Volume 63-2 (2022)

O. P. Tkachenko, PhD, Associate Prof.
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv


Of all the creative hypostases of the outstanding Ukrainian philosopher – exactly the hypostasis of Skovoroda as the hermeneut is the most difficult one for understanding and ambiguous for evaluation. There is an attempt in the article to analyze the train of thoughts of Hrigorii Skovoroda in the direction of biblical hermeneutics, to describe the peculiarities of the methods of interpretation, to characterize the exegesis of biblical texts of Skovoroda. Skovoroda’s hermeneutics is considered in the article in broad and narrow contexts – in comparison with the principles of the biblical exegesis rooted in the patristic literature, and against the background of the Ukrainian biblical hermeneutics of the Baroque era. The impact on Skovoroda’s hermeneutic views of the interpreters of the Alexandrian school – Philo, Clement and Origen – is analyzed. The special attention is paid to the impact of Origen’s ideas on the hermeneutic avocations of the Ukrainian philosopher. The biblical hermeneuts of the Alexandrian school developed the doctrine of three senses of the Holy Scripture, leaning toward an allegorical interpretation of the biblical texts. The thought of Hryhorii Skovoroda has a movement in the same direction. As well as Origen, Skovoroda considers the literal understanding of the Bible not a reading variant (as required by canonical exegesis), but a false reading. Following Origen, Skovoroda ridicules and criticizes the literal perception of the Holy Scripture, adding to it a lot of sarcasm and sharp expressions. Allegorical reading
of the Bible was characteristic for the Ukrainian hermeneutics of the Baroque era.
With the inherent to Baroque love for transcendence, the Ukrainian hermeneuts found allegorical sense even in moral lessons and historical narratives. That is why Skovoroda’s hermeneutic studios were organic and logical against the background of the Ukrainian Baroque. However, Skovoroda’s categorical rejection of the literal sense of the Bible is a radical, unique and courageous approach based on the
doctrine of the two natures of all things.
Keywords: Skovoroda, the Bible, hermeneutics, exegesis, literal sense, allegorical sense, canonical interpretation, Baroque.

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