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Lecture Series Russia´s war, Ukraine’s resistance | “Orthodoxy at war: Religious arguments in Russia’s aggression” – Regina Elsner

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The current lecture series is aimed at revealing some of the aspects that pre-defined and framed the current occasions. On the one hand, the lectures will present the development of Ukrainian identity, nation and sovereignty in different historical context and under various, often contradicting factors. On the other hand, important part of the series is to show how Russia attempted to influence the country from several angles, often using media, culture and religion as tools of spreading narratives harmful for Ukrainian nation-building.

This talk will adress the main religious arguments in Russia’s legitimation of the war, how the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church developed its theology of war during the last decades and what that means for dissenting religious voices.

Regina Elsner is a theologian and, since September 2017, a researcher at the Centre for East-European and international Studies, Germany. Her main research interests evolve around Christian social ethics, the Russian Orthodox Church as socio-political actor and Christian churches and human rights. Among her recent publications a book The Russian Orthodox Church and Modernity. A Historical and Theological Investigation into Eastern Christianity between Unity and Plurality (ibidem Press, 2021) and an edited book Dostoinstvo cheloveka: Vyzov i put’. Sbornik statey (Dukh i litera, 2021). She is co-speaker of the section for religion of the German Association for East European Studies and a member of the PRO ORIENTE Steering Committee for the Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue.

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