Originally published in 1845, this concise critique formed the basis of thirty later lectures delivered in 1848 by Ludwig Feuerbach, one of Germany’s most influential humanist philosophers. In The Essence of Religion Feuerbach applied the analysis expounded in The Essence of Christianity (1841) to religion as a whole. The main thrust of Feuerbach’s argument is aptly summed up in the original subtitle to this work: "God the Image of Man. Man’s Dependence upon Nature the Last and Only Source of Religion." Feuerbach reviews key aspects of religious belief and in each case explains them as imaginative elaborations of the primal awe and sense of dependence that humans experience in the face of nature’s power and mystery. Rather than humans being created in the image of God, the situation is quite the reverse: "All theology is anthropology," he says, and "the being whom man sets over against himself as a separate supernatural existence is his own being." Feuerbach goes on to argue that the attributes of God are no more than reflections of the various needs of human nature. Further, as human civilization has advanced, the role of God has gradually diminished. In ancient times, before human beings had any scientific understanding of the way nature works, divine powers were seen behind every natural manifestation, from lightning bolts to the change of seasons. By contrast, in the modern era, when an in-depth understanding of natural causes has been achieved, there is no longer any need to imagine God behind the workings of nature: "He who for his God has no other material than that which natural science, philosophy, or natural observation generally furnishes to him . . . ought to be honest enough also to abstain from using the name of God, for a natural principle is always a natural essence and not what constitutes the idea of a God." Feuerbach’s naturalistic philosophy had a decisive influence on Karl Marx and radical theologians such as Bruno Bauer and David Frie
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This book, translated for the first time into English, presents the major statement of the philosophy of Ludwig Feuerbach. Here, in his most systematic work, Feuerbach's thought on religion and on the philosophy of nature achieves its full maturity. Central to the thought of Feuerbach is the concept that man not God is the creator, that divinities are representations of man's innermost feelings and ideas. Philosophy should turn from theology and speculative rationalism to sound factual anthropology. "My aim in these Lectures," writes Feuerbach, "is to transform friends of God into friends of man, believers into thinkers, worshippers into workers, candidates for the other world into students of this world, Christians, who on their own confession are half-animal and half-angel, into men--whole men."
Asserting that religion and divinity are outward projections of inner human nature, this 1841 polemic excited immediate international attention and influenced the development of Marxist theory.
The "Essence of Religion" is a compilation of two short meditations written over a period of ten years - "The Essence of Religion" and "In the Service of Our Lord" - concerning the essence, meaning, and purpose of religion. In it, the author ventures to argue the case - by analyzing scripture and religious thought, with particular emphasis on the Doctrine of Christos - that the essence of religion is love culminating in the brotherhood of man and that the purpose of religion is service or goodwill. It is written primarily from a Christian viewpoint; however, it is generally applicable to all religions.
This is a collection of Bowne’s most important sermons, some of which appeared in other collections. It covers a remarkably large number of aspects of religion and faith, and summarises well the thought and achievements of this great preacher. The topics covered range from the role of Jesus Christ in religion and in our own lives, to the activities of the church, to Christianity as a doctrine, to the ways in which we can enjoy a healthy and successful life. The book will appeal to many, from the scholar to the relative newcomer to religion. It is lucid and flows easily, yet not without giving the reader much food for thought, and a new angle on many things he has probably thought and enquired about. In the words of the author’s wife, “ ‘if,’ to use the author’s own words, ‘the great end of religion is a developed soul, a soul with a deep sense of God, a soul in which faith, courage, and resolution are at their highest,’ then the writer of these sermons had in this life entered into the fullest realisation of all he taught to others.” And most readers will probably feel this after reading a few words of the first sermon.
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"Religion today belongs in the forum of study and discussion. Scholars are exploring the claims of theology, the religious roots of culture, and the relation between beliefs and the various areas or disciplines in life. Students have not until now had a series of books which could serve as reliable resources for class or private study, in a time when inquiry into religion is undertaken with new freedom and a sense of urgency. With Harper Forum Books a new generation can confront religion through exposure to significant minds in theology and related humanistic fields." - Martin E. Marty, General Editor
There is nothing wrong with any religion until it assumes a monolithic stance, at the expense of the commonalities between all religions useful for a collective and universal outlook of all faiths. All religions can be likened to the riverbed that largely determines the color of its water even though, in essence, the water is always white. By this work, Brother Ellington is contributing greatly to breaking the atom through which the universal sound of our lifetime could be heard. That sound, spoken of beforehand, seeking the elimination of religious barriers, thus, ensuring a universal peace and harmony. IMAM MUHAMMAD HUSSAINI BAGNYA
Excerpt from The Essence of Religion Some of these sermons have been printed elsewhere Religion and Life appears in Modern Sermons by World Scholars; The Church and the Kingdom of God was one in a course of sermons delivered before the Union Theological Seminary; The Suprem acy of Christ was preached during a Visit in the Orient, to crowds of eager listeners; Prayer was written to strengthen the faith of a member of the home circle, and at her request given to a larger audience one memot able Sabbath at Wellesley College. Through out this book there are familiar echoes of private and public speech. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
The Essence of Christianity - By Ludwig feuerbach. A Philosophy and Critique of Religion. Translated From The Second German Edition by Marian Evans. The Essence of Christianity (German: Das Wesen des Christentums) is a book by Ludwig Feuerbach first published in 1841. It explains Feuerbach's philosophy and critique of religion. The book is often considered a classic of humanism and the author's magnum opus. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were strongly influenced by the book, although they criticised Feuerbach for his inconsistent espousal of materialism. Feuerbach's theory of alienation would later be used by Marx in his theory of alienation. Max Stirner directed his The Ego And Its Own against it. Rather than simply a polemic, Stirner's work uses Feuerbach's idea of God as a human abstraction as the basis of his critique of Feuerbach. Feuerbach's theme was a derivation of Hegel's speculative theology in which the Creation remains a part of the Creator, while the Creator remains greater than the Creation. When the student Feuerbach presented his own theory to professor Hegel, Hegel refused to reply positively to it. In Part I of his book, Feuerbach developed what he calls the "true or anthropological essence of religion." Treating of God in his various aspects "as a being of the understanding," "as a moral being or law," "as love" and so on. Feuerbach talks of how man is equally a conscious being, more so than God because man has placed upon God the ability of understanding. Man contemplates many things and in doing so he becomes acquainted with himself. Feuerbach shows that in every aspect God corresponds to some feature or need of human nature. "If man is to find contentment in God," he claims, "he must find himself in God." Thus God is nothing else than man: he is, so to speak, the outward projection of man's inward nature. This projection is dubbed as a chimera by Feuerbach, that God and the idea of a higher being is dependent upon the aspect of benevolence. Feu
The Nobel Peace Prize–winning doctor, theologian, and missionary explores the essence of faith in this masterful early work on Kantian metaphysics. Famous for his medical missionary work in what is now the West African country of Gabon, Albert Schweitzer was an accomplished theologian, philosopher, and international bestselling author. While studying for his PhD at the Sorbonne, Schweitzer developed his views on theology through an analysis of Immanuel Kant’s philosophy of religion. In The Essence of Faith, Schweitzer explores Kantian ideas to arrive at an inspiring meditation on God, faith, and the limits of human understanding. Both an accessible introduction to Schweitzer’s theology and a strikingly original approach to Kant’s writing and thought, The Essence of Faith is a slim volume of profound ideas.