CONCEPTUAL ISSUES AND STAGES OF ESTABLISHMENT OF MILITARY CHAPLAINTY IN INDEPENDENT UKRAINE

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.15407/fd2023.01.059

Keywords:

Christian servicemen, Ministry of Defense, military structures, Armed Forces, national guard, chaplains, pastoral care, military chaplains, volunteer chaplains

Abstract

The formation of the chaplaincy movement in the context of the formation of independent Ukraine (after 1991) required the solution of a number of issues, primarily of a conceptual nature. The initiators of the restoration of chaplaincy faced the underestimation of the chaplaincy factor, the risks of transferring interfaith disputes to the military environment. In fact, it was a question of finding their own model of chaplaincy service, which would provide an optimal model for organizing the work of chaplains.

The authors propose to divide the development of the chaplaincy movement in independent Ukraine into three stages, which differ not only chronologically but also in their characteristics. The first stage (1991-2005) was characterized by a rethinking of the role and place of religion in the activities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The idea of a chaplaincy service was revived primarily on the basis of the volunteer movement. Volunteers also encouraged churches to form appropriate structures that would be responsible for chaplaincy work. At this stage, the driving force behind the formation of the chaplaincy movement was the unstable informal ties between church and security forces in Ukraine.

With the advent of the first legal acts that regulated the search for optimal models for creating the chaplaincy institute, the second stage of development of the chaplaincy movement in Ukraine began. It lasted from 2006 to 2013. During this time, regulations were developed and implemented that institutionalized the relationship between the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the country's largest churches and religious organizations.

The third stage began with the beginning of the Russian Federation's attack on Ukraine in 2014 and continues to this day. The annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of hostilities in eastern Ukraine created the need to sharply increase the number of chaplains and to legalize them in military institutions. Already in 2015-2016, the formation of the state regulatory framework of the chaplaincy institute began and staff positions of chaplains in military units were introduced. On the other hand, there has also been a qualitative growth in the theoretical and practical training of chaplains and their material support. These processes show that the establishment of the institute of military chaplaincy in Ukraine has actually taken place.

In each period, the authors highlight the problematic issues that government agencies and religious organizations addressed in organizing the chaplaincy movement. Particular attention was paid to the attempts of activists to form their own model of chaplaincy ministry and the problematic issues of improving the quality of chaplains' training. In particular, it was pointed out that the best way for Ukraine is to organize separate chaplaincy faculties in the country's higher educational institutions to train specialists at the level of world standards.

Author Biographies

Oleksandr SAGAN

Doctor of Philosophy, Professor, Head of the Department of Religious Studies, H.S. Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy, NAS of Ukraine, 4, Triokhsviatytelska St., Kyiv, 01001

Ivan HARAT

PhD, associate professor, Lecturer at I. Franko Lviv National University, chaplain, 1, University St., Lviv, 79000

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Published

2023-03-06

How to Cite

SAGAN, O., & HARAT, I. (2023). CONCEPTUAL ISSUES AND STAGES OF ESTABLISHMENT OF MILITARY CHAPLAINTY IN INDEPENDENT UKRAINE. Filosofska Dumka, (1), 59–74. https://doi.org/10.15407/fd2023.01.059

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