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.
Professor 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. He is currently working on a large editorial project devoted to the history of Byzantine-rite Catholics in Russia and Ukraine based on documents from the recently opened archives in Lviv, Ukraine: Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytskyi and the Greco-Catholics in Russia, 1899-1944 (vol. 1 was published in Lviv in 2004, vol. 2 is in progress). He has authored a study on Juraj Krizanic and Russian Old Believers in the 17th century (Bogoslovskie trudy 1986), and was co-editor of the collection Religion und Gesellschaft im postsowjetischen Raum (Würzburg 1996) and of the almanac Dia-Logos: Religion and Society published in Moscow, Kyiv and Munich in 1996–2006. He has also contributed chapters to several volumes on the religious history of Eastern Europe, as well as numerous articles to such scholarly journals as Bogoslovskie trudy (Moscow), Bohoslovja (Lviv), Ostkirchliche Studien, and others.
Sponsored by the Program in Russian and East European Studies.