Occupy Theology: Jesus was a Marxist materialist

‘Jesus was a Marxist materialist.’

‘”The Spirit of the Lord is on me to… transform material reality.’ (both 14:38ff)

Yesterday I listened to this podcast: Occupy Theology: Marx and Whitehead. In short, it is phenomenal! The above are just two quotes that are profoundly provocative (in context).

Here are some paraphrased soundbites of what you can expect to hear!

What stands out is the quite correct assertion that capitalism is not Christian and Jesus would not put up with it – and nor should the church! Jesus calls us to a new narrative, a new way of interacting with the world, a new life and story – none of culture’s dominant assertions and stories stick for the Christian.

This is fitting on the back of the 4th July – the world does find its end goal in affirming that Team America is awesome. Democracy and capitalism have facilitated in making the world a violent, bloody, suicidal killing machine that wants more and more stuff. The history of the world is one littered with crosses – and TOMS shoes are part of the problem! How about that? In fact, the capitalist and Western political set up is predicated on making sure none of this is challenged – because it’s like Frankenstein’s monster (or the free market dictates we must exploit others) and also because of your student loans!

Also, toward the end, there is a wonderful interaction with two stories (the rich young ruler and Zacchaeus) from the gospel of Luke, in which Tripp and Jeremy explore how participants in the dominant narrative aren’t anathema to the call to repent of being Frankensteins, so that they may in turn join “Team Jesus’ subversive, materialist operating system.”

Finally, Jesus may not (read: was not) have been a Marxist but more than likely (read: was basically) a materialist – if Eucharist (“Do this in remembrance of me”) and baptism (submerged, dead; raised, to bodied new life) don’t communicate that life here, now, on Earth, matters and is re-appropriated and utilised to do theology, then nothing does!

All that and more is mentioned and discussed in the podcast – last words: listen to it!

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