Chapter

Dreams of Secularization

Paul Froese

in The Plot to Kill God

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780520255289
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942738 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520255289.003.0002
Dreams of Secularization

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Pre-revolution, Russian Marxists saw the Russian Orthodox Church as patronizing a tyrannical political leadership and supporting a morally unjustified war effort. This chapter appraises the revolutionary dreams of secularization, premised on a desire to rid the world of all that was harmful to the struggling and exploited masses of humanity. Post-revolution, the Russian intelligentsia was faced with the task of generating a Communist culture with a new set of values, beliefs, and identities. Central to this utopian goal of the new Soviet culture was the elimination of former ideological and religious loyalties. However, the new leadership observed that secular coercion would ultimately result in reinforcing religion through opposition to a perceived injustice. The creation of the League of Militant Atheists, a churchlike atheist propaganda organization, marked the beginning of an emerging Soviet theory of religion. The Party theory asserted that secularization was nothing less than the eradication of religious faith.

Keywords: Russian Orthodox Church; Russian intelligentsia; League of Militant Atheists; atheist propaganda; Communist culture; utopian goal

Chapter.  6972 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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