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Religious Returns: Marxism, Postsecularism, Theology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Sage Handbook of Marxism
EditorsBeverley Skeggs, Alberto Toscana, Sara Farris
Place of PublicationLondon
Publisher or commissioning bodySAGE Publications Ltd
Number of pages20
DateIn preparation (current) - 1 Sep 2020
DateAccepted/In press - 2020


In this chapter, I work with the rubric of postsecularism to revisit central questions about Marxism and religion. Those issues fell into abeyance from the 1970s to the 2000s, but they have emerged centre-stage once again, along with the ‘return’ of religion itself in social and political life. In order to process and assess the range of current approaches, I propose a typology, the components of which are ‘relative autonomy’, ‘anti-secularism’, ‘religionization’, and ‘theologism’. Additionally, a pervasive concern and argument is streamed through engagements with authors that I take to exemplify the schema: that while today’s postsecular sensibilities extend the areas of overlap between pluralistic Marxism and other critical-theoretical perspectives, Marxism loses much of its force without philosophical attachment to scientific naturalism as well as socio-historical explanation. To be sure, such commitments should be broadly conceived, and the latter takes priority. But together, these frames still entail principled s scepticism when it comes to the emphatic critiques of intellectual secularism that characterize the ‘re-thinking religion’ literature.

Keywords: Marxism, postsecularism, religion, theology, ontology, science

    Research areas

  • Marxism, postsecularism, religion, theology, ontology, science


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