The Role of Religion in the Processes of Transformation from Totalitarianism to Democracy, Establishing Civil Society, and Building Social Trust in Ukraine
The project, which combines the methods of theology, critical history, demography, sociology, and political science, and forms part of a wider program of cooperation with North American and Central-Eastern European Catholic universities, aims to study the role of the believers and religious communities, especially the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, in attaining and supporting economic, political, and religious freedoms during the tumultuous period when the Soviet Union collapsed and independent Ukraine emerged. In particular, it will focus on the analysis of archive sources, press and literature, and the collection of witness accounts about the transition from Communism to the free market and the development of basic civil society structures, which include also believers and religious communities. One of the important purposes of this interdisciplinary study will be to reexamine the traumas of the totalitarian past with a view of healing them, to explore social expectations regarding the present place and role of Church in society, and to consider the factors and risks behind the high levels of trust that the society has towards the Church. This will help develop an adequate and proactive program of actions for Ukrainian religious communities in the current circumstances.
Oleg Turiy, historian, vice-rector for scientific development of UCU