Religion and science were fundamental aspects of Eastern European communist political culture from the very beginning, and remained in uneasy tension across the region over the decades. While both topics have long attracted a great deal of scholarly attention, they almost invariably have been studied discretely as separate stories. Religion, Science and Communism in Cold War Europe is the first scholarly effort to explore the delicate interface of religion, science and communism in Cold War Europe. It brings together an international team of researchers who address this relationship from a number of national viewpoints and thematic perspectives, ranging from mysticism to social science, space exploration to the socialist lifecycle, and architectural heritage to pop culture.
About the Author
Paul Betts is Professor of Modern European History at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, UK. He has previously taught at the University of Sussex and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA, and is the author of several books and numerous articles on twentieth-century German history. His most recent book, Within Walls: Private Life in the German Democratic Republic, was published in 2010.
Stephen A. Smith is Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, UK. He has taught at the European University Institute in Florence and University of Essex, UK, and is the author of many books and articles on modern Russian and Chinese history. In 2014 he edited the Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Stephen A. Smith.- PART I: RELIGION AND SOCIAL SCIENCE IN EASTERN EUROPE.- 1. Piety by Numbers: Social Science and Polish Debates about Secularization in the 1960s and 1970s; James Bjork.- 2. The Shepherds' Calling, the Engineers' Project, and the Scientists' Problem: Scientific Knowledge and the Care of Souls in Communist Eastern Europe; Patrick Hyder Patterson.- 3. Romanian Spirituality in Ceaușescu’s ‘Golden Epoch’: Social Scientists Reconsider Atheism, Religion, and Ritual Culture; Zsuzsánna Magdó.- PART II: SCIENCE, RELIGION AND THE PARANORMAL.- 4. Inculcating Materialist Minds: Scientific Propaganda, Anti-Religion in the USSR during the Cold War; James T. Andrews.- 5. Tsiolkovskii and the Invention of Russian Cosmism: Science, Mysticism, and the Conquest of Nature at the Birth of Soviet Space Exploration; Asif Siddiqi.- 6. Witchdoctors Drive Sports Cars, Science Takes the Bus: An Anti-Superstition Alliance Across a Divided Germany; Monica Black.- PART III: THE SOCIALIST LIFE-CYCLE: BETWEEN SCIENCE AND RELIGION.- 7. Writing Rituals: The Sources of Socialist Rites of Passage in Hungary, 1958-1970; Heléna Tóth.- 8. In Search of Rationality and Objectivity: Origins and Development of East German Thanatology; Felix Robin Schulz.- PART IV: SOCIALISM AND THE PROBLEM OF RELIGIOUS HERITAGE.- 9. Religion and Nauka: Churches as Architectural Heritage in Soviet Leningrad; Catriona Kelly.- 10. The Antireligious Museum: Soviet Heterotopia between Transcending and Remembering Religious Heritage; Igor J. Polianski.- 11. Religion, Science and Cold War Anti-Communism: The 1949 Cardinal Mindszenty Show Trial; Paul Betts.-