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1. Karl Marx and Religion: Life, Influences, Ideas and Legacies
About this Lecture
In this lecture, we provide a broad introduction to the life, influences, ideas and legacies of Karl Marx, focusing in particular on: (i) his life and times, including his early life and education, his collaboration with Friedrich Engels, and some of his major works; (ii) the influence of the German philosopher G. W. F. Hegel (1770-1831) on Marx's thought, including Hegel's conception of the history of the world as "the progress of the consciousness of freedom" and his famous philosophical method of "dialectic logic"; (iv) the influence of the philosopher of Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-72), including the concept of 'alienation', which Marx applied to both capitalism and religion; and (v) the shift in Marx's thought around 1845, after which point his writings become less philosophical and Hegelian, and more sociological.
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 - Karl Marx and Religion: Life, Influences, Ideas and Legacies [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/marxism-and-religion/karl-marx-and-religion-life-influences-ideas-and-legacies
Tremlett, P. "Marxism and Religion – Karl Marx and Religion: Life, Influences, Ideas and Legacies." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Aug 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/marxism-and-religion/karl-marx-and-religion-life-influences-ideas-and-legacies