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Confessional Fluidity and the Byzantine Inheritance In Ruthenia

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La Maison française d’Oxford

2-10 Norham Road

Oxford

OX2 6SE

United Kingdom

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EVENT SPONSORED BY: La Maison française d’Oxford & Cambridge Ukrainian Studies

Convenors: Vera Tchentsova (MFO), Vivien Prigent (MFO), Olenka Pevny (Cambridge University)

PROGRAM

9.00-11.00 Session I: Literature, print culture and confessions, part 1

Natalia Sinkevych (Kyiv), The 17th-century historical and hagiographical narrative, between Rome, Constantinople, Moscow and Warsaw

Florent Mouchard (Rennes), Jakub Jan Susza’s hagiographic narrative: Confessional fluidity as a rhetorical strategy

Simon Franklin (Cambridge),Discussant


11.30-1.00 Session I: Literature, print culture and confessions, part 2

Laurent Tatarenko (Paris/Lublin), Linguistic pluralism and confession building in the Ruthenian clergies of the 17th century

Vera Tchentsova (Oxford), Shifting confessions: Orthodox co-religionists from abroad in Moscow in the first half of the 17th century

Ralph Cleminson (Oxford), Discussant


2.30-5.00 Session II: Art and ritual

Maria Takala-Roszczenko (Joensuu), Ruthenian hymnography and ritual and the construction of confessional identities

Nazar Kozak (Lviv), ‘Dumb as Fishes’: The Akathistos hymn and visual polemics in the 16th-century Kyivan metropolitanate

Olenka Pevny (Cambridge), ‘Kiouia nostra coelom est’: Petro Mohyla’s re-visioning of Rus monuments in Kyiv

Agnes Kriza (Cambridge), Discussant


ABSTRACT

In the late 16th and 17th centuries, the Ruthenian lands—the former southern and western medieval Orthodox Rus principalities with the ecclesiastic centre of Kyiv—formed part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Though multi-confessional and multi-ethnic, by the early seventeenth century, the retreat of Protestantism and Orthodoxy among the noble citizens who formed the Commonwealth's ruling elite, ensured that Roman Catholicism dominated its high politics and its institutions. The religious upheaval of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation spanned the Commonwealth and its Ruthenian lands, and the influx of values, concepts, mentalities and innovations associated with early modernity reformed Ruthenian Orthodox culture. After 1596, the formation of the Uniate Church, and the consequent outlawing of the Orthodox Church until 1632, posed fundamental questions concerning Ruthenian religious identity and a period of considerable confessional fluidity ensued.

In Ruthenian lands, Orthodox, Uniates, Catholics and Protestants competed for souls in a process that simultaneously strengthened confessional identities and stimulated the development of syncretic elements among them. Cultural hybridity became manifest in families, communities, and Ruthenian society as a whole. The focus on Ruthenian religious identity raised issues about the position of the Ruthenians within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and propositions were put forth to transform the commonwealth of two nations into a Commonwealth of Three Nations.

This conference is devoted to the political, religious and cultural re-visioning that fundamentally reordered the early modern Ruthenian world to accommodate the multiple cultural and historic forces that coalesced in the formation of personal, local, transcultural and ecumenical identities of Ruthenians. It explores how the Orthodox landscape formed by traditions derived from the past of Kyivan Rus was remapped to accommodate new political and ecclesiastical realities, and how the past was moulded and restaged in the invention of new traditions and identities.

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La Maison française d’Oxford

2-10 Norham Road

Oxford

OX2 6SE

United Kingdom

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