Criticism of Heaven: On Marxism and Theology (Historical by Roland Boer

By Roland Boer

This quantity includes a serious statement at the interactions among Marxism and theology within the paintings of the most important figures of Western Marxism. It offers with the theological writings of Ernst Bloch, Walter Benjamin, Louis Althusser, Henri Lefebvre, Antonio Gramsci, Terry Eagleton, Slavoj Žižek and Theodor Adorno. in lots of instances their theological writings are handled for the 1st time during this ebook. it's astonishing how a lot theological fabric there's and the way little commentators have handled it. except the serious engagement with the way in which they use theology, the booklet additionally explores how their theological writings infiltrate and enhance their Marxist paintings. The ebook has 3 components: Biblical Marxists (Bloch and Benjamin), Catholic Marxists (Althusser, Lefebvre, Gramsci and Eagleton), and the Protestant flip (Žižek and Adorno).


"The culture of the Marxist reference and significant appropriation of Christian legacy is a protracted one, beginning with the past due Friedrich Engels. during the XXth century, it left its mark on the various maximum Marxist figures, from Gramsci to Benjamin, and it was once given a brand new strengthen within the final years by way of Agamben and Badiou. Boer’s ebook, the 1st one to offer a close evaluate of this whole culture, is way greater than an insignificant severe compendium. One often says approximately introductions and overviews that they be triumphant in the event that they carry the reader to have a look at the unique texts themselves. feedback of Heaven stands totally by itself, reaching an ideal stability among an in depth exegesis and the deployment of the interpreter’s personal place. In a virtually incredible means, the extra we comprehend the interpreted authors, the extra we listen Boer’s personal voice. An necessary quantity not just for these drawn to the subject, yet for all who attempt for a cognitive mapping of today’s complicated country of items.
(Slavoj Žižek, Birkbeck collage, London)

"In his hugely fascinating and suitable paintings, Roland Boer, esteemed and prolific biblical student, bargains a traveller’s advisor to ecu Neo- Marxist positions from the perspective in their quite a few biblical and theological bearings. Roland Boer’s fabulous exposition and hugely debatable interpretations recommend that Marxism is the final hotel of a bona fide Calvinist theology of grace.
(Carsten Pallesen, Professor of Theology, college of Copenhagen)

Praise for Marxist feedback of the Bible
“An staggering journey de strength during which the types of Marxist feedback are marshalled to enquire the extreme richness in either shape and content material of the Hebrew Bible. it's a lesson in dialectical feedback totally up to in Biblical Studies."
(Fredric Jameson, Duke University)

"All [...] of those essays are worth examining. They embrace the fruit of decades of mirrored image and convey a so much remarkable command of an unlimited and heterogeneous literature. they're insightful, thought-provoking, and in addition unique within the feel of unveiling unforeseen points of these less than dialogue. the fashion is typically a bit arch, however the research is often tremendous and the evaluate really apt. nobody studying Boer will come away with no being higher trained and wiser."
David McLellan, Marx and Philosophy assessment of Books

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Additional resources for Criticism of Heaven: On Marxism and Theology (Historical Materialism Book Series, Volume 18)

Sample text

Thou shalt be still: this downward, exclusively downward cry from above, against too many demands from below, looks exactly like the well-disguised, indeed apparently good slogan that one should not covet one’s neighbour’s goods, or that even the Jews are now men once more. 33 Certain phrases, small hints, also work their way in through the reading process: in the text quoted, the lack of identiſcation of ‘the One above’ suggests an elision between God and rulers, and the demands and protests are directed at both.

In one respect, Bultmann carries through an older logic that saw the Bible as the beginning of a completely rational faith free from myth, from Maimonides to Hermann Cohen’s Religion of Reason (see Bloch 1998, p. 298; Bloch 1985, Volume 9, p. 341). 64 Bloch 1972, p. 34; Bloch 1985, Volume 14, p. 64. 63 Bloch’s Detective Work • 31 speech, text and Christ is quite deliberate), that which addresses human beings here and now.

Bloch’s Detective Work • 19 futile search for purer origins, the theological motivation behind this, and speciſc problems drawn from historical criticism (‘reliable’ oral material, the shaky hypothesis of Ezra-Nehemiah) – and I will draw these together a little later. 40 That is to say, apart from the production of these texts as slave talk, their usage also comes into play. Thus, certain texts may take on a new life when reread, such as those of Balaam (Numbers 12), whose mix of curse and blessing becomes a means for cursing the local lords while apparently blessing them.

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