Soviet Union

The Issue of Autocephaly of the Polish Orthodox Church in the Early Years of the Cold War

The question of the status of the Polish Orthodox Church had important political significance in the postwar years. The governments of the USSR and Poland were addressing the issue with great attention. The beginning of the Cold War strongly inluenced the decision of granting autocephaly to the Polish Orthodox Church. The article describes how this foreign policy factor afected the communications of the Soviet and Polish oicials in the matter of the autocephaly. 


Greek Catholic Identity in Western Ukraine During the Process of Legalization, 1980s — 1990s

The article deals with the revival of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the 1980-1990s. The Church officially ceased to exist in 1946 after the «reunification» with the Russian Orthodox Church. Nevertheless, the part of the Greek Catholic clergy and the faithful did not recognize this act and moved to the underground. The process of legalization and revival was accompanied by the growing movement for the Ukrainian national independence.

Ordinary Death in the Soviet Union: the Material and Spiritual in Atheist Cosmology

The paper deals with the problem of death as approached by the Soviet atheist ideologists. In particular, it explores the attempts by Party ideologists to substitute religious death rituals by new “socialist rituals.” The author draws upon the work of a special Commission on the study and introduction of “socialist rituals” created in 1969 under the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Eastern Orthodox Confession in the Soviet Period

This article traces changes in the practice of sacramental confession in the Soviet period, from 1917 to 1991. The combination of secularizing pressures, church closures, and fewer priests, meant that the routine, institutionalized aspect of confession before 1917, which had made individual confession something familiar to the average Orthodox Christian believer, vanished, replaced in most cases by the general confession. On the other hand, for religious “virtuosi,” confession became a more central element of religious life.

Some Aspects of Desecularization in Post-Soviet Russia

The article deals with desecularization in post-Soviet Russia as a backlash of massive secularization in the Soviet Union. Author presents analysis of different aspects of secularization typical to communist countries such as «hyper-privatization of religion» and what he calls «distillation of the religious consciousness.» He then explores special features of religion’s revival in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet system.