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Ideology and the Study of Religion: Marx, Althusser, and Foucault


Correspondence address: Craig Martin, PhD, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, St. Thomas Aquinas College, 125 Route 340, Sparkill, NY 10976. E-mail:


Karl Marx famously argued that ideology advances the interests of the ruling class. As a means of challenging the mystification of social relations, he initiated a project of ideology critique, a project that remains important to this day. This article explores three branches of ideology critique, focusing on the legacies of Marx, Althusser, and Foucault.