James Kapaló and Kinga Povedák, "The Secret Police and the Religious Underground in Communist and Post-Communist Eastern Europe" (Routledge, 2021)

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This new book by James Kapaló and Kinga Povedák explores the complex intersection of secret police operations and the formation of the religious underground in communist-era Eastern Europe. In sixteen chapters, The Secret Police and the Religious Underground in Communist and Post-Communist Eastern Europe (Routledge, 2021) looks at how religious groups were perceived as dangerous to the totalitarian state whilst also being extremely vulnerable and yet at the same time very resourceful. In this podcast James and Kinga talk about what is special about secret police archives and how they allow us to explore the material culture, including things like photographs and food, of clandestine and secretive communities. They argue that stories from the archives continue to shape present day religious communities and postsocialist societies more generally as well as reflecting upon what comparing movements from eight different countries shows us that we might miss from looking just at one or two case studies.

Roland Clark is a Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Liverpool, President of the Society for Romanian Studies, and a Senior Fellow with the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right.

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