KARL MARX AND RELIGION

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1 KARL MARX AND RELIGION

2 Also by Trevor Ling The Significance of Satan (SPCK) Buddhism and the Mythology of Evil (Allen and Unwin) Buddha, Marx and God (Macmillan) Prophetic Religion (Macmillan) A History of Religion East and West (Macmillan)

3 Karl Marx and Religion In Europe and India Trevor Ling M

4 Trevor Ling 1980 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form by or any means, without permission. First published in 1980 by THE MACMILLAN PRESS LTD. London and Basing stoke Associated companies in Delhi Dublin Hong Kong johannesburg Lagos Melbourne New York Singapore and Tokyo British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Ling, Trevor Karl Marx and religion. 1. Religion and sociology 2. Communism and religion 3. Marx, Karl- Religion I. Title 200'.92'4 BL60 ISBN ISBN (ebook) DOI / This book is sold subject to the standard conditions of the Net Book Agreement. The paperback edition of this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

5 Contents Preface Abbreviations PART ONE: MARX AND WESTERN RELIGION vii IX 1 1 Marx's Critique ofstate Religion 3 (i) Marx and religion (ii) Marx on religion and the state, (iii) Marx on religion and the state after Marx and Mysticism 20 (i) 'The divinely inspired Jakob Boehme' (ii) The mysticism of William Blake (iii) From mysticism to monopolistic religion{iv) The suppression of mysticism in Europe 3 State Religion in England 34 (i) Citizens and Anglicans -facts and fiction (ii) Early ecclesiastical and nonecclesiastical systems (iii) The Act of Uniformity and dijfering non-conformisms (iv) Erosion of Anglicanism in the nineteenth century (v) Rural Anglicans, urban Catholics,Jews and others (vi) Anglican power; religious minorities; secular majority PART TWO: MARX AND INDIAN RELIGION 4 From Europe to India 51 (i) Guardians of religion and prisoners of the state (ii) Citizens and Anglicans in India (iii) Revivalism and foreign missions (iv) Countering insurrection: the Vedantic revival 5 Marx and Indian Religion 68 (i) Marx's studies of India (ii) Marx on Indian religion (iii) The fallacy of the unchanging, self-contained village republics 6 Weber and Indian Religion 81 (i) Is Weber's perspective Marxian? (ii) Personal background (iii) Weber's sociology of religion (iv) The religion of India (v) Hindus and the spirit of capitalism (vi) Thisworldly concerns in village religion (vii) The growth of middle-class religion and nationalism (viii) The Swadeshi movement and Indian capitalism (ix) Weber's ultimately non-marxian position

6 vi Karl Marx and Religion 7 Brahman Triumphalism 104 (i) The place of the Brahman in Hindu society (ii) Brahmans as missionaries (iii) Monarchy, monopoly and orthodoxy in pre-muslim India (iv) Brahmanism at the beginning of British rule PART THREE: BEYOND MARX The Persistence ofreligion 119 (i) Religion's unexpected survival (ii) A product of Victorian England (iii) Aurobindo at Cambridge (iv) Political journalism (v) Political action and imprisonment (vi) A change of course (vii) Aurobindo' smother-mysticism 9 Marx and Counterculture 135 (i) Counterculture and ideology (ii) The Krishna Consciousr~ess movement (iii) The end of an age (iv) Roszak and rationalism (v) Soviet youth and the sects 10 Marxism as Religion? 152 (i) The chorus of assent (ii) A meaningless proposition (iii) Marxism as belief (iv) Marxism and Soviet state ideology Index 162

7 Preface THERE are two substantial reasons why the study of religion should include some study of Marxism. One is that the work ofkarl Marx has had an important bearing on methods of study in history and sociology, two of the major disciplines employed in the study of religion. The other is that Marxism, whether rightly or wrongly, has been regarded by a considerable number of scholars as a religion; those who have characterised it in this way have included historians, philosophers, theologians and sociologists. One has, therefore, to make some attempt to decide how far, if at all, this view can be justified. This book is intended to serve as an introduction to these and other issues which arise when one juxtaposes the name of Karl Marx and the word 'religion'. The sources available to the student and general reader for the exploration of the area of interaction between these two are not very plentiful, however. There is the collection of extracts entitled Marx and Engels on Religion (1957). This contains most of the significant references to European religion (with the notable exception of Karl Marx's 'On the Jewish Question'). Beyond Europe, Marx's concern with religion was, understandably, very slight. He did, however, during the 1850s have occasion to concern himself with Indian religion, and the articles in which his references on this subject are to be found have been collected in Marx Engels on Colonialism (1968). They are also to be found ins. Avineri's Karl Marx on Colonialism and Modernisation (1968). What is still needed at the introductory level is a study which will fill in the background details, provide historical connecting links between the various references to religion made by Marx from time to time, and set both the European and the Indian references within a comparative framework. The present volume will, it is hoped, help to meet this need. On the way a little time will be spent here and there in exploring some related issues such as Max Weber's sociology of religion in relation to that of Marx, especially with regard to India, and in considering the significance, in relation to Marx, of one or two other notable figures such as Jakob Boehme, William Blake and Sri Aurobindo Ghose. Earlier versions of certain parts of this book have appeared in various journals, and acknowledgement is gratefully made of permission to use the material here in revised form. Chapter 3 originally appeared in New

8 Vlll Karl Marx and Religion Community (the Journal of the Community Relations Commission) vol. II, no. 2 (1973). Part of chapter 6 was published in The University of Leeds Review, vol.16, no.1 (May 1973), under the title 'Max Weberinlndia'. An earlier version of chapter 8 was delivered as one of a series of public lectures at the University oflancaster. Part of chapter 9 was presented as a paper to the British Sociological Association Study Group on Religion at Durham in 1975 and appeared subsequently in Religion, vol. 5, Part 2 (Autumn 1975). In connection with the typing of the present work I gladly acknowledge the swift and efficient help given by Mrs Jeanne Lockett of the Department of Comparative Religion, University of Manchester. November 1977 Trevor Ling

9 Abbreviations MEC W Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Collected Works, (London: 1975), Lawrence and Wishart, continuing. NYDT New York Daily Tribune.

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