Moscow, the Third Rome’ / ‘Kiev, the New Jerusalem’: Religious History and Political Mythology in Contemporary Russia and Ukraine


Location: DeBartolo Hall, Room 209

Yury Avvakumov, assistant professor of theology, University of Notre Dame

Avvakumov specializes in Russian and Ukrainian religious history and in the theology and history of the Byzantine rite churches (Catholic and Orthodox) from their medieval beginnings to the present day.

Religious history for centuries provided a background for controversies between Ukrainian nationalism and Russian imperialism and was a source of political imagination. Today, religion remains one of the crucial flash points in relations between the two countries and peoples, given that churches and their leaders are actively engaged in political discourse. Ongoing discussions about the “national idea” and “global positioning” of each of these countries between “East” and “West,” “Europe” and “Asia,” make massive use of and recourse to religious history. The lecture will explore some basic paradigms of this discourse. The clash between different ideological orientations will reveal itself as a clash between different understandings of Christianity, its history, and its message in the contemporary world.

Sponsored by the Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures

Originally published at