17 December 2021

Ukraine: Church and civil society

Recently I received a copy of the journal, Християнська думка (Christian Opinion), whose current issue (no. 3(12), 2020) is devoted to "Church and Civil Society" and carries an article of mine, "Recovering Civil Society: Two Traditions." This journal is published by the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary in the capital city of Kiev.

In the same issue Jonathan Chaplin has contributed two articles and James W. Skillen one article.

Here is an excerpt in English:

In such countries as Ukraine, having endured between four and seven decades of Marxism-Leninism, along with the horrors it unleashed on innocent people, the recovery of civil society is imperative. Where traditions of co-operation for shared purposes survived the era of communism, this task will be that much easier. But where communism effectively suppressed these traditions, sowing mutual distrust and dividing people against each other, recovering civil society will be more difficult. Longstanding cultures do not change quickly or easily. Yet a religious change of heart—motivated by conversion, repentance, and forgiveness—may accelerate the development of higher levels of mutual trust and a willingness to collaborate on common projects. This has the potential to facilitate, not only more wealth co-operatively generated and more widely distributed, but a richer social fabric and a more vibrant culture in general. When and if this happens, Roman Catholic and Reformed Christian social and political philosophies have much to contribute and should be studied by those seeking to reinvigorate public life.

May God bless the people of Ukraine! Нехай Господь благословить український народ!

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