Communist Party of Great Britain
Towards a Communist Party of the EU  |  weeklyworker.co.uk

Fantastic Reality (2nd edition 2012)

Jack Conrad

Religion, as defined by Marxism, is fantastic reality. Fantastic, not in the trite sense that the claims religion makes about existence are verifiably untrue, unreal or baseless, but in the sense that nature and society are reflected in exaggerated form, as leaping shadows, as symbols or inversions.j

So religion should not be dismissed as mere false consciousness. Religion reflects something of the real; but, as Jack Conrad's book shows, there is even more to it than that. Religious ideas are not only determined by reality; they can themselves become materially effective. The ideas people have in their heads - especially when mediated through institutions such as churches, mosques and temples - no matter how wrapped up in the godly and seemingly unrelated to the corporeal world, impact on their surroundings.

Four extra chapters and completely revised throughout.

Chapters:
  1. Sigh of the oppressed creature
  2. Religion and the human revolution
  3. When all the crap began
  4. Religion, class struggles and revolution in ancient Judea
  5. Peasant socialism and the persistence of polytheism in ancient Israel
  6. Royalist nationalism, opposition prophets and the impact of Babylonian exile and return
  7. Uses and abuses of Jesus
  8. Roman society and decline
  9. Jesus - a man of his times
  10. After king Jesus
  11. John Paul II, liberation theology and US decline
  12. Origins of Islam
  13. Bolshevik lessons
  14. Muslim brothers
  15. Jews and Zionism
  16. Zionism and the holocaust industry
  17. Forty-one theses on the Arab awakening and Israel-Palestine
  18. Free speech and religious hatred laws
  19. Secularism

"Jack Conrad writes in the best Marxist tradition. Following the insights of Marx and Engels, he analyses religion as a socially conditioned individual outlook, a social ideology that reflects reality in fantastic form, and an oppressive institution of social and political control."

Moshé Machover

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