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3. Hegemony, Ideology and Religion: Althusser and Gramsci
About this 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), focusing in particular 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.
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 - Hegemony, Ideology and Religion: Althusser and Gramsci [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/marxism-and-religion/hegemony-ideology-and-religion-althusser-and-gramsci
Tremlett, P. "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