The author examines the radicalisation of the Marxist academic discourse on Islam in the USSR, from the relatively liberal NEP period to the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution, all based on the Qur’an or reflecting the works by Western specialists of Oriental studies. Reminding the initial diversity of the discourses on Islam within Soviet Oriental studies, M. Kemper focuses on the hegemony of Marxist norms as to the “feudal” character of Islam as for the early 1930s, and on the role played in these developments by Liutsian Klimovich (on him, see infra review No. 37). The author’s hypothesis is that the harsh personal polemics of the time, and the widespread practice of denouncement, did permit the physical elimination of many of them in the course of the Terror under the most varied accusations. Though focusing on the works by Klimovich, this study provides a convincing explanation of the ignorance by the USSR of the Islamic revivals of the post-de-Stalinisation period, and of the growing politicisation of Soviet Islam as for the 1970s.

The Redaction
CER: II-1.2.A-23