Volume 6, Issue 1, 2003
Radical Theories and Religion
The Concept of Fetishism in Marx's Thought (Elements for a general Marxist theory of religion)
Part I of II
In this essay, Enrique Dussel provides a textual “rereading” of Karl Marx’s theory of fetishism according to his scattered but significant
comments on religion as they extend throughout the whole of his work. In Part I, “The Place of the Subject of Religion in the Whole Work of Marx,” Dussel demonstrates Marx’s differentiation between a critique of the essence of religion and its manifestations, arguing that there is a space in Marx for a anti-fetishized liberatory religion. In Part II, “Toward a Theory of Fetishism in General,” he provides a methodological account of such a religion, as well as a panorama of the content of this essence of religion. These accounts provide the basis for more clearly identifying both religious fetishism and the fetishist character of capital.