HDS 2378

Marx and His Readers

Steven Jungkeit


In an age of economic polarization, high unemployment, government bailouts, and financial austerity, the time is auspicious for an exploration of Marx's most important writings, as well as those of his most eloquent commentators. That need is made still more urgent by the Arab Spring uprisings and the ongoing agitations of the Occupy movements, all of which demand attention from students of religion. The course will begin with Marx's (and Engels') earlier writings: the "Theses on Feuerbach," selections from The German Ideology, "The Communist Manifesto," and selections from The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. We'll then transition into Marx's mature theory, considering key passages from the Grundrisse and Capital Vol. I, as well as Engels' meditations on the family and private property. Those foundational readings will be followed by critiques and interventions across different mediums from Marx's most astute readers, among them Lenin, Luxemburg, Gramsci, Althusser, Lukacs, Jameson, Harvey and Zizek, as well as references to novels and films from Zola, Chaplin, Godard, Lang and others. Throughout, we shall pay careful attention to the ways religion functions in these texts (often occluded, tentatively embraced on occasion), even as we examine how several religious figures (Rauschenbusch, West, and Althaus-Reid) appropriated Marx's best insights for their emancipatory ethical treatises.

Enrollment Limited: No
Open to BTI Students: Yes


0.50 credits
Fall 2012
Mon 2pm-4pm
Divinity Hall Room 211

Relationship to Program Requirements

Program Requirement Area / Category / Art / Designation
MTS Area(s) of Focus
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Religion, Ethics, and Politics
  • Religion, Literature, and Culture
  • Theology
MDiv Distribution Category/ies
  • Christianity
MDiv Art(s) of Ministry
  • Public Leadership, Community Organizing, and Planning
Language Course Designation(s) None