Churches and Memory in Ukraine: A Postsecular Development

Andriy Fert is a PhD candidate at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine).

Religion in Memory Studies

Historical memory scholars explore how societies remember the past and what influence collective memory has on individuals. Given that during European premodern history Christian churches were the main actors crafting collective memory, it’s no surprise that memory studies started with a significant focus on religion. French sociologist Maurice Halbwachs, one of the founding fathers of the field, for example, focused on religious practices to explore the boundaries of what he called the “social framework” of memory in his 1925 book Les cadres sociaux de la mémoire.

But as this field grew, attention to religion diminished. The idea of a linear secularization that dominated academia in the 1980s and early 1990s had it that religion was gradually giving way to a more “secular” worldview and thus was losing its grip on society’s imagery. As a result, memory scholars tended to ignore contemporary lived religion while focusing on states or other, non-state actors in their works. When modern religion did fall into their sight, it was mostly reduced to the research of how states or nationalisms borrowed religious language to sacralize the nation.

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Religion’s Roles in Peacebuilding: Religion and Interfaith Engagement in Times of Conflict and Disaster

Sharon Eubank is director of Latter-day Saint Charities. The following is an edited summary of her remarks at the 29th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, 4 October 2022.

As I see the great difficulties around the world, my greatest concern is that the rise of identity politics has pushed people into smaller and smaller boxes until they don’t have anything in common with anybody else. The question that galvanizes me is, What could we do as societies, cultures, and religious communities to weave social fabric back together? What practically would make that kind of difference? Today, I will pose three related questions, share some examples I’ve observed from around the world, and issue an invitation.

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Freedom of Religion or Belief and Gender Equality across the OSCE Region

In September 2022 The Review of Faith & International Affairs published an issue dedicated to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) and women’s rights across the OSCE region. The issue was edited by Elizabeth A. Clark and Dmytro Vovk and brought together a broad and rich variety of papers focusing on international law issues; the role religions and religious freedom play in the promotion of gender equality, as well as in religion-related reservations and political opposition to relevant international law; and tensions between religious organizations and human rights defenders working in this sphere.

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