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Theology and Marxism in Eaglton and Žižek

13 Mar 2019
Seminar and ColloquiumCentre for Sino-Christian Studies
Theology and Marxism in Eaglton and Žižek
13 Mar 2019
16:00 - 18:00
AAB 710, Baptist University Road Campus, Hong Kong Baptist University


In this lecture on the relationship between theology and Marxism, I will introduce how the British scholar of comparative literature, Terry Eagleton, as well as the Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalyst, Slavoj Žižek. Both of these are internationally renowned academics and thinkers, and both have for decades been advocating Marxism, both as political theory and as practical political stance. What has increasingly come to be obvious, however, is that theology is important for their respective formulation of their political projects. Their use of theology differs, where Eagleton appears to be more influenced by Catholic theology and Žižek, who claims to be an atheist, have a distinctively Protestant understanding of theology. This difference between Catholic and Protestant theology is not only confined to theological matters in the narrow sense, but also influences how they regard politics. The comparison between Eagleton and Žižek thus becomes informative with regard to how the relation between theology and Marxism is understood. I begin the lecture by discussing what the recent interest in theology among radical political philosophers might stand for, and then go on to a presentation of first Eagleton and then Žižek. Finally, I offers some concluding remarks and criticisms of Eagleton’s and Žižek’s projects and the way they use theology.