The Dukh i Litera (“Spirit and Letter”) Research and Publishing Association is an independent non-governmental organization that combines the activities of a publishing house, a research centre, and a venue for dialogue between various disciplines, cultures, and creeds.
Dukh i Litera was initially founded in 1992 as a publishing house by scholars of different branches of the humanities, on the premises of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Its primary mission is publishing world classics in philosophy, theology, history, literature, law, social and political sciences, and history of art, as well as the works written by contemporary Ukrainian intellectuals: philosophers, historians, sociologists, litterateurs, and artists. Since 1992, we have published hundreds and hundreds of translations from English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Yiddish, Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Aramaic, and Old Japanese. We have introduced to Ukrainian readers such world-famous authors as Hanna Arendt, Paul Ricoeur, Charles Taylor, Martin Buber, Emmanuel Levinas, Michel Foucault, Michel de Montaigne, Karl Mannheim, Jürgen Habermas, Janusz Korczak, Elie Wiesel, Czesław Miłosz, Timothy Snyder, José Ortega y Gasset, Bruno Schulz, and others.
Publishing works of Christian thinkers and theologists led us to running the Summer Theological University in July and Assumption Readings (Uspenski Chytannia) in September for many years; both kinds of events have involved the clergy and the laity from a great many countries and denominations. To be able to publish the Oxford Handbook of Jewish Civilization and other masterpieces of Jewish Studies, including translations from Hebrew and Yiddish, we had to understand, acknowledge, and research the Abrahamic basis of our common European cultural heritage.
Diving into the depths of comparative etymology and conceptual history while working on the four volumes of Vocabulaire Européen des philosophies, we could not help starting, in the fifth volume, our own painstaking investigation of the meanings of Ukrainian philosophical vocabulary. To preserve the authentic memories of the extraordinary events of 2013-2014 in Kyiv, the Revolution of Dignity, we immediately recorded about 300 extensive in-depth interviews featuring personal stories of participants. Without this intense field study, we would not be able to publish three volumes of Maidan. Testimonies – the edition that has made recent Ukrainian history more tangible.
In short, publishing requires research; no wonder that thorough publishing requires thorough research or painstaking investigation. When it comes to cultural issues, thoroughness has to do not only with scrupulosity but also with dialogue. The more we find ourselves at the crossroads of times and traditions, the more dialogue matters. Finally, seeking the authenticity of articulated meanings, we need both: scrupulosity and dialogue, the letter and the spirit, the “dukh” and the “litera.”
Today Dukh i Litera, a prominent Ukrainian centre for publishing books on theology, religion, and human sciences, supports innovative research in humanities and provides readers with an excellent opportunity for a full-scale interdisciplinary, interconfessional, and intercultural dialogue.
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The Dukh i Litera Research and Publishing Association introduces readers to the best examples of Ukrainian and world classics, as well as to the latest research in the fields of philosophy, history, social sciences, cultural and art studies. In our work, we combine the “sciences of the letter” and the “sciences of the spirit,” we strive for harmony between form and sense.
The discovery of each author and the choice of each book we publish are highlights of an exciting adventure which Dukh i Litera embarked upon more than 25 years ago.
We pay great attention to the publication of Christian and Judaic literature.
We strongly believe that high-quality non-fiction has to be available to every Ukrainian reader and that every real encounter with a book is not limited to reading 50, 200 or 500 pages. Something much more significant is at stake: the discovery of new worlds and new personalities! Precisely because of that, we attach great importance to the communication between readers and authors, to the organization of public events, presentations, lectures, and discussions. We strive to introduce Ukrainians not only to books but to personalities.
We publish now around 50 titles in a year. Moreover, we grow fast. Every day we start new projects, discover excellent authors, find vital meanings.