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2. Marxism and Religion: Ideology, Power and Change
About this Lecture
In this lecture, we look in more depth at what Marx said about religion, focusing in particular on: (i) the fact that Marx's thoughts on religion are spread across a range of texts, rather than being discussed at any length in a single text; (ii) the importance of the 'Preface' to A Contribution to a Critique of Political Economy (1859), and the place of religion in Marx's base-superstructure model of society; and (iii) the central of ideology and power to Marx's account of religion.
In this course, Dr Paul-François Tremlett (The Open University) explores Marxist approaches to religion. In the first lecture, we provide a broad introduction to Marx himself. In the second lecture, we explore what Marx said about religion. In the third lecture, we turn to two twentieth-century thinkers who worked in the Marxist tradition – Louis Althusser (1918-90) and Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) – and think about the concepts of power, ideology and hegemony in relation to religion. Next, we explore two thinkers associated with the Frankfurt School – Max Horkheimer (1895-1973) and Jürgen Habermas (1929-) – and think about the concepts of 'critical theory' and 'communicative action'. In the fifth and final lecture, we consider the influence of Marxist thought on the theological approach known as Liberation Theology.
Dr Paul-François Tremlett is a Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at The Open University. He is interested in theory and method in Religious Studies, and, as well as ethnographic research in the Philippines, has conducted research in Hong Kong and London on the Occupy movement.
Cite this Lecture
Tremlett, P. (2021, August 23). Marxism and Religion - Marxism and Religion: Ideology, Power and Change [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/marxism-and-religion/marxism-and-religion-ideology-power-and-change
Tremlett, P. "Marxism and Religion – Marxism and Religion: Ideology, Power and Change." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Aug 2021, https://massolit.io/courses/marxism-and-religion/marxism-and-religion-ideology-power-and-change