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Marxism and Religion

1. Karl Marx and Religion: Life, Influences, Ideas and Legacies

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About this Lecture

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.

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 - 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

MLA style

Tremlett, Paul-françois. "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