This unique account of Russia's encounter with Catholicism from the medieval period to the present provides fascinating insights into Catholic-Russian relations.
Dennis Dunn analyzes religious politics in the former USSR and in Russia, particularly in areas where relations between the state-backed Orthodox establishment and the Catholic Church have renewed debates about civil rights, religious freedom and Russian national identity under Vladimir Putin's regime.
Discussing issues such as the role of Pope John Paul II in helping to bring down the Iron Curtain, Dunn argues provocatively that Catholic-Russian relations are a microcosm of Western-Russian relations and sheds new light on the historical strain between Russia and the West. Showing how Russia's adoption of a secular ideology - a vain attempt to surpass the West - alienated the Russian government not only from the Catholic Church but also from its own Orthodox foundation, this book discusses how Russia sealed its fate while precipitating the Cold War with the West. Students and general readers interested in Russian history, Western-Russian relations, Catholicism, and comparative religion more broadly, will find this an invaluable and accessible account of an important and understudied subject.