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8 An Outline of the Basic Theories and Development of Marx and Engels’ Historical Materialist View of Religion (概说马克思、恩格斯历史 唯物主义宗教观的基本理论与历史发展)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter intensively discusses the course of formation and basic content of Karl Marx's and Friedrich Engels's historical-materialist view of religion. Neither Marx nor Engels, as the chapter argues, was born with such a view of religion, nor did their views become immutable and frozen as soon as they had been formulated. This view of religion has a historical course of formation and development. In other words, just as the two great teachers experienced a transformation from idealism to materialism in terms of their worldview, as well as a shift from revolutionary democracy to communism with respect to politics, their view of religion proceeded from religious theism to rationalist, enlightened atheism, and then to historical materialism. In the history of theories regarding religion, there are a great variety of theoretical forms, many of which have an atheistic nature.

Keywords: communism; Friedrich Engels; historical materialism; idealism; Karl Marx; religion



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