Over 50 students from various regions of Ukraine talked during the students’ conference

2012-12-14 13:15

Over 50 students from various regions of Ukraine presented their researches during the event. The participants worked in five sections that considered the topics of mass media, civil society, the conflict of civilizations and challenges of the present time.

In the section “The Christian and civil society”, the students considered the issues of the influence of the church on the formation of the national idea, democratic values in Ukraine and women’s role in their formation, as well as a new dimension of religious life in social networks. In particular, the last topic about a confession through the Internet, that was considered by Hlib Bocharov from Luhansk, caused a lively debate.

The participants of the workshop “Students’ initiative as an indicator of the development of civil society” submitted their projects on integration and rehabilitation of people with disabilities, new educational opportunities for disabled children, the roles of volunteers in social work with children, attitudes toward blind people and their integration into society. “We considered the question of why we act humanly and are not indifferent to others... We would like to remind the society about their duty to help people develop their potential,” said the section moderator Nina Hayduk.

In the afternoon section “Mass media and Christian values” the students discussed the ethics of journalists writing materials on religious themes, biased coverage of church life in Ukraine. Thus a student of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies, Yuliana Lavrysh gave some advice to journalists on religious ethics: “We need to move away from confessional biases, we should not only focus on the problems of our church, we should understand what we are writing about. We do not perceive the church as a narrowly political institution.” According to the speaker, the journalist should also think about the results which their material will bring. “Our materials should build up and not destroy,” pointed out Yuliana.

In another section, the students considered the issue of conflict of civilizations, Islamic and Christian worlds, xenophobia, racism, fundamentalism and multiculturalism (its negative or positive meaning). One of the speakers was the Italian Marco Residori, a student at the Ivan Franko Lviv National University. He studied the work of Oriana Fallaci and its influence on the formation of xenophobic views regarding Muslims. “The main objective of her work was to show the Western world and make a test of conscience which we haven’t done for a long time. Oriana Fallaci was not racist, she was one of the greatest intellectuals of the 20th century,” concluded the speaker.

The participants of the section “Christianity and challenges” considered interesting and informative topics. They focused on issues of inter-confessional dialogues in Ukraine, the Christian roots of Europe, mental health and environmental issues, the coexistence of Christianity and psychology. The Christian dimension of challenges and responses to environmental issues was suggested by students of the Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivsti National University. The moderator of the section Viktor Zhukovksyi concluded the discussion of the theme: “You must be, and then you can act. Be yourself, and in order to be yourself you need to be in dialogue with society, but we must start with ourselves.”

While summing up, the moderator of each section identified the best speaker. The winners received honorary awards.They are the following: Oleksiy Samoylov, the V. Dal East-Ukrainian National University (Luhansk), Kateryna Halushko, a student of the Ivan Franko National University (Lviv), Iryna Khymych, the Yuriy Fedkovych National University (Chernivsti), co-speakers Lidiya Havryliv and Olena Kondrat, Lviv Polytechnic National University, and Roman Nazarenko, the Ukrainian Catholic University (Lviv). 

“All reports that we’ve had the opportunity to hear today were very interesting and informative. Despite the fact that some participants are only third-year students, their reports were deep in content and noteworthy. I think in the future the participants of the conference will truly express themselves in a thorough study of topics which they have started,” summed up the moderator of the section “The conflict of civilization: myth or reality?” Iryna Martynyak. The synopses of the reports will be published on the website of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies.