Dear friends,

The XIII Kyiv Summer Theological University (KSTU) will be held from 19 July to 1 August 2015 at the Orthodox spiritual, social and educational center “The Ark” in the village Lishnya near Kyiv. The theme of this year’s University will be “TRUTH. MEMORY. RECONCILIATION.”

About 10 intensive lecture courses, 5 seminars and a round table will function in several directions: Theology, Modern Theology, Exegetics, Patristic, Ethics, Christian Culture. Lectures will tend to alternate between general introductions and highly focused presentations, which demand a suitably trained listener.

Studies will be organized in two blocks, according to the two weeks of the University. During the two summer weeks of the University and the following year vibrant faith, intellectual and holistic adventure of the spirit, characterized by open-endedness, friendship, ecumenical dialogue and, of course, intellectual precision and intensity radiate from KSTU in circles.

Studies will be combined with participation in the church services, meetings with the community and participation in its cultural and spiritual events.

A children’s program will be a separate part of the University.

Common residence in a picturesque area, the possibility of informal communication between students, lecturers, children and guests, regular worship, common meals, the unique atmosphere of a village parochial life  – all of that is an indispensable contribution to the learning process itself and to establishing friendly relations between all the participants.

The topic

The notions of truth, memory and reconciliation, so fundamental both for Christianity and for secular culture, should be considered in their interdependence and mutual influence. In many Biblical contexts the notions of truth, righteousness, and justice have similar meanings. In Slavic languages the word pravda encompasses all those meanings. The connection between the notions has its roots in the Old Testament: “Righteousness and peace kiss each other” (Ps. 84:11). It reaches its climax in the New Testament: “kingdom of God is… a matter of… righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). For Christian culture reconciliation in truth and in allegiance to the tradition (of memory) has played a fundamental part starting from the epistles of St. Paul and St. Clement of Rome. The latter, while he was trying to put out the fire of enmity in the Corinthian community, expressed hope for a speedy reconstruction of the “desired peace and onemindedness.”

St. Pope John Paul II called for the “purification of memory.” He insisted on the importance of asking for forgiveness and being forgiven, especially on the days of jubilees since the Biblical meaning of a jubillee is the feast of freedom and forgiveness. In our time, Metropolitan George (Khodr) emphasizes that reconciliation is God’s call, that at the liturgy we pray for “peace from above”, i.e. peace from God, and that this prayer directly transforms into the prayer for the “peace of the whole world.” For Ukraine, Russia and Europe those words are relevant as never before.

In order to become a student of KSTU, by 1 June 2015 you should fill in the application and write an essay on the topic “Truth. Memory. Reconciliation”; or you can write about what it means, in your opinion, to be a Christian in the contemporary world. You will find the application and the essay form here. The cost of attending KSTU is 300 UAH per one week.

Looking forward to seeing you in the hospitable "Ark"!

 

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