Atheism was mandated by the Soviet Union but, as Humanists know well, promotion of "there is no God" can only go so far. The state therefore turned to more positive propaganda messages to promote atheism. What are these messages and how did these messages challenge traditional family relationships and ideas about gender promoted by religion and the Church?
Dr Sonja Luehrmann is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Simon Fraser University. Drawing on ethnographic and archival methods, her research engages questions of human transformability: how people live their lives through shifting socioeconomic and political conditions, and how various religious and secular institutions appeal to the human capacity to change habits and convictions, while attempting to steer it in particular directions. Geographically, she is particularly interested in multi-ethnic and multi-religious areas such as Russia’s Volga region, where ideological transformations get bound up with changing perceptions of self and other. She has published two books on Soviet atheism and its effects on post-Soviet religion and historical memory: Secularism Soviet Style: Teaching Atheism and Religion in a Volga Republic (Indiana, 2011) and Religion in Secular Archives: Soviet Atheism and Historical Knowledge (Oxford, 2015).
Dr Luehrmann is currently working on a book about anti-abortion activism in the post-Soviet Russian Orthodox Church, where activists attempt to transform popular attitudes toward past and present reproductive decisions. Together with colleagues based in the United States, Russia, Germany, and Hungary, she recently completed a collaborative project investigating the relationship between sensory perception and ethical values in Orthodox Christian prayer. [Via SFU]
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The BC Humanist Association was formed in 1984 and we have a regular attendance of over 30 people at our Sunday meetings.
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