By Christel Lane
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Additional resources for Christian religion in the Soviet Union: a sociological study
The analysis of religious change made in the following chapters will build on the contributions of the above-mentioned sociologists and will attempt to overcome their individual theoretical shortcomings. Although their findings were formulated in relation only to sect development it has been found profitable to utilise some of their conclusions in the analysis of all religious collectivities. Throughout the study, changes in response to the world as well as less general doctrinal or organisational shifts will be related to the impact of state and society.
Consequently, movement from 'sect' to 'denomination' as well as from 'church' to 'denomination' has become notable in recent decades, and the adoption of the 'denominational' type has become necessary for the analysis of the contemporary Soviet religious scene. But in contrast to its appropriateness as a research tool in the analysis of religion in the West, this type is useful mainly for analysing developmental tendencies rather than faits accomplis. 'The denomination' Although the 'denomination' is largely defined in relation to the 'sect' and the 'church', it is not seen as just a halfway point between them.
The next two chapters describe and analyse the Protestant sects which have come to Russia from the West. The most important of them, the Evangelical Christian Baptists, is covered in a separate chapter (7), while the smaller sects (except for the Mennonites) are dealt with in Chapter 8. The last two chapters are concerned with those religious organisations which are the focus of both religious and nationalist sentiments. Chapter 9 looks at the national Lutheran churches of Latvia and Estonia, and at the German Lutherans.