The Struggle for Soviet Cosmology

For the Soviet Union, atheism became more than the absence of religion. It was an ideology that had to fill the void of religion itself.

(George Rinhart / Corbis / Getty Images)

“Between ‘God exists’ and ‘God does not exist’ there lies an enormous field, which a wise man crosses only with great effort.” In A Sacred Space Is Never Empty: A History of Soviet Atheism, historian Victoria Smolkin shows that Soviet leaders spent a great deal of energy on traversing this terrain — with varying degrees of wisdom. […]

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