Northern Illinois University Press


"Godless Communists"

Atheism and Society in Soviet Russia, 1917–1932

William B. Husband

Outstanding Academic Title, Choice 2000

"Valuable.... ‘Godless Communists' provides an abundance of evidence for belief as a complex and changing cultural phenomenon."—Slavic Review

"The best and most comprehensive treatment of its subject to date."—Choice

"Elegantly written.... A sophisticated, unjaundiced treatment of Orthodoxy after 1917."—H-Net Reviews

"Godless Communists" offers a fresh interpretation of early Soviet efforts to create an atheistic, scientific society. Husband shows that religion, contrary to Bolshevik assertions, was not merely an expression of gullibility and ignorance but a firmly entrenched system for ordering family and community relationships. The Bolsheviks' efforts to abolish the Church failed because they underestimated how tightly religious beliefs were woven into the fabric of the Russians' daily lives.

Exploring the confrontation between secularism and the lower classes' traditional beliefs, "Godless Communists" illustrates how developments between 1917 and 1932 shaped the attitudes toward religion and atheism that endure in Russia today.

(2000) 258 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-87580-595-5
paper $20.50

Table of Contents

Introduction
1 Belief and Nonbelief in Prerevolutionary Russia
2 Revolution and Antireligious Policy
3 Materialism and the Secularization of Society
4 Soviet Family Values
5 Resistance, Circumvention, Accommodation
Epilogue
Glossary
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-595-5
paper $20.50