The invention of Tradition: Kyiv Metropolia (1596-1720)

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At the end of the 16th and throughout the 17th century, a process of »invention« of the Kyiv historiographical, hagiographic and polemical tradition took place which was regarded as the return to the »ancient times« and the original sources.

Kiew in der Mitte des 17. Jahrhunderts. Kupferstich von Abraham van Westerfeld

The Invention of Tradition: Kyiv Metropolia in search of the way between Rome, Constantinople, Wittenberg, Warsaw and Moscow (1596-1720)
The main objective of the research project is to examine the intellectual strategies with which the Kyiv hierarchy responded to the external political, theological and intellectual influences in the 17th century. It asks what ideas and practices were taken up by Kyiv clerical elite in order to articulate the own tradition and which ideas were refuted or simply ignored in the political declarations, polemical, historiographical and hagiographic writings. The parallel »invention of Tradition« in the United and Orthodox Churches provides an important material for comparing this process in both parts of the once-unified Kyiv Metropolia. The aim of the project is both to highlight the peculiarity of the Ukrainian ecclesiastical situation and to classify the results of the study in a European context. Therefore, in a second step, it will be asked whether and to what extent impulses emanated from Kyiv and influenced the European religious and cultural centers. In order to achieve the project’s goals political declarations, polemical, historical and hagiographic sources as well as the library collections of the clergy are analyzed.

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