Ep 20 — Christian Leftist Theory Time with The Lit Crit Guy

There’s this great quote from Althusser, when he writes to his former teacher. He was taught at Catholic university. He explains what he’s done and why he’s done it, and he says that ‘in actively rallying to the working class, we have not only not repudiated what had been our reasons for living, but have liberated them by fully realizing them…. The Christian I once was has in no way abjured his Christian “values,” but now I live them…’… For him it is a kind of living-it-out in the moment. You will sort of inevitably become a communist.
​–The Lit Crit Guy
If you’ve been on twitter long enough, you’ll run into Jon, better known as @TheLitCritGuy, famous for doing accessible discussions of philosophy and literary theory under the hashtag #TheoryTime (which you can support here). Conveniently for us, Jon is also a Christian and a leftist–that’s some pretty good theory!

We got a chance to get some of our own #TheoryTime in with The Lit Crit Guy himself, talking about Roland Boer’s book Criticism of Heaven, and specifically a chapter Boer wrote on the French communist Louis Althusser’s Catholic undercurrents. (You might remember Derek Ford gesturing toward Althusser’s Catholicism way back in episode 3.) We try to sort out some different relationships between religion and Marxism as articulated by Boer, and see if we can extend his taxonomy to Christian anarchists, too. We then chat a little about Althusser’s “Catholic Marxism” (as Boer calls it) and how Christianity really does seem to lead down the path of communism (surprise!).


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