Marxism- Leninism as the Civil Religion of Soviet Society: God's Commissar

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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.

Table of Contents


Part I Marxism-Leninism: Science or Religion?

Chapter 1 Marxism Leninism as Science

Chapter 2 Marxism-Leninism as Religion

Part II The Phenomenology of Marxism-Leninism

Chapter 3 Scientific Atheism: The Marxist-Leninist Alternative to Religion

Chapter 4 Marxist-Leninist Rites and Rituals

Chapter 5 The Cult of Lenin

Chapter 6 Man Redeemed: Homo Sovieticus

Chapter 7 'Religion' and the Study Religion and Marxism-Leninism

Part III Marxism-Leninism: Myth, Ideology and Civil Religion

Chapter 8: Marxism-Leninism as Myth

Chapter 9: Marxism-Leninism as Ideology

Chapter 10: Civil Religion in America, Russia and the USSR


Appendix: Religion in Post Communist Russia

Reference Bibliography


Other Russia & Russian (+ Soviet Union): All Subjects Books

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