Religion in the Ukrainian Public Square – An Analysis of the EuroMaidan and Its Aftermath
November 15, 2014
University of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto
Organized by the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies
On November 15, 2014, the Sheptytsky Institute sponsored an all-day international conference at the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto. The conference was entitled “Religion in the Ukrainian Public Square: An Analysis of the EuroMaidan and Its Aftermath.” Observers have noted the prominence of religious figures and practices during the uprising that began in Kyiv last year. More striking was the thoroughly ecumenical and interfaith dimension of this religious presence. Orthodox of various jurisdictions, Roman and Greco-Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Protestants were all visible in one way or another on the EuroMaidan platform supporting the non-violent struggle against a corrupt, Kremlin backed government. The conference sponsored by the Sheptytsky Institute brought together scholars of Orthodox, Greco-Catholic, Roman Catholic and Jewish backgrounds, as well as a specialist on Islam, to analyze this phenomenon.
The highpoint of the conference was the lecture by renowned public scholar, George Weigel, the author of more than twenty books. Weigel is the famous biographer of Pope John Paul II, and a frequent commentator regarding Catholicism on network TV. He stressed the importance of Westerners learning from the Ukrainian Maidan, and conversely Ukrainians learning from the experience of the West.