Critique of Heaven

By Arend Theodoor van Leeuwen

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

ISBN: 9780227170427


The first series of van Leeuwen’s Gifford Lectures shows that Christian philosophy occupied a key position in Marx’s view of world history and his confrontation with it played an important role in his development as a thinker. Van Leeuwen has written a thoughtful account of this confrontation and of Marx’s critiques of religion which was one of the major themes of his early thought. “It is not the religious situation as such which preoccupies him during these early years,” van Leeuwen writes, “any more than it is the question of economics as such which will absorb his attention during the mature period of his life. The point at stake is an underlying problem, which lies at the root of the religious as well as the economic question,” – how to alter radically a universal, though man-made, philosophical or economic system. Van Leeuwen’s exploration of the encounter between the young Marx and Christianity is a provocative and important reinterpretation of Marx’s thought that points towards a new view of the religious and economic systems with which Marx was concerned.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 212


Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

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



I. The Genesis of Karl Marx’s Critique as Transformation of Theology
II. Entrance Card into the Community of European Culture
III. New Gods in the Centre of the Earth
IV. Human Self-Consciousness as the Highest Divinity
V. The Natural Science of Self-Consciousness
VI. From Platonism to Christianity
VII. From the Visible Heaven to the Unsealed Word
VIII. Critique as the Confessor of History
IX. The Realization of Philosophy
X. From the Critique of Religion to the Critique of Law