Red Theology: On the Christian Communist Tradition


In Red Theology: On the Christian Communist Tradition, Roland Boer presents key moments in the 2,000 year tradition of Christian communism. Defined by the two features of alternative communal practice and occasional revolutionary action, Christian communism is predicated on profound criticism of the way of the world. The book begins with Karl Kautsky – the leading thinker of second-generation Marxism – and his oft-ignored identification of this tradition. From there, it offers a series of case studies that deal with European instances, the Russian Revolution, and to East Asia. Here we find the emergence of Christian communism not only in China, but also in North Korea. This book will be a vital resource for scholars and students of religion and the many aspects of socialist tradition.
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Biographical Note

Roland Boer is Xin Ao Distinguished Overseas Professor in Philosophy at Renmin University of China. His research concerns the complex intersections between Marxism and religion, having recently published Stalin: From Theology to the Philosophy of Socialism in Power (2017).

Table of contents

Series Editor Preface


1 Karl Kautsky’s Forerunners of Modern Socialism
 1 The Manifold Types of Heretical Communism
 2 Müntzer and Münster
 3 Theology and Revolution

2 Early Christian Communism as a Political Myth
 1 Reconstruction: Kautsky
 2 Reconstruction: Rosa Luxemburg
 3 Consumption Versus Production, or, Transition
 4 The Question of History
 5 Political Myth
3 Reaction and Revolution: How to Read the Apostle Paul
 1 Anti- or Pro- Empire?
 2 Contradiction Analysis
 3 Imaginary Resolution
 4 Conclusion

4 Omnia Sunt Communia: Theology and Politics in Luther Blissett’sQ
 1  Q and the Marxist Tradition
 2 Issues
 3 Conclusion: How to Be Truly Radical

5 John Calvin and the Problem of Ungodly Rulers
 1 Two Kingdoms or One
 2 Anarchy or Tyranny
 3 Ungodly Rulers
  3.1  Obey!
  3.2  God’s Agents
  3.3  Magistrates
  3.4  Let Princes Hear and be Afraid!
 4 Subject Only in the Lord
 5 Conclusion

6 From Luther to Marx and Engels
 1 Human Nature
 2 Engels, Luther and Thomas Müntzer
 3 Marx and Luther
  3.1 Two Revolutionary Stages
  3.2 A Revolutionary Reformation?
 3.3The New Revolution
 4 Conclusion

7 Heilsgeschichte, History and Marxism
 1 Calculating the Day
  1.1  Bruno Bauer and Marx
  1.2  Engels and the Apocalypse
  1.3  Early Eschatological Communism
 2 Moving Mountains: Concerning Narrative Structure
  2.1  Stirner’s Ego and Christ
  2.2  Towards Contradiction
 3 Relativising Theology

8 Revisiting the Marxist-Christian Dialogue
 1 Limitations
 2 From Then...
 3 To Now
  3.1  Human Nature
  3.2  Alienation
  3.3  Prometheus and the Future
 4 Conclusion: Reconsidering the Background

9 Althusser and the Possibility of Religious Revolution
 1 Trapped in the Past
 2 Sources of Hope
  2.1  From Social Revolution...
  2.2  To Spiritual Revolution
 3 Conclusion

10 By Science and Prayer: The Christian Communism of Farnham Maynard
 1 Science and Prayer
 2 Modulations of an Anglo-Catholic Dialectic
  2.1  Discerning the Tension between Revolution and Reaction
  2.2  Christianity and Socialism
 3 Conclusion: On Enthusiasm

11 Christian Communism and the Bolsheviks
 1 Peasant Socialism
 2 Twisting over Tolstoy
 3 God-Builders
 4 Conclusion

12 The Taiping Revolution: Christian Communism Comes to China
 1 The Dream
 2 Hong and the Bible
 3 Revolution and Community
 4 Interpreting the Taiping Revolution
 5 Mao Zedong and the Taiping Revolution

13 Chinese Christian Communism in the Early Twentieth Century
 1 Revolutionary Times and Influences
 2 Christianity and Communism
  2.1  Method
  2.2  Reconstruction
  2.3  Identity and Difference
 3 Conclusion: Christianity and Marxism with Chinese Characteristics?

14 Religion and Revolution in Korea
 1 Chondoism
 2 Protestant Christians
 3 The DPRK Today
 4 Juche Theology?




All interested in religion and the many aspects of the socialist tradition.


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