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In the Vale of Tears

On Marxism and Theology, V

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Roland Boer

In the Vale of Tears brings to a culmination the project for a renewed and enlivened debate over the interaction between Marxism and religion. It does so by offering the author's own response to that tradition. It simultaneously draws upon the rich insights of a significant number of Western Marxists and strikes out on its own. Thus, it argues for the crucial role of political myth on the Left; explores the political ambivalence at the heart of Christianity; challenges the bent among many on the Left to favour the unexpected rupture of kairós as a key to revolution; is highly suspicious of the ideological and class alignments of ethics; offers a thorough reassessment of the role of fetishism in the Marxist tradition; and broaches the question of death, unavoidable for any Marxist engagement with religion. While the book is the conclusion to the five-volume series, The Criticism of Heaven and Earth, it also stands alone as a distinct intervention in some burning issues of our time.

Winner of the 2014 Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize.

Theories of Ideology

The Powers of Alienation and Subjection

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Jan Rehmann

How to explain the hegemonic stability of neoliberal capitalism even in the midst of its crises? The emergence of ideology theories marked a re-foundation of Marxist research into the functioning of alienation and subjection. Going beyond traditional concepts of ‘manipulation’ and ‘false consciousness’, they turned to the material existence of hegemonic apparatuses and focused on the mostly unconscious effects of ideological practices, rituals and discourses. Jan Rehmann reconstructs the different strands of ideology theories ranging from Marx to Adorno/Horkheimer, from Lenin to Gramsci, from Althusser to Stuart Hall, from Bourdieu to W.F. Haug, from Foucault to Butler. He compares them in a way that a genuine dialogue becomes possible and applies the different methods to the ‘market totalitarianism’ of today’s high-tech-capitalism.

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Jan Salamucha

Edited by Kordula Świętorzecka and Jacek Jadacki

Jan Salamucha was born on the 10th of June 1903 in Warsaw and murdered on the 11th of August 1944 in Warsaw during the Warsaw Uprising very early on in his scholarly career. He is the most original representative of the branch of the Lvov-Warsaw School known as the Cracow Circle. The Circle was a grouping of scholars who were interested in reconstructing scholasticism and Christian philosophy in general by means of mathematical logic. As Jan Lukasiewicz’s successor in the area of logic and Konstanty Michalski’s student in the area of the history of medieval thought, Salamucha had an excellent preparation for this task. His main achievements include a masterful logical analysis of the proof ex motu for the existence of God, a modern interpretation of analogical notions and a comprehensive approach to the problem of essence. He also contributed several historical studies: he examined Aristotle’s theory of deduction (and found contradictions in it), he reconstructed William Ockham’s propositional logic and established the authenticity of his treatise on insolubilia, and he identified the historical sources of the antinomies in Antiquity and the Middle Ages. He did not shy away from popularizing philosophy, and in that work he was able to elucidate rather than oversimplify the complexities of philosophy.