‘The Fragile Absolute: Or, Why Is the Christian Legacy Worth Fighting For?’ by Slavoj Žižek

First published by Verso in 2000. Download link and description updated on 26th July 2021.

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From now on, even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way; everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

Saint Paul’s militant declaration from Corinthians asserts for the first time in human history the revolutionary logic of a radical break with the past—with it, the age of Cosmic Balance and similar pagan babble is over. What does it mean to return to this stance today?

One of the signal features of our era is the re-emergence of the ‘sacred’ in all its different guises, from New Age paganism to the emerging religious sensitivity within cultural and political theory. How is a Marxist to counter this massive onslaught of obscurantism?

The wager of Žižek’s The Fragile Absolute is that Christianity and Marxism can fight together against the contemporary onslaught of vapid spiritualism. The revolutionary core of the Christian legacy is too precious to be left to the fundamentalists.


Slavoj Žižek is a Philosopher and psychoanalytic social theorist. He is Senior Researcher at the Department of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana; Professor at the School of Law and Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London; Distinguished Scholar at the Kyung Hee University, Seoul; and Visiting Professor at the German Department, New York University. His field of work comprises Lacanian psychoanalytic theory, dialectical-materialist metaphysical interpretations of German Idealism and Marxian critique of ideology. His more than sixty books in English have been widely translated. His latest publications include Pandemic! & Pandemic! 2, Hegel in a Wired Brain, Sex and the Failed Absolute, Like A Thief In Broad DaylightReading MarxIncontinence of the Void, and The Day After the Revolution.

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