Project

Ukrainians, Russians, and the Holy See, 1900-1939: Metropolitan Sheptytsky’s “Orthodox Catholic” Project and Its Post-Confessional Challenge

Program

ACLS Fellowship Program

Abstract

The current conflict between Ukraine and Russia cannot be understood without considering its religious context, including the history of confessional tensions along the Christian East-West divide. A fruitful way to examine this history is by studying the figure who was at the front lines of those debates and conflicts, Ukrainian Metropolitan Sheptytsky. Against the backdrop of a confessional worldview that postulated Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy as two mutually exclusive and inimical denominational blocs, Sheptytsky’s inter-confessional Orthodox-Catholic project proposed a courageous theological vision that, by its very nature, resisted being captured under a single denominational category and challenged the confessionalist geopolitics of the period. The study narrates a history of Sheptytsky’s activities based on archival documents and examines ideas of Christian unity and Christian politics debated in the writings of Sheptytsky and his interlocutors.