Hryhorii Skovoroda as a Liminal Hero of Ukrainian Culture


  • Larysa Osadcha



liminality, social status, self-knowledge, social institutionalization, freedom, nomadic philosopher, akin (related) work


The article is devoted to the analysis of the cultural and socio-political situation in Ukraine in the 18th century. At that time the administrative and social transformations took place, and the ethos of the old Ukrainian Cossack’s culture was replaced by the imperial order. That cultural borderline allows us to understand the philosophical and life extraordinariness of Hryhorii Skovoroda. Instead of choosing one of these socio-cultural poles, he remained “on the edge,” in a state of transition or liminality, which made his position vulnerable but at the same time free from social stereotypes. In cultural anthropology, the concept of liminality indicates a transitional position of man in the social system. A person could be in a liminal position only for a short period of time. This experience of individualization and being apart from the social system was so rare for the ordinary everyday life of collectivist cultures that made an unforgettable impression on a person. The wandering philosopher Hryhorii Skovoroda completely falls under the characteristics of a liminal hero, but at his own request, he remained in a borderline position refusing to return to an orderly social system. Therefore, considering the features of his vital liminality helps to understand deeper the phenomenon of philosophical Skovorodianism.


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