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Man As God-Maker: Feuerbachian Atheism In New England

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Chapter Summary

In Germany, Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity was "considered the book of the age", in England, however, its "lady translator" became a target for numerous attacks, including charges that the work propounded the "new Hegelian Atheism. In Feuerbach's approach to the "essence" of Christianity, "infidelity" had shifted substantially in the direction of an explicit, "utter atheism" that positively denied God's existence. Feuerbach was primarily identified with "vulgar atheism", and not with a "religious atheism" consisting either in an attack on "historical Christianity" or in "political antagonism to priests and churches". Feuerbach's atheism took the assault on Christianity out of historical criticism into religious naturalism and out of Christianity into anthropology. Feuerbachian atheism had become a ready option for religious radicals.

Keywords: Essence of Christianity; Feuerbachian Atheism; Hegelian Atheism; infidelity; New England; religious naturalism



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