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Impact of the war in Ukraine on UEF

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East Meets West Conference: Ukraine and Russia – Always Together, Always in Separation

  • Conference
  • Webinar
  • Languages and cultures
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Call for Papers is open until 15.8.2021(extended).

The East Meets West Conference series is organised by the School of Theology at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF), where Orthodox and Western theology are taught and researched not just side by side, but together in a creative and critical manner.

Ukraine and Russia – Always Together, Always in Separation is supported by the Borders, Mobilities and Cultural Encounters Research Community, BOMOCULT RC, and organised also together with the VERA Centre for Russian and Border Studies.

The East Meets West Conference offers a platform for new and innovative research on issues related to different conceptualisations of Eastern and Western religious traditions. East meets West is, thus, not just about Christianity and its contact and border lines. It is a wider concept under which religions and their connections with the diversity of life can be studied. The focus is in the particularities of East and West connections in varieties of their encounters. These encounters take place in the fields of culture, society, doctrine, migration, education, politics, and their interactions.

Russia has inspired a multitude of studies on history, politics, religion, not to mention many other areas of research. Interest in Ukrainian affairs has until recently been less intensive, excluding of course scholars with links or background in Ukraine. If Russia and Ukraine have been studied together, more attention is usually paid to the former, and from a Russian perspective. From this point of view, Kievan Rus’ has without second thought considered as the cradle of Russian culture, a mediator of Byzantine culture on its way to the North, to Moscow in the first place, where it ennobled into a ‘genuine Russian culture’.

This simplified view of course is contested, or challenged, but it still prevails. We still do not have an abundance of studies seriously focusing on the multi-layered and entangled encounters and interactions between things ‘Russian’ and ‘Ukrainian’. To illuminate and understand these things, e.g., encounters, entanglements, and interactions, is the main subject and theme of this conference. We have divided the theme on three subsections and announce here call for papers relative to them.

Please read more about this call for papers and the event on the webpage.

Please register by 31.8., registration is free. Registered participant will receive a Zoom link to the event latest on 1 October.The programme will be announced in August in the address Welcome!

Keynote speakers

Andriy Fert is a historian working on his PhD at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine. He studies church-state relationships at the local level in the late socialism and historical memory of contemporary Orthodox church. Recent publications include: Equivocal Memory: What does the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate Remember? in the collective volume Religion During the Russian Ukrainian Conflict (2020) and Church Independence as historical justice in Baltic Worlds (2020).

Elizaveta Gaufman is assistant professor of Russian discourse and politics at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. She is the
author of “Security Threats and Public Perception: Digital Russia and the Ukraine Crisis” (Palgrave, 2017).


Archimandrite Cyril Hovorun is a Professor in Ecclesiology, International Relations and Ecumenism at the University College Stockholm (Enskilda Högskolan Stockholm).

Contact email: east.meets.west(at)

Senior Researcher ThD. Heta Hurskainen

Assistant Professor PhD. Teuvo Laitila