Ukrainian churches in defence of ‘traditional values’: two case studies and some methodological considerations

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    Following the post-Maidan political urge to align Ukrainian legislation to European Union standards, churches and religious organisations strongly oppose the legal introduction of terminology relating to gender and sexual orientation. This contribution discusses two cases: the contested bill on the Labour Code and the difficult process of ratification of the Istanbul Convention. It presents an analysis of the position and strategy of the Ukrainian churches in view of their relation to the state leadership, wider society, Europe, and transnational alliances on ‘traditional values’. Using the concept of ‘multiple modernities’, the churches’ traditionalist stance is interpreted as deeply paradoxical: while their social (and political) capital draws on their support for the Euromaidan’s modernising thrust, they now try to reinforce it by a politics of traditional morality. Finally, by way of evaluation, methodological questions of normativity and the interdisciplinarity of theology, social science, and the humanities are addressed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)90-106
    Number of pages17
    JournalReligion, State and Society
    Issue number2-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • Ukraine; Orthodoxy; churches; traditional values; gender; sexuality

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