1st Edition

Orthodox Christianity and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Edited By Tornike Metreveli Copyright 2024
    228 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book probes into the dynamics between Orthodox Christianity and the COVID-19 pandemic, unraveling a profound transformation at institutional and grassroots levels. Employing a multidisciplinary approach, and drawing upon varied data sources, including surveys, digital ethnography, and process tracing, it presents unprecedented insights into church-state relations, religious practices, and theological traditions during this crisis. Chapters analyze divergent responses across countries, underscore religious-political interplay, and expose tensions between formal and informal power networks. Through case studies, the book highlights the innovative adaptability within the faith, demonstrated by new religious practices and the active role of local priests in responding to the pandemic. It critically examines how the actions of religious and political figures influenced public health outcomes. Offering a fresh perspective, the book suggests that the pandemic may have permanently influenced the relationship between Orthodox Christianity, public health, and society.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license. Funded by Lund University.

    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    List of Contributors


    Introduction, Tornike Metreveli

    1.     Church fragmentation and the pandemic: Analysis of four eastern Christian groups in Ukraine, Tetiana Kalenychenko, Cyril Hovorun, Tymofii Brik

    2.     Orthodox Churches and the COVID-19 Pandemic in Romania and Bulgaria, Lucian N. Leustean

    3.     Conspiracies, anxieties, and ritual arrhythmia:  Exploring Orthodox discourses and practices in Greece and Cyprus during the coronavirus pandemic, Vasilios N. Makrides, Eleni Sotiriou

    4.     As if the State Mattered: Georgian Orthodox Church under COVID Crisis, Tornike Metreveli

    5.     COVID-19 and Orthodox Christianity: Communion practices in Serbian Orthodox Church, Stefan Radojković

    6.     Immunity to COVID-19? The Russian Orthodox Church under global crisis, Maria Toropova

    7.     Shots of Faith: The Influence of Christian Nationalism on Vaccination Behaviour in Ukraine, Georgia, Serbia, and Montenegro during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Tymofii Brik, Tornike Metreveli

    8.      “Locked doors slam against the very essence of the Church” Finnish and Swedish Orthodox Priests’ Pastoral Responses to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Johan Bastubacka



    Tornike Metreveli is an Associate Senior Lecturer at Lund University, Sweden