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‘Let the Dead Bury their Dead’: Marx, Derrida and Bloch

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The starting point of the article is the crisis that has beset modern secularism. Mindful of the threat from religious fundamentalism, it is committed to a post-secular reconfiguration of the relationship between the secular and the religious, where the strengths and weaknesses of both elements are acknowledged. It seeks to do this by an examination of Marx's critique of religion, and the response to the Marxist project exemplified by Derrida and Bloch. It argues that Marx's approach to the dead, as developed in the Eighteenth Brumaire (150-years old in 2002), provides a context for his hostility towards religion, and that Derrida and Bloch in their greater openness to the claims of the past, generate both a critique of Marx's strictures on religion, and a recognisably post-secular re-working of positive elements in Marx's project.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: School of Politics, Queen's University, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK. E-mail:

Publication date: 2002-03-01

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