Episode 27. Catherine Wanner & Julia Buyskykh: Religious Minorities in Ukraine and Poland
In this episode, Catherine Wanner, Professor of History, Anthropology and Religious Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, and Julia Buyskykh, Research Fellow at the Institute of History of Ukraine (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) and co-founder of the Centre for Applied Anthropology, discuss religious minorities in Ukraine and Poland. Drawing upon their long-term ethnographic fieldwork among Greek Catholic and Protestant communities Wanner and Buyskykh suggest the need to rethink how religious “minorities” should be framed within academic and public discourse. While Greek Catholics in both Ukraine and Poland, for instance, may represent a minority in purely numerical terms, this is historically outweighed by their public visibility and extensive influence across the civic, cultural, religious and political spheres. Moreover, alongside Lutherans, Baptists and other protestant groups, the Greek Catholics have started to reengage with their ancestral, denominational and territorial legacies, from which they had previously grown distant during the Communist era. Wanner and Buyskykh also discuss the role of religion and the activity of religious communities in view of Russia’s aggression on Ukraine.