Ukrainian church history (and Rowan Williams) : the April 2021 Slavonic items of the month

These ends of months really do come along very quickly.  Too quickly in this instance, so we’re a day late – apologies.  This post looks at material in the light of the forthcoming Cambridge Ukrainian Studies event ‘Church Matters: a conversation between His Grace Rowan Williams, Archbishop Emeritus of Canterbury, and His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church‘ which will take place online on Friday 7 May at 6pm (open to all, but do register in advance).

Event poster (from Cambridge Ukrainian Studies)

The UL’s Ukrainian collection has grown substantially since the launch of Cambridge Ukrainian Studies in 2008, from a fairly modest position.  We have collected material in Ukrainian and Russian from Ukraine on a wide range of subjects relating to Ukraine and the wider region, on history, politics, culture, and more – and we of course buy specific titles requested by academics and research students to support their particular areas of interest.  Since the arrival of Dr Olenka Pevny, for example, we have bought a good number of books about Ukrainian religious history – good reading, then, in connection with Friday’s event.

Thanks so her suggestions, we now purchase, for example, every volume in the Kyïvsʹke khrystyi︠a︡nstvo (Kyivan Christianity) series published by the Ukrainian Catholic University.  The first couple of books were published with a different series title but the University’s page about the series and the academic programme it stems from puts them clearly into a single set.  The titles we’ve received so far are shown in order of their numbering in the series.  Where the number is in red, the book is yet to be given its proper classmark.  These are the most recent arrivals and, very surprisingly (including to me: I was sure I had catalogued it), the very first volume in the series.  Access to the UL for cataloguing purposes is still very restricted but I will prioritise all these when I am next able to go in.

Another example of a request from Dr Pevny is the impressive Stykhyri︠a︡r : antolohii︠a︡ stykhyr liturhiĭnoho roku : na osnovu ukraïnsʹkykh rukopysnykh irmoloïv XVI-XVIII stolitʹ = Sticherarion : anthology of stichera of the liturgical year : based on Ukrainian manuscript irmologia of the XVI-XVIII centuries / compiled by hieromonk Luka Mykhaylovych, St. John the Baptist Lavra of the Studite Rule in Lviv, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church: a large 543-page volume largely consisting of musical scores.  If there are unfamiliar terms in the title for you too, here are the Wikipedia entries for sticheron and irmologion

The UL has of course got many books written by, contributed to, and edited by Dr Rowan Williams.  One that might surprise our readers is a Russian translation printed in Kyiv.  Bogoslovie V.N. Losskogo : izlozhenie i kritika is a translation of Williams’ otherwise unpublished doctoral thesis The theology of Vladimir Nikolaievich Lossky : an exposition and critique.  Given its Russian subject and lack of publication in the original, it made sense to pick it up when I found it on sale a couple of years after publication as a rare example of a translation from English in our Slavonic selections.  (This book, by the way, is why the Library of Congress name authority file has a cross reference in Williams’ name authority for the form Rouėn Uilʹi︠a︡ms)

I am certainly looking forward to Friday’s event and am sure there will be plenty of UL readers there too.

Mel Bach


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s