“A specter has been haunting Marxism,” writes Eugene McCarraher — “the specter of Christianity.” The heavyweights of Marxist academe (they still walk the earth) have gone and got themselves some God, reports McCarraher. None more so than the so-called “bad boy of theory,” Slavoj Zizek — whom McCarraher describes as “the godless theologian of our time, exhibiting all the sacred foolishness of that hopeful and futile vocation.”

McCarraher reviews Zizek’s new book, The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity, for In These Times, a scrappy lefty mag not normally known for its piety. But here’s McCarraher, a self-proclaimed Christian, commending Zizek for his newfound — if somewhat perverse — faith in Christ (whom Zizek compares to Lenin).

McCarraher’s review is smart, challenging stuff, and not an easy read. But it’s worth the effort, since McCarraher may be onto one of the big political stories of the coming years — the marriage of Marx and God.

It’s not as if the two haven’t flirted before, but this time it’s an American and European phenom more than a Latin American one. As such, it could be a key intellectual development if the journos and scholars predicting a revival of the culture wars are correct.

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Background: Zizek bio; Zizek’s intro to The Communist Manifesto; an interview with Zizek about the theology of horror flicks.