Government ideas of ukrainian orthodox clergy in the period of the national-liberation revolution in the middle XVII ct. (1648-1657)

  • N. M. Shalashna Donbass state pedagogical university
Keywords: orthodox church, cossacks, ukrainian nation, Kyiv metropolis, Petro Mohyla, Bohdan Khmelnytsky, Silvestr Kosiv


The article deals with the views of Ukrainian orthodox intellectuals of late XVI – early XVII ct. on the gist of the state, political rules, the role of the governor, the relations between the church and government authority. By the mid of XVII ct. these ideas had been clearly determined and wanted political realization. It resulted in closer relations of the Cossack and Orthodox Authorities and the interaction of their political concepts. The impact of the church elite on the evolution of the Cossack’s idea of the Government in the period of the national-liberation revolution of 1648-1657 is under research. The Cossack’s and the Church’s common and distinctive ideas of an ideal government as well as the reasons of these distinctions and their impact on the course of the political events are analyzed. It is proved that the Cossack and the Orthodox Authorities had common views on the basic ideas of the political notion «Rus», of a political nation as an outclass ethnic-confessional community, who are voluntarily united to defend their faith and rights. It is supposed that these ideas were borrowed by Cossacks from the church, where they had been being developed since the end of XVI ct. At the same time, there was a strict distinction in the idea of the state governor and the relations between the state and the church authorities. In contrast to orthodox priests’ understanding of an ideal governor as «tsar-philosopher» (the idea that had existed in European philosophy since Platoon and had dominated since Petro Mohyla), Bohdan Khmelnytsky’s entourage evolved from a democratic idea of Cossack Hetman to autocratic idea of Hetman-Monarch. The priesthood and Cossacks had also differed in their vision of the relations between the church and the state authorities. The priesthood supported the supremacy of the church, while Cossacks stood up for the state government.Such a difference in their views resulted in great misunderstanding between hetman’s adherents and orthodox hierarchy, especially in the period of formation of the Union with Moscow State in 1654. This difference must have been caused by different political influence on the Cossack Authority of both Kyiv orthodox hierarchy (whose aim was to strengthen Ukrainian sovereignty) and orthodox patriarchs in the east (aimed to liberate themselves from Moslem Government). Later on both Cossack and church ideas evolved under the impact of objective circumstances and influenced mutually in the process of formation of the national government.

Author Biography

N. M. Shalashna, Donbass state pedagogical university
PhD in historical science, associate professor


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How to Cite
Shalashna, N. (2014). Government ideas of ukrainian orthodox clergy in the period of the national-liberation revolution in the middle XVII ct. (1648-1657). Grani, 17(11), 136-143. Retrieved from