Religion and Utopia in Fredric Jameson

Utopian Studies 19 (2):285 - 312 (2008)
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Abstract

Focusing on the interplay of religion and Utopia in Fredric Jameson's recent Archaeologies of the Future, I identify a tension: on the one hand, the content of religion has been superseded (although not its forms), yet, on the other, Jameson still wishes to make use of a hermeneutics of suspicion and recovery in which even the most retrograde material may be recuperated—religion included. So we find a clash underway in this work. Sometimes Jameson sidelines religion, as one would expect if religion was no longer relevant. At other times, he exercises his dialectical hermeneutics, particularly at two moments: first, a recovery, via Feuerbach, of the role of magic within fantasy literature; second, the partial treatment of apocalyptic, which comes very close to his own argument for Utopia as rupture. From here, I develop the dialectic of ideology and Utopia further by expanding Jameson's comments on the possibilities of medieval theology and the utopian role of religion (both Catholic and Protestant) in More's Utopia.

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