Professor John Hall
Journal of Economic Literature Classification Codes
B14, B31, Z12
Hegelian Philosophy, Karl Marx, Ludwig Feuerbach, Materialist Approach, Religion
This inquiry seeks to establish that, in his writings, Karl Marx offers his perspectives on religion. The origins of Marx’s conception of religion can be traced to his family history, adolescence, and time at the University of Berlin. Marx’s criticism of contemporary philosophy offers a penetrating account of his views on religion, proving critical of the individualism and idealism implemented by his contemporaries. In Marx’s judgement, religion offers a false sense of solace in a world marked by abuse. Religion rationalizes domination, sows societal divisions, and preserves oppressive institutions. Marx’s materialist approach focuses on the real-life relations and activities within society, without dogma or idealism. Thus, his empirical approach offers practical and rational solutions in the face of injustice.
© Lauren Sweger-Hollingsworth
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Sweger-Hollingsworth, Lauren. "Marx and Religion, Working Paper No. 4", Portland State University Economics Working Papers. 4. (15 June 2019) i + 15 pages.