"Subversive Religion. Reassessment of Religion’s Emancipatory Potential in Current American Debate" by Vlad Muresan
Vlad Muresan is a lecturer at the Department of International Relations and American Studies, Babes-Bolyai University, Romania. Email:
1. Religion as a Resource for Ideological Narrative
The recent upsurge of social awareness and interrogation that has achieved visible social expression in American society is of course due to the financial crisis and to the ethical concerns as to wealth redistribution in times of severe want. But involving religion into this debate has prior records pertaining to harsh intellectual debate. In particular, the longstanding American Conservative tradition is so pervasively intertwined with religious condemnation of Socialism, that there seems to be no case for compromise between the two.
i) Conservatism American-style combines strong endorsement of private property with severe limitation of the federal big-government prerogatives. Society is to be radically separated from the patronizing State interference. Freedom and traditional values are here associated against a “progressive” agenda of State elites.
ii) Socialism in general, from moderate to radical combines strong Government management of society with progressive taxation/regulation of private property. Society is to be actually reclaimed and colonized by State agencies entrusted with taking social problems into its care (such as the reduction of social inequality, racial/gender discrimination or health-care provision). The State becomes the instrument of enlightened elites and heavy bureaucracies, entrusted with the reshaping of social prejudices, and develops multiple regulations and to implement its agenda.
Conservatives and Socialists are practically symmetrical opposites with no intermediate to cover the gap (except perhaps the Libertarians, if we would take them as intermediates, although they are no hybrid position, but a consistent one in its own rights). However, in the realm of values and morals, the structure of religious narrative secretly communicates with the quasi-religious socialist eschatology.
Socialism as active ideology doesn’t yet seem to have anything to share with religion. Quite the contrary: iconic figures of socialism have consistently developed fierce critical discourses against religion. This is because the historical context did not secure at the time sufficient reasons to disentangle the Church from the authoritarian institutions. Therefore, religion was identified with and reduced to the status of an oppressive superstructure allied with the reactionary forces that opposed the Revolution. It was the secular alliance of the terrestrial Church with old Monarchies that was thus antagonistically envisaged. The antagonism of its ideal message with its real institutional concreteness was interpreted in a dialectical way, as a mere instrumental abuse of ideology to mask mundane will-to-power on the part of the hierarchy. It comes as a surprise then to find leading radical intellectuals actively and conscientiously trying to “expropriate” fundamental structures and values proper to the religious narrative, and “redistribute” them in service of the “revolution”.
In the present study we intend understand the reassessment of religion by some recent and fashionable figures of radical left-wing thinking (such as Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek) that have already impacted the American academic world and are currently reshaping mainstream hegemonic discourse. We would gain more, however, if we proceeded historically, by analyzing first two symmetrical movements that put into question the prior anti-religious commitment of Marxism:
i) Attempts from within the socialist thinking to come to terms with religion;
ii) Attempts from within religious reflection to come to terms with socialism. Both traditions will shed light on these most recent strivings to mobilize religion in service of the Revolution, which is rather striking as a development, and to identify their common ground and then to interrogate the chances for such an exploit to actually succeed. At the same time we will try to check upon the accuracy of their reading, lest they somehow distorted religion so that it can fit the preconditions of the Revolution.
It is important then not to reduce religion to an ideological narrative, because ideology is always a simplified diagram for a direct intervention and restructuration of society, whereas religion is a fundamentally personal relation with the sacred which displays, however, collateral social consequences. This does not mean, conversely, that religion is not a privileged resource for ideological alternative mappings that we must identify and contrasted.
2. Actively Anti-religious Socialism
Socialism developed as an alternative to religious conservatism, as a titanic endeavor to reshape a world dominated by deprivation and inequality. To provide the classical illustration of the anti-religious zeal of socialism is inevitably to quote Karl Marx famous formula about religion as opium of the people.
The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. (…) It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality (…). Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. (Marx, 1970)
Of course, opium must here be taken to mean a very powerful sedative, a sweet dream inducer that alleviates human pain and beautifies the world at the cost of people’s immanent (i.e. social and political) awareness. It is precisely the core eschatological promise of a future and transcendent reconciliation of all things that is unmasked as structural deviation from the immanent (= “real”) problems and the “real” solutions that can only be resumed through a violent revolutionary restructuration of society. Marx suggests there is a reverse relation between transcendent happiness and immanent happiness. The promise and expectance of an ideal reconciliation would be a mere consolation and legitimization of the systematic privation of real reconciliation. (French historian Pierre Chaunu, based on historical cases insists that religion, instead of being the opiate of the masses, turned out to be rather the caffeine of the masses, systematically catalyzing awakening against oppression) (Chaunu, 1981).
I.V. Lenin, much more directly involved in the actual political fight and insurrectional engagement goes even further, by antagonistically over-stressing the “oppressive” rather than “illusory” nature of religion, as well as the submissive impact that religion has on the already passive masses:
Religion is one of the forms of spiritual oppression which everywhere weighs down heavily upon the masses of the people, over burdened by their perpetual work for others, by want and isolation. Impotence of the exploited classes in their struggle against the exploiters just as inevitably gives rise to the belief in a better life after death as impotence of the savage in his battle with nature gives rise to belief in gods, devils, miracles, and the like. Those who toil and live in want all their lives are taught by religion to be submissive and patient while here on earth, and to take comfort in the hope of a heavenly reward. But those who live by the labor of others are taught by religion to practice charity while on earth, thus offering them a very cheap way of justifying their entire existence as exploiters and selling them at a moderate price tickets to well-being in heaven. Religion is opium for the people. Religion is a sort of spiritual booze, in which the slaves of capital drown their human image, their demand for a life more or less worthy of man. (Lenin, 1965, 83-87)
Religion is thus highly reactionary and anti-revolutionary (blatant evidence as far as the institutional reality of the Church within the Tsarist status-quo was concerned).
3. Religious-friendly Socialism
Following another line of evolution – the very one that was dismissed by the prevailing will-to-revolution orthodoxy, we can see Count Henri de Saint Simon specifically using the term New Christianity to denominate his germinal form of Socialism, destined to remedy the plight of the poor through bottom to top associative social and economic forms based on religious fraternity that would slowly domesticate the unleashed egotism of capitalist relations. In a very specific ethical and “prophetic” language he describes “the Hand of Greed”, the basic cupidity ruling human beings’ primary drives”. His “new Christianity” as new society is thus a sort of ethical and social reduction and conversion of the metaphysical and theological background of Christianity, reoriented in the service of social amelioration of the conditions of the poorest classes. This was nothing but utopian sentimentalist rubbish for Marx, who insisted on revolutionary violence as the only mean to actually translate socialism into reality.
In the context of fierce debates over the status of religion within the Socialist ideology, Anton Pannekoek delineates new distinctions, in an effort to render religion more open to Socialist vindications. He states:
Declaration of neutrality toward religion in our party program would prefer to forbid the spreading of such statements, which hurt the feelings of religious people. They say that the goal of our socialist movement is purely economic. In that respect they are right, and we shall not fail to repeat this again and again in refutation of the lies of the preachers. We do not wish to inoculate people with a new faith, or atheism, but we rather wish to bring about an economic transformation of society. We desire to displace capitalist production by a socialist one. Any one may realize the practicability of such a collective production and its advantages over capitalist exploitation, for reasons which have nothing at all to do with religion. To this end we want to secure the political power for the working class, since it is indispensable as a means to this end. The necessity, or at least the desirability, of this transfer of the political power can be understood by any laborer from his political experience, without any further ceremony, regardless of whether he is in matters of faith a Protestant, a Catholic, a Jew, or a Freethinker without any religion. (Pannekoek, 1907)
Otherwise put, Pannekoek is trying to disentangle socialism from atheism, and to confine its limits within the economic sphere of social justice. This ideological turn is one of the first to render Socialist followers aware of possible cooperation with rather than antagonism between religion and Revolution.
Although Rosa Luxemburg was a staunch atheist, she nevertheless clearly (and surprisingly) distinguished between “reactionary Church” (the clergy that was attacking socialism) and the original fraternal solidarity of primitive Christian communities. She extensively quotes from Jesus, St. Basil, St. John Chrysostom advocating against richness and in favor of the poor, mentioning the community of goods that did away with poverty in the original Church. She even suggests that socialists, with their ethical urgency for helping the poor and the oppressed are the true followers of the principle “love thy neighbor” (as opposed to the clergy, chronically allied of the „oppressive system”). Those who endorse exploitation are thus in direct contradiction with the teachings of Christ, and they actually serve the Golden Calf, the very image of profit-centered capitalism (Socialism and the Churches, 1905).
A more recent example is that of Ernst Bloch whose efforts to rehabilitate religion within the revolutionary Marxian frame are prodigious. He reminds us that, along with the hierarchical institutional “oppressive Church”, there have always existed “utopian”, “anti-system” and “revolutionary” moments: equalitarian heretics, revivalist, such as the Albigensians, the Hussites, Joachim de Flore, Thomas Münzer (to whom he dedicated an entire book) etc., who endorsed the Prinzip Hoffnung. Here a strong potential for religious revolt is to be identified, founded on the irrevocable promise that nurtures unshakable hope. Marxism would in fact be a direct heir of these “great expectation” millenarian movements, believing in a redeeming history and a social emancipation. He thus opposes the Christ of a Biblia pauperum to Caesar’s oppressive and reactionary empire. All these reconciling views are rather anti-institutional, anti-Church than anti-religious Socialism, and they all endorse a reassessment of the negative Enlightenment-style misunderstanding and mismanagement of religion.
The utopia does not consist of a real experience, but of a complete transformation of the universe, in a great apocalypse, in the descending of the Messiah, in a new heaven and a new earth. The utopian philosophy is not eschatology as mere expectation of the Eschaton but is a way to access it; it is not contemplation but action, act of will rather than of reason. Everything that has been promised by the previous messianic ages can take shape through our power. There is no God to grant us we will succeed; He himself is but a component part of the utopia as a not yet realized finality. (Kolakovski, 2005, vol. III, Ch. XII, 1).
The hidden future is filled with our own possibilities. This is not predestination. We can either face destruction, or actualize perfection – which he defines in a quasi-mystical way as identity of empirical existence and our mysterious essence. Everything depends on our will and determination to overcome the challenge. The positive attitude we need is a state of hope. Philosophy, just like a priestly office must be dedicated to the awakening of this utopian potential.
Ernest Bloch has no concrete economic or political agenda, but his hyperbolic account of the “positive” or “concrete” utopia provides abundant eschatological images of a supreme fulfillment as Totum, Ultimum and Optimum, when every negative will be erased: Endzustand. This should be done through the religious fervor of the utopian will.
4. Religious-inspired Socialism
Probably the most visible and form of religiously inspired socialism today is “Liberation Theology”. Unlike the religious-friendly socialism, this doctrine springs directly from within the Church. It does not try to accommodate Socialism to religion, but rather to accommodate religion to Socialism. Christianity is thus to be understood not only as the abstract promise for a metaphysical (transcendent) salvation, still in progress, but also in terms of political and social engagement for concrete (immanent) emancipation. Original sin would be the core cause of greed, acquisitiveness – therefore of exploitation, social injustice and poverty. Gustavo Gutierrez argued for the fundamental responsibility of the Church towards the poor in his A Theology of Liberation (1971). He uses biblical images, such as that of Jesus Christ “bringing a sword”, and not “social peace” (presumably social revolutionary unrest, rather than status quo endorsement). This would urge Christians to actively engage in political battle against poverty and social injustice – in view of a mundane, immanent justice that would complement, anticipate and prefigure the final Transcendent justice. Orthodoxy was to be complemented with orthopraxy – of a political and social nature in favor of the oppressed and marginalized.
5. Religion serving the Revolution
The following authors form an interesting grouping. They have all identified in St. Paul a sort of a prototypical revolutionary figure. Jacob Taubes exploits the new messianic universalism in Paul’s theology, as an undermining force against the legitimacy of any Imperial order. In the messianic expectancy the time is perceived as a delay (such as in the primary Christian experience of the apocalyptic urgency). Paul would actually teach us what to do as citizens of an illegitimate immanent empire. His criticism of the Nomos (the foundation of the Empire) would in fact be an act of reversing the mundane (=systemic) prevailing values, a general de-legitimization of all political orders. His reading of Saint Paul emphasizes the unavoidable clash between the imperial power and the messianic power (if Christ is on the throne, Jupiter is dethroned – and Paul is addressing this message to the Romans, so that he can plant his counter-power inside the heart of the imperial power). According to Taubes, for Paul there’s no political authority endowed with theological legitimacy, except the people as partners is God’s alliance. We have, therefore a discreetly subversive political theology (Taubes, 2004). However, the question is whether when we speak of political theology we stress political or theology. There is a thin line, and if apocalyptic thinking is political, perhaps the political can also be apocalyptical.
In Giorgio Agamben’s reflection, the messianic vocation is the very revocation of all other determinate vocations. He also reorients Paul’s analyses from the founding of a new alliance with God, to the messianic “abolition” of the Mosaic Law. The Law is not simply destroyed, but somehow deactivated. In preaching everybody to stay in his klesis, therefore subjected to its own determination, but only as if he is not actually subjected to that determination (whether as a slave, a Jew or a woman). Each man is endowed with a messianic vocation, the fundamental klesis surmounting (and subverting) all other callings and definite roles. Paul thus provides an extreme detachment and emancipation from preordained duties prescribed by the Law. The messianic, for Agamben, tolerates misusage that discreetly deactivates the Law.
In the as not, in a characteristic gesture, Paul pushes an almost exclusively juridical regulation to its extreme, turning it against the law. What does it actually mean to remain a slave in the form of the as not? Here the juridical-factical condition invested by the messianic vocation is not negated with regard to juridical consequences that would in turn validate a different or even opposite legal effect in its place, as does the fictio legis. Rather, in the as not, the juridical-factical condition is taken up again and is transposed, while juridically remaining unchanged, to a zone that is neither factual nor juridical, but is subtracted from the law and remains as a place of pure praxis, of simple ‘use’ (‘use it rather!’). (Agamben, 2005, 28)
This can also be described as internal emancipation underneath the external dominion of the Law. Paul is rendering a new material subjective freedom inside the formal necessity of the objective Law. He is thus rendering the Law inoperative at the fundamental level of the subject’s interiority. Agamben points to the religious connection with the political: the newly formed “messianic community” is, of course, inextricably linked with an outstanding political overthrowing or revolutionary potential.
For Alain Badiou, Paul is also a profoundly original and revolutionary thinker, a very engaged political agitator endorsing the equality of the sons, which is the true universalism worth fighting for, despite current neo-structuralist indictment on transversal reconciliation of the multiplicity. The creation of universality evokes something beyond established differences. These are not abolished, but become indifferent: there’s no more Jew or Greek, man or woman. A new subjectivity arises. Universalism implies not only a separation from differences – it is not just a closed separation. Instead, every subject must somehow internally divide itself between the old man and the new man, in order to transcend rigid pre-assigned differences.
Paul would be the “author” of a new figure of the subject, a vehicle of the universal truth that surmounts the Law. There is, presumably, something truly revolutionary here: the subject denies any submission to the order of this world and fights to build a new (determined) one. The empire (of the capital) is undermined by the Pauline truth (love, self-denial, emancipation). Paul’s conversion as well as the French revolution – both reflect events irreducible to causality that inspire us to understand them as events of an Event, to put it like this. The revolution (that can reactivate the “communist hypothesis”, the equalitarian regulative ideal) must be first enacted at the subjective level, before it arrives at a new actualization series.
Slavoj Žižek believes that Christianity would offer his restored dialectical materialism resources for a reinforcement of its emancipatory potential. The empire of the capital (similar to the Roman Empire) can be undermined in the very same way the Pauline Truth subverted the Roman order. Love entails a radical and general detachment from all social allegiances, in an open act of denial that refuses to “belong” and to “compromise” with the present status quo. This subversive refusal is taken to precede any authentic revolutionary transformation with concrete social implications. Trans-formation: how must we understand it? Just like a transition from a determined form to another determined form? Here is where all difficulty lies. Urgency for a radical change and the prestige of a beautified and promising alternative is no substitute for a concrete receipt guiding the new societal prospect. He argues for Jesus as a subversive figure.
The clue to Paul’s emergency of the end of time is said to be provided by the revolutionary state of emergency. Instead of understanding revolution as simulacra of the Apocalypse, he simply points that the ordinary time gets caught in the messianic twist during the Revolution. Messianic time reflects the indeterminate intrusion of a subjectivity which is irreducible to the objective historical process. Things can take a messianic turn, time can become meaning-overloaded, but we cannot determine the explosion of the Event. The authentic Revolution, in contrast, always occurs in an “absolute Present”, in the unconditional urgency of a now. In an authentic revolution predestination “overlaps with radical responsibility. The real hard work awaits us on the morning after, once the enthusiasm is confronted with the task of converting this explosion into a new order of things” (Žižek, 2003). Christ has brought the sword, interpreted as the unrest, the “civil disobedience” against status-quo endorsement. Christianity has a revolutionary potential as opposed to Buddhism (especially to the fashionable Western style mental-idleness legitimizing the status-quo with its ban on action).
Christian eschatology also provides the feeling we need in a post-revolutionary state: the feeling that we are already redeemed, everything happened, and now the task is to live up to it. Žižek dares people with a telling comparison:
Let the atheists themselves choose a god. They will find only one divinity who ever uttered their isolation, only one religion in which God seemed for an instant to be an atheist. Because of this overlapping between man’s isolation from himself, Christianity is terribly revolutionary. That a good man may have his back to the wall is no more than we knew already; but that God could have His back to the wall is a boast for all insurgents for ever. Christianity is the only religion on earth that has felt that omnipotence made God incomplete. Christianity alone has felt that God, to be wholly God, must have been a rebel, as well as a king. (Žižek, 2003, 15-16)
6. Topological Criticism
One cannot be but struck by the difference between Lenin’s vision that religion imposes “submission” and these last reassessments that praise religion (in particular Paul’s activism) for displaying such a transformative, emancipatory and outward subversive and anti-systemic virtues. The main precision we oppose to this hybridization of religion (Christianity in particular) and Socialism is of a topological nature. It draws attention upon rigid frontiers that separate religious promise and mandate from political promise and vindication. Kant used the term “error of transcendental topic” to disentangle such hybrid structures that confused what pertains to the phenomenal with what pertains to the noumenal.
1. Firstly, attention must be paid to the content of this emancipation: religion is centrally about metaphysical salvation, not about social engineering, although social justice may arise as a collateral outcome of a purely spiritual emancipation. If we deny this, the very core of religious salvation, we may as well wonder what to do with a harmonious social justice with no spiritually realized persons in it. Conversely, it is difficult to conceive of a spiritual fulfillment that would not lead, through the labor of history, to appease excruciating social injustice. However, it is important not to confound a political agenda with collateral consequences of a religious transformation.
2. Secondly, in refusing a direct political engagement of an ideological frontline, religion openly admits of not having the key for a radically better society. From all our experience, such overarching attempts to (globally) revolutionize society have taken a bitter toll of human sacrifice and ended up in totalitarian experiences in which coercion was used to impose and to maintain utopian and artificial structures in direct violation to human nature.
3. Thirdly, in refusing to accept oppression and misfortune, religion advocates the virtue of charity (caritas) and actively promotes it as a free, nonviolent and nonpolitical subsidiary in dealing with extreme poverty and disfavor. In contrast, socialism in all its forms of redistribution (from progressive taxation to outward expropriation) implies a political monopoly of decision always favoring a new oligarchy and a new bureaucracy mandated to administer people’s happiness. There’s no free agency and consensual donation, but compulsory (= repressive) and collective (indiscriminate) extraction and redistribution of power and resources. There’s no ethical virtue in this, and collectivization of ethics is depersonalization of the act.
4. Pauline theological revolution reflects therefore some transcendent justice in judging a political order that has no ultimate legitimacy. But this is no reason to insist on that. The apocalyptical principle is simultaneously destructive and creative, and there seems to be no clear cut division if we reduce it to a political subversive agenda. This is no white check for revolution. Since the apocalyptic is politically revolutionary, this should not incite any a priori validation of the revolution (which is apocalyptic in a very narrow political way). This danger is apparent in Taube’s Abendländische Eschatologie when he very indulgently states that: “If the demonical principle is missing, the order cannot be reversed”. But transcendent Apocalypse is not empirical revolution. There is an ontological difference between a God-made Apocalypse and a man-made one. The first one is ontological not political and it separates positive from negative in an ontological sense, denying evil and sin as accident, not essence of the cosmos. The Revolution enforces a new world in a political, not ontological sense, and it is unable to actually erase evil from the ontological substructure of humankind. Illness, envy, anxiety, hatred, unhappiness, morality – all the ontological limits of humankind cannot be resolved into new political arrangement – they are inflating the notion of “revolution” to an unrealistic dimension. Religious Apocalypse describes the world as a transcendental prison. Judgment and salvation can only be the work of an ontological principle that radically alters the ontological form of this world through a complete transfiguration. Political Revolution, in exchange, denounces it as an empirical prison. Judgment and salvation are entrusted into the hands of chosen people technocrats of the revolution that always end up in bloodshed and genocide.
5. When the Event is invoked, as an indeterminate arrival, it is ignored that the Event (amounting to the transformation from the old man to the new man, from Law to Grace) can only come, again, through a superior ontological intervention. The Event does not express pure impersonal hazard, but is a secularization of the “properties” of the Grace that blows like a wind without us being able to determine where it comes from and where it’s going to). All these recent uses of the Event try to extract consequences of a mystical nature from no mystical intervention, camouflaged under the veil of indeterminacy. Finally, as to the immunity from the Law – I will grant that to Francis of Assisi but not to Lenin – to a saint, perhaps, but not to a revolutionary dominated by power appetite and a will-to-vengeance.
5. Messianic vocation is the very revocation of all other determinate vocations. But the revolutionary vocation is the destruction of one order and its replacement with a new one. Authentic religious vocation is thus inner detachment from the current determination without however engaging into another, through a voluntaristic project of subverting one determination for another determination. What is mystical about the messianic vocation is the very detachment (indifference) from phenomenal determinations, in the expectation for the indeterminate to occur. The ideological reworking of this idea fails to grasp the eschatological indifference towards any determination, and endeavors or ends up in simply endorsing the conversion of one political order with another.
6. In a particular ironical language, the advent of the Revolution would be the ecstatic drunkenness, while the next day would be the hangover. Actually injecting revolutionary ideals into the reactionary reality faces dramatic dilemmas because the indeterminate ideal must now somehow violently distort determinate reality. This is when the utopian dream becomes a real nightmare.
7. The fact that God has been crucified does not make Christ either a rebel, or a revolutionist. No matter how many formal similarities one can use as an argument in this respect, what remains is an insurmountable “ontological difference”. Christ is definitely not Barabas; His Kingdom is not from this world, as utopia generally conceives it. Christ does not die in order to change some social order. He does not sacrifice Himself in order to simply change/suppress, in an anarchic way the Metaphysical Law.
On the contrary: Christ’s sacrifice has purposely the meaning that the price of the Law is paid, the divine justice is fulfilled, not defied or abrogated. If the Law had only been suppressed, abolished, then the idea of a sacrifice would not make sense anymore. Paul says precisely this: crucifixion means to pay the price. The sacrifice is substitutionary. God therefore is not anarchic because He is the very Principle of the Law. If Christ places himself under the force of the law (sub legem) this is simply because He is willing to pay the price instead of us, because we are incapable of doing so.In other words, the penalty for the sin is death, as we have seen. Death has arisen from choosing the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil, the bivalent knowledge. Christ died not because God was not omnipotent, but because God loved and respected our freedom so much that he gave his only-begotten Son as a price for redemption from the transcendental catastrophe engendered by the anti-divine use of this freedom. Christ is not a rebel and a king: He does not die because He has broken the law but because we have broken the law. He is simply the King, and we are the rebels. He is the king who died in order for these rebels to be saved.
- Agamben, Giorgio, 2005, The Time That Remains: A Commentary of the Letter to the Romans, Stanford University Press.
- Badiou, Alain, 2003, Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism, Stanford University Press. Bloch, Ernst, 1985, Das Prinzip Hoffnung, Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp.
- Chaunu, Pierre, 1981, Histoire et décadence, Paris, Perrin.
- Kolakowski, Leszek, 2005, Main Currents of Marxism: The Founders, The Golden Age, The Breakdown, Oxford University Press.
- Lenin, I.V., 1965, Socialism and Religion, Lenin Collected Works, Volume 10, Moscow, Publishers Progress.
- Pannekoek, Anton, April 1907, Socialism and Religion, International Socialist Review.
- Marx, Karl, 1970, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, Oxford University Press.
- Taubes, Jacob, 2004, The Political Theology of Paul, Stanford University Press.
- Taubes, Jacob, 2007, Abendländische Eschatologie, Berlin, Matthes & Seitz.
- Žižek, Slavoj, 2003, The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity, MIT Press.