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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52488
Doc. No:TL22442
Call number:‭3354317‬
Main Entry:Sonja Christine Luehrmann
Title & Author:Forms and methods: Teaching atheism and religion in the Mari Republic, Russian FederationSonja Christine Luehrmann
College:University of Michigan
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:479
Abstract:This dissertation analyzes the transformation of Soviet secular culture into a resource for post-Soviet religiosity, as an example of the relationship between secular and religious spheres. Based on archival research on Khrushchev- and Brezhnev-era atheist propaganda and ethnographic fieldwork among Orthodox and Protestant Christians, Muslims, and traditionalist Mari Pagans, I ask what remains of decades of state-enforced atheism within post-Soviet religiosity. Offering a critique of theories that treat secular and religious forms as functionally equivalent substitutes for each other, I trace the transformations of religious life that occur when infrastructures and human dispositions developed in the service of secular culture are applied to religious revival. A common feature of Soviet atheism and post-Soviet religiosity is what I call didacticism: a method of social mobilization along the lines of relationships of teaching and learning, accompanied by an understanding of objects, words, and actions primarily as tools for rapid transformations of human convictions and behavior. Soviet organizations put much effort and resources into equipping citizens to be transmitters of knowledge and convictions, and Soviet atheists tended to interpret religious practices as analogous to their own didactic interventions. Post-Soviet religious activists often bring didactic skills from Soviet-era professional training, influencing their approaches to popular mobilization as well as their understandings of religious images and liturgical action. Drawing on the idea of an ongoing mutual transformation between elements of different origin implicit in Max Weber's concept of elective affinity, I trace the mutually transformative encounter between modes of learning from secularist and religious, local and global traditions. The lens of didacticism shows how Soviet secularists and religious activists deal with the cognitive and material demands of ideological reproduction, and allows me to challenge common views of late Soviet propaganda as a purely perfunctory activity that had no lasting consequences. When taken seriously, the debates and creative misunderstandings between activists of different stripes offer rich vocabularies to rethink a perennial problem of pedagogical intervention: how to distinguish between the feasible and the legitimate in projects of human transformation.
Subject:Philosophy, religion and theology; Social sciences; Securlarism; Atheism; Knowledge society; Mari El Republic; Desecularization; Pedagogy; Russian Federation; Religious history; Cultural anthropology; Russian history; 0724:Russian history; 0326:Cultural anthropology; 0320:Religious history
Added Entry:A. M. Lemon
Added Entry:University of Michigan