Summary. Introduction. The need to overcome the social polarization of Ukrainian society actualizes the comprehensive study of the intellectual heritage of those philosophers who were studying the formation of ethno-cultural and/or national unity of Ukrainians. The key point in this context belongs to the scientific work of I. Ohienko, who, without proper reflection, could become an element of a manipulative strategy that would deepen the split of  the Ukrainian society.

The purpose of our study is to systematize and critically understand I. Ohienko’s thoughts concerning the role of the Orthodox faith and the church in the process of Ukrainian ethno- and nation-building.

Methods. The interdisciplinary approach and the principle of unity of the historical and logical have become the methodological basis of scientific research. In the process of comprehending I. Ohienko’s doctrine about the role of the Orthodox Church in the processes of Ukrainian ethno- and nation-building, the hermeneutic method has played an important role – it has given an opportunity to interpret the positions and conclusions made by the researcher in various scientific works. The method of categorical analysis, which provided explanations for terminological contradictions in the creative heritage of I. Ohienko, has proved fruitful and promising.

Results. In the course of a critical rethinking of the scientific heritage of I. Ohienko in his mature period, it has been discovered that the study of factors and tools for establishing the ethno-cultural identity of Ukrainians remained the cornerstone of the scholarly search for the philosopher. It has been proved that in the opinion of the thinker, the necessary conditions for creating the latter are a set of objective attributes (language, customs, ordinances, etc.) and psychological characteristics (emotionality, religiosity, etc.) that promote awareness of the cultural distinctness of the community.

Originality. The ethno-building potential of Ukrainian Orthodoxy through the perspective of I. Ohienko’s intellectual investigation has been revealed, and the role of ritual practice in the process of formation and preservation of ethno-cultural identity of the community has been shown.

Conclusion. Despite the rationality of a number of I. Ohienko’s theoretical observations concerning the cultural potential of the Ukrainian Church, it is accompanied by a non-critical identification of ethno-cultural and religious affiliation. In view of this, the intellectual heritage of the philosopher is of a great importance for explaining the process of Ukrainian ethno-building, but it cannot be used uncritically for the development of national strategies.


Orthodox Church; people; ethnic building; nation building; language; objective signs; mentality; cultural identity; religious practice; stereotyped behavior


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