Postmodern Theology and Marxist Influence

QUESTION: Postmodern Theology – Marxist Influence


According to Glen Ward, the vast majority of mainstream Postmodernists emerged from the Marxist atheistic tradition.1 Michel Foucault, for example, was at one time a member of the French Communist Party and one other Maoist organization.2 Jean Baudrillard’s writings were “within a loosely Marxist framework,”3 thinking it was his responsibility to “bring Marx up to date.”4 Pierre Macherey was “a Marxist critic...concerned with how texts act to reproduce the values of capitalism.”5 A sympathetic critic defined Postmodernism as Marxism-lite dressed in a French tuxedo, sippin’ French wine in a French café on the campus of the College International de Philosophie. A less sympathetic critic referred to Postmodernism as linguistic sophistry seeking to save Marxism’s irrelevant posterior.

Postmodern Theology – Salvation for the Irreligious
During its early years Marxism promised a this-world salvation for the enlightened irreligious. However, with the passage of time and countless body bags, the idea of a Marxist utopia was eventually revealed for what it was—a mirage. As a result, Postmodernism was birthed as a “wayward stepchild of Marxism, and in a sense a generation’s realization that it is orphaned.”6

Thus, Postmodernism became a reaction against Marxist dogma of violent revolutions, Marxist dialectical logic, and the Marxist worldview itself. On the other hand, Postmodernism is a continuation of other Marxist ideas, namely atheism, socialism, punctuated evolution, and the socially constructed self, among others.


Rendered with permission from the book, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

1 See Glen Ward’s Teaching Yourself Postmodernism (Chicago, IL: McGraw-Hill, 2003), 78f.
2 Mark Lilla, The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics (New York, NY: New York Review Books, 2001), 150.
3 Ward, Teaching Yourself Postmodernism, 78.
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid., 97.
6 Lawrence E. Cahoone, ed., From Modernism to Postmodernism: An Anthology, 2nd ed. (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2003), 4–5. Also see Gene Edward Veith, Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1994), 75–76.

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