The question of christianity and the left has no simple solution. And christianity is starting an accelerated collapse, at least in the West. As desirable as a form of radical christianity might be the fact remains that this religion has in the US been captured by a repulsive and phony brand of calvinist/capitalist ‘wealth brand’ evangelical cultism. And its association with the injustice of Israel further condemns any attempt to compromise with the legacy. The old testament has turned against itself and enabled a completely stupid and religiously moronic territorial apartheid. We must move to dismantle the illusion of religion in this ‘christian’ distortion (which of course equally condemns branded judaism).
Nonetheless a highly stylized exit path is possible and useful for those who are going to suffer the fading away of a vehicle that has a core that secularism so far cannot replace.
As a religious legacy christianity has a genuine spiritual component, although we don’t understand what that is: some mysterious post-Israelite spiritual power or powers took up the old testament corpus and generated a world religion.
We don’t even know if the figure Jesus even existed, but that issue was rendered moot in the way the hidden spiritual process encapsulated a set of instant myths that were animated by some kind of soon unknown empirical history. The tale of Jesus suggests some historical component but the remarkable fact remains that this historical component was instantly mythologized
we are at a loss to grasp, for example, the doctrine of the resurrection and are left baffled, as modernists, by the success of what so many saw at once couldn’t be right. And yet the myth instantly propagated and took over the whole emerging canon. A strange puzzle, but also, in the end, the undoing of the whole affair. Even as this belief system generated a belief cult its faith basis in the end, our time, will prove its undoing. We can no longer propose the permanent of faith based religion because faith is eroding and almost seems like a con. (there is an ultra simple explanation of the ‘resurrection’ as a psychological/occult visionary process, but the facts are unknown, a clever aspect of the whole strategy of the hidden spiritual power)…
We have proposed for this hopeless confusion not a further perpetuation of illusion but a generalized historical enquiry into the mystery of the background spiritual process. (For example, in Enigma of the Axial Age we have explored the nature of what we call ‘devangelic powers’ in nature, Bennett’s demiurgic powers are another example). The next era will seen the graduates exiting christian cultism with a deep query as to the nature of the experience of christianity. We can apply secular humanist critique but does that get straight what happened and the effect the operation had as rescue vehicle for a degenerate cultural occident. We can apply doubt to religion but we must be wary of negating the ‘path to salvation’. The blanket rejection of religion in too many in the new atheist cult forgets the almost miraculous effect over the long term of christian action. There was a genuine spiritual operation there, and yet we can barely understand what it was.
So we are left with the question: what is the real meaning of ‘salvation’? What is its relation to the buddhist equivalent, the path to enlightenment (they aren’t the same).
The left needs to offer a strategy for religious study–it can barely manage more without entering into the realities/illusions of the complex mix that history has generated, and is leaving behind.
The secular equivalent of religion has yet to be achieved by modernity, stuck so long in what Kant exposed as scientism, and now the many new age movements have arrived to further scramble public coherence. A post-Feuerbachian world view (one that embraces its core, perhaps) is needed by the revolutionary left if it wishes to deprogram economic/social darwinist/nietzschean remnants of pseudo-christianity.
Our study, The Crisis of Modernity, has suggested the way the Axial Age spiritual fixations suffered reversal in modern times and that the revolutionary left of the nineteenth century suddenly filled the void of secular anti-religion with the social equivalent of religion. But this requires a more nuanced and robust version of the whole modernist phasing of politics, culture, and religion. This can phase out the format of christian religion, but it can’t forget the hidden spiritual mystery behind that process and its ambiguous yet real success in the cultural transformation of the roman empire.