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The Alchemy Of Michael Löwy

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Chapter Summary

The chapter begins with a detailed treatment of elective affinity, focusing on the two main statements where Michael Löwy seeks to reclaim this idea for the sociology of religion - one an article in French on Max Weber and another from the first chapter of Redemption and Utopia. From there, the author launches into a critical commentary of Löwy's engagement with liberation-theology, where he deals with three matters: the nature and influence of Catholic social teaching (and the curious way Löwy sidesteps such teaching in his treatment of liberation-theology); the ontological reserve of liberation-theology in regard to its infamous use of Marxist analysis; and then the question concerning the plurality of liberation-theologies. The last topic is directed squarely at the assumption, shared by Löwy, that liberation-theology is a peculiarly Latin-American product.

Keywords: Christianity; elective affinity; liberation-theology; Marxism; Michael Löwy; religion



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