Chicago Theological Initiative to host program on Rebuild Ukraine

Posted3/13/2023 2:28 PM

The 2023 Chicago Theological Initiative presents "When the Patriarch of Moscow Blesses a War: Russian Apocalypticism and the Sacralization of Violence," a lecture by professor Paul Gavrilyuk, on Thursday, March 16.

The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Meyer Science Center, 430 Howard St. in Wheaton.


The ideology that fuels Russia's war against Ukraine was produced within the bosom of the Russian Orthodox Church and has Kirill Gundiaev, the Patriarch of Moscow as its major proponent.

The ideology of the "Russian World" is imagined as a holder of the traditional Christian values and asserted in opposition to the secular West.

This imperial ideology denies to the Ukrainian nation a right to independent existence and invokes apocalyptic imagery to justify Putin's horrific war of aggression.

Dr. Paul Gavrilyuk is the Aquinas Chair in Theology and Philosophy at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. He is an internationally respected theologian and the author of numerous publications translated into ten languages.

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He was born in Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, where some members of his extended family remain today.

As the situation in the country deteriorated, his parents fled Ukraine and became refugees. In response to the immense humanitarian catastrophe now unfolding in the war-torn country, Gavrilyuk founded Rebuild Ukraine (, a nonprofit organization that provides medical supplies and emergency vehicles to Ukraine's defenders, and helps the children affected by the war.

This event co-sponsored by The Wheaton Center for Early Christian Studies together with The Center for Scriptural Exegesis, Philosophy, and Doctrine (Mundelein Seminary) and the Chicago Theological Initiative.

The lecture is free and open to the public and will take place in Meyer Science Center, Buyse Lecture Hall (Room 145), located at 430 Howard Street in Wheaton.

For more information, contact Biblical and Theological Studies at (630) 752-5197 or

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