Feuerbach and the Interpretation of Religion

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 6, 1997 - Biography & Autobiography - 319 pages
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Ludwig Feuerbach is traditionally regarded as a significant but transitional figure in the development of nineteenth-century German thought. Readings of Feuerbach's The Essence of Christianity tend to focus on those features which made it seem liberating to the Young Hegelians: namely, its criticism of reification as abstraction, and its interpretation of religion as alienation. In this book, Van Harvey claims that this is a limited and inadequate view of Feuerbach's work, especially of his critique of religion. The author argues that Feuerbach's philosophical development led him to a much more complex and interesting theory of religion which he expounded in works which have been virtually ignored hitherto. By exploring these works, Harvey gives them a significant contemporary re-statement, and brings Feuerbach into conversation with a number of modern theorists of religion.
 

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Contents

Projection in The Essence of Christianity
25
The interpretative strategy informing The Essence of Christianity
67
The criticism of religion in The Essence of Christianity
101
Feuerbachs intellectual development
134
The new bipolar model of religion
161
The new interpretative strategy
198
Feuerbach and contemporary projection theories
229
Feuerbach anthropomorphism and the need for religious illusion
281
Select bibliography
310
Index
315
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About the author (1997)

Professor Van A. Harvey is George Edwin Burnell Professor of Religious Studies Emeritus at Stanford University. He is the author of Handbook of Theological Terms (1964) and The Historian and the Believer (1966). Feuerbach and the Interpretation of Religion won the American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in Constructive-Reflective Studies.

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