The Classical Marxist Critiques of Religion: Marx, Engels, Lenin, Kautsky

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Mai 1975



In view of the enormous number of works on Marxism in general and in light of the many books and articles touching on the relationship of Marxism to religion in particular, it may fairly be asked why yet another such work should be produced. My reply is that in eliciting answers to the kinds of questions posed by the methodology I have used, it was necessary to go to the primary sources almost exclusively. This is not to bemoan a sad fate but to affirm that there are notable deficiencies in the secondary sources relevant to my topic. By way of general indictment, I contend that the major difficulty with existing studies of the Marxist critique of religion is that their authors, whether expositors or critics, have failed both to specify their own presuppositions concerning religion and to approach the subject with an adequate comprehension of its many dimensions. Since, in most cases, the reader is equally unprepared, anthropologically, sociologically, psychologically, and historically, for clear and informed thought in this vast and nebulous area, the result has been widespread confusion. As if this were not enough, numerous writers with little more than polemical interests have compounded the confusion by failing to distinguish between religion in general and their own brands of faith in particular. Others have not discriminated between the concepts of metaphysics and the supernatural items of religious belief.


1: Marx's Critique Of Religion.- Religion and the Unity of Marx's Thought.- The Beginning and End of Critisism.- From Natural Religion to the Religion of Civil Society.- The Substance and Functions of Religion.-
2: Engels' Critique of Religion.- Engels' Role in the Critisism of Religion.- From the Inception of Religion to its Transcendence.- The Masks and Disguises of Religion.- The Unity of Engels' Critique of Religion.-
3: Lenin's Critique of Religion.- The Origins, Development, Substance, and Functions of Religion.- Religion and the Unity of Marx, Engels, and Lenin.- Shamefaced Idealism, God-Building, and the Disadvantages of Improved Religion.-
4: Kautsky's Critique of Religion.- Toward a Developed Materialist Theory of Religion.- Religion from Biblical Times to the Twentieth Century.- The Substance and Functions of Religion.- Kautsky: Stalwart Marxist or Renegade?.- Conclusion.
EAN: 9789024716562
ISBN: 902471656X
Untertitel: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1975. Book. Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: Springer
Erscheinungsdatum: Mai 1975
Seitenanzahl: 188 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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