Ludwig Feuerbach

Authored by: Douglas Moggach , Widukind De Ridder

The Routledge Companion to Modern Christian Thought

Print publication date:  March  2013
Online publication date:  October  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415782173
eBook ISBN: 9780203387856
Adobe ISBN: 9781136677922


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Ludwig Feuerbach (1804–72) is generally considered as the precursor to all projection theories of religion. Such theories hold that the idea of God is the result of the anthropomorphic projection of human attributes onto an external being. Frequently associated with psychoanalytic currents, these theories have acquired currency in philosophy, anthropology, and sociology (Van Harvey 1997: 233–45). Feuerbach began his career as a self-declared follower of Hegel before becoming one of the intellectual leaders of the German Left or Young Hegelians of the Vormärz, the period preceding the revolution of March 1848. The Hegelians of the Vormärz attempted to develop Hegel's thought to confront post-Enlightenment adversaries, such as romanticism (viewed as nostalgia for the old European hierarchical order of estates), and anti-rationalistic religious pietism, in the newly politicized forms it assumed in the wake of the French Revolutions (Moggach 2003). The Left Hegelians addressed the historical process of the realization of reason, and the obstacles to this process, while rethinking Hegel's idea of objective spirit, the ways that reason was operative in the forms of modern social life.

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