Criticism of Theology


Some shameless self-promotion in a year that is becoming a little ludicrous in terms of books published.

The first book now available is Criticism of Earth: On Marx, Engels and Theology.

This is volume 4 of the ‘The Criticism of Heaven and Earth’ series. As the blurb puts it:

Criticism of Earth thoroughly reassesses Marx and Engels’s engagement with theology, drawing on largely ignored texts. Thus, alongside ‘opium of the people’, Hegel’s philosophy of law, and the Feuerbach theses, other works are also central. These include Marx’s early pieces on theology, continual transformations of fetishism, and lengthy treatments of Bruno Bauer and Max Stirner. Engels too is given serious attention, since he moved beyond Marx in appreciating theology’s revolutionary possibilities. Engels’s Calvinism is discussed, his treatments of biblical criticism and theology, and his later writings on early Christianity’s revolutionary nature. The book continues the project for a renewed and enlivened interaction between Marxism and religion, being the fourth of five volumes in the Criticism of Heaven and Earth series.

Even though the euro is not doing so well these days, €99.00 is still a reasonable hit for a book. I must admit that Brill has a business model that has worked for over three centuries – it was established during the heyday of the first great capitalist power, the Netherlands. What to do? I suggest three or four strategies:

1. Dig a rich aunt for some cash, or request it as a birthday or Christmas present from your parents and/or children.

2. Order it for a library you know.

3. Wait for the paperback from Haymarket.

4. Wait for the pdf on one of those reputable Russian book sites.

The second book published is Nick Cave: A Study of Love, Death and Apocalypse.

I’m told the paperback should be out soonish, but otherwise see above. The blurb:

This study analyses the work of Nick Cave, a singular, idiosyncratic and brilliant musician, specifically through his engagements with theology and the Bible. It does so not merely in terms of his written work, the novels and plays and poetry and lyrics that he continues to produce, but also the music itself. Covering more than three decades of extraordinarily diverse creativity, the book has seven chapters focusing on: the modes in which Cave engages with the Bible; the total depravity of the worlds invoked in his novels and other written work; the consistent invocation of apocalyptic themes; his restoration of death as a valid dimension of life; the twists of the love song; the role of a sensual and heretical Christ; and then a detailed, dialectical analysis of his musical forms. The book draws upon a select number of theorists who provide the methodological possibilities of digging deep into the theological nature of Cave’s work, namely Ernst Bloch, who is the methodological foundation stone, as well as Theodor Adorno, Theodore Gracyk and Jacques Attali.

And a third one, although this is the paperback of Criticism of Theology: On Marxism and Theology III.

This one is very affordable via those nice lefties at Haymarket Books. The blurb:

Criticism of Theology provides a detailed and critical commentary on the continued fascination with religion by yet more significant Marxist philosophers, historians and critics: Max Horkheimer, E.P. Thompson, G.E.M. de Ste. Croix, Michael Löwy, Roland Barthes, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari and Antonio Negri. Simultaneously critique and construction, Criticism of Theology carefully analyses their work through close textual readings, with a view to locating hidden gems that may be developed further.

Soon to come, but available for pre-order, is The Earthy Nature of the Bible: Fleshly Readings of Sex, Masculinity and Carnality.

I have just received the cover image:

And the fourth one for this year, Criticism of Heaven: The Author’s Cut. This one has the full original text, with 250 pages and the original cadences restored.


At long last I have completed working on Lenin and Theologycompiled the full manuscript (which will come in at around 450 pages when published) and sent it to someone who has agreed to check the Russian references and so on (thanks sk). So the ‘reading Lenin’ series comes to a close, although it may have an occasional supplement. I am sure my mother will be pleased, since she provides constant feedback on my blog, occasionally threatening to write me out of her will – given that she will probably live for a good while more, I’ll be an old fogey by the time that is an issue.

But that made me realise that I have a few other books appearing this year. In another instance of shameless self-promotion, here they are:

Criticism of Earth: On Marx, Engels and Theology. Due out with Brill in May this year.

Nick Cave: A Study of Love, Death and Apocalypse. Also due out in May, now with Equinox.

The Earthy Nature of the Bible: Fleshly Readings of Sex, Masculinity and Carnality. Published by Palgrave Macmillan and due out in October this year.

Criticism of Heaven: The Author’s Cut. Published by CCLM in Taiwan, in the Sino-Christian Studies Supplement Series, and due out soon.

Finally, the paperback of Criticism of Theology: On Marxism and Theology III. Also due out in May, with Haymarket.

The good people at Haymarket Books are getting this fat tome out as a cheapie, by early 2012. It is the third volume of the Criticism of Heaven and Earth series.

Finally out, just before Christmas - Criticism of Theology: On Marxism and Theology III. I received my first copy today, so here it is:

Table of contents:

Introduction

Chapter One: The Superstitions of Max Horkheimer

Chapter Two: The Dissent of E.P. Thompson

Chapter Three: The Zeal of G.E.M. de Ste. Cross

Chapter Four: The Alchemy of Michael Löwy

Chapter Five: The Myths of Roland Barthes

Chapter Six: The Flights of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari

Chapter Seven: The Radical Homiletics of Antonio Negri

Conclusion

All of which weighs in at 368 pages. Given the Brill approach, focused on libraries and those who have married into wealthy families, this hardback is for your library, bookroom, church fete, or as an exchange item in ensuring a vital organ replacement. For your own collection, the Haymarket paperback will be out soonish.