Religion and ideology
DOI link for Religion and ideology
Religion and ideology book
Freud’s theories of magic and religion have the greatest difficulty as noted, in dealing with the social character of religious belief and practice. Religion for Karl Marx was essentially the product of a class society. His ideas on religion are part of his general theory of alienation in class-divided societies. Marx also suggests that religion can be an expression of protest against oppression and distress experienced in a class-divided society as well as something which promotes acceptance of such a society. The first major criticism that can be made of Marx’s approach to religion concerns his characterisation of it as an expression of class interests and a form of ideology useful to the ruling class. The analysis of religion as ideological is to some extent in conflict with its attribution to alienation. This shows itself in Marx’s interpretation of religion as simultaneously an expression of protest and a means of legitimation which defuses protest.