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2006/07 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SLAV3043 Religion in Russia, 1954-2000

10 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Dr Jonathan Sutton

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2006/07

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

The module is open to students in Levels 2 and 3; and there are no prerequisites. The objective of this module is to introduce to students the distinctive features of religious life and institutions in Russia through studying one key century in its history.Syllabus: The main features of religious life in Russia from the death of Stalin to the beginning of the 21st century; religious persecution and the voice of religious dissidents; the 'opening up' of religious life under perestroika; what role can/does religion play in post-Soviet society?Assessment comprises assessed written course work totalling 1,500 words (40%) plus one 1?-hour examination (60%).


On completion of this module, students will be able to understand major phases in the development of religion under Communist rule and thereafter. In particular, they will be able to make fundamental connections between the Soviet period and the complex conditions of 'post-Soviet' society, in which religious aspirations play a significant cultural and political role.


This module explains the place and fundamental significance of religion in the contemporary life of Russia; in particular, it covers the principal features of Russian church-state relations; the impact on religious institutions, the education system and society of persecution and officially imposed atheism; recent and current legislation on religion; religion and its expression in culture and society; inter-faith relations; religion and nationalism. The module introduces students to sound methods for studying any religious tradition and also the encounter of religious traditions with modern secular society. The prominence of Russia in present-day politics and decision-making makes it imperative to understand Russian attitudes, Russians' perception of themselves and of non-Russians in the West and elsewhere. For good and sometimes for ill, religion plays a significant part in the shaping of current attitudes and the extent of religion's strength as a mobilising force in Russia needs to be recognised and studied.

Teaching methods

Lectures: 14 x 1 hour; Seminars: 6 x 1 hour

Methods of assessment

1 x 1500 word essay (40%); 1 x 1.5 hour examination (60%)

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 15/01/2008


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