Religious motifs of the semantic core of Soviet identity




"Atheism", "Soviet religiosity", "Scientific atheism", "Limit values", "Russian world", "identity", "anti-religious propaganda"


In the article the author explores the religious motives of the semantic core of Soviet identity and suggests that Soviet atheism is viewed as a form of religion. It is justified that the creation of the USSR was accompanied by the construction of a cultural tradition that met the needs of different peoples; requirements for "Soviet culture and Soviet man" were formulated. This cultural tradition, realized in Soviet practice, is proposed to be understood as a new articulation of the "Russian idea". A characteristic tool for its implementation was atheistic ideology. It is shown that the Soviet state aspired to become the only source of answers to the fundamental questions "Who are we?", "What are we building?" And "How to achieve this?" And the first thing to replace in this plane is the church. The author considers a set of actions that have tried to achieve this goal, namely: first, anti-religious propaganda, persecution of religious figures and the destruction of temples; secondly, the replacement of religious holidays with secular ones; thirdly, the role of the leader in the formation of Soviet atheistic religion, as the absolute and creator of finite meanings. In this way, a certain symbolic world was formed and encoded in a form understandable to many, which is not difficult to inherit. These practices were the necessary efforts of subsequent generations that preserved the collective identity and established its continuity through sacred action. Such actions are similar to the practices of repeating the creation of the world in primitive peoples. The vast majority of Soviet rituals and practices continue to be preserved and supplemented in modern Russia of the XXI century. Constantly reproducing an existentially marginal situation, the state affects the key need of its citizens in global security.

Author Biography

Volodymyr Hurzhy, Vasyl Stus Donetsk National University, Vinnytsa

Master of Religious Studies, Junior Research Fellow, Postgraduate Department of Philosophy


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How to Cite

Hurzhy, V. (2018). Religious motifs of the semantic core of Soviet identity. Skhid, (6(152), 84–90.