Opiate of Christ

or, John’s Gospel and the Spectre of Class

Authors

  • Robert J. Myles University of Auckland

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/post.v7i3.28298

Keywords:

John's Gospel, Marxist exegesis, class struggle, ideology, Jesus, libertarian Marxism

Abstract

This article applies a Libertarian Marxist lens to the Gospel of John. In doing so, it highlights the agrarian-aristocratic class struggle that is refracted in the text and also seeks to problematize hierarchical and authoritarian ideologies. Its point of departure is the recent political interpretations of John championed by Tom Thatcher (2009) and Warren Carter (2008), but it diverges significantly from these readings by observing how the gospel’s so-called “subversive” quality has often been overstated and/or simply taken for granted. By focusing on the problematic re-inscription of hierarchies of power, the reading advanced below argues that John’s heightening of imperial ideology in Jesus is at best unsubversive and at worst normalizing of a fascist-like impulse for racial and authoritarian purity.

Author Biography

Robert J. Myles, University of Auckland

Dr Robert J. Myles is a Lecturer in New Testament and Religious Studies in the School of Humanities at the University of Auckland. He is the author of The Homeless Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew (Sheffield Phoenix, 2014) and the incumbent co-editor of The Bible and Critical Theory.

References

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Published

2016-01-20

How to Cite

Myles, R. J. (2016). Opiate of Christ: or, John’s Gospel and the Spectre of Class. Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts, 7(3), 257–277. https://doi.org/10.1558/post.v7i3.28298

Issue

Section

Special Issue Articles