The Problem of Ideology in Biblical Studies


  • Randall William Reed Appalachian State University



Ideology, Marxism, Biblical Studies, Religion and Theory


The issue of ideology is one which is still in need of discussion in biblical studies. In this article I will map the way that the various strains of social approaches to New Testament have started to address this issue, though often indirectly. I will then move to an explicit discussion of the issue making reference to the Marxist tradition focusing on Marx, Althusser and Žižek. I will argue that rather than the more traditional view which focuses on a non-ideological space like science, a better approach is one championed by Žižek which looks for gaps and cracks in the social world which then lend themselves to ideological criticism.

Author Biography

Randall William Reed, Appalachian State University

Randall Reed is Assistant Professor of Religion at Appalachian State University. He works on Social Theory of Religion, Apocalypticism and Christian Fundamentalism. He has recently published "A Clash of Ideologies: Marxism, Liberation Theology and Apocalypticism in New Testament Studies" (Princeton Theological Monograph Series, Pickwick Press, 2010)


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How to Cite

Reed, R. (2012). The Problem of Ideology in Biblical Studies. Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 40(4), 17–23.