This book brings together case studies dealing with historical as well as recent phenomena in former socialist nations, which testify the transfer of knowledge about religion and atheism. The material is connected on a semantic level by the presence of a historical watershed before and after socialism as well as on a theoretical level by the sociology of knowledge. With its focus on Central and Eastern Europe this volume is an important contribution to the research on nonreligion and secularity.
The collected volume deals with agents and media within specific cultural and historical contexts. Theoretical claims and conceptions by single agents and/or institutions in which the imparting of knowledge about religion and atheism was or is a central assignment, are analyzed. Additionally, procedures of transmitting knowledge about religion and atheism and of sustaining related institutionalized norms, interpretations, roles and practices are in the focus of interest.
The book opens the perspective for the multidimensional and negotiating character of legitimation processes, being involved in the establishment or questioning of the institutionalized opposition between religion and atheism or religion and science.
Dirk Schuster and
Jenny Vorpahl, University of Potsdam, Germany.