Folieva Tat'iana

The Second Vatican Council and the Social Doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church through the Eyes of Soviet Religious Studies Experts

Folieva Tat'iana (2013) "The Second Vatican Council and the Social Doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church through the Eyes of Soviet Religious Studies Experts ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia, 2013, vol. 48, pp. 89-100 (in Russian).


This article analyzes the way Soviet experts in religious studies understood and explained the Second Vatican Council, especially its decisions relating to and its influence on the social doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. Questions of Scientifi c Atheism, a well-known Soviet periodical, regularly featured news about the Council, sometimes from Soviet researchers who themselves were familiar with its sessions. Interest in the Council was real and was demonstrated by the flow of publications dealing with the theme which included even translations from foreign languages. Soviet reception of the changes within the Roman Catholic Church was colored by the role which was accorded the Church by Soviet ideology. The Church was seen as the inspirer of western capitalist society. Thus, official research in the Soviet Union was limited to investigating those questions raised at the Council which were seen to be useful for Soviet ideological warfare. As a result, Soviet researchers from the nineteen-sixties to the nineteen-eighties touched upon several knotty problems inherent in the decisions of the Council as well as in Catholic social doctrine: the transformation of the Church’s position on society, solidarity, the definition of positions on certain issues, and others. Although the work of Soviet researchers was determined by their Marxist perspective, they are still of interest today


history of religious studies, Soviet religious studies, Catholicism, Roman Catholic Church, social doctrine, Vatican II.


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Folieva Tat'iana