Criticism of Heaven and Earth

The journal Critical Research on Religion has recently published a symposium on my Criticism of Heaven and Earth series. The symposium originally took place as a conference a couple of years ago, although the pieces have been revised. Matt Sharpe, Geoff Boucher and Rory Jeffs offer critical perspectives and I try my hand at a respond. The symposium can also be found at the Critical Research on Religion webpage.

The good lefties at Haymarket Books – a non-profit operation of the Centre for Economic Research and Social Change – have a massive book sale running until 12 January 2015.

40% discount! Add HOLIDAY40 in the checkout stage.

That means the five-volume Criticism of Heaven and Earth box set is now only $84.

And I am not even apologising for the shameless self-promotion, since buying a book from Haymarket is simply a good thing to do.

It’s now official: In the Vale of Tears is listed as the winner of the Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Prize at the prize website (see also the announcement at the Historical Materialism page and at the University of Newcastle). The award was for the book and for the whole Criticism of Heaven and Earth series, which is just as well, since I have always been a little ambivalent about In the Vale of Tears. All the same, I am somewhat gobsmacked by the fact that the other short-listed books were Frederic Jameson, The Antinomies of Realism, Costas Lapavistas, Profiting without Producing: How Finance Exploits Us All, and John Saul and Patrick Bond, South Africa – The Present as History.

In the Vale of Tears 02

In the Vale of Tears 01

My good comrade at Louisproyekt has just written a lovely review of my work, called ‘Roland f**king Boer?’ This is arguably the review of reviews, for he calls me an ‘asshole’, ‘clown’ and full of ‘garbage’. I’ve been glowing since I read it. Apparently, it is in response to the announcement that I won the Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Prize for 2014. However, it seems to me that my good comrade is missing even the slightest sense of humour – apart from misspelling ‘mustache’.

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

Given that the paperbacks of the Criticism of Heaven and Earth series (see the side bar) are published by the friendly lefties at Haymarket Books, I have no option but to pass on the Christmas cheer:
A 30% holiday discount on all Haymarket titles is currently being offered through  This sale runs until 5 January.  To receive the discount, a person must enter the coupon code HOLIDAY30 when purchasing a book on the Haymarket website.
In fact, all the Historical Materialism Books Series is available at this rate as well.

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.

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