January 28, 2005 by AK

Ukraine Between East and West

I may not ever get to read this book by Prof. Sevcenko but the brief foreword by Frank E. Sysyn is a better guide to understanding Ukrainian identity than most that I have seen since the outbreak of the Kyiv election crisis.

Moving on to the early modern period, Ihor Sevcenko analyzes the impact of the Renaissance, Reformation and Counter-Reformation in Ukraine. The scholarship and new instructional methods of the Polish Jesuits and the assimilative pressure of the Polish church and state compelled the Ukrainian elite not only to rise in defense of its ancestral faith but also to reshape its traditional culture with the aid of Western innovations. The intellectual ferment of the era is captured in essays on the defense of the Orthodox faith and the religious polemical literature. The essay on Metropolitan Peter Mohyla examines the complex cultural world of this important churchman. Concluding the work is a consideration of the way in which Byzantine and Western influences combined with the Kyivan legacy to produce a distinctive Ukrainian identity.

Note that Pascal published Provincial Letters six years after the Pereyaslav Treaty (1654).


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