ACRS Alumnus Yuriy Kosulap
When I applied to the Department of History at CEU I was looking for a program connected with a study of religion and the SRS, with its interdisciplinary approaches, seemed to fit my interests perfectly. From the very outset I felt really lucky to participate in the program because I got a chance to chose from a variety of courses offered by the SRS and to obtain a certificate in addition to my CEU Master’s diploma. After I joined the specialization, I realized that, in addition to different academic activities, the SRS is an international and close-knit community of scholars that looks for students who are genuinely interested in studying religious phenomena and helps them to advance in their careers.
In my Master’s thesis I explored the history of monasticism in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, namely the Monastic Order of Saint Basil the Great during the reform of 1882-1904 and its role in the national movement in the early 20th century Galicia. The interesting aspect of this study is not only the interaction of Eastern and Western Christianity so characteristic of this region, but also the interplay between religious and national discourses in printing activities of the Basilian Fathers. While working on this subject, I could not miss the figure of the most prominent Basilian – Andrei Sheptyts’kyi, who was a spiritual leader of the Greek Catholic Ruthenians/Ukrainians for half a century. In my current doctoral research I focus on his dynamic life and activities in religious and political spheres.
The SRS organized a great variety of academic and extracurricular events. It offered me an opportunity for personal and intellectual growth. For example, initially I was interested in the history of a particular Christian denomination, however, the program gave an outlook on the role of religions in contemporary societies, as well as on the political side of religious beliefs in different historical periods, and finally it offered a comparative perspective on Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
As an MA student and when looking for a job and academic opportunities after graduation, I fount it advantageous that I had a chance to discover the religious phenomena beyond my specific research topic.
However, the greatest benefit of the SRS was a chance to meet great people – students and professors from different departments I would have never met otherwise. We remained in contact after my graduation from the program and I still can rely on their friendly advise and support.
I found that in addition to a good reputation, studies with the SRS may turn into concrete advantages. I noticed that from the United States to Sweden and to the Czech Republic, the SRS program was recognized as a part of scholarly network and my former professors were esteemed in academic circles. I noted for myself that the CEU measures up to the level of the best world universities. Therefore the certificate provided by the SRS even on the level of Master’s program is a good start for a career in academia. Now I continue my studies a doctoral program at the CEU Department of History.
Overall, I had plenty of opportunities to pursue my research in various settings, largely thanks to guidance and advice of my former professors form the SRS and I believe that it was both my academic training and the competitive value of the SRS that helped me to succeed.
CEU RELIGIOUS STUDIES STUDENT
THESIS: CROSS ON THE TRIDENT: THE RELIGIOUS PATRIOTISM OF THE MONASTIC ORDER OF ST BASIL THE GREAT IN THE CONTEXT OF NATION-BUILDING IN UKRAINE, 1897-1914
After graduating from the CEU History Department with a Master's in History and Certificate in Religious Studies, Yuriy continued his studies at other universities abroad. He spent two months at Harvard's Summer School program. He then participated in the Erasmus Mundus Euroculture Programme, an interdisciplinary MA program, where he studied the Greek Catholic Church in contemporary context. Yuriy went on to study at Uppsala University and Palacky University of Olomouc, where he compared the communities of Ukrainian migrants, which consolidated around either religious or secular institutions in Olomouc and Budapest respectively. In 2012, he was an instructor of Biblical Studies at the Department of Theology at LCC University of Klaipeda (Lithuania).
He now continues his studies with the CEU Department of History Doctoral Program on the topic of Confessional Policies of Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky in the Late Habsburg Empire and its Aftermath, 1908-1923.