Perspectives communistes sur l’athéisme au XXe siècle

Colloque Communist Perspectives on Atheism in the 20th Century, 13-14 novembre 2023, Centre de colloques – Campus Condorcet.

Monday 13th November 2023

9h Registration, coffee (Faculty Club in Maison des Chercheurs – Campus Condorcet, 3 Cour des Humanités, ground floor)

9h30 Introduction by Eva Guigo-Patzelt (CéSor, EHESS/CNSR, Paris)


10h-11h45 Panel 1: Struggles in the interwar era

Chair: Pierre Antoine Fabre (CéSor, EHESS/CNRS, Paris)

Laura Pettinaroli (École française de Rome):

The International of proletarian freethinkers and the communist movement: uncompleted attractions (1925-1936)


Kostas Paloukis (International University of Greece, Thessaloniki):

Greek Communists against Religion and Church during the interwar period


David Nash (Oxford Brookes University):

The Blasphemy of Communist Godlessness – responses to Communist Atheism in Britain 1936-1938


12h-13h30 Lunch break


13h30-15h15 Panel 2: Enforcing atheism in Eastern Europe

Chair: Lois Lee (University of Kent)

Artan R. Hoxha (Academy of Albanian Studies, Tirana):

The Red and the Black: Atheism, Religion, and Modernity in Communist Albania


Johannes Gleixner (Collegium Carolinum, Munich):

Empirical origins of Soviet atheism: Engaging believers, managing expectations


Kristina Kovalskaya (École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris):

Soviet Research on Religion and Unbelief after Stalin: Modernise and Moralise with Atheism


15h15-15h45 Coffee break

15h45-17h30 Panel 3: Eastern European ambivalences in the late 1970s and 1980s

Chair: Todd Weir (University of Groningen)

Irina Morozova (University of Regensburg):

The duality of anti-religious social campaigns in Soviet Central Asia in the 1980s


Jan Tesař (Josef Gocar School Prague):

The Foundation, existence and demise of Czechoslovakian Museum of Religion


Petar Dragišić (Institute for Recent History of Serbia, Belgrade):

Serbia in the Eighties. Between Religiosity and Atheism



17h30-18h30 Keynote by Victoria Smolkin (Wesleyan University):

In the Shadow of Godlessness: Soviet Atheists and the Fate of Secularism in Europe


Conference dinner for speakers

* * *



Tuesday 14th November 2023

9h30 Coffee

10h-11h45 Panel 4: Re-interpretations in varying cultural and religious contexts

Chair: Victoria Smolkin (Wesleyan University)

Lucky Igohosa Ugbudian (Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi):

Communist Perspectives on Atheism in the 20th Century Nigeria



Raghavan Nair Santhosh (Indian Institute of Technology Madras/University of Sussex) and Dayal Paleri (Indian Institute of Technology Madras):

“Godless” Communists in “God’s Own Country”? The Communist Party and Its Strategic Ambiguity towards Belief and Non-Belief in Kerala, South India


Sayed Hassan Akhlaq (George Washington University, Washington/Coppin State University, Baltimore):

“Muslim Communists”: Afghan Atheism in the 20th Century


12h-13h30 Lunch break


13h30-15h15 Panel 5: Atheism and Catholicism between condemnation and dialogue

Chair: Eva Guigo-Patzelt (CéSor, EHESS/CNRS, Paris)

Marie Lucas (Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle) and Mikhail Velizhev (Université Grenoble Alpes):

“Is Marxism necessarily atheistic?” Gustav Wetter, the Holy See and the Condemnation of Communism


Gašper Mithans (Science and Research Centre Koper):

Atheization and individualization of non/religious worldviews: the Catholics in Socialist Yugoslavia


Heléna Tóth (Otto Friedrich University, Bamberg):

Combatting Indifference Together: The Shifting Premises of the Christian-Marxist Dialogue in the 1980s


15h30-16h15 Conclusions by Todd Weir (University of Groningen)


* * *


Academic committee

Pierre Antoine Fabre, Directeur d’études at EHESS, Deputy Director of CéSor

Eva Guigo-Patzelt, Associate member of CéSor

Dr. Jonathan Lanman, Queen’s University Belfast, Project Lead Explaining Atheism

Lois Lee, Senior Lecturer at University of Kent




The conference will take place in English.

Citer ce billet
A.-L. Zwilling (2023, 9 octobre). Perspectives communistes sur l’athéisme au XXe siècle. sociorel. Consulté le 27 février 2024, à l’adresse

Auteur/autrice : A.-L. Zwilling

Ingénieure de recherche CNRS hors classe HdR, membre de l'unité mixte de recherche "Droit, religion, entreprise et société" (UMR 7354, CNRS/Université de Strasbourg). Directrice, notamment, du projet international EUREL, informations sur l'état juridique et sociologique des religions en Europe (

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