Organised religion has always served to secure power. Karl Marx saw in it the "sigh of the oppressed creature". The fact that religion can also be an angry accusation, and that the knowledge transported through its narratives can even form a protective shield against the emergence of domination, is, on the other hand, knowledge that historical liberation movements have repeatedly updated, but that research threatens to forget. Rüdiger Haude reconstructs the anti-domination traditions that have inscribed themselves in the corpus of the Old Testament from the traditions of Judgment-era Israel. He finds evidence not least in the famous stories of Jonah's sea voyage or the Tower of Babel. By combining the findings of ethnology on segmentary societies, recent archaeological finds and the historical-critical analysis of the Bible, Haude comes to a surprising conclusion: "high culture" and anarchy are perfectly compatible - with radical consequences also for the view of our own time.
Rüdiger Haude, born in 1959 in Erkelenz, is a private lecturer in historically oriented cultural studies at RWTH Aachen University. One of his main research interests is political anthropology.