We are unable to display your institutional affiliation without JavaScript turned on.
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR

Find using OpenURL

Müntzer's "Theology of Revolution" and Literary Activism in Luther Blissett's Q
Abstract

Abstract:

This article explores the resurrection of the myth of Thomas Müntzer in the historical novel Q, published in 1999 by the Italian collective group of writers Luther Blissett / Wu Ming. The piece assesses the collective's reasons for returning to the German Peasants' War of 1525 and Anabaptism, while also considering the Marxist tradition of engagement with Müntzer, particularly from Engels and Kautsky to Bloch. These philosophers' considerations of the relationship between materialism and theology are used in this article as a platform to discuss the central role in the novel of Bloch's rendition of Müntzer's theological communism. Bloch's reading of Müntzer as a "theologian of revolution" is here deemed instrumental in shaping the novel's heroic figure and the collective dimension of his utopian spiritual will of revolution. The essay also examines how Q employs an epic mode of narration to articulate a nomadic struggle between the subversive millennialism of the common people embodied by the hero-narrator, and the authoritarian millennialism of the Roman Church, personified by the character of Q. While reading the novel next to some recent work by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, the article argues that the resurrection of the myth of Müntzer functions at an allegorical level in order to, on the one hand, revitalize and popularize utopian radicalism in connection with countercultural activism, and, on the other, warn against the authoritarian potential of utopian myths and the repressive methods of institutional power. The transmedial dimension of Luther Blissett / Wu Ming's work is also considered, while attempting some conclusions about the links between literature, theology and activism.



You must be logged in through an institution that subscribes to this journal or book to access the full text.

Shibboleth

Shibboleth authentication is only available to registered institutions.

Project MUSE

For subscribing associations only.