The Essence of Christianity
German philosopher and anthropologist LUDWIG ANDREAS VON FEUERBACH (1804-1872) was a powerful influence on Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Feuerbach's atheism is reflected in their socialist philosophies, and that humanized theology-essentially, a rational approach to understanding concepts of God and Christianity-gets its greatest exploration here. In The Essence of Christianity-this is the classic 1853 translation of the 1841 German original-Feuerbach discusses the "true or anthropological" root of religion, exploring how everything from the nature of God to the mysteries of mysticism and prayer can be viewed through such a prism. He goes on to examine the "false" essences of religion, including contradictions in ideas of the existence of a deity, and then how God and religion are merely expressions of human emotion. This is essential background reading for understanding everything from Marx's Communist Manifesto to modern apolitical philosophies of atheism.
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