Posted by: HAT | May 1, 2008


I’ve been working on the problem of reference, the referent (or possibly, referents) of utopia, and the possibility that “utopia” might refer to nothing at all — whether in the analytic philosophy of language sense, or in the Bourdieu “semantic freewheeling” sense, or in both — for chapter 1.

Although I haven’t gotten very far, partly because I have a horror of going to the library and reading new books, but need to, I have realized something: “liberation” — as used in the circles in which I travel, which is usually in phrases like “liberation theology” — sounds a lot like “utopia.” Of course, this should make sense, because the mediating influence on late 20th century utopian discourse, and also on liberation theology, is Marxism; and Marxism owes a lot (a lot I say — but not just I) to the utopian socialists (see, for instance, Vincent Geoghegan, Utopianism and Marxism, London & New York: Methuen, 1987, if some prior authority is needed), and both they and the Marxists are (according to Tillich — more prior authority) tapping into expectation, a fundamentally religious — or, if we want religion lite, spiritual — category. So — that the “liberation” of liberation theology would resonate with the “brand new world” after the revolution [I’m not making it up, it’s in the Internationale . . .] as well as with the realm of God of the gospel of Matthew is no surprise at all.

In fact, it’s practically algebraic.



  1. Hello

    I’ve just uploaded two rare interviews with the Catholic activist Dorothy Day. One was made for the Christophers [1971]–i.e., Christopher Closeup– and the other for WCVB-TV Boston [1974].

    Day had begun her service to the poor in New York City during the Depression with Peter Maurin, and it continued until her death in 1980. Their dedication to administering to the homeless, elderly, and disenfranchised continues with Catholic Worker homes in many parts of the world.

    Please post or announce the availability of these videos for those who may be interested in hearing this remarkable lay minister.

    They may be located here:

    Thank you

    Dean Taylor

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