CONTEXTUALIZATION AS ONE OF THE MAIN METHODOLOGICAL APPROACHES OF RELIGIOUS STUDIES RESEARCH DURING THE RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN WAR
Keywords:contextuality, Russian-Ukrainian war, methodological approaches, principles of academic religious studies
The article proposes to deepen and expand the classical methodological approaches formulated at the beginning of the 21st century within the framework of academic religious studies. Based on the methodological works of the founder of modern Ukrainian religious studies, Prof. Kolodnyi, who first clearly defined the principles of the scientific study of religion, in particular objectivity, historicism, worldview neutrality, pluralism, etc., the authors justify the need for contextualization as one of the main methodological approaches in the study of current religious processes. They insist on rethinking not only the universality and effectiveness of some methodological principles in new circumstances — the Russian-Ukrainian war, but also on the actualization of new ones, critically rethinking their neglect in the pre-war period. It is proved that in the hierar- chy of religious principles, the principle of contextuality becomes a particularly sought-after re- ality of Russia’s war against Ukraine. Even the concepts that researchers use describing a new religious situation must be contextualized.
The authors remind about those contextual dangers for the life world of Ukraine that exist in its religious segment, highlighting external and internal factors that cannot be ignored when analyzing the contemporary religious situation in Ukraine and in the world. Analyzing the current reality, the authors conclude that contextuality as a methodological approach in religious studies should consider: 1) The event context — Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine — as a condition for the manifestation of religion, which determines its functional and substantive features; 2) Features, depth and intensity of research’s contextual inclusion/exclusion.
Tragic changes in the context of the life of Ukrainians — linguistic, cultural, informational, religious, etc. necessarily correct expert neutrality, objectivity, non-involvement. According to the authors, the war situation liberates from an unbiased, out-of-contextual analysis. The admis- sibility of such contextualization is a matter of debate.
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