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A Sacred Space Is Never EmptyA History of Soviet Atheism$
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Victoria Smolkin

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691174273

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691174273.001.0001

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The Ticket to the Soviet Soul

The Ticket to the Soviet Soul

Soviet Atheism as Worldview

(p.106) Chapter Four The Ticket to the Soviet Soul
A Sacred Space Is Never Empty

Victoria Smolkin

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how the Soviet Communist Party tried to boost the political legitimacy of its ideological project to build Communism and produce an atheist society by addressing the people's spiritual needs. More specifically, it shows how, in the transition from socialism to Communism, the moral and spiritual character of the Soviet people—including their worldview and way of life—gained a new significance. The chapter first considers how the state, after building the material base of Soviet Communism, envisioned ideology as an instrument of spiritual transformation by taking into account Soviet people's worldviews and byt. It then discusses Znanie's various initiatives to bring atheism to the masses and how atheists relied on clubs and lectures to compete with religion. It also explores the clash between the scientific and religious worldviews before concluding with an assessment of the Science and Religion journal's renewed engagement with worldview questions.

Keywords:   Soviet atheism, Soviet Communist Party, byt, worldview, Soviet Communism, spiritual transformation, lectures, religion, Science and Religion, Znanie

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