Looking back on the end of religion: Opening Re-Marx

Tremlett, Paul-François (2016). Looking back on the end of religion: Opening Re-Marx. In: Cotter, Christopher R. and Robertson, David G. eds. After World Religions: Reconstructing Religious Studies. Religion in Culture: Studies in Social Contest and Construction. London: Routledge, pp. 92–106.

Abstract

The traditions of Marxism and Critical Theory stretch from the mid-nineteenth century writings of Marx and Engels through to contemporary thinkers such as Jürgen Habermas and Ernesto Laclau. These traditions have conventionally been understood to be foreign to the concerns of Religious Studies. Nevertheless, impressive and important scholarship by the likes of Talal Asad (1993), Richard King (1999) and Kim Knott (2005) established a series of conversations albeit at the margins of Religious Studies, and introduced the writings of Michel de Certeau, Michel Foucault, Henri Lefebvre, Doreen Massey and Edward Said (among others) to the World Religions Paradigm (WRP) In doing so, they raised a number of questions that could be said to be, ‘in debt to Marx’. Those questions addressed problems of power and knowledge, of social reproduction, the fabrication of legitimacy, the transmission of knowledge into minds and bodies and indeed the very constitution of minds and bodies as experiencing and thinking things in the first place.

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