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Extra info for Christian religion in the Soviet Union: a sociological study
I) and, more extensively, those of Wilson (1970), and have in turn been modified in the light Page 18 of the peculiarities of Soviet society. In contrast to the Troeltschian typology, collectivities are defined partly in relation to each other and partly according to their response to the Soviet order and communist ideology. This approach is based on the conclusion that each religious collectivity in the Soviet Union is shaped by affirmation of, or opposition to, the dictates of both a particular Christian heritage and the social and political order in which they exist.
Page 24 Economic development and political change At the beginning of the twentieth century Russia was still a backward, predominantly agrarian society with a small privileged aristocratic elite and a large mass of poor and mostly illiterate peasants, ruled over by the Tsarist autocracy. But Russia was not stagnating in its backwardness and important changes were beginning to take place in all areas of society. Large-scale advanced industrial development, based largely on Western technology and capital, was well under way by the end of the nineteenth century.
The Mennonites, although a sect of Western origin, are also included in this chapter because of their pronounced German cultural heritage. Then follows a chapter devoted to the Lithuanian Catholic Church. The conclusion to the book draws together and discusses the theoretical findings. Methodological Considerations The Soviet Union has been selected for study because it represents a polar case of a communist, militantly atheist society of more than fifty years' duration and because a very wide range of religious collectivities - in terms of time of genesis, Christian tradition and sociological type - can be found there.