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In this strategy of, as I have put it, opposing oppositions between 'the sacred' and 'the secular', there may appear to be afforded some consolation for the liberation theologian envisaging an alliance with Marxism, For there is no doubt that this same strategy lies close to the heart of the project of most representatives of that movement. Libertatis Nuntius is superficial to the point of vulgar crassness in its characterisation of liberation theology as 'historicist immanentism', at any rate insofar as one can rely on the intentions of its theological project, If anything characterises the theology of Gustavo GutiƩrrez, for example, it is the intention of reintegrating the transcendent with the historical, the eschatological with the immanent, the individual with the social, the personal spiritual with the pursuit of social justice. It is precisely in its resistence to these antitheses that the sharpest critique of 'northern' theological traditions, construed as they are upon these 'Feuerbachian5 foundations, is to be found. Yet it is possible to acknowledge these intentions of liberation theology, as well as the mis-readings of it by critics of the Vatican school, and still entertain doubts about the coherence of its alliance with Marxism. For it is still possible to doubt, as Kce doubts, whether liberation theology has sufficiently understood the force of Marx's critique of religion, in particular, whether it has sufficiently understood the radical nature of Marx's atheism and the inseparability of that atheism from Marx's critique of economy and society, Libertatis Nuntius may very well have misconstrued that atheism by confusing it with Feuerbach's; but in doing so it entirely missed the point. For Feuerbach's atheism is easily rebutted, and convincingly so, by the arguments of the liberation theologians themselves. But Marx's atheism is less easily disposed of and here liberation theologians are on less secure ground, insofar as they too are easily misled by the confusion of Marx's with Feucrbach's atheisms into supposing that in dismissing what in fact is the Iatter's they can easily separate off Marx's analysis of economy and society - utilisable in their critiques of 'idolatrous' ideologies - from an atheism they deem equally 'ideological'.

In this view of the relationship between an adequate critique of idolatry and Marx's atheism I fear those liberation theologians are mistaken on more than one count: they are mistaken about Marx where Libertatis Nuntius is right, in particular about the inner connectedness of his social critique with his atheism; they are wrong where Libertatis Nuntius is wrong in that they neglect crucial differences between Marx's atheism and Feucrbach's; and because of both they are misled into a too superficial dismissal of Marx's atheism; hence, Kee is right where Libertatis Nuntius is most wrong, for it is not in being too Marxist that liberation theology fails of theological adequacy, but in not being Marxist enough,

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