Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies

Breadcrumb Navigation

Tesař, Jan

Mgr. Jan Tesař



Doctoral Project

Die Geschichte des wissenschaftlichen Atheismus. Eine vergleichende Untersuchung der Tschechoslowakei und der Sowjetunion (1953-1989) — abgeschlossen

The History of Scientific Atheism. A Comparative Study of Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union (1953-1989) — completed

The main goal of the project is to investigate so called scientific atheism and trace its development in two presumably ideologically monolithic socialist countries. An emphasis will not be put on the explanation of the failures but rather on the inner workings of the newly developed set of theoretical concepts and social practices which can be encompassed under the term scientific atheism. In other words, the main purpose of the project is not to answer the question why did scientific atheism fail but rather how did it work. The other principal research question is, in what ways did the theory, practice and reception of scientific atheism differ in both countries. Finding answers to these questions will increase our understanding of the power of ideology in the socialist countries as well as its limits because scientific atheism was by contemporary party ideologues considered to be one of the principal tools with the help of which could have been raised the new socialist man. The main research interests can be divided into three fields. The first field of research will encompass an expert discourse, which was produced by professional scientific atheists. The second field of research will put under scrutiny the institutional development and administrative practice, whose goal was to disperse the ideas of scientific atheism in the society. Finally, an examination of the forms of reception of scientific atheism will be investigated.

Please also see an overview of his project in the Graduate School's 2015 Annual Report.

Curriculum Vitae

Jan Tesař was born in Varnsdorf (Czech Republic). He studied Czechoslovakian contemporary History at the Faculty of Arts and Russian linguistics at the Faculty of Education at the Charles University in Prague. In 2011 he presented the paper called "Tank no. 23 and the collective memory" at the Trialog conference organized by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in St. Petersburg. In 2011 he was on a study visit in Moscow, in 2011-2012 he studied at the University of Essex. He was doctoral candidate at LMU Munich as member of the Graduate School and the International Research Training Group „Religious Cultures in 19th and 20th-century Europe“. Jan Tesař  has been working as a teacher in the Czech Republic.


Journal Articles and Book Chapters

What significance does the idea of the "active audience" have for the understanding of the power of the media? In: Ideate 8/2012.