Social Scientist. v 3, no. 27 (Oct 1974) p. 57.

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Marxism and Christianity

THE essential point that Mathew Kurian makes in his article, "Marxism and Christianity" (Social Scientist 20, March 1974), is the necessity for a dialogue and joint action between Marxists and Christians on issues relating to man and society. It is stated that

having made an honest reiteration of philosophical positions, I must hasten to assert the great potential and indeed the utter necessity of Marxist-Christian dialogue and joint action on a large number of issues relating to man and society. And I strongly feel that the basis of dialogue and joint action has to be an honest endeavour to work out areas of common concern and action in concrete living conditions.1

What does this "honest reiteration of philosophical positions" amount to? Kurian does not deny that "conflicts between religious and revolutionary ideologies have a long history59.2 He then goes on to state, amply quoting Marx and Engels, the Marxist philosophical position vis a vis Christianity. He warns us that "there are apparent similarities between Marxism and Christianity which led many theologians as well as some philosophers using Marxist ^schema9 to draw conclusions95.8 What then are the correct conclusions?

It must be stated, at the very outset, that Marxist understanding of history has nothing in common with the metaphysical and idealistic conception of history. Marxism rejects the assertion regarding Divine Providence. Marxist world outlook is based on dialectical and historical materialism...

Marxism rejects the theological affirmation of Christianity. Marxist materialist philosophy negates the idealistic philosophical position that reality consists essentially of incorporeal essences or ideas. Marxism, as a philosophy of dialectical and historical materialism, rejects all religious systems, including Christianity, based on ideas of 'divine providence9 and 'transcendental reality9. In this respect, it is clear that Marxism and Christianity' cannot be reconciled with each other in terms of philosophy (or theology) or world outlook.4

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