Marx on Religion / Edition 1

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"Religious suffering is at one and the same time the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions."

Few people would ever expect that Karl Marx is the writer of the above statement. He not only wrote it, but he did so in the same breath of his more famous dictum that "religion is the opiate of the masses." How can one reconcile such different perspectives on the power and ubiquity of religion?

In this compact reader of Marx's essential thought on religion, John Raines offers the full range of Marx's thoughts on religion and its relationship to the world of social relations. Through a careful selection of essays, articles, pamphlets, and letters, Raines shows that Marx had a far more complex understanding of religious belief. Equally important is how Marx's ideas on religion were intimately tied to his inquiries into political economy, revolution, social change, and the philosophical questions of the self.

Raines offers an introduction that shows the continuing importance of the Marxist perspective on religion and its implications for the way religion continues to act in and respond to the momentous changes going on in our social and environmental worlds. Marx on Religion also includes a study guide to help professors and students&#151as well as the general reader&#151continue to understand the significance of this often under-examined component of Marx.

Author Biography: John Raines is Professor of Religion at Temple University. He is the author of over a half-dozen books, including, most recently, What Men Owe to Women: Men's Voices from World Religions.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566399401
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 3/18/2002
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. I The Young Man Marx 15
"Reflections of a Youth on Choosing an Occupation" (1835) 17
Letter to His Father: On a Turning-Point in Life (1837) 20
The Leading Article of No. 179 of Kolnische Zeitung (1842) 28
"On the Jewish Question" (1843) 44
Pt. II Consciousness and the Material World 71
"Critique of Hegel's Dialectic and General Philosophy" (1844) 75
"The German Ideology - Ideology in General" (1844-46) 93
"The Holy Family, or Critique of Critical Criticism" (1844) 101
Preface: "A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy" (1859) 107
Pt. III Bad Work/Good Work 113
Preface, "Early Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts" (1844) 115
"Estranged Labor" (1844) 117
"Private Property and Communism" (1844) 128
"Money" (1844) 139
The Communist Manifesto (Chapter 1) (1848) 143
"Money and Alienated Man" (1844) 154
Capital, Book 1 (extract) (1867) 163
Pt. IV The Criticism of Religion 167
"Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right" (1844) 170
"Concerning Feuerbach" (1845) 182
"Social Principles of Christianity" (1847) 184
Pt. V Occasional Writings 187
"The Decay of Religious Authority" (from New York Tribune) (1854) 188
Excerpts from Grundrisse (1858) 193
Excerpts from Capital (1867) 195
The Peasant War in Germany (Chapter 2) (1850) 203
On the History of Early Christianity (1895) 217
Letter from Jenny Marx to Johann Philipp Becker (1866) 237
Letter from Karl Marx to Friedrich Engels (1864) 238
Letter from Karl Marx to Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis (1881) 239
Study Guide for Students 241
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