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Churches in the Ukrainian Crisis

Editors: Krawchuk, Andrii, Bremer, Thomas (Eds.)

  • The first comprehensive, scholarly book on the religious dimension of the Ukrainian crisis
  • Expands and complicates existing understandings of the war in Ukraine 
  • Sheds light on the meaning of the war in a society that remains attached to its Christian identity
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-34144-6
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-34143-9
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About this book

This volume explores the churches of Ukraine and their involvement in the recent movement for social justice and dignity within the country. In November of 2013, citizens of Ukraine gathered on Kyiv's central square (Maidan) to protest against a government that had reneged on its promise to sign a trade agreement with Europe. The Euromaidan protest included members of various Christian churches in Ukraine, who stood together and demanded government accountability and closer ties with Europe. In response, state forces massacred over one hundred unarmed civilians. The atrocity precipitated a rapid sequence of events: the president fled the country, a provisional government was put in place, and Russia annexed Crimea and intervened militarily in eastern Ukraine. An examination of Ukrainian churches’ involvement in this protest and the fall-out that it inspired opens up other questions and discussions about the churches’ identity and role in the country’s culture and its social and political history. Volume contributors examine Ukrainian churches’ historical development and singularity; their quest for autonomy; their active involvement in identity formation; their interpretations of the war and its causes; and the paths they have charted toward peace and unity.  

About the authors

Andrii Krawchuk is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Sudbury, Canada. He is the author of Christian Social Ethics in Ukraine (1997) and co-editor, with Thomas Bremer, of Eastern Orthodox Encounters of Identity and Otherness (2014). His current research is on interreligious dialogue and intercultural ethics in light of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

Thomas Bremer is Professor of Ecumenical Theology, Eastern Churches Studies, and Peace Studies at the University of Münster, Germany. His history of the Russian Orthodox Church, Cross and Kremlin, was translated into English in 2013. He co-edited Eastern Orthodox Encounters of Identity and Otherness with Andrii Krawchuk (2014).


“This is a historically-grounded study of the religious dimensions of the current hostilities in Ukraine involving issues of ecclesial and national identity, church governance, conflict hermeneutics and ecumenical relations. The editors, themselves expert and leading tillers in this field, have assembled an A-list of contributing colleagues to produce a work of supremely sound scholarship that expands and elevates the understanding of the Ukrainian conflict.” (Joseph Loya, Villanova University, USA )

“Media images on the 2013 Euromaidan protests regularly indicated the unexpected presence of clergymen holding huge crosses, banners, and vestments amidst demonstrators. This volume brings to light the role of religious communities during the Ukrainian crisis. By applying an interdisciplinary analysis, bringing together the fields of theology, history, canon law, and international relations, this is the first comparative study of post-Cold War mobilization of Ukrainian churches. It provides an excellent overview for scholars and policy makers alike.” (Lucian N. Leustean, Aston University, UK )

“In the face of little or no media coverage whatsoever, the crisis in Ukraine continues. The essays in this book will inform and enlighten anyone interested in the historical, socio-political, and ecclesial situation in Ukraine, and the role of the Church in this ongoing struggle. For the student, teacher, and reader of international affairs and religion’s impact, both past and present, I highly recommend this book.” (Gregory Havrilak, Georgetown University, USA )

“This fascinating work is a precise and insightful analysis of Christian churches, which find themselves confronted by the tragic crisis in Ukraine today. This work should be read by anyone interested in the evolution of post-Soviet space, as well as by those who are concerned by the future of churches in the contemporary world.” (Kathy Rousselet, Center for International Studies, Sciences Po, Paris, France)

Table of contents (10 chapters)

  • Religion in Ukraine: Historical Background and the Present Situation

    Bremer, Thomas

    Pages 3-19

  • Ukrainian Greek Catholics, Past and Present

    Avvakumov, Yury P.

    Pages 21-44

  • Autocephaly in Ukraine: The Canonical Dimension

    Brusanowski, Paul

    Pages 47-77

  • Orthodox Autocephaly in Ukraine: The Historical Dimension

    Brüning, Alfons

    Pages 79-101

  • Shaping Ukrainian Identity: The Churches in the Socio-Political Crisis

    Kochan, Natalia

    Pages 105-121

Buy this book

eBook n/a
  • ISBN 978-3-319-34144-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Hardcover n/a
  • ISBN 978-3-319-34143-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide

Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Churches in the Ukrainian Crisis
  • Andrii Krawchuk
  • Thomas Bremer
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
Hardcover ISBN
Edition Number
Number of Pages
XVIII, 225
Number of Illustrations and Tables
5 b/w illustrations