By David Hawkes

ISBN-10: 0203130677

ISBN-13: 9780203130674

ISBN-10: 0203302524

ISBN-13: 9780203302521

ISBN-10: 0415098084

ISBN-13: 9780415098083

It is a refreshingly transparent, even-handed assessment of the vast topic of ideology. Hawkes considers all of the quite a few meanings and definitions making this lucid, accomplished booklet crucial examining for college students of literary conception.

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Following the punitive response of the papacy, however, he was impelled to consider the wider ramifications of the exchange of ‘works’ for grace. His personal experience of the inadequacy of penance to liberate him from guilt convinced him that no such equation could legitimately be drawn. As a result, Luther concluded that the entire penitential system of the Catholic Church was nothing more than a systematic and blasphemous confidence trick. In The Babylonian Captivity of the Church (1521) Luther elaborates a detailed critique of the idea that grace can be earned by human actions; an idea which he calls ‘works righteousness’.

In place of this artificial standard, Rousseau proposes a new one: the ‘state of nature’. As with Hobbes, it must be stressed that this is not intended as more than a hypothetical postulate which can be used to reveal the arbitrary status of present social relations. In fact, Rousseau’s appeal to nature amounts, in practice, to an appeal to history: In discovering and following thus the forgotten and lost routes that must have led man from the natural state to the civil state . . no attentive reader can fail to be struck by the immense space that separates these two states.

The Hebraic tradition, which along with Hellenic thought is the primal influence on Western philosophy, also ascribes false consciousness to a misconstruction of the relations between the elements of the totality. In the Hebrew Bible, the Israelites are distinguished from the gentiles by 17 18 ORIGINS the prohibition on material representations of their deity. Due to the attraction which sensual things hold for fallen humanity, such representations will inevitably become fetishes; that is, people will forget that they are merely representations, and idolize them, venerating them as though they were incarnations of the divine.

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Ideology (New Critical Idiom) by David Hawkes


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