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

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Springer Science & Business Media, May 31, 1975 - Philosophy - 174 pages
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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.
 

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Contents

MARXS CRITIQUE OF RELIGION
6
THE BEGINNING AND END OF CRITICISM
13
FROM NATURAL RELIGION TO THE RELIGION OF CIVIL SOCIETY
21
THE SUBSTANCE AND FUNCTIONS OF RELIGION Introduction
42
ENGELS CRITIQUE OF RELIGION
61
FROM THE INCEPTION OF RELIGION TO ITS TRANSCENDENCE
65
THE MASKS AND DISGUISES OF RELIGION
86
LENINS CRITIQUE OF RELIGION
94
SHAMEFACED IDEALISM GODBUILDING AND THE DISADVANTAGES OF IMPROVED RELIGION
114
KAUTSKYS CRITIQUE OF RELIGION
122
RELIGION FROM BIBLICAL TIMES TO THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
137
THE SUBSTANCE AND FUNCTIONS OF RELIGION
148
STALWART MARXIST OR RENEGADE?
153
CONCLUSION
158
BIBLIOGRAPHY
163
Copyright

RELIGION AND THE UNITY OF MARX ENGELS AND LENIN
108

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