What is the religious field like in a country where religion was banned for half of the 20th century? And how do you set up a Religious Studies department there? Under Communism, religion was suppressed in the formerly Catholic Eastern European country of Lithuania until the 1990s.

About this episode

Under Communism, religion was suppressed in the formerly Catholic Eastern European country of Lithuania until the 1990s. Milda Ališauskienė tells David Robertson about the religious field like in a country where religion was banned for half of the 20th century. Do we see a simple resurgence of Catholicism, or something more complex? What about New Religious Movements – are there new forms of vernacular Lithuanian religious expression? How does immigration affect this field? indexThe second half of the interview discusses the practicalities of how you go about setting up and running a Religious Studies department in a post-Soviet country such as Lithuania. While there was no academic study of religion during the Soviet era, this has also affected the public perception of the need for such a study. This interview presents a fascinating inside look at the study of religion between two hegemonies – Communism and Catholicism.

This episode has not been transcribed yet. 

Consider a donation to pay for the cost of editing a transcript?

Related Resources

When Atheists Pray…

Response

An atheist could perform all kinds of prayer in the exact same way a believer does but would not necessarily perceive his (or her) actions to be connected to a higher power. In his interview with Thomas Coleman for the Religious Studies Project, Dr.Kevin Ladd talks about his research on prayer. Dr. Ladd explains how he got interested in the topic,...
Witchcraft and Demonic Possession in Early Modern England

Podcast

Emeritus Professor Philip Almond discusses his work on witchcraft and demonic possession in early modern England, including issues such as the "familiar cultural script" that was usually played out, the strategic interests of those making accusations, and the broader context of post-Reformation turmoil in which confessional claims to truth took on new urgency.
Prophecy and American Millennialism

Response

"RastafarI is itself a millennial movement with the belief that Haile Selassie I is the God Liberator, an avatar returned to restore True Salvation for the subaltern people of African lineage. It is also a revolutionary movement which wants to change the lot of Africans..." J. Gorton Melton is a leading academic specialist on new religious movements, a scholar of occultists, Scientologists, Rosicrucianists, Neopagans, ...

Responses to this episode

The Catholic Underground: Lithuanian Catholicism Under the Soviet Union

Instead of expressing a need for pluralism and to be recognized for the differences that their religion brings to the country, religious minorities push for the security of agreeing with the majority.Professor of Sociology at Vytautas Magnus University, in Lithuania has changed during the counter-reformation, the First Republic after WWI, the Soviet Union, and finally after the Second Independence. According to Dr. Alisauskiene, the Roman Catholic Church heavily dominated pre-Soviet Union Lithuania.

Other EPISODES YOU MIGHT ENJOY

Ralph Hood on Mysticism

Podcast

Dr. Ralph W. Hood Jr. has extensive experience in the field of psychology of religion and particularly in the study of mysticism and mystical experience. As an early pioneer in the renaissance of the field of psychology of religion, Hood’s work is extensive and prolific exploring a variety of research topics in the social sciences of religion.
Claude Lévi-Strauss

Podcast

Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009) was the founder of structural anthropology, and is widely considered to be a foundational figure for modern anthropology. In books including Les Structures élémentaires de la parenté (1949, The Elementary Structures of Kinship), Tristes Tropiques (1955) and La Pensée sauvage (1962, The Savage Mind, 1966),...
What does religious literacy mean in your context?

Podcast

Will #religiousliteracy save Religious Studies? At the 2019 AAR in San Diego, Dave McConeghy moderated a roundtable with early career scholars about the meaning of religious literacy in their context. Join us for a lively discussion about what it means to teach religious studies with Richard Newton, Chris Jones, Rebekka King, Jenna-Gray-Hildenbrand, Kevin Minister, and Bradly Onishi.
Of Demons, Saints and Heaven: Andean religious beliefs in Peru

Podcast

In his interview with Sidney Castillo, Dr. Luis Millones discusses some of the traditions that have formed the basis for his research, particularly in the northern coast, northern highlands and south highlands of Peru. He mentions that, with the impact of colonization,...
The ‘secular’, the ‘religious’, and the ‘refugee’ in Germany

Podcast

Ever since the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015, the ‘refugee’ in Germany has been constructed in a variety of ways that are implicated in specific co-constitutive notions of the ‘secular’ and ‘religious’ that exert symbolic power by naturalizing certain notions of the religious and thereby the secular while excluding others and feeding back into the subject formation (or subjectivation) of people classified as ‘refugees’. In this process certain positions are produced as hegemonic while others are classified as not acceptable (e.g., “radical”, “not European” or “anti-humanist”).
Sri Lankan Buddhism and Colonialism

Podcast

Usually one of the first associations upon hearing ‘Sri Lankan Buddhism’ is either the religious violence that swept across the island in the recent decades, or the Pali canon and Theravada Buddhism. In this interview with Anja Pogacnik, Dr. Stephen Berkwitz doesn’t really speak of either.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial- NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

The views expressed in podcasts, features and responses are the views of the individual contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Religious Studies Project or our sponsors. The Religious Studies Project is produced by the Religious Studies Project Association (SCIO), a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (charity number SC047750).