Writing in 1621 about Cossack participation in the struggle against the Ottomans, Iov Boretsky said: ‘What other nations strive to win by means of words and discourses, the Cossacks accomplish with actions themselves’. With his references to religious discourses and other peoples, Boretsky was in effect placing Ukrainian Cossackdom in the context of the broader religious conflicts of his age, and, in speaking of the Cossacks' inclination to direct action rather than words, he was implicitly referring their specific role in contemporary relations not only between Christianity and Islam but also between Orthodoxy on the one hand and the Union, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Judaism on the other. This chapter examines what Orthodoxy in Kyiv and its relations with other Christian and non-Christian churches would have been like if the Cossacks of Ukraine had not become involved in the religious conflict of the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
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