Religion for Human LiberationKarl Marx’s belief that the cause of man’s alienation is religion, is evident in his writing wherein he states that: “As long as man is captivated in religion, knows his nature only as objectified, and thereby converts his nature into an alien illusory being […]” [Easton and Guddat, 248]. Such belief was inspired by the Greek mythology. Marx viewed the relationship between God and man as one that was founded on jealousy and malevolent intent, having rivalry and fear as the outcome.Contrary to Marx’s outlook concerning religion, Ali Shariati’s believed that man was created by God out of perfection, thus the former unifies all elements in creation and makes the world perfect. Shariati believed that if there was no unity, then there would be injustice as well as corruption in the world. He was convinced that the range of information that was acquired by Marx was limited to his Jewish father’s comprehension.
As opposed to Marx’s thinking towards religion being the cause of man’s alienation, Shariati emphasized that religion plays an important role on man’s life on earth as what most religious doctrines are teaching. Shariati stated in his writings in contrast to Marx’s: “[…] Most basic doctrines of Judaism, Protestant Christianity and Islam alike: ‘God’s assignation of free will to man, that he might struggle in his earthly life and search for his own liberation.’ [Campbell 58].
In comparison to Shariati’s belief, Gustavo Gutierrez’s idea concerning man’s liberation is that the one liberative declaration against poverty and at the same time a deed which expresses love for the poor is Christian poverty.Works CitedShariati, Ali. Marxism and Other Western Fallacies: An Islam Critique. Trans. R. Campbell.
Berkeley: Mizon Press. 1980.