In the annals of human history the twentieth century could well be remembered as the “death of God,” foreseen in the writings of a German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), and manifested in world wars, totalitarian ideologies, concentration camps, and mass murder. At the center of cultural debates and political maneuverings of that century stood the Soviet Union – the unique atheist empire in world history. It may have seemed back then that organized religion will fade away and vanish altogether. However, it was the communist block that declined and collapsed, and on its ruins, humanity witnessed the resurgence of traditional religions.
In this program the Russian American philosopher of culture and literary critic Mikhail Epstein discusses the prospects, opportunities, and drawbacks of our “post-secular” age, including the concept of “minimal religion,” as the transition from atheism to post–atheist spirituality. Prof Epstein introduced his idea of “minimal religion” in his books Religion after Atheism: New Possibilities for Theology (AST–press, 2013); and The Phoenix of Philosophy: Russian Thought of the Late Soviet Period (1953-1991) (Bloomsbury, 2019).
The interview with Prof. Mikhail Epstein is conducted by Dr. Mikhail Sergeev, co-chair of the Department of Religion, Theology, and Philosophy at the Wilmette Institute.