Todd Weir and Victoria SmolkinJun 13, 2023
Socialist Cultures and Politics of Secularism and Atheism
A Discussion with Todd Weir and Victoria Smolkin
New Books Network 2023
Two new books on secularism and atheism in German and Soviet socialist cultures are reshaping scholarly understandings of the relationship between socialism and religion. Todd Weir and Victoria Smolkin show that socialist secularism and atheism were not concerned solely with destroying a tool of class oppression, as Marx had envisioned, but with creating a positive faith in science and materialism. Todd Weir is Professor on the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen and the author of the forthcoming Socialism and Secularist Culture in Germany, 1800-1933. Victoria Smolkin is Associate Professor in the Department of History at Wesleyan University and the author of A Sacred Space Is Never Empty: A History of Soviet Atheism (Princeton University Press, 2018).
Stephen V. Bittner is Special Topics Editor at Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History and Professor of History at Sonoma State University.