This volume consists of a critical commentary on the
interactions between Marxism and theology in the work of the major
figures of Western Marxism. It deals with the theological writings
of Ernst Bloch, Walter Benjamin, Louis Althusser, Henri Lefebvre,
Antonio Gramsci, Terry Eagleton, Slavoj Zižek and Theodor Adorno.
In many cases their theological writings are dealt with for the
first time in this book. It is surprising how much theological
material there is and how little commentators have dealt with it.
Apart from the critical engagement with the way they use theology,
the book also explores how their theological writings infiltrate
and enrich their Marxist work. The book has three parts: Biblical
Marxists (Bloch and Benjamin), Catholic Marxists (Althusser,
Lefebvre, Gramsci and Eagleton), and the Protestant Turn (Zižek and
About the AuthorRoland Boer, Ph.D. (1993) in Biblical Studies,
McGill University, is Research Professor at the University of
Newcastle, Australia. He has published extensively in biblical
studies, Marxism, postcolonism, cultural studies, literary theory
and political theory, including Marxist Criticism of the Bible
(Continuum 2003), Political Myth (Duke 2009) and Criticism of
Reviews"The tradition of the Marxist reference and critical
appropriation of Christian legacy is a long one, starting with the
Late Friedrich Engels. Through the XXth century, it left its mark
on some of the greatest Marxist figures, from Gramsci to Benjamin,
and it was given a new boost in the last years by Agamben and
Badiou. Boer's book, the first one to give a detailed overview of
this entire tradition, is much more than a mere critical
compendium. One usually says about introductions and overviews that
they succeed if they bring the reader to take a look at the
original texts themselves. Criticism of Heaven stands fully on its
own, achieving a perfect balance between a detailed exegesis and
the deployment of the interpreter's own position. In an almost
miraculous way, the more we understand the interpreted authors, the
more we hear Boer's own voice. An indispensable volume not only for
those interested in the topic, but for all who strive for a
cognitive mapping of today's perplexing state of things. (Slavoj
Zižek, Birkbeck College, London)
"In his highly intriguing and relevant work, Roland Boer, esteemed
and prolific biblical scholar, offers a traveller's guide to
European Neo- Marxist positions from the point of view of their
various biblical and theological bearings. Roland Boer's brilliant
exposition and highly controversial interpretations suggest that
Marxism is the last resort of a bona fide Calvinist theology of
grace.Carsten Pallesen, Professor of Theology, University of
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