The Intertwining of Religion and Nationalism in the Struggle for an Autocephalous Status for Ukrainian Orthodoxy

  • Josef Mlejnek
Keywords: Orthodoxy, Russian World, Holy Rus, Orthodox Church, Ukrainian Orthodoxy, religion, nationalism, identity


The study focuses on the long-term struggle for an autocephalous status for Ukrainian Orthodoxy and also on the links between religion and nationalism. Theoretically it is based primarily on Rogers Brubaker’s concept of religion as imbricated or intertwined with nationalism. However, particular forms of such intertwining are modified by the author, given the nature of the case being researched. The identified forms of overlapping and intertwining appear to be essential, and important for understanding the actions of major actors. The study highlights that the ideological basis of the conflict over the autocephaly of Ukrainian Orthodoxy is a clash of two historical-religious mythologies, which serve as an example of intertwining of religion and nationalism. They also have the potential to significantly shape not only the ecclesiastical or religious scene of Ukraine and the Russian Federation, but also the concepts of national identity and value attitudes of inhabitants of both countries.

Author Biography

Josef Mlejnek

works as an assistant professor at the Institute for Political Studies, the Faculty of Social Science, Charles University, Prague. His research focuses on transitions to democracy; communism and post-communism; and the history, culture and politics of Central and Eastern Europe.

Research Articles