Christian Religion in the Soviet Union: A Sociological Study

SUNY Press, 1978 - 256 pages
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Christel Lane has written the first sociological study of religion in a communist and militantly atheist society. Christian Religion in the Soviet Union is the result of a detailed examination of Soviet sociological sources and the legally and illegally published reports of religious bodies or individuals, backed up by the observations of the author and of other Western visitors to the USSR.
Dr. Lane attempts to assess the impact of the intellectual and material culture of Soviet society on Christian religion. She analyses the religious life in the contemporary Christian churches and sects, describing the scope of their membership and its social composition, the religious commitment of believers and their social and political orientations.
Christian Religion in the Soviet Union will be central reading for students of religion in modern industrial society who are working within the disciplines of sociology, comparative religion or theology. It will also appeal to those studying Soviet society from a more general sociological perspective and to a wide readership interested in the contest between Christian religion and Marxist-Leninist ideology.

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Page 26 - Every religious idea, every idea of God, even flirting with the idea of God, is unutterable vileness. . . of the most dangerous kind, ‘contagion' of the most abominable kind. Millions of sins, filthy deeds, acts of violence and physical contagions... are far less dangerous than the subtle, spiritual idea of God decked out in the smartest ‘ideological' costumes ... Every defence or justification of God, even the most refined, the best intentioned, is a justification of reaction.
Page 96 - Their superior morale marked them out among the surrounding population as ears of corn among tares.'2 As for the Khlysty, Grass adduces a whole series of testimonies to their 'honesty, industry, intelligence, cleanliness' and self-control in food and drink.
Page 138 - Conversionist are most likely to fulfil the conditions which transform sects into denominations and are least likely to enjoy the circumstances preventing this process.
Page 113 - We recognize a single head, the Lord Jesus Christ, and as directors of the Church we recognize such bishops as will govern it not as autocrats, but in accordance with the rules of the holy councils; not applying the holy canons merely at their good pleasure, but in accordance with conciliary...
Page 17 - ... approach to the study of religion and the somewhat cavalier treatment of the doctrinal and spiritual content of Russian Christianity. But much has been written on the latter by others, mainly Christians, who have largely neglected the sociological questions examined here. 'The main objective of [this] book is to analyse religious change both within individual religious organisations and at the general societal level under the impact of various processes in Soviet society', mainly in terms of...
Page 219 - Conversionist sects appear to arise most readily in circumstances in which a high degree of individuation occurs. Such a condition may occur through the atomization of social groups in a process of profound social upheaval in which more stable social structures are impaired or destroyed, communities are disrupted, and individuals are forcibly detached from their kinsfolk in enforced or induced migration by conquerors...
Page 149 - Several writers point out that Baptists are often newcomers to town life and tend to live on the outskirts of the cities where they try to preserve a rural environment, having their own houses with large kitchen gardens (Mandrygin, 1965a, p.
Page 13 - ... atheist society represents one of the rare socio-historical mixtures of circumstances which make it easier for the sociologist of religion to uncover important characteristics of religion and religious collectivities which might otherwise remain hidden.
Page 77 - Fourthly and lastly, the Church's numerous religious holidays and the accompanying ritual have become closely interwoven with everyday life, with family and community tradition in the more settled rural communities.

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À propos de l'auteur (1978)

Dr. Lane is a post-doctoral Research Fellow in Sociology, Social and Political Sciences Committee, at the University of Cambridge. She is the author of a number of important articles on the sociology of religion. An important characteristic of her writing is her ability to approach her subject without either religious or political partisan involvement.

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