Title

The Failure of the League of the Militant Godless

Presenter Information

Rebecca Hastings

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 201

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

The League of the Militant Godless was a nominally independent and voluntary organization that existed in the Soviet Union from 1925 to 1947 and was associated with the Communist Party. As a part of the regime's effort to combat religion in all forms in accordance with Marxist and Leninist doctrine, the government of the Soviet Union created and fostered a number of different organizations that were meant to conduct antireligious campaigns, sometimes by force and sometimes by persuasion. The League represents an important phase in this campaign, when the regime's emphasis shifted from direct attacks on religion and religious institutions to the use of propaganda. The League's failure to implement an effective antireligious campaign or to promote atheism to any significant degree reflects the ineffectiveness of the broader antireligious campaign, due to a poor understanding of the fundamental role that religion played in Russian life. Its failure was also due to administrative problems that were characteristic of Bolshevik political culture in general, including poor organization, lack of resources, and internal ideological conflicts.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Roxanne Easley

Additional Mentoring Department

History

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May 17th, 2:10 PM May 17th, 2:30 PM

The Failure of the League of the Militant Godless

SURC 201

The League of the Militant Godless was a nominally independent and voluntary organization that existed in the Soviet Union from 1925 to 1947 and was associated with the Communist Party. As a part of the regime's effort to combat religion in all forms in accordance with Marxist and Leninist doctrine, the government of the Soviet Union created and fostered a number of different organizations that were meant to conduct antireligious campaigns, sometimes by force and sometimes by persuasion. The League represents an important phase in this campaign, when the regime's emphasis shifted from direct attacks on religion and religious institutions to the use of propaganda. The League's failure to implement an effective antireligious campaign or to promote atheism to any significant degree reflects the ineffectiveness of the broader antireligious campaign, due to a poor understanding of the fundamental role that religion played in Russian life. Its failure was also due to administrative problems that were characteristic of Bolshevik political culture in general, including poor organization, lack of resources, and internal ideological conflicts.