context of Eastern Europe. There is also an important and necessary discussion on the righteousness, justification, justice, terminology in Paul. Paul has a particular understanding of justice as an integral part of the gospel, and that the believers in Christ are empowered to act as ‘instruments of justice.’