Soviet ideology treated religion as an enemy, a tool of oppression and an expression of backwardness. Militant atheism, the prohibition of religious rituals, and the repression of religious communities aimed to create a secular, rational, and scientific society. Yet, religion mattered in Soviet people’s lives. And with institutional religion restricted, many people expressed their spirituality through “lived religion” - the practice of religion and spirituality in everyday lives. What were the practices of lived religion in the context of state socialism? And how did it converge and diverge with the return of institutionalised religion and spiritual lift after the collapse of communism? REEES Spring 2023 Series, Religion in (Post-Socialism) Societies, will explore the role of religion in socialist and post-socialist societies in eight online discussions on religion and its relations to repression, nation-building, indigenous cultures, and memory.
This is a part of REEES’s Spring 2023 lecture series.