As austerity measures are put into place the world over and global restructuring is acknowledged by all as an attempt to bolster the economic system that lead to the crash, there is a great need to come to grips with the economic, political and philosophical legacy of Marx. Of particular interest are Marx’s analyses of alienation and the cycles of boom and bust thought to be integral to the functioning of capitalism. Moreover, as the Cold War drifts into the history books, it is possible to reconsider the lasting impact of Marx’s analyses without the shadows cast by the Soviet version of communism. Equally, though, scholars are increasingly turning to Marx for insight into the rise of religion and the corresponding demise of political ideologies that seems to mark the contemporary age. Are we witnessing ‘the return of Marx’?
Few scholars have done as much to tease out the intricacies of Marx, ideology and religion and their overlapping concerns as the eminent writer and Marx biographer, Professor David McLellan. This book brings together a group of internationally renowned academics to reflect upon, develop and criticise McLellan’s analyses of these three themes with a view to contributing more broadly to scholarly debates in these fields. This exciting and timely analysis will be of interest to scholars of political theory, the history of political thought (including historical methodology), Marx and Marxism, sociology of knowledge (particularly in relation to discussions of ideology), religion and theology more widely.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. McLellan, Marx, and Method 2. McLellan’s Marx: Interpreting Thought, Changing Life 3. The Concept of Alienation and the Development of Marx’s Thought 4. David McLellan and Continuity in Marx 5. Marx’s confrontation with free market dogma: the latent moral argument in Capital 6.Why Marxist Humanism is Wrong 7. Beyond the Narrow Horizon of Bourgeois Right 8. Simone Weil 9. Marx and Atheism 10. Ideology, Ideologies and Ideologues 11. Replies and Concluding Remarks
David Bates is Principal Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. He is the Director of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Politics and International Relations. His academic interests are focused primarily in the area of contemporary radical political thought.
Iain MacKenzie is Senior Lecturer in Politics and the Co-Director of the Centre for Critical Thought at the University of Kent, UK. His research is situated within the critical tradition of modern European thought.
Sean Sayers is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kent, UK. He has written extensively on topics of Hegelian and Marxist philosophy and in the areas of social philosophy, ethics, theory of knowledge, metaphysics and logic. He has also written on Freud and psychoanalysis and is currently working on issues in aesthetics.
'At a time when Pope Francis at one extreme and ISIS on the other have forced us to reconsider our views on what religion is and can be, Marx's easily misinterpreted writings on religion deserve another - and, this time, closer - reading. And who better to guide us through them than the greatest living scholar on this subject, David McLellan - with the kind of balanced critical help he receives from the impressive group of authors represented in this volume? HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.' - Professor Bertell Ollman, Dept. of Politics, NYU Author of Alienation: Marx's Conception of Man in Capitalist Society, Dialectical Investigations, and Dance of the Dialectic: Steps in Marx's Method