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Abstract

By way of introduction, the study will give an outline of the history of Keston Institute (KI). It will then identify the period of three years (2003-2006) as the period during which KI attempted to integrate in the academic life of the Oxford University under the new director. The period ended with the effective closing down of the institution in its historical shape and with regard to many of its previous activities. On the surface this decision had to do with increasing financial difficulties, but it is the author's contention that on another level it was an outcome of a clash of two differing views on the philosophy of KI's mandate. The publishing output in the period under investigation will be singled out and analysed according to the temporal and geographical coverage of the contents of the KI publications. The conclusions will be shown to reflect the tensions present within KI in this period with regard to the possible future philosophy of research and the publishing policy of KI. One option which was advocating a wider geographical range and more contemporary topics (i.e. including the bulk of the former Eastern Europe, Europe in general but also North Korea and China) and, to some degree, a more overt use of the sociology of religion. The option eventually prevailed which supported a narrower perspective focusing on the topics dealing with the former Soviet Union, primarily Russia and the Ukraine, from a historical point of view, although also including some contemporary surveys (limited to that area). The study concludes with an outline of the subsequent (post-)history of KI which corroborates the results of the analysis and illustrates the practical outcomes of the decisions taken on the questions of research and publishing the journal between 2003-2005.

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