Is communism a religion

Communism as religion

November 12, 2008 9 p.m.
Place: ZfL, Schützenstr. 18, 10117 Berlin, 3rd floor, Trajekte conference room 308


To the lecture
No secular religion of the twentieth century had such an attraction for European intellectuals as communism. The lecture traces the reasons for this enthusiasm by outlining the contours of communist belief and the functioning of communism as a religion.

To person
Michail Ryklin (* 1948) teaches at the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. In 2007/2008 he was a Mercator visiting professor at the Institute for Slavic Studies at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Ryklin represents thinking on the periphery of ideological discourses. With his philosophical analyzes of terror systems, he makes the problem of terror in the Stalinist Soviet Union and in post-Stalinist Russia the subject of a philosophy that fills a "gap in the western archive". His horizon of thought is oriented towards problems in the history of the mutual perception between Russia and Western Europe.

In the early 1980s Ryklin was one of the co-founders of the Moscow publishing house Ad Marginem, in which, among other things, the first Russian translation of Being And Time appeared. He himself translated, among others, Lévi-Strauss' Anthropology structurale into Russian. He contributed significantly to the spread of Western European contemporary philosophy in Russia. As a permanent employee of Lettre Internationale In recent years he has become one of the most renowned publicists in the area of ​​tension between East and West. Ryklin has been an Honorary Member of the ZfL since 2006.

Publications (selection)
Last published in German translation: Communism as religion. The intellectuals and the October Revolution (Frankfurt a. M. 2008); With the right of the fittest. Russian culture in times of controlled democracy (Frankfurt a.M. 2006), Deconstruction and destruction (Zurich 2006), Secret border. Letters from Moscow 1995-2003 (Berlin 2003), Rooms of rejoicing. Totalitarianism and difference (Frankfurt a.M. 2003).