The Meek and the Militant: Religion and Power Across the World
“Everyone knows that Marx wrote “religion is the opium of the people,” but all too frequently this aphorism is regarded as exhausting what he and Engels had to say on the subject. In fact, they presented a penetrating critique of religion that explains its origin and persistence.”
—From the Preface
This reprint of a Marxist classic sheds much needed light on a topic of renewed interest—the impact of religion on politics.
The Meek and the Militant examines the historical roots of religion around the world, its origin and persistence, and how it has acted as a bulwark of the social order, but also as a revolutionary force.
“With the resurgence of the Christian right in the United States and the rise of radical Islam in the Middle East, the republication of Paul Siegel’s The Meek and the Militant could not be timelier. Siegel provides a lucid exposition of the Marxist view of religion, an erudite survey of the history and social basis of the world's major religions, and a useful discussion of how the left should relate to religion and religious believers. Essential reading for anyone fighting for progressive social change today.”
--Anthony Arnove, co-author of Voices of A People’s History of the United States
”I learnt a lot from this useful Marxist survey. Especially interesting are the chapters dealing with Eastern religions and the problems of Catholic liberation theology.”
--Christopher Hill, author of Puritanism and Revolution: Studies in Interpretation of the English Revolution of the 17th Century
”A very useful contribution to a scientific understanding of the role of religion today.”