Archive for November, 2012

Cornel West on Marx and Engels on Religion.

November 16, 2012 1 comment

The classical Marxist understanding of religion is more subtle than is generally acknowledged. Crude Marxist formulations of religion as the opium of the people in which the religious masses are viewed as passive and ignorant objects upon which monolithic religious institutions impose fantasies of other-worldly fulfillment reveal more about Englightenment prejudices and arrogant self-images of petty bourgeois intellectuals than the nature of religion. Contrary to such widespread crypto-Marxist myths about religion, Marx and Engels understood religion as a profound human response to, and protest against, intolerable conditions. For Marx and Engels, religion constituted alienated forms of human cultural practice under circumstances not of people’s own choosing. On this view, religion as an opium of the people is not a mere political pacification imposed from above but rather a historically circumscribed existential and experiential assertion of being (or somebodiness) by dehumanized historical agents under unexamined socioeconomic conditions.

– Cornel West. Religion and the Left

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OK…So I’m Back.

November 13, 2012 1 comment

After much himming and hawing, and not a little haste, I have decided to reconvene the Grand Ampersand Project. Although, from here on out, I will be primarily focused on Religious Studies, especially the work of Timothy Fitzgerald, Talal Asad, Charels Taylor, William Cavanaugh and John Milbank.

In the interval since this blog was last active, I have begun several separate blog projects. One dedicated to an ongoing discussion of Continental philosophy and political theory, and one dedicated to logic and analytic philosophy. I will be trying to balance the activity of all three of these blogs going forward.

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