Join us for the second in a series of conversations about the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine, with Dr. Sharyl Cross (St. Edward’s University), Dr. Nikolas Gvosdev (U.S. Naval War College), Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou (Tufts University) and Dcn. Dr. Nicholas Denysenko (Valparaiso University).

Due to the length of this important conversation, we will release the panel discussion in two parts. The second half of our discussion will be published Thursday, June 9th.

Part One — Dr. Sharyl Cross and Dr. Nikolas Gvosdev discuss regional history, the complex political motivations and ideologies at play, and the US response to Russia’s current actions.

Watch our previous panel, “Ukraine: Humanitarian Crisis, International Response, and forming an Orthodox Political Theology,” HERE.

Dr. Sharyl Cross is Director of the Kozmetsky Center at St. Edward’s University & Global Policy Scholar at the Kennan Institute/Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She held previous appointments as Professor at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany & Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Dr. Cross has extensive teaching & publication experience in international relations with area concentrations on Russia/Eurasia & South East Europe. Her most recent book co-authored with Paul Bolt entitled China, Russia and Twenty First Century Global Geopolitics was published by Oxford University Press in 2018.

Nikolas K. Gvosdev is a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College. He holds non-residential fellowships with Foreign Policy Research Institute (editor of “Orbis”) and Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs (co-host of the “Doorstep” podcast). He is a member of Loisach Group, a collaboration between the Munich Security Conference and the Marshall Center to enhance U.S. and Germany’s security partnership. He is a contributing editor for The National Interest. He has taught at Baylor, Georgetown, George Washington, Harvard Extension and Brown universities. From 2016-20, he held the Captain Jerome E. Levy Chair in economic geography and national security.

Dr. Elizabeth H. Prodromou is a faculty member at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, where directs the Initiative on Religion, Law, and Diplomacy. She is non-resident Senior Fellow and Co-Chair of the Working Group on Christians and Religious Pluralism in the Middle East, at the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, and was non-resident Senior Fellow in National Security and the Middle East, at the Center for American Progress. She is a Co-President of Religions for Peace. Prodromou served as Vice Chair and Commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (2004-2012) and was a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Religion & Foreign Policy Working Group (2011-2015).

Her research interests focus on geopolitics and religion, with particular focus on the Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean, and Southeastern Europe. Her current research projects concentrate on cultural heritage and institutional religious freedom in Turkey and comparative context, as well as Eastern Orthodox Christianity and global public engagement. She is the faculty director for Fletcher’s executive education program for faith-based leadership. The author of multiple edited volumes and many publications in scholarly and policy journals, Prodromou is a frequent commentator and contributor in US and international media.

She holds a Ph.D. and an S.M. in political science from MIT, an M.A.L.D. in international relations from Fletcher, and a B.A. in history and international relations from Tufts University.

Nicholas Denysenko serves as Emil and Elfriede Jochum Professor and Chair and concurrently as associate professor of theology at Valparaiso University. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota (1994), and his graduate degrees at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (M.Div., 2000) and The Catholic University of America (Ph.D., 2008). Previously, he taught for seven years at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he also served as director of the Huffington Ecumenical Institute. Denysenko writes and speaks on diverse topics, and specializes in liturgical theology and Orthodox Christianity. His work has appeared in venues such as the Journal for the American Academy of Religion, Theological Studies, Studia Liturgica, Worship, and St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly. He blogs regularly at “Pray, Tell: Worship, Wit & Wisdom.” In his research, Denysenko explores the intersections of liturgical history, ritual studies, and pastoral theology, and writes for an ecumenical audience. He is currently working on “The People’s Faith: The Liturgy of the Faithful in Orthodoxy,” to be published by Rowman and Littlefield. His next book, “The Orthodox Church in Ukraine: A Century of Separation,” will be published by Northern Illinois University Press in Fall 2018. Denysenko is an ordained deacon of the Orthodox Church in America since 2003.


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    OCN Team is comprised of these gifted authors, teachers, thinkers, priests, parents, young adults and human beings at the Orthodox Christian Network.



OCN Team is comprised of these gifted authors, teachers, thinkers, priests, parents, young adults and human beings at the Orthodox Christian Network.


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