Dvoinin Alexey

Psychology of religion in Post-soviet Russia (1990s)

Dvoinin Alexey (2018) "Psychology of religion in Post-soviet Russia (1990s) ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia IV : Pedagogika. Psihologiia, 2018, vol. 51, pp. 114-134 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturIV201851.114-134


This article analyses social and historical conditions of disappearance of the Soviet psychology of religion and the emergence of psychology of religion of a new type in the 1990s. Soviet psychology of religion was more affi liated not the offi cial psychology but with the Soviet variety of religious studies, i.e. history and theory of atheism and religion. Its disappearance was due to social and political changes in Russian in the early 1990s. The dialogue between psychologists and religious fugures that began in the 1990s for the most part led to the development of a project alternative as to psychology of religion, namely Christian psychology. This has created diffi culty in diff erentiating between these two branches and led to the formation in the Russian academia of false ideas about the subject, methods and topics of psychology of religion. THe author of the article identifi es reasons for the absence of academic psychological studies of religion in Russia in 1990s. These were the focus on other scientifi c tasks; social and economic troubles of science and little fi nancial attractiveness of this fi eld; attitude to religion as a spiritual source for many scholars rather than an object of research. Main publications on this areas during the period in question are listed; fi rst university courses are mentioned as well. The birth of the new, post-Soviet psychology of religion in Russia in the 1990s was mostly due not to the social demand from Russian society that was experiencing a signifi cant rise in religiosity but to the personal interest of researches in psychological problems of religion as well as the cognitive “freshness” of this area of knowledge which was little studied at that time.


psychology of religion, Christian psychology, Soviet psychology, history of psychology, religious studies, religion, ‘scientific atheism’, scientific research, scientific institutions, post-Soviet Russia


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Information about the author

Dvoinin Alexey

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in Psychological Sciences;
Academic Rank: Associate Professor;
Place of work: Institute of Pedagogy and Educational Psychology, Moscow City University; 4, 2nd Selskokhoziastvennyi Proezd, Moscow 129226, Russian Federation;
Post: Associate Professor;
ORCID: 0000-0003-0530-740X;
Email: alexdvoinin@mail.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.