Episode 13: Godless Communists and Red Weddings in the Soviet Union, with Dr. Victoria Smolkin


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Today we talk about what happens when a government tries to create an atheist society. This was attempted at various times in the brief history of the USSR – with surprising results. To help us understand the Soviets’ campaign against religion, we are joined by Dr. Victoria Smolkin. We discuss the Soviets’ struggle against religion, from building a secular administrative state, to militant atheism, to rapprochement, all while learning that the dreaded “godless commies” weren’t quite what they were made out to be.

Victoria’s book, A Sacred Space Is Never Empty: A History of Soviet Atheism (Princeton University Press, 2018): https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691174273/a-sacred-space-is-never-empty

More on Victoria: https://www.wesleyan.edu/academics/faculty/vsmolkin/profile.html

Follow Victoria on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SmolkinVictoria

Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander

Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/

If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, go to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and click the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.

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