This book provides the first comprehensive overview of atheism, secularity and non-religion in Central and Eastern Europe in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In contrast to scholarship that has focused on the ‘decline of religion’ and secularization theory, the book builds upon recent trends to focus on the ‘rise of non-religion’ itself. While the label of ‘post-communism’ might suggest a generalized perception of the region, this survey reveals that the precise developments in each country before, after and even during the communist era are surprisingly diverse.
A multinational team of contributors provide interdisciplinary case studies covering Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria. This approach utilises perspectives from social and intellectual history in combination with sociology of religion in order to cover the historical development of secularity and secular thought, complemented with sociological data. The study is framed by methodological and analytical chapters.
Offering an important geographical perspective to the study of freethought, atheism, secularity and non-religion, this wide-ranging book will be of significant interest to scholars of twentieth-century social and intellectual history, sociology of religion and non-religion, cultural and religious studies, philosophy and theology.
Table of Contents
1 Studying Freethought and Atheism in Central and Eastern Europe: An Introduction
Atko Remmel, David Václavík and Tomáš Bubík
2 Bulgaria: Freethought and Atheism in the Shadow of Ethnophyletism
Dimitar Denkov, Georgi Vulchev and Valentina Gueorguieva
3 Anticlericalism, Nonreligiosity and Atheism in Croatia
Nikolina Hazdovac Bajić, Dinka Marinović Jerolimov and Branko Ančić
4 Freethinkers and Atheists in the Czech Lands in the Twentieth Century
Tomáš Bubík and David Václavík
5 Atheism and Freethought in Estonian Culture
Atko Remmel and Meelis Friedenthal
6 Freethought, Atheism and Anticlericalism in Twentieth-Century Hungary
Margit Balogh and András Fejérdy
7 The Trajectories of Atheism and Secularization in Latvia: From the German Enlightenment to Contemporary Secularity
Māra Kiope, Inese Runce and Anita Stasulane
8 The Social History of Irreligion in Lithuania (from the Nineteenth Century to the Present): Between Marginalization, Monopoly and Disregard?
9 Secularist Social Movements in Poland: History, Institutionalization, Repertoire of Actions
Henryk Hoffmann and Radosław Tyrała
10 Romania: Between Freethought, Atheism and Religion
11 Atheism’s Peaks and Valleys in Russia
12 Slovakia as a Country without Atheism but with a History of Atheization
13 Atheism in the Context of the Secularization and Desecularization of Ukraine in the Twentieth Century
Anna Mariya Basauri Ziuzina and Oleg Kyselov
14 Nonreligion in the CEE Region: Some Remarks
Tomáš Bubík, David Václavík and Atko Remmel
Tomáš Bubík is Associate Professor at Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic
Atko Remmel is a senior research fellow at Tartu University, Estonia, and research fellow at Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic
David Vaclavik is an Associate professor of religious studies at Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University in Brno and Faculty of Education of Technical University in Liberec, Czech Republic