New upcoming book – Eastern Christianity and Politics in the Twenty-First Century Sunday, Dec 22 2013 

Eastern Christianity and Politics in the Twenty-First Century, a new volume edited by Lucian Leustean, is now officially in production. It will be published in Spring 2014 with Routledge. Lucian Turcescu and I sign the chapter on the Romanian Orthodox Church. The book is advertised on the Routledge website.

Its description reads: “This book provides an up-to-date, comprehensive overview of Eastern Christian churches in Europe, the Middle East, America, Africa, Asia and Australia. Written by leading international scholars in the field, it examines both Orthodox and Oriental churches from the end of the Cold War up to the present day. The book offers a unique insight into the myriad of church-state relations in Eastern Christianity and tackles contemporary concerns, opportunities and challenges, such as religious revival after the fall of communism; churches and democracy; relations between Orthodox, Catholic and Greek Catholic churches; religious education and monastic life; the size and structure of congregations; and the impact of migration, secularisation and globalisation on Eastern Christianity in the twenty-first century.”

Interview with John Brannen Wednesday, Dec 18 2013 

On December 13, John Brannen published a longer article where he cites some of the comments I sent to him. The interview, which is available here, appeared in The News, the newspaper of New Glasgow. Here is an excerpt:

Russia, EU watch as Eastern European country sees protests erupt in Kiev

NEW GLASGOW – Philip Krakowski of New Glasgow remembers the stories his parents would tell him of life back in Poland.

Under a harsh Communist regime and the watchful eyes of the Soviet Union, his educated parents, originally from Poznan, sought a better life elsewhere. With the help of the Canadian embassy in West Germany they filed as political refugees, and immigrated to Canada and settled in Halifax…

According to Dr. Lavinia Stan, a political science professor at St. Francis Xavier University, this tug-of-war between the EU and Russia is nothing new.

“Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and especially with the Eastern enlargement of the European Union, Ukraine and the western republics of the former Soviet Union have been caught in between the European Union and Russia,” she said. “There are significant segments of their population that believe that rapprochement with either the EU or Russia is best for the republic.”

Several former Soviet republics, such as Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have already become EU members. Others, such as Belarus and Kazakhstan, have opted to stay in Russia’s orbit. The toppling of a statue of Lenin in Kiev, while symbolic, shows the great divisions that exist between the people and politicians of Ukraine.

“Ukraine stands thus by itself, remaining a Russian outpost at the edge of the EU… the protests also show that the people have a voice, and the political project they envisage for their country contradicts the one supported by their politicians,” said Stan.

Recently, Yanukovych indicated he would revisit the earlier decision to reject the EU after promises of more aid came from the 28-country bloc. A positive move, said Stan.

“But the underlying issues of representation, accountability, reform will continue to be there as long as the Ukrainian democracy remains unstable.”

Interview with Andrzej Stankiewicz, in Polish Thursday, Dec 12 2013 

During the Warsaw conference I talked to Andrzej Stankiewicz. He published the interview today, in Polish, in the Tygodnik Powszechny journal, which contained a number of other articles on the conference and its topic, transitional justice in post-communist Europe. The interview, available here, is titled “My albo ono”. I trust Andrzej, since I cannot read or speak Polish.

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Other photos from the conference:

Lavinia Stan

Lavinia Stan

Lavinia Stan

Lavinia Stan

Lavinia Stan

Lavinia Stan