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A Jamesonian theory of theological practice: a critical response to the work of Roland Boer
journal contributionposted on 2023-10-25, 23:27 authored by Geoff BoucherGeoff Boucher
In a conjuncture marked by the ‘‘resurgence of religion,’’ the problem of historical materialism’s relation to religious ideologies has acquired a new urgency. The work of Roland Boer, recently awarded the Deutscher Prize for his magnum opus on Marxism and Theology poses this question from a surprising perspective. While his main claim is that religious influences in Marxist theory represent a sort of theological unconscious in historical materialism, at the same time Boer also advances an original Marxist interpretation of the Abrahamic religions, especially Christianity. This line of research, which extends from his dissertation on Jameson and Jeroboam through to his most recent work on The Sacred Economy, proposes that theology is a reflective representation of the social totality. In this article, I criticize Boer’s valorization of theology as a practical discourse that is postideological but non-theoretical, and conclude by indicating an alternative.