Urgency of the research. The formal recognition of theology as a science and academic discipline, carried out by Ukrainian legislators in 2014, has actualized discussions about the status of theology. Although theologians consider the establishment of their discipline in the circle of scientific discourse to be a settled matter, the scientific community is cautious about the claims of theology to its voice within science and education. In this regard, the question of the theoretical foundations of theologians' claims about their place in the sciences and the function of theology in relation to philosophy, humanities and natural sciences becomes important.

Target setting. Analysis of the claims of theology to the status of meta-science in relation to philosophy and all specific sciences of the humanities and natural sciences allows us to consider objectively, without resorting to ideological clichés, the peculiarities of self-justification by theology as a science, educational discipline and worldview. A critical factor in discussions about the status of theology is the recognition of the analogy between philosophy and theology as worldview sciences. It is this analogy that makes it possible to explain what the ideal status of theology as a science and educational discipline should be.

Actual scientific researches and issues analysis. The question of the development of theology by analogy with philosophy is considered mainly on the basis of Catholic theology. Only in recent years have a number of Ukrainian philosophers begun to study the paradigm shift in the history of theology and its current state by analogy with well-studied processes in philosophy. Also in recent years, the analysis of the claims of Ukrainian and foreign theologians to the status of meta-science has begun on the basis of Orthodox theology. Of particular importance for the methodology of our study in this aspect are the works of philosophers Y. Chornomorets, G. Khrystokin, V. Hrytsyshyn, theologians J. Milbank and D. Hart.

The research objective. The aim of the article is a comprehensive analysis of the claims of theology to the status of meta-science and universal discourse. This analysis allows us to clarify the essence of the claims of theology for a special place in the scientific and scientific-educational space, and to contextualize these claims to the Ukrainian conditions.

The statement of basic materials. The article shows a significant similarity of the claims of philosophy and theology to the status of meta-science and universal philosophical discourse. Historically, these claims relate to the doctrine of a special intuitive cognition, but today they are manifested in an attempt to answer the main ideological questions of the individual. It is proved that the claims of theology to the status of meta-science are less substantiated than in philosophy, since theology cannot provide methodology for specific sciences, cannot, without the mediation of philosophy, evaluate scientific theories. Also, the theologian is not free in his own reflections, even if he exhibits creative spontaneity, because it must necessarily be rooted in a certain tradition. Utopian are the hopes of Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant theologians that theology with the end of the modern era can again qualify for the status of meta-science and evaluate the achievements of all sciences, especially humanitarian ones.

Conclusions. The analysis allows us to state that theology in its claim to the status of meta-science and universal discourse in all respects follows philosophy. The dependence of theological concepts on philosophical ones is especially evident in the fact that theology does not offer its own view of the scientific worldview, but depends entirely on philosophy. There is also no "theology of science", although there is a philosophy of science. The claims of philosophy to the role of a special worldview are based on the independence of thought, while the independent activity of the theologian as a religious subject is always limited by its dependence on particular religious traditions.

Keywords: spiritual education, theology as a science, theology as a worldview discipline, theology and philosophy, theology and scientific worldview.

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