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Everyday Religiosity and the Politics of Belonging in Ukraine reveals how and why religion has become a pivotal political force in a society struggling to overcome the legacy of its entangled past with Russia and chart a new future. If Ukraine is "ground zero" in the tensions between Russia and the West, religion is an arena where the consequences of conflicts between Russia and Ukraine keenly play out.
Vibrant forms of everyday religiosity pave the way for religion to be weaponized and securitized to advance political agendas in Ukraine and beyond. These practices, Catherine Wanner argues, enable religiosity to be increasingly present in public spaces, public institutions, and wartime politics in a pluralist society that claims to be secular.
Based on ethnographic data and interviews conducted since before the Revolution of Dignity and the outbreak of armed combat in 2014, Wanner investigates the conditions that catapulted religiosity, religious institutions, and religious leaders to the forefront of politics and geopolitics.
Catherine Wanner is Professor of History, Anthropology, and Religious Studies at The Pennsylvania State University. She is the author or editor of six books on Ukraine, including Ukrainians and Global Evangelism and Burden of Dreams.
Lucian N. Leustean, Aston University, co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Europe:
"This excellent and accessible book adds new insights into our understanding of not only tumultuous church-state relations in Ukraine but of the role played by religion in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. It is a must-read."
Paul D'Anieri, University of California, Riverside, author of Ukraine and Russia:
"The tomos establishing an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church was a huge political undertaking that has not yet had the kind of impact people hoped or feared. This book helps us understand why, and in the process provides a more nuanced picture of how religion actually 'works' in Ukraine."
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