Georgetown university backdrop

The War in Ukraine

The Berkley Center condemns the criminal Russian invasion of Ukraine in the strongest terms. The unprovoked attack is an illicit assault on national sovereignty, human rights, and human dignity. It is an act of aggression against the UN Charter and the international legal order made all the more egregious by Russia's chairmanship of the Security Council and willingness to countenance nuclear threats. Every day that the war continues we express our fullest solidarity with the people of Ukraine, who are heroically fighting for their freedom and independence.

Following Pope Francis, the Berkley Center supports a culture of encounter as the most appropriate and legitimate means of addressing international conflicts and common global challenges. War is always a negation of encounter and of dialogue, but this war in particular is rooted in the failure to recognize the right of the other to its own name, its own identity, its own history, and its right to determine its own future in peaceful interaction with its neighbors.

As a center committed to scholarship and action at the intersection of religion, peace, and world affairs, the Berkley Center will continue to sponsor events and programs related to the war and will work with partners inside and outside Ukraine to strengthen academic cooperation during the conflict and once national reconstruction begins.

News

Kyiv skyline at night

August 30, 2022

By Defending Eastern Europe, You Are Defending Your Own Home

Constantin Sigov, Ukrainian philosopher and director of the European Center at the University of Kyiv, has decided to stay in Ukraine as a witness. In this essay, he deconstructs the enduring barbecue metaphor of Russian militarism and reflects on the lasting impacts of the war in Ukraine, both across Eastern Europe and on the world stage.

Islam and the "Russian World"

May 2, 2022

Islam and the "Russian World"

On May 26, Senior Research Fellow Peter Mandaville will participate in a webinar examining how the “Russian World” (Russki Mir) ideology deployed by Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow has been received by Muslim leaders within the Russian Federation. The event is sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University.

Jose Casanova

April 20, 2022

Russia in Ukraine: What’s Religion Got to Do with It?

Senior Fellow José Casanova will participate in an April 21 webinar, hosted by the University of Notre Dame, about Russian President Vladimir Putin's use of religion to justify the Russian invasion of Ukraine and how religion is helping to address the human cost of the war, as religious NGOs provide assistance for Ukrainian refugees.

ThreeCrossesSilhouettedSunset_1600.jpg

April 14, 2022

Easter in Ukraine

Constantin Sigov, Ukrainian philosopher and director of the European Center at the University of Kyiv, has decided to stay in Ukraine as a witness. In this interview he reflects on the time he left the USSR, the war in Ukraine, and what Easter means at this critical time.

Jose Casanova

April 12, 2022

Ukraine: Language, Literature, and Religion

Senior Fellow José Casanova will participate in an April 14 webinar to address questions related to Ukraine through its language, literature, and religion in order to provide a counter-narrative to Putin’s “imagined reality.” The event is sponsored by the UC Berkeley Library.

The back of Pope Francis as he's looking down

April 3, 2022

Konstantin Sigov: An Invitation for the Pope to Visit Kyiv

Constantin Sigov, Ukrainian philosopher and director of the European Center at the University of Kyiv, has decided to stay in Ukraine as a witness. In this interview he discusses the three catastrophes that occurred on February 24, the echoes of the 2014 Maidan protests that can be seen today, and why he would like Pope Francis to visit Ukraine.

Jose Casanova

March 30, 2022

Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Special Edition: José Casanova and Tornike Metreveli

What are the religious dimensions of an ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine? What are the global religious and theological responses to this war? Religion in Praxis Conversation podcast host Tornike Metreveli interviewed Senior Fellow José Casanova about these and other questions pertaining to the religious aspects of this war.

Ukrainian flag silhouetted against a dark mountain with trees

March 29, 2022

Religious Dimensions of the Ukraine War

In a virtual lecture on March 30, Senior Fellow José Casanova will discuss the role of religion in the war in Ukraine. The event is hosted by the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University.

Paul Elie

March 12, 2022

The Pope, the Patriarchs, and the Battle to Save Ukraine

In a Daily Comment for the New Yorker, Senior Fellow Paul Elie examines the religious dimension of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and suggests a way for Pope Francis to exert moral authority for peace and against Putin.

Ukrainian flag silhouetted against a dark mountain with trees

March 9, 2022

Tell the Truth: Interview with Constantin Sigov, March 2022

Constantin Sigov, Ukrainian philosopher and director of the European Center at the University of Kyiv, has decided to stay in Ukraine as a witness. In this telephone interview, he recounts his country's slide into war and the resistance of his people—as well as his own and that of his son.

Jocelyne Cesari

March 9, 2022

How Nationalism Has Hijacked Russian Religion

Vladimir Putin has long styled himself as a defender of Christian values. In the second of a two-part series on ABC National Radio's The Religion and Ethics Report, Senior Fellow Jocelyne Cesari discusses how nationalism has hijacked Russian religion.

related | Listen to Part One

Rows of country flags with the United States in the middle

March 8, 2022

Waking Up in a New World Order?

In the space of few days, the war in Ukraine has accomplished what successive U.S. presidents and European leaders could not in 30 years. This March 11 online conversation, co-sponsored with Reset Dialogue on Civilizations, will consider how these new tectonic shifts force a sincere reassessment of national commitments to international values.

President John J. DeGioia looking serious while speaking at a podium

March 7, 2022

Statement from Georgetown President John J. DeGioia on Ukraine

President John J. DeGioia offered a statement on standing with the Ukrainian community and described some of the early efforts of the Georgetown University community to support Ukrainian students on campus and the people of Ukraine at-large.

Screenshot of YouTube video with Jose Casanova and Eric Patterson

March 4, 2022

3 Questions on Ukraine: Eric Patterson and José Casanova

Senior Fellow José Casanova spoke with Research Fellow Eric Patterson, executive vice president of the Religious Freedom Institute, about the religious dynamics in Ukraine, particularly the multidimensionality of religious freedom in Ukraine, amidst the current crisis.

Jocelyne Cesari

March 2, 2022

Why Putin Believes He's Fighting a Holy War

In the first of a two-part series on ABC National Radio's The Religion and Ethics Report, Senior Fellow Jocelyne Cesari discusses what Russian President Vladimir Putin sees as a divine mission to restore the ancient territory of the 'Holy Rus,' with the Ukrainian capital Kyiv as the 'Third Rome.'

related | Listen to Part Two

Monument to Prince Vladimir the Great overlooking the Dnieper River in Kyiv, Ukraine

February 25, 2022

War in Ukraine

In this interview, Constantin Sigov reflects on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began in late February 2022, highlighting what the conflict might mean for the future of Ukraine, Europe, and the world order more broadly.

Peter Mandaville

February 9, 2022

How Putin Turned Religion’s ‘Sharp Power’ Against Ukraine

Writing for the United States Institute of Peace, Senior Research Fellow Peter Mandaville argues that Moscow’s stance on the Orthodox Church is indicative of how aspiring powers use religion to either build solidarity or sow seeds of conflict.

Opens in a new window