The Forgotten: Catholics of the Soviet Empire from Lenin through Stalin

By Dunn, Dennis J. | The Catholic Historical Review, January 2002 | Go to article overview

The Forgotten: Catholics of the Soviet Empire from Lenin through Stalin


Dunn, Dennis J., The Catholic Historical Review


The Forgotten: Catholics of the Soviet Empire from Lenin through Stalin. By Christopher Lawrence Zugger. (Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press. 2001. Pp. xxxiv, 556. $39.95.)

In the swirl of subjects that are studied intensively in that bizarre but unforgettable experiment in human social engineering called the Soviet Union, religion is usually neglected. One can count on one hand the significant books focusing on religion in the USSR, works by Dimitry Pospielovsky, Nathaniel Davis, Walter Kolarz, and Bohdan Bociurkiw, but with any other subject, from foreign policy to economics to military affairs, the major publications are numerous, too many in fact to list. Needless to say, when it comes to books on specific religions, let alone religion in general, the field is even smaller. Among one of the least studied religions is Catholicism. There is no general book on the Catholic Church in the Soviet Union. In fact, there is no standard study of the Catholic Church in Russia, whether it is the Tsarist or Soviet period. Of course, there is monographic literature dealing with specific times, leaders, and religious groups-particularly the Jesuits, and some of these are very good. There is also a fair amount of periodical literature, but again nothing that provides an overview. The Reverend Christopher Lawrence Zugger, pastor of the Byzantine Catholic Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has not filled this void, but he has produced a thorough, well-researched study of the Catholic Church-in both its Latin and Byzantine rites-during the years of Lenin and Stalin's tenure. What is most impressive about Zugger's work is the encyclopedic nature of the information. …

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