Nihil Obstat

Religion, Politics, and Social Change in East-Central Europe and Russia

Nihil Obstat

Book Pages: 440 Illustrations: 7 tables Published: February 1998

European Studies > Eastern Europe and Russia, Politics > Political Science, Religious Studies

Nihil Obstat—Latin for "nothing stands in the way"—examines the interplay between religion and politics in East-Central Europe and Russia. While focusing on the postcommunist, late twentieth century, Sabrina P. Ramet discusses developments as far back as the eleventh century to explain the patterns that have developed over time and to show how they still affect contemporary interecclesiastical relations as well as those among Church, state, and society.
Based on interview research in Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, and Macedonia, and on materials published in German, Italian, Serbo-Croatian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Russian, and English, Ramet paints a clear picture of the political and religious fragility of former communist states, which are experiencing some aspects of freedom and choice for the first time. With its comprehensive discussion of the largest religious institutions in the area, especially the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, and its extensive survey of nontraditional religious associations that have become active in the region since 1989, this study makes a distinct contribution to growing discussions about the rise of fundamentalism and the inner dilemmas of modernity. With its depth of information and thoughtful exploration of cultural traditions, Nihil Obstat uniquely presents the ramifications and complexities of European religion in a postcommunist world.


"An erudite, encyclopedic treatment of extremely sensitive, often misunderstood and misrepresented issues—its impact will be enduring. Ramet combines keen historical insight with sociological acumen in this pathbreaking contribution to the understanding of the post-communist religious landscape and to the role of religion in the erosion of Leninist ideocracies." — Vladimir Tismaneanu, University of Maryland


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Sabrina P. Ramet is Professor of International Studies at the University of Washington. She is the author and editor of numerous books, including Social Currents in Eastern Europe (Duke University Press).

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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2070-8 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2056-2
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