Russian Orthodox Church in Ukrainian social-political processes in the second half of the nineteenth century: historiography

I. Gorpynchenko


Inroduction. Preparation of a comprehensive historiography of the social activities of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine in the second half of the nineteenth century dictated by the absence of a relevant general works, the need of reconstruction of the Ukrainian vision of the domestic Church history of the post-reform era, the need of systematization of historical knowledge in this area to optimize future research.

Purpose. Creation of an original sketch of a holistic historiography of the social activities of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine in the second half of the 19thcentury.

Methods. The purpose of historiographical analysis of public-political activity of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine in the second half of the 19thcentury realized the idea of methodological synthesis, in particular, the combination of a variety of methodological approaches, including postpositivistic, formational, civilizational, etc.

Results. The analysis of scientific works concerning the Russian Orthodox Church’s participation in public-political processes of Ukraine in the second half of the nineteenth century, identifies the main domestic and foreign, secular and religious historical Church schools, clarifies the features of their approaches to the coverage of religious and public aspects of the history of the Church in Ukraine.

Originality. It was found that the differences in the conceptual approaches of scholars who covered the whole range of the investigated problems were due to the different assessment not only of the national policy of the clergy but the nature of its social service.


Conclusion. The role of the Orthodox Church in political and social processes is presented from the standpoint of historians of different scientific schools: official Church, atheistic and objectively critical. In the historiography of the alleged conclusion about the structural heterogeneity of the then Church in Ukraine and the combination of the prevailing «security» with the marginal opposition trends in the attitudes and actions of the Orthodox clergy. The author offers prospective directions of further historical research, in particular: the history of the participation of the clergy in the implementation of the land reform of 1861, of the Zemstvo and judicial reforms of 1864; the Church’s influence on peasant protest before and after the liberal reforms, as well as the reaction of the Orthodox clergy to revolutionary processes; public-political activity of the famous Church leaders of the second half of the 19thcentury.


Russian Orthodox Church, social-political processes, reform, counter-reform, historiography


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