Marx and Engels' View of Religion Essay

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The concept of religion is a contentious terrain with the subject being viewed as divisive and discordant within Nations. Beckford and Luckmann (1989) discuss religion as a continuous challenge to scientists studying society. Since the industrial revolution there has been ambivalent dichotomy of opinion towards religion with some perceiving religious ideology continuing as normal, whilst others believed the concept would be discarded as the new social order developed. This essay will consider the perspectives of Marx and Engels upon the role of Religion and will also discuss how relevant there argument is in the 21st century. The use of academic text, lecture notes and journal articles will be used to research and answer the essay…show more content…
The work of Emmanuel Kant as he discussed enlightenment and reason married with the turbulence of politics compounded the crises of faith. Hegel however, maintained his dogmatic approach that religion and philosophy had a duality in that, they were about discovering God. Marx became cynical of the German government and Hegel’s philosophy agreeing with the writings of Feuerbach which criticised the writings of Hegel. In the German Ideology Marx set out his opposition to the work of Hegel. The Young Hegelians believe that in order for man to move forward there needed to be a change in mind set, however, Marx argues that basic needs of life are to be attended to first before this process of thinking. Marx writing alludes to how the people should rise against the thoughts of the ruling classes as they falsely attribute the exploitative relationship as a result of the will of God rather than the will of the ruling classes. The elite have the ideas of how society should run and religion is firmly within the ruling strata. He condemns the division of labour as the reason that man does not have the ability to own property which is in opposition of Hegel’s stance. (Marx and Engels as cited in Calhoun et al. 2007) Marx preferred critical philosophy and support for the people in poverty and under Feuerbach’s influence he felt that to
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