Law and Religion Perspectives

A Canopy Forum Thematic Series
March – June 2022

“Contesting Reunification: Autocephaly and Sovereignty in Ukraine”

Kathryn David
June 30th, 2022

“When Russia’s war against Ukraine began, journalists in Russia were instructed to call it a “special operation,” not a “war.” Soon, draconian fines were introduced to penalize those who dared to call a war a war. In 2014, a similar obsession with terminology surfaced in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Crimea: what transpired was not to be called an “annexation” but a “reunification…” 

“Religious Arguments and Political Goals Behind the Russian-Ukrainian War”

Dmytro Vovk
June 23rd, 2022

“I live in Kharkiv, a large city in eastern Ukraine right on the Russian border. Kharkiv is a totally Russian-speaking city and occupies a prominent place not only in Ukrainian, but also in Russian history and culture. It’s the city where one of the Russian Empire’s oldest universities was established, one of the greatest Russian artists Ilya Repin was born, and where the Nobel-prize-winning physicist Lev Landau lived and worked for several years…” 

“The End of an Ideological Cycle?”

Cyril Hovorun
June 21st, 2022

“Daniel Bell (1919-2011), a leading American sociologist, declared in his 1960 essay collection, The End of an Ideology, that the mainstream ideologies that had shaped the global political landscape since the nineteenth century exhausted their momentum by the 1950s. Among them included ideologies that had contributed to World War II: communism, fascism, and Nazism. The end of the war meant their collapse….” 

“Pope Francis, Just War Theory, the Ukraine, and Beyond: Can War Be Just?

Charles Russo
May 4th, 2022

“In a speech at the Vatican Apostolic Palace on March 18, 2022, Pope Francis declared “war is always – always! – the defeat of humanity, always,” emphasizing there is no such thing as a just war. War is certainly a defeat for humanity despite Clausewitz’s dictum that “war is the continuation of politics by other means.” What is puzzling…” 

“Ukrainian Autocephaly: A Challenge to Russian Neo-Imperialism”

Nicholas Denysenko
April 17th, 2022

“President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation has cited several issues motivating his invasion of Ukraine. These include the encroachment of NATO upon Russia, Ukraine as an indivisible part of a multinational Russia, the threats posed by “decadent” European values, violations of the rights of Russophones in Ukraine, the threat of a crackdown on the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine (ROCU), and the prevalence of neo-Nazis in the Ukrainian government…” 

“The Russian Orthodox Church’s Empire of Media”

Jacob Lassin
March 28th, 2022

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has strained the attempts of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) to maintain control and influence over its far-flung flock. The ROC has attempted to revive an imperial-style of church governance without the legal structures of an empire. Instead, it relies on mass media to cohere the wide territory claimed as its jurisdiction. Through these media narratives, which exacerbate the church’s understanding of its own authority, the ROC has found itself a willing assistant to the attempts of the Russian state to diminish Ukrainian sovereignty…” 

“Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine”

Rafael Domingo
March 14th, 2022

“The bloody invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops has shaken the international order born of the ashes of World War II battlefields. Our fragile international system was shocked and stunned by the unbridled attack by Russia – a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council – whose leader is bent on seizing its neighbor Ukraine by force. Russian President Vladimir Putin clings tightly to the erroneous notion that physical violence is ultimately necessary to achieve his ends, regardless of the truth…”