Enslaving the Creator: Analogies of Religion and Capital in the early and late Works of Karl Marx
Jens Schlamelcher (CERES)
What are the differences between 'economy' and 'religion'? How can we grasp the relation between these two 'spheres', 'fields' or 'functional systems'? These questions are still paramount in the sociology of religion. Recent approaches such as proposed in the new paradigm of economics of religion tend to deny any differences between them, conceiving religionas just another 'market'. As this paper will show, the classic Karl Marx has found more subtle answers to these questions. This presentation aims to revisit his insights and show the intrinsic analogies between religion and capital in his theory. Marx never questioned Feuerbach's thesis of religion as a human invention resulting in subordination. However, he revealed that capital functions in precisely the same way on a material plane. Second, Marx proved that capitalist modes of exploitation can, due to its generic production of 'false consciousness', ignore religion as a primary justification for material exploitation.Thus, Marx offers an understanding of both modernity and re-sacralization at the same time.
This paper will be presented in panel Economy and religion beyond neoclassical economics of religion (28-320 | 134)