Barth, Žižek & the Cold War: Defending Radical Politics against the Totalitarian Concept

Michael Jimenez


This essay explores the challenge to the totalitarianism thesis as seen in the work of the Swiss Protestant theologian Karl Barth and the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek. At the heart of their critique is the self-righteous historical narrative of the democratic West toward forms of radical thought. The criticism of both Barth and Žižek is not a recommendation of historical communism but an attempt to think otherwise by utilizing elements of the Christian tradition. Both thinkers provide a model of consistently theorizing against the stream of popular social-political ideologies.


Karl Barth; Slavoj Žižek; Cold War; totalitarian hypothesis

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Bible and Critical Theory: ISSN 1832-3391