Orientalism, the Problematic of Marx, Subaltern Studies

  • Paul S. Chung


With this new model of political theology in mind, this chapter discusses Edward Said’s theory of Orientalism with respect to its significance and limitations. He classifies Karl Marx as a Eurocentric thinker and attacks Marx’s mode of representation in justifying the British rule in India. Spivak follows in the footsteps of Said. This postcolonial portrayal of Marx causes a debate and becomes a domain of ‘problematic’ standing in need of further clarification. To the degree that postcolonial thinkers under French poststructuralist theory argue against the shibboleth of humanism; they still present a new form of humanism for the subaltern in reference to Antonio Gramsci. I enlarge the place of Gramsci’s philosophy of praxis in a postcolonial setting in critical review of Said and Spivak. In difference from these two thinkers, it is significant to explicate the significance and limitation of Gramsci’s theory of ideology (a la Machiavelli) and his historical materialism in view of Karl Marx’s own thought. This study facilitates political theology in its critical engagement with the postcolonial theory, providing a broader framework for the political theology to take into account subaltern studies and Gramsci’s philosophy of praxis.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul S. Chung
    • 1
  1. 1.Lutheran School of Theology at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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