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Marxism and Religion

3. Hegemony, Ideology and Religion: Althusser and Gramsci

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this lecture, we turn to two twentieth-century thinkers who worked in the Marxist tradition to explore the concepts of hegemony, ideology and religion – Louis Althusser (1918-90) and Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937). In particular, we focus on: (i) the life and times of both Althusser and Gramsci, including the importance in both men's lives of the Catholic church; (ii) the concept of repressive state apparatuses (RSAs) and ideological state apparatuses (ISAs); (iii) Gramsci's view that ideology was not a passive reflection of state power, but an active force in its own right; (iv) Gramsci's writings on hegemony, and his view that the dominant class relied on aligning itself with "the general interests of the subordinate groups" in order to stay in power; and (v) the relation to all of this to religion.

Course

In this course, Dr Paul-François Tremlett (The Open University) explores Marxist approaches to religion. In the first module, we provide a broad introduction to Marx himself, before turning in the second module to explore what Marx said about religion. In the third module, 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. In the fourth module, 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', before turning in the fifth and final module to consider the influence of Marxist thought on the theological approach known as Liberation Theology.

Lecturer

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

APA style

Tremlett, P. (2021, August 23). Marxism and Religion - Hegemony, Ideology and Religion: Althusser and Gramsci [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/marxism-and-religion/hegemony-ideology-and-religion-althusser-and-gramsci

MLA style

Tremlett, Paul-françois. "Marxism and Religion – Hegemony, Ideology and Religion: Althusser and Gramsci." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Aug 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/marxism-and-religion/hegemony-ideology-and-religion-althusser-and-gramsci