© 2017

Stalin: From Theology to the Philosophy of Socialism in Power


Table of contents

About this book


This book not only explicates Stalin’s thoughts, but thinks with and especially through Stalin. It argues that Stalin often thought at the intersections between theology and Marxist political philosophy – especially regarding key issues of socialism in power. Careful and sustained attention to Stalin’s written texts is the primary approach used. The result is a series of arresting efforts to develop the Marxist tradition in unexpected ways.

Starting from a sympathetic attitude toward socialism in power, this book provides us with an extremely insightful interpretation of Stalin’s philosophy of socialism. It is not only a successful academic effort to re-articulate Stalin’s philosophy, but also a creative effort to understand socialism in power in the context of both the former Soviet Union and contemporary China.

------- Zhang Shuangli, Professor of Marxist philosophy, Fudan University 


Boer's book, far from both "veneration" and "demonization" of Stalin, throws new light on the classic themes of Marxism and the Communist Movement: language, nation, state, and the stages of constructing post-capitalist society. It is an original book that also pays great attention to the People's Republic of China, arising from the reforms of Deng Xiaoping, and which is valuable to those who, beyond the twentieth century, want to understand the time and the world in which we live.

-------Domenico Losurdo, University of Urbino, Italy, author of Stalin: The History and Critique of a Black Legend.



Stalin and Political Philosophy Stalin and Theology Stalin and the Bible Stalin and Languages Stalin and Socialism and Communism Stalin and Human Nature Stalin on the Party and the State Stalin on the National Question Affirmative Action and Anticolonialism Stalin and Socialism in Power

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Renmin University of ChinaBeijingChina

About the authors

Roland Boer is a distinguished overseas research professor at Renmin University of China, Beijing, and research professor at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Among numerous works on Marxism, religion and philosophy, he has published the five-volume work, The Criticism of Heaven and Earth (2007-14). In 2014 he was awarded the Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize. He has also published Lenin, Religion, and Theology (2013) and is director of the ‘Socialism in Power’ international research project.

Bibliographic information


“By utilizing Christian Theology, Boer is able to synthesize a new understanding of the thoughts and writings of Stalin that is both comprehensive and rigorous. It is here that I would like to claim, ‘If you want to understand Stalin and the U.S.S.R. in which he presided over, then there is no better book.’” (Dalton Winfree, Marx and Philosophy,, September, 2018)​