Reading Scientific Atheism Against the Grain

The Soviet Study of Religion as a Methodological Challenge

In: Method & Theory in the Study of Religion
Author: Stefan Ragaz1
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  • 1 University of Basel, Religionswissenschaft, Heuberg 12, 4051 Basel, Switzerland
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Reviewing a current publication on the academic study of religion in Eastern Europe the article proposes to read the scholarly output of Soviet Marxist-Leninist so-called scientific atheism not primarily with regard to its anti-religious ideological imprint, but as the expression of a specific discourse on the essence of religion that shows parallels with the Western study of religion of that time. As an example for such a comparison, two texts by the Soviet scholar of religion Iosif Kryvelev are discussed.

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