Religion in Russia After the Collapse of Communism. Religious Renaissance or Secular State

Author: Kääriäinen, Kimmo
This is the first comprehensive study of religiousness in Russia from the last year of the communist regime, covering the transition period up to 1996. The work is based on three World Values surveys conducted in Russia from 1991 to 1996.


“Kääriäinen first presents a succinct but useful description of the religious situation in Russia before the October Revolution, and then examines religiousness at the end of the communist regime, demonstrating a growing contradiction between the communist ideal and Soviet Reality. Fiinally, Kääriäinen presents an intriguing exploration of religious dimensions (belief, knowledge, practice, experience, institutional and ethical effects) in postcommunist Russia. . . . Kääriäinen provides valuable information about the religiousness of people in Russia that was heretofore unavailable. Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and researchers.” – CHOICE

“All future estimates of the success or failure of the Soviet assault on religion in modifying Russian religious consciousness, and of the depth or superficiality of the ‘Russian religious renaissance’ of the 1990s, will need to take the findings of this important book into account.” – Irish Slavonic Studies

“Based on both qualitative and quantitative analyses, this work provides background on the religious situation in Russia prior to the Bolshevik Revolution, under the Soviet regime, and in the post-Soviet period. This book is a valuable contribution to the field of church-state studies in general, and to the study of post-Communist religious development in particular.” – Journal of Church and State

“Almost ten years after the collapse of communism this is a very timely book. It throws light on an area of Russian society, normally not at center stage of politics and political science. . . . The author addresses . . . assertions and prejudices and instead draws a detailed picture and offers convincing judgments of the present stage of religiousness and society in Russia. . . . This book to a great extent helps to understand contemporary Russia and to grasp future prospects. . . . The readers is not left alone with ‘objective’ information; figures are explained and discussed. In addition, the scope of this book is much broader than sociology of religion in the narrow sense. This study contains historical surveys on church-state relations before and after 1917 and also important data on postcommunist society beyond religiousness.” – Dr. Gerhard Simon

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
I. Background: Religious situation in Russia before the October Revolution; position of religion in the Soviet Union; Marxism-Leninism as a religious structure
II. Religion and Values at the end of the communist regime; growing contradiction between communist ideals and Soviet reality
III. Religion in post-communist Russia: the belief dimension of religion; knowledge dimension of religion; practice dimension of religion; experience dimension of religion; institutional dimension of religion; ethical effects of religiousness; consequence dimension of religion
Conclusion, Bibliography, Index