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‘Althusser & Pasolini: Philosophy, Marxism, Film’ by Agon Hamza


“Agon Hamza’s book can only be described as an explosive mixture of politics and sexuality, of philosophy and art, of Marxism and Christianity. It reshuffles the cards so that nothing remains the same. The common thread of Christianity renders visible a new Althusser and a new Pasolini. I am grateful to live in a time when such books are written. They prove that thinking is not yet dead.”

—Slavoj Žižek, International Director, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities

“As with Marxism generally, so too with Louis Althusser specifically: During roughly the past half-century, both ended up falling into undeserved disrepute and obscurity. However, amidst today’s desperately needed reactivations of what Alain Badiou calls ‘the idea of communism,’ Althusser’s concepts and problems must be revisited and put back to work.

This is exactly what Agon Hamza delivers. Hamza’s stellar intervention produces both a surprising historical reappraisal of Althusser as a Christian-Hegelian emancipatory thinker as well as a neo-Althusserianism addressing the most pressing socio-political challenges of the contemporary age.”

—Adrian Johnston, Professor of Philosophy, University of New Mexico at Albuquerque, USA

Agon Hamza offers an in-depth analysis of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s most important films alongside a clear, engaging dissection of the main theses of Louis Althusser’s philosophical enterprise. There is a philosophical, religious, and political relationship between Althusser’s philosophy and Pasolini’s films. Hamza teases out the points of contact, placing specific focus on critiques of ideology, religion, ideological state apparatuses, and the class struggle. The discussion, however, does not address Althusser and Pasolini alone. Hamza also draws on Spinoza, Hegel, Marx, and Žižek to complete his study. Pasolini’s films are a treasure-trove of Althusserian thought, and Hamza thus ably employs Althuserian terms in his reading of the films. Althusser and Pasolini provides a novel examination of Pasolini’s film from the perspective of the filmmaker’s own thought and Althusserian philosophy.

Agon Hamza is a PhD candidate in philosophy at the Postgraduate School ZRC SAZU in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He serves as the co-editor-in-chief of the international philosophical journal Crisis and Critique. His latest publications are: Slavoj Žižek and Dialectical Materialism, co-edited with Frank Ruda, Repeating Žižek, and From Myth to Symptom: The Case of Kosovo, co-authored with Slavoj Žižek.