30 March 2010

MCT: Terry Eagleton

The final selection in MCT is by Terry Eagleton, and a quick bit of research shows he has been an amazingly prolific thinker and writer. I've most recently come across him in his latest role as scourge of the "new atheists". His review of The God Delusion caused all sorts of jollity, and his book Reason, Faith and Revolution argued for (it appears) a scarcely visible god who created the universe as a pleasant experiment.

Eagleton's been a consistent Marxist, although his marxism, like his belief, has always been subject to the reservation that a lot of what passes for marxism (religion) isn't.

So his analysis of "The rise and fall of theory", from After Theory (2003), is based on the economic and political conditions during Theory's heyday. It's fun to read, but it really doesn't challenge the arguments so much as deplore the consequences. I suppose the main problem is that so much of the substructure of Eagleton's view is hidden from view here, like the substructure of religious thought. It's an internal ideology.

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