Thrower, James

Professor Thrower was Professor of the History of Religion at the University of Aberdeen from 1993 till his passing in 1999. His other published works include A Short History of Western Atheism (1971, reissued in 1999 by Prometheus Books), The Alternative Tradition: A Study of Unbelief in the Ancient World (1981), Marxist-Leninist ‘Scientific Atheism’ and the Study of Religion in the USSR (1983), Marxism-Leninism as the Civil Religion of Soviet Society – God’s Commissar (1992) and Religion: The Classical Theories (1999).

Marxism- Leninism as the Civil Religion of Soviet Society. God's Commissar
1992 0-7734-9180-5
Examines the phenomenon of Marxism-Leninism from a perspective of the history of religions, in order to cull the lessons that students of both religion and society might draw from the collapse of that once seemingly impregnable ideology. After considering the reasons advanced by a variety of scholars for calling Marxism-Leninism a religion, as well as at Marxism-Leninism's own claim to be a science, the author suggests that a more fruitful way of looking at is would be as a form of civil religion. It examines the way Marxism-Leninism sought to supplant the historic religions and develop its own ritual system, as well as those features which are not only mythological, but also ideological in precisely the same sense in which Marx himself saw religions as ideological phenomena.

Religious History of Central Asia From the Earliest Times to the Present Day
2004 0-7734-6417-4
This book by the late Dr. James Thrower is the first general survey of the religious history of Central Asia, both Muslim and non-Muslim. It covers the history of religion in Central or Inner Asia from pre-history to the aftermath of the fall of communism.