Dr. Denys Brylov

Associated Researcher

Research project: Sufi Fundamentalists: Al-Ahbash transnational Sufi network in Western Europe
Regional focus: Post-Soviet countries, especially Ukraine and Russia


since 2023
Visiting Research Fellow, Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin
since 2022
Senior Researcher of the A. Krymskiy Institute of Oriental Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv
2011 - 2022
Associate Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, National Pedagogical Dragomanov University, Kyiv
2011 - 2014
Director of the Islamic Studies Minor Program of National Pedagogical Dragomanov University (Kyiv)
2007 - 2009
Lecturer of the department of special psychological disciplines of Donetsk Institute of Social Education

Academic Degrees

Doctor of philosophical sciences (Dr. habil.) in Religious Studies and Theology, National Pedagogical Dragomanov University. Dissertation: “History of Islam in Ukraine in the late 19th - early 21th centuries.”
PhD, Religious Studies, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Dissertation: “Sufism and Islamism: global and local context.”
MA (graduated with distinction), Psychology, Donetsk Institute of Social Education Master's thesis on Altered states of consciousness in the context of the pursuit of personal self-actualization

Selected Publications


(with Olexander Aulin, Natalia Prorochenko and Oleh Yarosh). Islam and politics: ideology, movements, organizations, Kyiv: Deonis Plus, 2019 (in Ukrainian).


Edited Volumes

(Ed.) Religious Studies: A Study Guide (, Kyiv: Dukh I Litera, 2018 (In Ukrainian).

(Ed., with Alexander Knysh and Oleh Yarosh), Sufism and the Muslim Spiritual Tradition: Texts, Institutions, Ideas and Interpretations ( St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg Centre for Oriental Studies Publishers, 2015 (In Russian).

(Ed.) Islam in a Multicultural World: Muslim Movements and Mechanisms of Reproduction of the Ideology of Islam in the Modern Information Space ( Kazan: Kazan University Press, 2014 (In Russian).

Selected peer-reviewed Articles and Bookchapters

Ukraine’s Religious Landscape: Between Repression and Pluralism (with Tetiana Kalenychenko), in: Bálint Madlovics and Bálint Magyar (Eds.), Ukraine's Patronal Democracy and the Russian Invasion. The Russia-Ukraine War. Volume One, CEU Press, 2023: 353-372.

The Islamic University in Ukraine: Between Ummah Interests and State Recognition, in: Ahmet Alibašić (Ed.), Rethinking Islamic Education in Europe, Center for Advanced Studies, 2022: 283-296.

Being a Minority: Muslim Minorities and Religious Education in Ukraine, in: Ednan Aslan and Marcia Hermansen (Eds.), Religious Diversity at School: Educating for New Pluralistic Contexts, Springer VS, Wiesbaden, 2021: 363-376.

Religion and Nationalism in Post-Soviet Space: Between State, Society and Nation (with Tetiana Kalenychenko), in: Jayeel Cornelio, François Gauthier, Tuomas Martikainen and Linda Woodhead (Eds.), Routledge International Handbook of Religion in Global Society. New York: Routledge, 2021: 399-409.

In Times of Crisis: Faith-Based Social Engagement and Religious Contestations in Ukraine Since Maidan 2013-2014 (with Olena Bogdan and Tetiana Kalenychenko), in: Miguel Glatzer and Paul Christopher Manuel (Eds.), Faith-Based Organizations and Social Welfare: Associational Life and Religion in Contemporary Eastern Europe, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020: 81-103.

Halal Industry of Ukraine in the Period of Independence, Sociology of Islam, 2020, 8: 409-422,

Islam in Ukraine: Between the Ukrainian and the Russian Languages, Religion, State & Society, 2018, 46(2): 156-173,

Transformed Perceptions of Islam and Muslims in Ukraine in the Wake of the Social and Political Changes Caused by Euromaidan”, in Ednan Aslan, Ranja Ebrahim and Marcia Hermansen (Eds.), Islam, Religions, and Pluralism in Europe, Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 2016: 267-284.


Selected further Publications

Mapping the Religious Landscape of Ukraine (with Tetiana Kalenychenko and Andrii Kryshtal), Peaceworks no. 193. Washington, DC: USIP Press, 2023.

Ukrainian Religious Actors and Organizations After Russia’s Invasion: The Struggle for Peace (with Tetiana Kalenychenko), Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion and Diplomacy Policy Brief #2. Washington, DC: Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, 2022.

The Religious Factor in Conflict Research on the Peacebuilding Potential of Religious Communities in Ukraine (with Tetiana Kalenychenko and Andrii Kryshtal), Analytical Report. PAX, 2021.


Media articles

From Nordic symbols to sledgehammer executions: Inside the Wagner Group’s neo-pagan rituals. The Conversation, (October 13, 2023).

Termination of the lease agreement for the Upper and Lower Lavra: Is There Room for UOC MP in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra? Bulletin de l'Observatoire international du religieux, N°45, septembre 2023.

Brylov, D. and T. Kalenychenko. (2023, August 31). Identity Migration of Orthodox Churches During the War in Ukraine (Since 2014). Forum Transregionale Studien.

From Pagans to Templars: the everyday religious life in the Wagner PMC. Bulletin de l'Observatoire international du religieux, N°42-43, May 2023.

Assessing Kyiv’s New Focus on “Spiritual Independence” (with Tetiana Kalenychenko and Peter Mandaville), Berkley Forum. January 12, 2023.

Les «légions musulmanes» de l’armée russe, Bulletin de l'Observatoire international du religieux, N°37, Mai 2022.

Die transnationale Sufi-Bewegung Al-Ahbasch in der Ukraine, Religion und Gesellschaft in Ost und West, 2019, 7-8: 24-27

Ukrainske muslimer I væbnet Jihad med Rusland, Magasinet rØst, 2015, 7: 16-19,

Scholarships, Research Fellowships, Awards

Badge of Honor and Letter of Thankfulness (with Tetiana Kalenychenko) from the United States Institute of Peace
2022 - 2023
Non-resident Fellow at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (Wien, Austria). Project: “Documenting Religious Transformations as Mirror of Social Changes after Large-Scale Invasion into Ukraine”
2022 - 2023
Non-resident Prisma Ukraïna Fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien Project: “Monitoring the Dynamics of Migration Practices in Religious Communities During the War in Ukraine”


since 2022
Member (Country Correspondent) of the EUREL (EUrope -RELigion) network
since 2020
Member of the working group “Living Religion in Eastern Europe and Eurasia” (University of St. Gallen and Pennsylvania State University)