The article deals with the history of the foundation of the first museum on the history of religion in Petrograd in 1922. By the end of the 1920s – the beginning of the 1930s, more than 100 antireligious museums were created in the USSR. In addition, anti-religious departments appeared in the expositions of many local history and historical museums. In Moscow, the Central Anti-Religious Museum was opened in the Cathedral of the Strastnoy Monastery. In 1933, by government decree, it was recognized as an all-Union scientific and methodological center of museum-anti-religious work. However, the first museum promoting a comparative historical approach to the study and presentation of religious artifacts was started in Petrograd in 1922 after the publication of V.I. Lenin's article “On the Significance of Militant Materialism”. Based on archival materials, the author of the paper shows the formation of a new museum based on the conjugation of the activities of the Petrograd Excursion Institute, institutions of the Academy of Sciences and the ethnographic department of Petrograd University. A special role in museum creation, most likely, belonged to V.G. Bogoras.

Keywords: anti-religious movement in the USSR, comparative study of religions, V.G. Bogoras, antireligious museums

DOI: 10.22250/2072-8662.2018.4.152-157

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About the author


Marianna M. Shakhnovich –DSc (Philosophy),

Full Professor, Head of the Department of the Philosophy of Religion and Religious Studies, St. Petersburg State University;

St. Petersburg, Russia; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.