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In the Vale of Tears

On Marxism and Theology, V


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.

Heinz Streib

'Lived religion' signifies a shift of focus in order to attend to the religiosity of individuals and groups as embedded in the contexts of life-worlds. It suggests fresh attention to the body, to perception, to experience, to everyday life, and to biography. The essays in this collection gravitate around the concept of ‘lived religion’, honoring the contributions of Hans-Günter Heimbrock, in which he suggests this conceptual framework for understanding practical theology and religious education and for designing empirical research in theology. The contributions embrace a broad spectrum and include empirical studies, exegetical and historical investigations, contributions on practical theology as well as on the theory and practice of religious education, inviting further reflection and discussion about ‘lived religion.’