The Churches and the Russian War on Ukraine

March 21, 2022 | 1:00PM - 2:00PM
Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine, Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies

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Online Event


This panel of scholars from war-torn Ukraine and from outside of Ukraine will examine some of the historic roots and modern religious dimensions of the Russian war on Ukraine. Themes will include the relations of the church to the state and the Ukrainian Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches’ pastoral and humanitarian responses to the war.

Archimandrite Cyril Hovorun is a Professor in Ecclesiology, International Relations and Ecumenism at the University College Stockholm (Enskilda Högskolan Stockholm). A graduate of the Theological Academy in Kyiv and National University in Athens, he accomplished his doctoral studies at Durham University under the supervision of Fr Andrew Louth. He was a chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, first deputy chairman of the Educational Committee of the Russian Orthodox Church, and later research fellow at Yale and Columbia Universities, visiting professor at the University of Münster in Germany, international fellow at Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life at the University of Alberta in Canada, director of the Huffington Ecumenical Institute at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and Assistant Professor at the same university. He has published several books in different languages, including La riconciliazione delle memorie: Ricordare le separazioni tra le Chiese e la ricerca dell’unità (Roma: San Paolo, 2021, in co-authorship with Lothar Vogel and Stefano Cavallotto); Sacred Architecture in East and West (edited, Los Angeles: Tsehai, 2019), Political Orthodoxies: The Unorthodoxies of the Church Coerced (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2018; Ukrainian translation published in 2018); Ukrainian Public Theology (Kyiv: Dukh і Litera, 2017, in Ukrainian), Scaffolds of the Church: Towards Poststructural Ecclesiology (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2017; Ukrainian translation published in 2018); Wonders of the Panorthodox Council, (Moscow: Christian Book Club, 2016, in Russian); Meta-Ecclesiology, Chronicles on Church Awareness, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015; Ukrainian translation published in 2017); From Antioch to Xi’an: an Evolution of ‘Nestorianism’ (Hong Kong: Chinese Orthodox Press, 2014, in Chinese); Will, Action and Freedom. Christological Controversies in the Seventh Century (Leiden - Boston: Brill, 2008).

Nadieszda Kizenko is Professor of History and Director of Religious Studies at the State University of New York at Albany. She earned her BA at Harvard and Radcliffe in History and Literature and her PhD in History at Columbia University. Prof. Kizenko specializes in Orthodox Christianity on the territories of the former Russian empire, with a special interest in sacramental practice and liturgical texts. Her award-winning books and articles include an annotated translation and introduction to the service composed by Teofilakt Lopatynsky on the occasion of the Battle of Poltava and ‘The Feminization of Patriarchy? Women in Contemporary Russian Orthodoxy.” Her most recent monograph, Good for the Souls: a History of Confession in the Russian Empire drew extensively on Ukrainian archives and was published in 2021 with Oxford University Press. Prof. Kizenko's comparison of the liturgical practices of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine will soon appear as part of an edited volume, Orthodoxy in Two Manifestations? The Conflict in Ukraine as Expression of a Fault Line in World Orthodoxy (Peter Lang, 2022).

Prof. Jaroslav Skira is an associate professor of historical theology at Regis College; a Fellow of the Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies (University of St. Michael’s College); and a member of the coordinating committee of the Jacyk Program. His research interests include modern Orthodox theology and ecumenical relations between the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Dr Pavlo Smytsnyuk is the Director of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies and a Senior Lecturer at the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) in Lviv. Pavlo studied philosophy and theology in Rome, Athens and St Petersburg, and holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford. His main interests are in political theology, Russian Orthodoxy, nationalism and religion, as well as colonial studies.

Marta Dyczok is Associate Professor at the Departments of History and Political Science, Western University, Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, and Adjunct Professor at the National University of the Kyiv Mohyla Academy. She has published five books, including Ukraine’s Euromaidan. Broadcasting through Information Wars with Hromadske Radio (2016) Ukraine Twenty Years After Independence: Assessments, Perspectives, Challenges (co-edited with Giovanna Brogi, 2015), Media, Democracy and Freedom. The Post-Communist Experience (co-edited with Oxana Gaman-Golutvina, 2009), articles in various journals including The Russian Journal of Communication (2014), Demokratizatsiya (2014), and regularly provides media commentary. Her doctorate is from Oxford University and she researches mass media, memory, migration, and history.

Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine, Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies


Jaroslav Skira

Associate Professor of Historical Theology, Regis College, Toronto, Canada

Archimandrite Cyril Hovorun

Professor in Ecclesiology, International Relations and Ecumenism, University College, Stockholm, Sweden

Nadieszda Kizenko

Professor of History and Director of Religious Studies, State University of New York at Albany, USA

Pavlo Smytsnyuk

Professor and Director, Institute of Ecumenical Studies, Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv, Ukraine

Marta Dyczok

Departments of History and Political Science, Western University, Canada