Autonomy Lost and Regained: The Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolia of Kyiv, 1633-2019

Mohyla: Educator and Defender

Petro Mohyla (1596-1647, Metropolitan of Kyiv from 1633) was a unique figure in the history of Orthodox Christianity. As the historian Ihor Ševčenko put it, Mohyla lived in many worlds.

Born in Moldova, he became a key figure in Ruthenia/Ukraine. A product of the overwhelmingly Catholic and Western-oriented Polish aristocratic social structure, he was at the same time a zealous defender of Orthodoxy.

The institution of higher education that he founded — later known as the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy — staved off the complete Polonization of the upper strata of Ukrainian society in the middle of the 17th century, and also delayed its Russification at the end of that century.

Venerated as a saint by the Orthodox Churches of Ukraine, Romania, and Poland, his Catechism and his systematization and reform of liturgical practice led to accusations of "Latinization", but at the same time had impacts throughout the Orthodox world.

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