In recent years religion has reappeared as a serious subject of analysis and theorization in surprising parts of academe. Most recently, Alain Badiou, Slavoj Žižek, Creston Davis, Philip Blond, and many others have attempted to show how a religious understanding of the world has to be one rooted in the political, economic, and psychological analysis of individuals and the society in which they live. Many of these themes were already addressed in the twentieth century, and one thinker in particular—Ernst Bloch—made some of the same thought discoveries that are being made in the twenty-first. Some of the categories of unfinishedness, impossibility, and not-yetness are common to both Bloch and Badiou, and the uniting strand in their work on the intangible is a Marxism that marries theological concerns with a radical materialist approach, in which the gap between what is and what might be is always located in material socioeconomic conditions.

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