In public life, many Soviet religious believers hid their worship. But privately, they formed communities where religious worship was flourished under the state’s eye. Many lived such a double life in the Soviet Union. State imposed atheism drove many faithful to invent new forms of religious expression. Orthodox, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists and other believers creatively adapted to the social, political and ideological contexts of the Soviet Union. In this interview with Catherine Wanner, Pennsylvania State University, we will discuss the manifold strategies religious believers used to adapt and innovate their worship, and their consequences for the Soviet and post-Soviet societies.
Catherine Wanner is a Professor of History, Anthropology and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University. Her most recent book is Everyday Religiosity and the Politics of Belonging in Ukraine.