Marxist theories of religion

Mind Map by charlotterussell, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by charlotterussell over 6 years ago


A Level Sociology (Beliefs in society) Mind Map on Marxist theories of religion, created by charlotterussell on 05/14/2015.

Resource summary

Marxist theories of religion
  1. Ideology
    1. Religion is an ideological weapon to justify the suffering of the poor
      1. Misleads the poor into believing their suffering is virtuous and they will be rewarded in the afterlife
        1. Creates a false consciousness
      2. Lenin
        1. Described religion as a 'spiritual gin'
          1. An intoxicant doled out to the masses by the RC to confuse them and keep them in their place
            1. Creates a 'mystical fog'
      3. Alienation
        1. Capitalism causes alienation
          1. Workers are alienated because they don't own what they produce and have no control over the production process
          2. In the dehumanising conditions of the WC they turn to religion for consolation
            1. Acts as an opiate to dull the pain of exploitation
              1. Promise of afterlife distracts from the misery and true source of suffering
          3. Evaluation
            1. Marx shows how religion may be a tool of oppression but ignores positive functions
              1. Some Marxists, eg Althusser, reject the concept of alienation as unscientific and so this would make the concept an inadequate basis for a theory of religion
                1. Religion may not function effectively as an ideology - EG pre-capitalist society where Christianity was a major element of RC ideology it had limited impact on peasantry
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