Ukraine: Poroshenko, Putin, the Pope and the Patriarchs

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Ukraine: Poroshenko, Putin, the Pope and the Patriarchs

<p>Ukraine is a ‘torn country’, sitting on a civilizational fault line between western Ukraine (which is predominantly Catholic) and eastern Ukraine (which is predominantly Orthodox). After its

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Ukraine is a ‘torn country’, sitting on a civilizational fault line between western Ukraine (which is predominantly Catholic) and eastern Ukraine (which is predominantly Orthodox). After its independence from the Soviet Union, Ukraine continues to be coveted by Russia, but the pro-Western government of President Petro Poroshenko leans towards the USA, the EU and NATO. Following the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, and Russian incursions into the east of Ukraine, President Poroshenko has attempted to defend the national security of his country in a remarkable way, by seeking to establish an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church, free from Moscow’s control.


SUGGESTED READING


COURSE OUTLINE

  • Introduction of Christianity to Kievan Rus (i.e. early Ukraine) in 988 AD.
  • Overview of Ukrainian religious history from 988 AD to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
  • Analysis of post-Soviet Ukraine from the perspective of Samuel P. Huntington’s ‘The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order’ (1993).
  • The role of the Catholic and Orthodox churches in contemporary Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian President Poroshenko’s quest for an ‘autocephalous’ (i.e. self-headed) Ukrainian Orthodox Church, free from the oversight and control of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate).


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Understand the broad contours of the religious history of Ukraine.
  2. Appreciate the contemporary geopolitical significance of Ukraine.
  3. Comprehend the importance of religion as a component of Ukrainian national security policy.