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Evaluate the Marxist Theory of Religion and Its Relevance to Todays Society.

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Submitted By kayjanallinson
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Evaluate the Marxist theory of religion and its relevance to society today.
Marxists believe that the ruling class use instruments in society to control the working class – for example religion and education. They argue that religion is created and promoted by the Ruling Class in order to pass on their dominant ideology to the working class, using it as an “instrument”.
Althusser argues that the ruling class do this through physical control such as the police and the justice system (Repressive State Apparatus), they also control the working class through the Ideological state Apparatus, which via religion, prevents the working class from becoming deviant and rebelling. A clear demonstration of this is in Christian teaching. They’re taught that Jesus himself had a day job as a carpenter – which is a manual labour, working class job. This idea of Jesus being like us civilians appeals to the working class as their attitude would be that if someone of such major influence can have that job, I can too because I will be repaid in the afterlife. Another supporting piece of evidence to the Marxist theory of religion is in the Jewish Torah (Old Testament – 34:12)
God says “Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest, in eanring time and in harvesting, thou shalt rest”. This also influences the working class not to question why we have to work for 6 days, because when we make our earnings we can rest on the seventh day, whilst the ruling class impose this religious idea to the working class. Karl Marx would call this False Class Consciousness.
Marx explains that passing the dominant ideology from the ruling class to the working class isn’t all of the job, they have to then maintain it, and make the working class believe that they’re the ones ultimately benefiting from working for example, the ruling class saying that you have to work overtime but...

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