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Dr. Coleman2013-14 was an active year for public lectures for the Program on Religion and Culture:

  • The annual Bohdan Bociurkiw Memorial Lecture was held on 19 September, as a small symposium on the topic, “Commemorating the Christianization of Kyivan Rus’ 1888-2013.”  Professor Viktor Yelensky, a leading Ukrainian sociologist of religion from the Ukrainian Catholic University (Lviv) and Drahomanov National Pedagogical University (Kyiv), spoke on, “Religion and Politics:  The Significance of the Ukrainian Commemoration of the 1025th Anniversary of the Christianization of Rus’.”  I also presented, on the subject, “Making a National Saint in the Southwest Borderland:  St. Volodymyr, Local History, and the First Celebration of the Christianization of Rus’ in Kyiv in 1888.”  Professor Yelensky’s visit was part of a larger speaking tour of Edmonton, Calgary, and Toronto.

  • On 27 March, Dr. Kurt Scharr, of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, spoke on “The Bukovina Greek-Oriental Religious Fund 1783-1949:  Institution and Modernisation of the Periphery.” 

  • On 15 May, the Program hosted two talks by Archimandrite Dr. Cyril Hovorun (Yale University) on the topic, “Maidan:  The Church in the Public Square.” 

These talks were co-sponsored by the Calgary Friends of the Ukrainian Catholic University, the Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Association of Calgary, the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation, and the St. Volodymyr Brotherhood in Toronto; the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies and the Department of History and Classics; and the Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life.

The Program also co-sponsored a conference on “Ukrainian Orthodoxy in the Global Family of Orthodox Churches:  Past, Present and Future.”  Organized by the Ukrainian Self-Reliance Association of Canada, it was held at St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, on May 8-10, 2014.  The symposium brought together prominent historians, theologians, religious studies scholars, clergy and activists from all Orthodox ecclesiastical formations in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, the Ukrainian Catholic Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and the Orthodox Church in America to discuss the Kyivan Orthodox tradition within the context of world Orthodoxy and the current religious situation in Ukraine. 

One of the projects that was born at the Toronto conference is a volume, tentatively titled “God on the Maidan:  Religion, Politics and Society in Contemporary Ukraine.”  This book, to be co-edited by Paul Gavrilyuk, Cyril Hovorun, and me, will explore the religious dimension of the Ukrainian revolution that we have witnessed this year.  It will bring together both interviews with Maidan participants and analyses by historians, religion scholars, political scientists, theologians, and anthropologists. 

In January 2015, the Bociurkiw Lecture will be given by Professor Nicholas Denysenko of Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, USA).  Watch here for further details.

If you would be interested in supporting research on and publication of the “God on the Maidan” project, the Sanctuary Project, or the work of the Program more generally, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I will be on sabbatical from July 1 to December 31, 2014, so no major events are planned for the fall term, but I am always happy to discuss the Program with supporters!

Heather Coleman


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Last updated: June 25, 2014