Happened to stumble upon this review of Criticism of Heaven:

What a brilliant, wide-ranging, boundary-scoffing book. Boer rampages through Western Marxist thought for almost 500 pages, dissecting and challenging the theological and Biblical aspects that are part of the approach of these thinkers. Fine. Others have noted such influence. What’s magnificent is that by the end, Boer’s helped you understand these major, fascinating figures more deeply and also inspired you to think about the continued possibilities as we move forward from here to seek to build a better world.

I’m not sure how many people are anxious to read 50-page chunks on the theological/Biblical aspects of Bloch, Benjamin, Althusser, Lefebvre, Gramsci, Eagleton, Zizek, and Adorno. But if you think that might be you, hie thee to your browser and order this delight from Haymarket Books.

It is on Goodreads and has given me a swollen head and rather good feeling for the rest of the day.

The publication of the fifth volume, In the Vale of Tears, means that The Criticism of Heaven and Earth is complete. Ten years in the making, with 2000 pages of text, it deals with Western Marxism and religion. And you can get it as a box set – the ideal Christmas gift. Who could want more for a long summer of reading? Or, if you wish to wait for the paperback of In the Vale of Tears, due out in July, you can get the box set at a much cheaper price from Haymarket Books.

In the Vale of Tears 01

In the Vale of Tears 02

No sooner is the hardcover of In the Vale of Tears published than the paperback appears. Or rather, the good lefties at Haymarket plan to publish the paperback in June 2014.

The front cover image is already available:

In the Vale of Tears 02

Volume five of The Criticism of Heaven and Earth series is at last published. In the Vale of Tears: On Marxism and Theology V brings to a close my study of Western Marxism and religion, offering a statement of my own response to that tradition. To my complete surprise and great pleasure, the series has become widely read, commented upon, and even translated into other languages. You might want to wait for either the Haymarket paperback of this book or the free download  that someone will put up soon (they tell me such free downloads actually assist with people buying the book).

Table of Contents (brief):

Preface

Introduction

Of Old Timber and Lovers

On Theology

Relativising Theology

Theological Suspicion

Synopsis

Chapter One: Atheism

Banishing the Gods?

Marxism and Theology

Chapter Two: Myth

Prolegomenon

Political Myth

Anticipation, or Utopia

For Example …

Chapter Three: Ambivalence

Scandal And Folly

Folly to the Rich

Towards a Marxist Theory of Political Ambivalence

By Way of Conclusion

Chapter Four: History

Method: Search for an Anti-Fulcrum

Paul’s Shaky Transitions

Between the Sacred Economy and Slavery

The Fate of Christian Communism

Chapter Five: Kairós

At the Crossroads of Time

Eschatology

Ákairos

Measure And Immeasure (Negri)

By Way of Conclusion: Political Grace

Chapter Six: Ethics

Ethics, Morality and Moralising

Care of the Self

Greasing the Other

Towards Ethical Insurgency

Chapter Seven: Idols

That Hideous Pagan Idol: Marx and Fetishism        628

On Graven Images: From Liberation Theology to Theodor Adorno

Conclusion: On Secularism, Transcendence and Death

In the Vale of Tears 01

Some more shameless self-promotion: Equinox has published the paperback version of my Nick Cave: A Study of Love, Death and Apocalypse. And they are offering a 25% discount. Here’s how:

1. log in here.

2. When you get to the appropriate point, add the discount code RBOER.

Voila! Your price will be either £13.49 or $USD 18.71.

Nick Cave 02

Paul Le Blanc has written this rather nice blurb for Lenin, Religion, and Theology, due out very soon:

In reading this book (which he surely would have done), Lenin himself might have been amused by Boer’s own gift for the outrageously funny, and perhaps offended by an all-too-apt detection of the religious dimensions of his revolutionary perspectives. Modern-day readers will learn much about the Bolshevik ‘god-builders’ against whom Lenin so fiercely polemicized, and about the ironic twists through which latter-day Bolshevik ‘god-builders’ turned this secular revolutionary into a deity.  Boer’s genuine respect for the man and his thought intertwines in fascinating ways with an intimate knowledge of Christian rhetoric and theology, resulting in a fresh, provocative contribution – to intellectual history, religious studies, and Marxist scholarship. — Paul Le Blanc, Professor of History, La Roche College, USA; Author, Lenin and the Revolutionary Party and Marx, Lenin, and the Revolutionary Experience.

2013 February Marshall Roland

 

I can say that I am not responsible for this one, but it does feel rather comfortable. I guess it goes with the glowing description of a speech I gave in China last year: ‘a velvet-gloved iron fist’ (David Jasper)

Some more shameless self-promotion: the irrepressible Tripp Fuller – of Homebrewed Christianity - and I did an interview in the quiet corner in Chicago back in November. He’s titled it ‘A guide to being a communist calvinist‘ – not bad, really. The title, I mean.

Now in the urban wasteland of Chicago, where the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature are meeting. Checked more specifically what I had agreed to and came up with the following:

American Academy of Religion

18 November (A18-111)

Bible, Theology, and Postmodernity Group and Bible in Racial, Ethnic, and Indigenous Communities Group

Theme: Race Matters in Political Theology

Tat-siong Benny Liew, Pacific School of Religion, Presiding

Sunday – 9:00 AM-11:30 AM

This panel will address and discuss the question of the role that race has or has not played, as well as how race should or should not play, a role in works on political theology.

Panelists:

Roland Boer, University of Newcastle

Eleazar Fernandez, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities

Kwok Pui Lan, Episcopal Divinity School

Vincent Lloyd, Syracuse University

Elaine Padilla, New York Theological Seminary

Andrea Smith, University of California, Riverside

Society of Biblical Literature


Poverty in the Biblical World
17 November 2012 (S17-124)

9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: W187c – McCormick Place

Theme: Debt and generation of wealth and poverty

Antoinette Wire, San Francisco Theological Seminary, Presiding

Matthew J.M. Coomber, Saint Ambrose University
Debt as Weapon: Generating Poverty and Power in Eighth-Century Judah (20 min)

Marvin Chaney, San Francisco Theological Seminary
Producing Peasant Poverty: Debt Instruments in Amos 2:6b-8, 13-16 (20 min)

Kari Latvus, University of Helsinki
The indebted and the poor in the Deuteronomistic History (20 min)

Roland Boer, University of Newcastle, Australia
What exactly did credit mean in the ancient world? (20 min)

Rainer Kessler, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Respondent (10 min)
Richard Horsley, University of Massachusetts Boston, Respondent (10 min)
Discussion (40 min)



Ideology, Culture, and Translation
17 November 2012 (S17 – 224
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: S505b – McCormick Place

Roland Boer, University of Newcastle, Australia, Presiding (1 min)

William John Lyons, University of Bristol
From Golgotha to Glastonbury and Beyond: Translating the Ideology of Jewish Burial Piety into the Ideology of English Imperial Exceptionalism (24 min)

Martin Friis, Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen
Translations, adaptations and transformations of Scripture in Flavius Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews (24 min)

Sabine Dievenkorn, Comunidad Teologica Evangelica de Chile
Biblia en lenguaje mas justo. An Objective Critique to Promote a Dream Project (24 min)
Break (5 min)

Anne Katrine Gudme, University of Copenhagen
The Manga Bible: A Clash of Medium and Message? (24 min)

Marlon Winedt, United Bible Societies
The Role of Bible translation in the Formation of Creole Identity: Voices from the Carribean basin (24 min)

James E. Harding, University of Otago
“[W]e the Cornyshe men … utterly refuse thys newe Englysh”: Josiah’s Reform, the Western Rebellion, and the Ideology of Uniformity (24 min)



Ideological Criticism
19 November 102 (S19 – 316)
4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Room: N230a – McCormick Place

Theme: Rethinking Ancient Imperialism and Economics

Randall Reed, Appalachian State University, Presiding

Christine Mitchell, St. Andrew’s College – Saskatoon
Bruce Lincoln and/or the Myth of the Benevolent Persians (20 min)

Robert Myles, University of Auckland
Homelessness, neoliberalism, and Jesus’ “decision” to go rogue (20 min)

Roland Boer, University of Newcastle, Australia
Living a Life of Luxury? Subsistence Versus Trade in the Ancient Economy (20 min)
Discussion (30 min)

Business Meeting

The year is beginning to seem ridiculously over-productive in terms of books published.

I have just received word that The Earthy Nature of the Bible is out with Palgrave Macmillan. Fishpond and Amazon are competing to give you a bit of a discount.

That’s the fourth monograph published this year, alongside the paperback of Criticism of Theology.

And then I hear that one of the two edited volumes has just appeared: The Future of the Biblical Past, this one edited with Fernando Segovia. Keeping my hand in biblical criticism (which is really a part-time concern these days), this 400 page collection seeks to map the current status of biblical criticism world-wide and peer into the future. Contributors come from every populated continent on the globe.

The other edited volume due out shortly is Ideology, Culture, and Translation (with Scott Elliott).

Finally, just to keep things ticking over, Haymarket is rushing out the paperback of the big book on Marx and Engels: Criticism of Earth: On Marx, Engels and Theology (volume four of The Criticism of Heaven and Earth Series). The hardcover with Brill has only just appeared. The paperback is due out in April, but already Amazon and Fishpond are offering serious discounts, up to 34% on pre-orders.

P.S. Lenin, Theology, and Religion (over 400 pages) has just gone into production with Palgrave Macmillan and should be out next year.