Critique of Earth

By Arend Theodoor van Leeuwen

The second series of van Leeuwen’s Gifford Lectures examining the young Karl Marx’s developing thought.

ISBN: 9780227170403


In the second series of van Leeuwen’s Gifford Lectures, the author examines the ‘transmutation’ from the critique of heaven into the critique of earth. His thesis is that Marx’s critique of religion is seen not in his opposition to ‘religion’, but in his ideas on political economy. This thesis is undergirded with analysis of Marx’s critique of political economy from 1842 to Das Kapital. Marx’s biography works itself out at three levels of critique: from religion via politics to political economy. Das Kapital sums up the whole of Marx’s thought. The analysis of the ‘mystical character of commodities’ is both the key to the critique of Christianity, ‘with its cult of abstract man’, and the key to the critique of political economy, the fetishism of which ’emerges clear as the noon-day, whenever it has to do with capital’.

The reception of Marx’s critique in the categories, structure and method of traditional theology is not feasible; a transformation of theology is necessary. To put it another way, reception of Marx’s critique will be both cause and symptom of a self-fulfilling theological transformation, for which this work provides a prolegomena.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 304


Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Arendt Theodoor van Leeuwen was associate Professor of Christian Social Ethics in the Catholic University of Nijmegen (Holland). He is also the author of: Christianity in World History (1946).



1. From Critique of Heaven to Critique of Earth
2. Reprobate Materialism
3. Contradictions in the Material Order of Living
4. Hegel’s Accomodation of Civil Society to the State
5. Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right
6. The Heaven of the Political State
7. Jenseits Des Rheins – Beyond the Rhine
8. Money as Mediator
9. Critique of Political Economy
10. A New Heaven and a New Earth