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The paper explores the Soviet scientific atheism discourse on the evolution of religion in the modern world. The author argues that the modernization of religion was a key concept for Soviet scholars, which was used to criticize religious trends of that time.
The article focuses on the published works of Soviet Ukrainian scholars, which discussed the definition of modernization of religion, its reasons, and the spheres of its manifestation. The current research focuses on the modernization of religion and the peculiarities of scientific atheism in Soviet Ukraine.
The author argues that there were no differences between religious modernism and modernization of religion for Ukrainian scholars. Both concepts were understood as a religious adaptation to modernity that happened firstly on the level of dogmatic theology and then on the level of religious practices. The author shows that although writing about changing Christian dogmas was popular, there were no specific examples of that statement. For a better understanding and explanation of religious modernism, Soviet scholars contrasted it to religious conservatism and emphasized their differences on theoretical and practical levels of religious conscience. Another popular topic for scientific atheists was the modernization of Orthodox theology in Soviet society. They even found positive aspects in this modernization because the theology of the Russian Orthodox Church adopted some communist ideas.
The concept of the modernization of religion was crucial for Soviet scientific atheism because it helped explain religion’s vitality in the context of the secularization of Western countries and Soviet society. The article gives a new perspective on understanding Soviet scientific atheism regarding its key concepts and local peculiarities.
"A Discourse of Modernization of Religion in the Soviet Ukrainian Study of Religion,"
Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe: Vol. 43
, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/ree/vol43/iss6/2