Soviet Religious Policy in Estonia and Latvia
197 pages
English

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197 pages
English

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Description

Soviet Religious Policy in Estonia and Latvia considers what impact Western religious culture had on Soviet religious policy. While Russia was a predominantly Orthodox country, Baltic states annexed after WWII, such as Estonia and Latvia, featured Lutheran and Catholic churches as the state religion. Robert Goeckel explores how Soviet religious policy accommodated differing traditions and the extent to which these churches either reflected nationalist consciousness or offered an opportunity for subversion of Soviet ideals. Goeckel considers what negotiating power these organizations might have had with the Soviet state and traces differences in policy between Moscow and local bureaucracies.


Based on extensive research into official Soviet archives, some of which are no longer available to scholars, Goeckel provides fascinating insight into the relationship between central political policies and church responses to those shifting policies in the USSR. Goeckel argues that national cultural affinity with Christianity remained substantial despite plummeting rates of religious adherence. He makes the case that this affinity helped to provide a diffuse basis for the eventual challenge to the USSR. The Singing Revolution restored independence to Estonia and Latvia, and while Catholic and Lutheran churches may not have played a central role in this restoration, Goeckel shows how they nonetheless played harmony.


Preface


List of Abbreviations


Introduction: Studying Soviet Policy toward Religion and the Church in Latvia and Estonia


1. The Early Stalinization Process, 1944-1949


2. The Period of High Stalinism, 1949-1953


3. The Post-Stalin Thaw, 1953-1957


4. Renewed Repression and International Opening under Khrushchev, 1958-1964


5. Détente and Stagnation in the Brezhnev Era, 1964-1985


6. Perestroika and Religious Policy in the Baltics: Playing Harmony in the Singing Revolution, 1985-1991


Conclusion: The Contours of Baltic Exceptionalism in Soviet Religious Policy and its Limits


Glossary


Bibliography


Index

Sujets

Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 03 août 2018
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780253036124
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0037€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Exrait

SOVIET RELIGIOUS POLICY IN ESTONIA AND LATVIA
SOVIET RELIGIOUS POLICY IN ESTONIA AND LATVIA
Playing Harmony in the Singing Revolution
Robert F. Goeckel
Indiana University Press
This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press
Office of Scholarly Publishing
Herman B Wells Library 350
1320 East 10th Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405 USA
iupress.indiana.edu
© 2018 by Robert F. Goeckel
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1992.
Manufactured in the United States of America
Cataloging information is available from the Library of Congress.
ISBN 978-0-253-03615-5 (cloth)
ISBN 978-0-253-03611-7 (paperback)
ISBN 978-0-253-03613-1 (ebook)
1 2 3 4 5 22 21 20 19 18
To my wife, Gay, for her unstinting support and understanding during my years of research and many trips to the Baltics and Moscow .
And to the many archivists who kindly assisted this particular effort at glasnost .
Contents
Preface
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: Studying Soviet Policy toward Religion and the Church in Latvia and Estonia
1 The Early Stalinization Process: 1944–1949
2 The Period of High Stalinism: 1949–1953
3 The Post-Stalin Thaw: 1953–1957
4 Renewed Repression and International Opening Under Khrushchev: 1958–1964
5 Détente and Stagnation During the Brezhnev Era: 1964–1985
6 Perestroika and Religious Policy in the Baltics: Playing Harmony in the Singing Revolution, 1985–1991
Conclusion: The Contours of Baltic Exceptionalism in Soviet Religious Policy—and Its Limits
Glossary
Bibliography
Index
Preface
T HIS BOOK EXAMINES the policy of the Soviet regime toward churches and religion in two of the three Baltic republics, Estonia and Latvia. The Baltic republics posed a unique challenge for the regime: they represented the only republics with primarily Western religious traditions and churches. In the remaining republics, various forms of eastern Orthodoxy and Islam were predominant, historically and culturally. The Bolsheviks who assumed power in 1917 had experienced Protestants and Catholics only as tiny minority religions until 1944. With the Communist takeovers in Eastern Europe, the Soviets would also encounter societies that were largely Catholic (such as Poland and Hungary), Lutheran (such as East Germany), and confessionally mixed (such as Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia). But in these Eastern European cases, adoption of the Soviet model of religious policy was not automatically or rigorously expected of these nominally sovereign states. Having been incorporated as constituent units in the USSR, however, the Baltic republics were expected to adopt Soviet religious policy in its entirety. Using in-depth description and analysis of two of these Baltics cases, Estonia and Latvia, my aim here is to investigate the extent to which this was the case over time and the factors in the church-state relationship that may explain any divergence from Soviet policy.
As author, I should clarify what did not motivate the writing of this book. When I began the research on which it is based, the Berlin Wall had recently fallen, and Germany had been reunited. I had recently completed a related book on the role of the GDR’s relationship with the Lutheran Church, which eventually played an instrumental role in the democratic revolution and end of communism in 1989. During my on-site research in 1990–1991, many of my Baltic interlocutors good-naturedly asked me to quickly write my second book so that it might have the same effect in the case of the USSR! Little did we know that the USSR would collapse long before my book would be complete. On the other hand, today’s interested observers often assume my goal was to explain why so few Estonians believe in God, looking for answers in the almost fifty years of Soviet atheistic policies. This book was obviously not written in the heat of the system collapse of the USSR, with the intent to explain the churches’ role in that regime change. Nor has it been written to explain why this region is among the most secularized in Europe, however intriguing the correlation might be.
Rather, my intention has been to shed light on variation in Soviet religious policy, yielding generalizations regarding church-state relations in communist political systems. Some of the variation occurred over time, based on leadership changes and underlying shifts in policy, explaining the periodization in the structure of the chapters. Spanning the periods is a continuous official atheism, but pursued with varying tactics and levels of commitment. Embedded in the periods are also variations by confession—Lutheran and Catholic in particular—and contrasts between these institutionalized national churches and various minority churches. Driving my research, as with my previous work, was also the goal of weighing the impact of international and transnational ties of the churches, particularly those with German churches and the Vatican, on the churches’ leverage with the Soviet regime, both in Moscow and at the republic level. Finally, informing the analysis of variation is also a concern with the distinctiveness of local and republic interests, reflective of national culture and bureaucratic political interests.
In the former USSR as recipient of an IREX award, and later under the auspices of the SUNY-Moscow State University exchange and the Fulbright program in the Russian Federation, I was fortunate to use the documentary materials of the Council for Religious Affairs shortly after portions had been declassified. In addition, the research benefited from limited access to materials of the Communist Party regarding religion. The following archives proved invaluable for this project and I wish to give them well-deserved credit for their scholarly access and assistance: the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF), Russian State Archive for Social and Political History (RGASPI), Russian State Archive for Contemporary History (RGANI), Estonian State Archive (ERA and ERAF), Latvian State Archive (LVA), and Lithuanian Central State Archive (LCVA). Also, I wish to give credit to the archive of the Finnish National Committee of the Lutheran World Federation. In the initial stage of research, I also utilized the samizdat archive of Keston College.
I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to Baltic scholars and policy makers who, in the frenetic and fraught days of 1991, assisted and supported my archival research, including Andra Veidemann and Alfreds Kublinskis (heads of the transitional offices of religious questions in Estonia and Latvia, respectively, in 1991), as well as Latvian scholars Solveiga Krumina and the late Nikandrs Gills.
I thank those who have read and commented on the manuscript or my related work. To Norman Naimark, my mentor since graduate school, as well as Sabrina Ramet, my energetic collaborator on various projects on church-state relations, many thanks for advice and support on this project. In particular, I benefited greatly from the comments of my co-panelists at numerous panels on church and state in Communist Europe at Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, including James Felak, David Doellinger, Sean Brennan, David Curp, Jonathan Huener, Jennifer Garza, and Jerry Pankhurst.
Early versions of portions of my work benefited from conference presentation and eventual publication in Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte in 1993. I am also grateful for the support and shared interest over many years of Dr. Joachim Heise of the Institut für Staat-Kirche Forschung in Berlin.
The editors at Indiana University Press deserve great credit for their invaluable assistance with revision of the original manuscript and facilitating the process of publication. In particular, I thank Jennika Baines and Kate Schramm. In this regard, I also extend my gratitude to the two readers of the manuscript for their careful reading and very helpful comments, which assisted me in making final revisions.
Finally, I wish to also thank my colleagues in the Department of Political Science and International Relations, in particular Chair Jeffrey Koch, and to State University of New York at Geneseo for creating a supportive environment for such research.
I gratefully acknowledge the financial support over the years—from acquisition of Russian language facility to final manuscript—of the NEH (Summer Seminar 1988 on the Russian Orthodox Church by Gregory Freeze), the International Research and Exchanges Board, the Hoover Institution and Title VIII program, State University of New York-Moscow State University exchange, Fulbright scholar exchange programs in Germany and Russia, and SUNY Geneseo sabbatical support.
Portions of Chapter Four appeared earlier as “Soviet Religious Policy in the Baltics under Khrushchev, 1957–1964: Domestic Repression and International Engagement,” in Religion and Politics , August 2010.
A word of explanation is in order regarding the system of archival references.
In the chapter endnotes, an abbreviated format for archival documents is utilized: archive.fond.opis.delo (file), list (page number).
The more complete form of each archival document is found in the bib

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