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A Historical Bibliography> Table of Contents> Germany

Please credit San Diego State University, Department of Religious Studies in publications. Copyright San Diego State University.

Enlightenment Beginnings

Gottfried Wilhem von Leibnez (1646–1716)

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781)

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Unbelief in Germany in The Nineteenth Century

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)

The Young Hegelians

Bruno Bauer (1809-1882)

Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872)

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Karl Marx and Marxism

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924)

Developing Marxism—the Soviet Union and China


Freud, Psychoanalysis, and Religion 


Enlightenment Beginnings

Just as the first atheist in France came in the form of a closeted priest who had lost his faith, so too the first open advocate of a modern atheist perspective was a lone figure who emerged in Germany. That man was Matthias Knutzen, who seems to have emerged in Königsberg, in Prussia, in the 1670s. He termed his followers, of which there were but few, “conscienciaries,” as conscience was the only authority he recognized. He denied the existence of God and denounced the church. Though he claimed a large following across Europe, he was largely dismissed after he published a few works that circulated in Prussia, On refutation was written by a local professor, but Knutzen then passed from the scene and died in obscurity. His small effort has only been recovered by historians in the modern era as atheism itself has emerged and grown in importance.

Knutzen emerged just as the German phase of the Enlightenment, usually dated from the career philosopher Gottfried Wilhem von Leibnez (1646–1716) was beginning. It would proceed slowly, Germany still being a land divided into numerous small autonomous city states and princedoms. It would reach its zenith in the careers of Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), and Johannes Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832). It would make its transition to the nineteenth century, when atheism initially gained some measurable support, in the work of Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814) and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831).

Unbelief in nineteenth-century German would build on Hegel and move in a variety of directions among the young Hegelians and within the Jewish community, and find it greatest response in the writings of Karl Marx. Then at the beginning of the twentieth century a whole new thrust of Unbelief would find its basis throughout the German-speaking world in the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud.


Anderson, Abraham. The Treatise of the Three Impostors and the Problem of Enlightenment. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1997. 192 pp.
This early eighteenth-century publication attacked Moses, Jesus and Mohammad as imposters.

Chambers, Alexander. “Matthias Knutzen.” Entry in The General Biographical Dictionary. 32 vols. London, 1812-1815. Vol. 19, p. 417.

Clark, William. "The Death of Metaphysics in Enlightened Prussia." In The Sciences in Enlightened Europe. Edited by William Clark, Jan Golinski, and Simon Schaffer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999.

Estes, Yolanda, and Curtis Bowman, eds.  J.G. Fichte and the Atheism Dispute (1798-1800). Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2010. 316 pp.

Kors, Alan Charles, ed. Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment. 4 vols. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Korshin, Paul, and Alan Charles Kors. Anticipations of the Enlightenment in England, France and Germany. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987. 320 pp.

Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim. Nathan the Wise. Translated by Edward Kemp. London: Nick Hern, 2003.

Reimarus, Hermann Samuel. Reimarus, Fragments. Edited by Charles H. Talbert, translated by Ralph S. Fraser. Chico, Calif.: Scholars Press, 1985.

Samuel, Moses. Moses Mendelssohn: The First English Biography and Translation. Bristol, U.K.: Thoemmes Press, 2002.

Spinoza, Benedictus de. The Collected Works of Spinoza. Ed. and trans. by Edwin M. Curley. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985.

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Gottfried Wilhem von Leibnez (1646–1716)

Gottfried Leibnez is remembered for his work as a mathematician and his developments in calculus and binary numbering and as a philosopher for his suggesting that the Universe as we know it is the best possible one that a deity could have created, one that possesses a pre-existing harmony. By no means a religious skeptic, he helped prepare the way for atheism as an advocate of rationalism, that is, the privileging of reason as the primary way of acquiring knowledge.

Primary Sources

Leibnitz, Gottfried Wilhem von. The Leibniz-Clarke Correspondence. Ed. by H. G. Alexander. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1956.

-----. Leibniz: Philosophical Texts. Ed. R. S. Woodhouse and R. Franks. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

-----. Leibniz: Selections. Ed. by Philip Weiner. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1951.

-----The Philosophical Works of Leibnitz. With Notes by G[eorge] M[artin] Duncan. New Haven, CT: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, 1890, 392 pp.
Currently available in a variety of reprint editions.

Secondary Sources

Adams, Robert Merrihew. Lebniz: Determinist, Theist, Idealist. New York: Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1994.

Antognazza, Maria Rosa. Leibniz: An Intellectual Biography. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008. 652 pp.

Hall, A. R., Philosophers at War: The Quarrel between Newton and Leibniz. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1980.

Hostler, J., Leibniz's Moral Philosophy. London: Duckworth, 1975.

Jolley, Nicholas, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Leibniz. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Mates, Benson. The Philosophy of Leibniz: Metaphysics and Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986.

Russell, Bertrand. A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1900.

Rutherford, Donald. Leibniz and the Rational Order of Nature. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

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Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781)

Philosopher Gotthold Lessing, the son of a clergyman, emerged as one of the leading voices of the German Enlightenment and a severe critic of key aspects of Christianity in his day. He is remembered for posing the problem that came to be known as Lessing’s Ditch. Relative to the use of miracles as a proof of God’s existence, he noted that the occurrence of miracles were in doubt and hence lacked any convincing power to prove God’s existence. Historical truths, which are themselves in doubt, cannot substantiate metaphysical assertions. With supernatural events (including revelation) put on the back burner,

Lessing then argued for a Christianity based on reason without the assistance of revelation. Lessing’s position led him on the one hand to question biblical authority and on the other to call for tolerance toward the world’s religions (primarily Judaism and Islam). His call for religious toleration interacted with his friendship for Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn. He most famously incorporated these ideas in a play he writes, Nathan the Wise.

Primary Sources

Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim. Nathan the Wise. Translated by Edward Kemp. London: Nick Hern, 2003. Various editions are available.

-----. Nathan the Wise; a dramatic poem in five acts. Trans. and ed. by Leo Markun. Girard, Kan., Haldeman-Julius Co., 1926.

-----. Philosophical and Theological Writings. Ed. by H. B. Nisbet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

-----. Selected prose works of G. E. Lessing. Trans. by E. C. Beasley and Helen Zimmern. London: G. Bell and Sons, 1890.

-----. Theological Writings; Selections in Translation with an Introductory Essay. Ed. by Henry Chadwick. London: A. & C. Black, 1956.

Secondary Sources

Allison, Henry E.  Lessing and the Enlightenment. His Philosophy and Its Relation to Eighteenth-Century Thought. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1966. 216 pp.

Benton, Matthew A. “The Modal Gap: The Objective Problem of Lessing's Ditch(es) and Kierkegaard's Subjective Reply.” Religious Studies 42, 1 (2006): 27-44.

Henriksen, Jan-Olav. The Reconstruction of Religion: Lessing, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 2001. 208 pp.

Michalson, Gordon. Lessing's "Ugly Ditch": A Study of Theology and History. Philadelphia: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1985. 224 pp.

Rolleston, T. W. Life of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. London: Walter Scott, 1889.

Ugrinsky, Alexej. Lessing and the Enlightenment.  Westport, CT: Greenwood Press 1986. 188 pp.

Wessell, Leonard P. G. E. Lessing's Theology: A Reinterpretation: A Study in the Problematic Nature of the Enlightenment. Berlin: de Gruyter Mouton, 1977. 283 pp.

Yasukata, Toshimasa. Lessing's Philosophy of Religion and the German Enlightenment: Lessing on Christianity and Reason. New York: Oxford University Press/American Academy of Religion, 2002. 208 pp.

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Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

Immanuel Kant remains one of the most influential of modern philosophers and the leading voice of the German phase of the Enlightenment. Both Kant’s Career and the Enlightenment were punctuated by his key publications: The first edition of the Critique of Pure Reason (1781); Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics (1783); Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785); the Critique of Pure Reason (1787); and Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone (1793). He spent his career at the University Königsburg, in the city of his birth. 

According to Kant, it was reading David Hume’s critique of rationalism (in which he pointed out that one could not infer a priori cause from any given effect), that awakened him from what he termed his “dogmatic slumber.” This led to his scrutiny of reason and his understand that epistemology had much to say about the possibilities and conclusion available to metaphysics. From this starting point, and his conclusions about what can be known a priori by reason alone, Kant began his monumental reconstruction of philosophy.

Relative to the place of God, Kant critical philosophy worked to undercut traditional arguments for the existence of god, those systems that equated god with the ultimate causal ground of the visible world. Kant argued that the concept of God properly functions as a limiting principle in discussions of the causal element in the order of things. In the end, Kant undercut what traditional metaphysics had presented as proofs for the existence of God but undercutting the foundation of such arguments.

The harshest aspect of Kant’s approach to philosophical problems of God’s existence was countered by his relatively good experience of his Pietist Protestant upbringing, which left him with a positive view of religion.  He came to view religion as principally a human phenomenon within which important aspects of human life interact in ways that are significant for our role in the cosmos.

Kant shifted the debates over god to questions of morality. As Laura Denis notes, “Although Kant argues that morality is prior to and independent of religion, Kant nevertheless claims that religion of a certain sort (“moral theism”) follows from morality. “Thus, “Kant criticizes atheism as morally problematic in four ways: atheism robs the atheist of springs for moral action, leads the atheist to moral despair, corrupts the atheist’s moral character, and has a pernicious influence on the atheist’s community.”

Over five decades of thinking and writings, Kant left a large body of material, frequently returning to the questions of God and religion, occasionally seeming to contradict himself, certainly leaving conclusions suggestive of different lines of reasoning on questions of ultimate important about how we think about the world and how we should live. Both theologians and radical skeptics found material from which to work and claim Kant as their own. He remained a theist all his life, but was significant in pushing aside the arguments for God’s existence for those who built on his foundation. Those who would continue to use such arguments would have to operate out of others forms of philosophical inquiry.

Primary Sources

The writings of Immanuel Kant have been published in English in the Cambridge University Press edition of “The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant in Translation,” edited by Paul Guyer and Alan W. Wood. All of his more important writings are available in a variety of popular and inexpensive reprints.

Kant, Immanuel. An Answer to the Question: What Is Enlightenment? 1784. Trans. by Mary J. Gregor. In Mary J. Gregor, ed. Practical Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1006, pp. 17–22.

-----. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. 1785. Trans. by Mary J. Gregor. In Mary J. Gregor, ed. Practical Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 43–108.

-----. The Metaphysics of Morals. 1797. Trans. by Mary J. Gregor. In Mary J. Gregor, ed. Practical Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 365–603.

-----. Opus Postumum. Ed. by Ekart Föster. Trans. by Ekart Föster and Michael Rosen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

-----. Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics That Will Be Able to Come Forward as a Science. 1783. Trans. by Gary Hatfield. In Henry Allison and Peter Heath, ed. Theoretical Philosophy after 1781. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp. 51–169.

-----. Religion and Rational Theology. Trans. and ed. by Allen W. Wood. and George Di Giovanni. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Includes many of Kant’s major writings about religion

Secondary Works

Abela, Paul. Kant's Empirical Realism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Allison, Henry E. Kant's Theory of Taste: a Reading of the Critique of Aesthetic Judgment. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 424 pp.

-----. Kant's Transcendental Idealism: An Interpretation and Defense. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1986. 390 pp.

Ameriks, Karl. Kant's Theory of Mind: An Analysis of the Paralogisms of Pure Reason. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Bennett, Jonathan. Kant's Analytic. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1966.

Byrne, Peter. Kant on God. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2007.

Cassier, Ernst, Stephan Korner, and James Haden. Kant's Life and Thought. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1986.

Denis, Lara. “Kant's Criticism of Atheism.” Kant-Studien 94, 2 (2003):198-219.

Despland, Michel. Kant on History and Religion. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1973.

England, Frederick Ernest. Kant's Conception of God. New York: Dial Press, 1930.

Fistioc, Mihaela C. The Beautiful Shape of the Good: Platonic and Pythagorean Themes in Kant's Critique of the Power of Judgment. London: Routledge, 2002

Gasché, Rodolphe. The Idea of Form: Rethinking Kant's Aesthetics. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003

Guyer, Paul, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Kant. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1992. 482 pp.

-----. Kant and the Claims of Knowledge. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1987. 500 pp.

-----. Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: Critical Essays. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997. 186 pp.

Gardner, Sebastian. Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason. London: Routledge, 1999.

Höffe, Otfried. Categorical Principles of Law: A Counterpoint to Modernity. Trans. by Mark Migotti. Philadelphia: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002.

Kerstein, Samuel J. Kant's Search for the Supreme Principle of Morality. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Kitcher, Patricia, ed. Kant's Critique of Pure Reason: Critical Essays. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998.

Korsgaard, Christine M. Creating the Kingdom of Ends. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Kuehn, Manfred. Kant: A Biography. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002. 582 pp.

Makkrell, Rudolf A. Imagination and Interpretation in Kant: The Hermeneutical Import of the Critique of Judgment. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.

Michalson, Gordon E. Fallen Freedom: Kant on Evil and Moral Regeneration. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

-----. Kant and the Problem of God. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999.

O'Neill, Onora. Kant on Reason and Religion. The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, 1997. Ed. buy Grethe B. Patterson. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1997, pp. 269–308.

Ray, Matthew Alun. Subjectivity and Irreligion: Atheism and Agnosticism in Kant, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche. Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishing, 2004. 140 pp.

Scruton, Roger. Kant. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983.

Smith, Norman Kemp. Commentary to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.  Loandon: Macmillan and Co., 1918. 615 pp.

Stratton-Lake, Philip.  Kant, Duty, and Moral Worth. London: Routledge, 2000.

Sullivan, Roger J. An Introduction to Kant's Ethics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Timmons, Mark, ed. Kant's Metaphysics of Morals: Interpretative Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Voeller, Carol W. The Metaphysics of the Moral Law. New York: Garland Publishing, 2000.

Walker, Ralph C. S. Kant. London: Routledge, 1999.

Warren, Daniel. Reality and Impenetrability in Kant's Philosophy of Nature. London: Routledge, 2001.

Weatherston, Martin. Heidegger's Interpretation of Kant: Categories, Imagination, and Temporality. London: Macmillan, 2002.

Wood, Allen W. Kant's Moral Religion. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1970 .

-----. Kant's Rational Theology. Ithaca, NY: London: Cornell University Press, 1978.

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Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814)

Philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte served as a bridge between the Enlightenment philosophy of Immanuel Kant and the new directions of nineteenth-century philosophy that would be taken by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and his students. Due to his poverty, he dropped out of seminary at Jena, and would later begin his philosophy career with a small book, Versuch einer Kritik aller Offenbarung (Attempt at a Critique of All Revelation, 1792), which discussed the role of divine revelation in Kant's philosophy. As occurs on occasion, the first edition of the book was published prematurely, without Fichte's name on the title page or the signed preface. Those who initially published reviews on the book mistakenly thought it a new book by Kant. Then came forward and denied his authorship, but praised the unknown author. Fichte’s reputation soared. He subsequently became the professor of Philosophy at Jena.

Several years after assuming his position at Jena, Fichte published an essay, “On the Basis of Our Belief in a Divine Governance of the World” (1798) in which, building on Kant, he argued that religious belief became legitimate as it found its foundation in moral considerations and further that God‘s existence could not be considered apart from the cosmic moral order. A cutting edge position at the time, the essay led critics to condemn him as an atheist (which had a slightly different meaning in seventeenth-century polemics) and as a result of the controversy had to leave Jena.

Fichte moved to Berlin and became a independent scholar, living off his writings and giving lectures to the public. Some of his writings wee aimed at trying to clear up the misunderstandings that he felt falsely led to his being branded an atheist. He also continued work on his own unique approach to philosophy.

Primary Sources

Fichte, Johann Gottlieb. Attempt at a Critique of all Revelation [1792, 1793]. Trans. Garrett Green. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978.

-----. Fichte: Early Philosophical Writings [1790-1799]. Trans. and ed. Daniel Breazeale. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1988.

-----. Foundations of the Entire Science of Knowledge [1794/95]. In The Science of Knowledge, trans. and ed. Peter Heath and John Lachs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982.

-----. “The Science of Knowledge in its General Outline” [1810]. Trans. by Walter E. Wright. Idealistic Studies 6 (1976): 106-117.

Secondary Sources

Breazeale, Daniel and Tom Rockmore, eds. Fichte: Historical Contexts/Contemporary Controversies. Atlantic Highlands, New York: Humanities Press, 1994.

-----. New Essays in Fichte’s Foundation of the Entire Doctrine of Scientific Knowledge. Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 2001.

-----. New Essays on Fichte’s Later Jena Wissenschaftslehre. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2002.

-----. New Perspectives on Fichte. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press, 1996.

La Vopa, Anthony J. Fichte: The Self and the Calling of Philosophy, 1762-1799. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Martin, Wayne. Idealism and Objectivity: Understanding Fichte’s Jena Project. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997.

Neuhouser, Frederick. Fichte’s Theory of Subjectivity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Zöller, Günter. Fichte’s Transcendental Philosophy: The Original Duplicity of Intelligence and Will. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

A German politician and scholar whose expertise reached across a number of disciplines, Johann von Goethe is known not only for his poetry and literature, but his contributions to science and the humanities. As a young man he cultivated an interest in the law, but at the same time pursued an avocation in poetry and literature. In 1774, he published the fist book that gained wide public attention, The Sorrows of Young Werther. As a result of the book, he was invited to the court of Carl August, Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, where Goethe became the Duke’s confidant.

Goethe’s work as a scientist led to important books on plant morphology, meteorology, and on the theory of light. He considered his 1810 publication, Theory of Colors, among his most important publications. Most, however, see his scientific contributions as secondary to his literary one. His most famous work, Faust appeared in two parts separated by many years (1808, 1832).

Goethe’s childhood Lutheran faith was shaken by the his consideration of the problem of evil as a result of the suffering engendered by the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 and the Seven Years' War. As early as 1782, he described himself as no longer a Christian, and the God worshipped in churches as dead to him. He rejected the atheist label that some put on him, and his religiosity seems to have evolved toward pantheism while containing elements of various diverse religions he had learned of his studies. Toward the end of his life he lamented his failure to find a truly satisfying religion, though he had discovered mention of an ancient pagan sect, the Hypsistarians, which he described as a group who treasured the best of whatever they might come into contact with. He dissented from those of his contemporaries who believed in reason’s ability by itself to create the happy society, as other forces on culture and history were too strong.

Primary Sources

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. Goethe: The Collected Works. 12 vols. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995.

-----. Goethe's Faust (Parts 1 and 2). New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1976. 296 pp.

-----. Selected Works. London: Everyman's Library, 2000. 1248 pp.

-----. The Sorrows of Young Werther and Selected Writings. Trans. by Catherine Hutter. New York: Signet Classics, 2005. 256 pp.

Secondary Sources

Boyle, Nicholas. Goethe and the English-Speaking World: A Cambridge Symposium for His 250th Anniversary. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2001.

Dieckmann, Liselotte. Goethe's Faust: A Critical Reading. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1972.

Fairley, Barker. A Study of Goethe. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1947.

Gray, R. D. Goethe: A Critical Introduction. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1967.

Pruys, Karl Hugo. The Tiger's Tender Touch: The Erotic Life of Goethe. Trans. by Kathleen Bunten. Carol Stream, IL: Edition Q, 1999. 192 pp.

Reed, T. J. Goethe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984.

Sharpe, Leslie. The Cambridge Companion to Goethe. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Sherrington, C. Goethe on Nature and on Science. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1949.

Tantillo, Astrida Orle. The Will to Create: Goethe's Philosophy of Nature. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002.

Ugrinsky, Alexej. Goethe in the Twentieth Century. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1987.

Vietor, K. Goethe the Thinker. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1950.

Williams, John R. The Life of Goethe: A Critical Biography. New York: Wiley-Blackwell, 2001. 352 pp.

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Unbelief in Germany in The Nineteenth century

The German-speaking state of Europe entered the twentieth century with a strong conservative academic establishment that had been deeply affected by the work of Kant and Goethe, and just enough openness that a critical enterprise could emerge and challenge the orthodox tradition largely represented in the Evangelical (Lutheran) Church and by extension the reformed and Roman Catholic Churches. That challenge ranged from a relatively mild “liberal” Christianity represented by the likes of Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834), to the emergence of the historical criticism of the Bible. For the first time, a number of scholars began to look at the Bible with all of the tools of modern history and to treat the Bible as a collection of historical documents. They asked questions about the integrity of the text, the evolution of ideas, and the believability of the events it recorded. 

For some, philosophical and theological rumination were crucial in pushing them toward a non-theistic position. For others, the criticism of the foundational documents of Judaism and Christianity simply destroyed their confidence and them their ability to maintain any faith.

The first critical break came from a group of students of the thought of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831). In the decade following their teacher’s death, they emerged as both philosophical and political radicals and amid their differences found some cohesion as the young Hegelians. For their radical views, most would either be denied their academic career or never be allowed to start. Their books and articles would, nevertheless, find an audience, and the deist beliefs of the previous century would evolve into a full-blown atheism.

Following his break with the Young Hegelians and his move out of Germany, Karl Marx would rise above his contemporaries and develop his economic analysis of politics, society, and history, which would be embodied in the spectrum of Socialist and Communist political parties and take up a revolutionary call for the reform of society.  While affecting history throughout Europe, Marxism as it was developed by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924) and Mao Zedong, (aka Mao Tse-tung, 1893-1976) would find a much larger audience than that of any of the Young Hegelians. Marx would include in his over all perspective a critique of religious belief and practice that included both a non-theistic understanding of the world and a harsh condemnation of the religious community. The suppression of religion in those countries in which Marxists came to power would strongly affect the reception of Marx’s ideas in the western world.

In the latter half of the nineteenth century, psychology struggled to develop as a new secular arena of knowledge that would pose an understanding of the nature of human being apart from the religious assumptions that had long dominated Western culture. Crucial to the emergence of psychology was the creation of the filed of psychoanalysis and the dominance of that endeavor by Sigmund Freud. Integral to Freud’s work, based in German-speaking Vienna, was critique of religion that included a casting off of the beliefs in God and the supernatural. Freud gave the emerging field a decidedly negative view of all religion, especially Freud’s own Judaism and the culturally dominant Christianity. That anti-religious bias still permeates the whole field of psychology though it was somewhat ameliorated in the late twentieth century as the churches began to integrate the insights of psychology into its delivery of pastoral care.

The intellectual developments in Germany in the nineteenth century were complex and provoked a variety of responses. For the purposes of this bibliography, however, the important trend was the emergence of first a liberal Christianity that made room for some partial revisions of the tradition that included a challenge to the doctrine of the Christian Trinity and a revision of the manner in which believers approached the Bible. Those changes then opened space for more severe criticisms of the faith resulting in the emergence of secular non-theistic perspectives; the number and forms of Unbelief increased decade by decade. In the twentieth century, a significant number, if not the majority, of unbelievers in Europe would build on the foundations laid by Marx and/or Freud.


Beiser, Frederick C., ed. The Cambridge Companion to Hegel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

-----, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Dreisbach-Olsen, Jutta. Ludwig Büchner. Marburg, Germany: Lahn, 1969.

Büchner, Ludwig;, Force and Matter: empirico-philosophical studies, intelligibly rendered. Ed. by J. Frederick Collingwood. London: Trübner, 1864. 324 pp. Posted Online.

Fredrick Gregory: Scientific Materialism in Nineteenth Century Germany. Berlin: Springer, 1977.

Löwith, Karl. From Hegel to Nietzsche: the Revolution in Nineteenth-Century Thought. Trans. by David E. Green. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, 1967.

Toews, John Edward. Hegelianism: The Path toward Dialectical Humanism, 1805–1841. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980.

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Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)

G. F. W. Hegel was the leading German philosopher of the early nineteenth century. Unlike his Enlightenment predecessors, he was himself a largely orthodox Christian and wrote in defense of basic Christian ideas, including the deity of Jesus Christ. His importance, however, cannot be underestimated for the history of Unbelief, as several of his leading students, who took his philosophical system in a completely different direction, included many of the most vocal atheist voices of the middle- and late-nineteenth century, none more notable than Karl Marx.

Primary Sources

Hegel, G. W. F.  Early Theological Writings. Trans. by Thomas M. Knox and Richard Kroner. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1948. Rpt.: Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1971. 352 pp.
Hegels’s early writings show his indebtedness to discussions of Deism.

-----. Lectures on the Philosophy of History, trans. J. Sibree New York: Dover, 1956.

-----. Hegel: Lectures on the History of Philosophy, 1825–6. Ed. and trans. by Robert F. Brown. 3 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006–9.

-----. Hegel: Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion. Ed. by Peter C. Hodgson. Trans. by R. F. Brown, P. C. Hodgson, and J. M. Stewart, with the assistance of H. S. Harris. 3 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Secondary Sources

This highly selective list of books on Hegel has been slanted toward discussion of religious issues.

Beiser, Frederick C., ed. The Cambridge Companion to Hegel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

-----, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

-----. Hegel. New York and London: Routledge, 2005.

Deligiorgi, Katerina, ed. Hegel: New Directions. Chesham: Acumen, 2006.

Dickey, Laurence. Hegel: Religion, Economics, and Politics of Spirit, 1770–1807. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.

Forster, Michael N. Hegel and Skepticism. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1989.

Goldstein, Joshua D. Hegel's Idea of the Good Life: From Virtue to Freedom, Early Writings and Mature Political Philosophy. New York: Springer, 2010. 263 pp.

Hook, Sydney. From Hegel to Marx: Studies in the Intellectual Development of Karl Marx. New York: Columbia University Press. 335 pp.

Jaesche, Walter. Reason in Religion: The Foundations of Hegel's Philosophy of Religion. Trans. by J. M. Stewart and Peter Hodgson. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.

Pinkard, Terry. Hegel: A Biography. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Stern, Robert, ed. G. W. F. Hegel: Critical Assessments. 4 vol. London: Routledge, 1993.

Williams, Robert R. Recognition: Fichte and Hegel on the Other, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992.

Wood, Allen W. Hegel's Ethical Thought, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

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The Young Hegelians

The term “Young Hegelians” refers to a group of German, mostly Prussian, intellectuals in the mid-nineteenth century who attempted to build on the writings and insights of philosopher Georg F. W. Hegel, but who took his thought in the most critical direction. The shared a basic commitment to the idea that their work demanded opposition to irrationality and those ideas and structures that would restrict freedom. High on their agenda was religion against which they mounted a severe critique before turning their attention to the Prussian political system, a bastion of tradition hierarchy. Hegel had suggested that history had reached a certain culmination in the Germany of his day. The Young Hegelians challenged that aspect of Hegel’s thought in that they saw the church (and synagogue) permeated with what they saw as irrational notions and the state imposing numerous restrictions on the citizenry.

The first event that gave the young scholars a sense of identity was the publication of David Friedrich Strauss’ Life of Jesus in which a set of modern historical tools were turned on the narrative in the Christian New Testament as well as the many apocryphal gospels which were frequently used to fill in details in Jesus’ life. Strauss’ work is seen as setting off a goal that has continued as one major trend in biblical studies, the “quest for the historical Jesus” amid all of the mythical, theological and ecclesiastical material that has been placed on him. For some, the work led to the conclusion that Jesus never really existed, but was a complete mythical personage. In the first instance, however, the firestorm following Strauss’ publication both revealed to the public where biblical scholarship at the time was leading and caused a conservative backlash over the direction it was taking over the insistence of judging the biblical text by the standards of contemporary historical research.

The Prussian government of the 1830s turned a deft ear to religious controversy. It was busy building a united Protestant church that required a certain suppression of theological debate. However, it was the arrival of a new young ruler in 1840, which moved to suppress both religious deviation and freedom of speech throughout his kingdom. His move tended further to radicalize the community of scholars and pushed two of the leading figures—Bruno Bauer and Ludwig Feuerbach—toward a full-blown atheism. In 1842, two of the Young Hegelians based in Berlin, Bauer and Karl Neuwerck lost their teaching license.

Associated with the Young Hegelians, but soon breaking with them over their alternate analysis of economics as more important to the power of traditional government, were Karl Marx and Frederick Engels.  Marx continued to build on Hegel, but had a very different critique of religion relative to its role in supporting rather than suppressing the proletariat, but can justifiably be seen as a major outgrowth of the Young Hegelians intellectual endeavor.

The major people associated with the Young Hegelians, besides Strauss (1808-1874), Bauer (1809-1882), and Feuerbach (1804-1872), would include Arnold Ruge (1802-1880), who edited a journal Hallische Jahrbucher (1838–41) that assisted in providing the group with some self-identity, Karl Neuwerck, Max Stirner (1806-1856), Moses Hess (1812-1875), Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), August von Cieszkowski (1814-1894), Karl Schmidt ((1819-1864)), and Bruno’s brother Edgar Bauer (1820–1886).

This section of the bibliography has been largely developed from “The Autodidact Project” by Ralph Dumain, posted at I am most appreciative of his work.

Primary Sources

Heine, Heinrich. Religion and Philosophy in Germany. Trans. by John Snodgrass. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1986.

Hess, Moses; The Revival of Israel: Rome and Jerusalem, the Last Nationalist Question. Trans. by Meyer Waxman. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995.

Ruge, Arnold et al. Logic. Trans. by Ethel Meyer. London: Macmillan, 1913.

Schmidt, Karl. Love Letters Without Love, Trans. by Eric v.d. Luft. North Syracuse, NY: Gegensatz Press, 2010.

Stepelvich, Lawrence S., ed. The Young Hegelians: An Anthology. Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, 1997. [Originally published: Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

Stirner, Max. The Ego and His Own. Trans. by Steven T. Byington. New York; Benjamin R. Tucker, 1907.

------. The False Principle of Our Education: Or, Humanism and Realism. Trans. by Robert H. Beebe. Ed. by James J. Martin. Colorado Springs: Ralph Myles Publisher, Inc., 1967.

Strauss, David Friedrich. In Defense of My Life of Jesus against the Hegelians. Trans. and ed. by Marilyn Chapin Massey. Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1983.

-----. The Life of Jesus Critically Examined. Ed. by Peter C. Hodgson. Trans. by George Eliot. Ramsey, NJ: Sigler Press, 1994.

-----. The Old Faith & the New. Trans. by Mathilde Blind. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1997. 

-----. The Christ of Faith and the Jesus of History: A Critique of Schleiermacher's Life of Jesus. Trans. and ed. by Leander E. Keck. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977.

Secondary Sources

Avineri, Shlomo. Moses Hess: Prophet of Communism and Zionism. New York: New York University Press, 1985.

Barth, Karl. Protestant Thought: from Rousseau to Ritschl, translation of eleven chapters of Die protestantische Theologie im 19. Jahrhundert. Trans. By Brian Cozzens. New York: Harper & Row, 1959.

Beiser, Frederick C., ed.  The Cambridge Companion to Hegel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Brazill, W .J. The Young Hegelians. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970.

Breckman, Warren. Marx, the Young Hegelians, and the Origins of Radical Social Theory: Dethroning the Self. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Dematteis, Philip Breed. Individuality and the Social Organism: The Controversy between Max Stirner and Karl Marx. New York: Revisionist Press, 1976.

Hampsher-Monk, Iain. A History of Modern Political Thought: Major Political Thinkers From Hobbes to Marx. Oxford; Blackwell, 1992.

Hellman, Robert J. Berlin—The Red Room and White Beer: The 'Free' Hegelian Radicals in the 1840s. Washington, DC: Three Continents Press, 1990.

Hook, Sidney. From Hegel to Marx: Studies in the Intellectual Development of Karl Marx. New York: the Humanities Press, 1936, 1950. Rpt with new introduction. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1962.

Kouvelakis, Stathis. Philosophy and Revolution: From Kant to Marx. Trans by G. M. Goshgarian. London: Verso, 2003.

Liebich, André. Between Ideology and Utopia: The Politics and Philosophy of August Cieszkowski. Dordrecht: D. Reidel, 1978.

Lowith, Karl; translated by David E. Green. From Hegel to Nietzsche: The Revolution in Nineteenth-Century Thought. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1967. (Original German edition, 1941)

Mah, Harold. The End of Philosophy, the Origin of "Ideology": Karl Marx and the Crisis of the Young Hegelians. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.

Macintosh, Robert. Hegel and Hegelianism. Bristol: Thoemmes, 1990.

McLellan, David. The Young Hegelians and Karl Marx. New York: F. A. Praeger, 1969.

Moggach, Douglas, ed. The New Hegelians: Politics and Philosophy in the Hegelian School. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Moggach, Douglas. The Philosophy and Politics of Bruno Bauer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Paterson, R. W. K. The Nihilistic Egoist Max Stirner. : Oxford: Oxford University Press for the University of Hull, 1971. Rpt,: Aldershot: Gregg Revivals, 1993.

Ray, Matthew Alun. Subjectivity and Irreligion: Atheism and Agnosticism in Kant, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2003.

Roberts, Tyler T. Contesting Spirit: Nietzsche, Affirmation, Religion. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998.

Robertson, Ritchie. Heine. New York: Grove Press, 1988.

Rosen, Zvi. Bruno Bauer and Karl Marx. The Hague: Nijhoff, 1978.

Sass, Hans-Martin. “Bruno Bauer's Critical Theory.” Philosophical Forum 8 (1978): 93–103.

Silberner, Edmund. The Works Of Moses Hess; An Inventory of His Signed and Anonymous Publications, Manuscripts, and Correspondence. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1958.

-----. Moses Hess, An Annotated Bibliography. New York, B. Franklin, 1951.

Stepelevich, L. S., ed. The Young Hegelians: An Anthology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

Schweitzer, Albert. The Quest of the Historical Jesus. A Critical Study of its Progress from Reimarus to Wrede. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.

Thomas, Paul. Karl Marx and the Anarchists. London; Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980.

Toews, John Edward. Hegelianism: The Path toward Dialectical Humanism, 1805-1841. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980, 1985.

-----. "Transformations of Hegelianism, 1805-1846." In Beiser, Frederick C., ed. The Cambridge Companion to Hegel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, pp. 378-413.

Weiss, John. Moses Hess, Utopian Socialist. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1960.

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Bruno Bauer (1809-1882)

Bruno Bauer was a theologian and biblical scholar who in the late 1830s began to adopt a set of then radical positions relative to the Christian faith. Most notably he concluded that concluded that Jesus as a mythical personage and that Christianity owed more to ancient Greek philosophy, specifically Stoicism than to Judaism. By 1840, he had become an atheist and began to voice these opinions in his lectures at the University of Bonn. In 8142 his teaching license was revoked. He retired to a town outside Berlin and worked in his father’s tobacco shop. He continued to write, however, and paid to have his books published. His major work on biblical criticism appeared in 1850/52, A Critique of the Gospels and a History of their Origin.

Unfortunately, most of Bauer’s work has yet to be translated into English. Some hesitancy may be due to the implicit anti-Semitism of his basic thesis relative to the role of Judaism in the emergence of Christianity, which is also seen today as historically invalid.

Primary Sources

Bauer, Bruno. Christ and the Caesars: The Origin of Christianity from Romanized Greek Culture. Translation by Frank E. Schacht. Charleston, SC: A. Davidonis, 1998.

-----. An English edition of Bruno Bauer's 1843 Christianity Exposed: a recollection of the eighteenth century and a contribution to the crisis of the nineteenth century. Ed. by Paul Trejo. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2002.

-----. The Trumpet of the Last Judgement against Hegel the Atheist and Antichrist: An Ultimatum. Trans. by Lawrence Stepelevich. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1989.

Secondary Sources

Leopold, David. "The Hegelian Antisemitism of Bruno Bauer," History of European Ideas 25, 4 (1999).

Moggach, Douglas. The Philosophy and Politics of Bruno Bauer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Rosen, Zvi. Bruno Bauer and Karl Marx: The Influence of Bruno Bauer on Marx's Thought. The Hague: Nijhoff, 1977.

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Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872)

The German philosopher and anthropologist Ludwig Feuerbach had begun his education looking toward being a theologian. He was diverted to philosophy and attended the University of Berlin to study with Georg F. W. Hegel, the most eminent of the German philosophers of the day. After completing his education, he taught at Erlagen, but his career was cut short by the discovery of his having published an early anonymous text Thoughts on Death and Immortality (1830) in which he made the case that the individual human consciousness would be reabsorbed into the larger infinite consciousness after death. The conclusion of his argument was that belief in God and immortality were unnecessary. He added a variety of anti-religious statements to the text that infuriated his more conservative readers. Having been fired, he was unable to find further academic work.

Fortunately, he had married a wealthy young woman, and was able to pursue his career as an independent scholar. He contacted Arnold Ruge, editor of the journal, Hallische Jahrbücher für deutsche Wissenschaft und Kunst, which became the organ of the Young Hegelians, who saw in religion a collection of anti-progressive superstitions, and in monarchical government and blockade to freedom. The Young Hegelians attacked both. In 1841, Feuerbach published one of his most important books, The Essence of Christianity, in which he develops the idea that God does not have an existence independent of humans, God is ultimately the outward projection of humanity’s inward nature.

Feuerbach is often seen as carrying to its logical conclusion the theology of Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) who located the basic foundation of religion in the feeling of absolute dependence upon God. His internalizing of the reality of the individual’s consciousness of God provided the opening for redefining God and the creation of human experience.

Primary Sources

Feuerbach, Ludwig. The Essence of Christianity. Trans. by George Eliot. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1989.

-----.  The Essence of Faith According to Luther. Trans. by Melvin Cherno. New York: Harper & Row, 1967.

-----. The Fiery Brook: Selected Writings of Ludwig Feuerbach. Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1972.

-----.  Lectures on the Essence of Religion. Trans. by Ralph Manheim. New York: Harper & Row, 1967.

-----.  Principles of the Philosophy of the Future. Trans. by Manfred H. Vogel. Library of Liberal Arts. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1966.

-----. Thoughts on Death and Immortality from the Papers of a Thinker, along with an Appendix of Theological-Satirical Epigrams, Ed. by one of his friends. Trans. by James A. Massey. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.

-----. The Essence of Religion, Trans. by Alexander Loos. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2004.

Secondary Sources

Bulgakov, Sergei Nikolaevich, and Virgil R. Lang. Karl Marx as a Religious Type: His Relation to the Religion of Anthropothesism of L. Feuerbach. Trans. by  Luba Barna. Belmont, MA: Notable & Academic Book, 1980. 116 pp.

Cherno, Melvin, 1955, “Ludwig Feuerbach and the Intellectual Basis of Nineteenth Century Radicalism” Ph.D dissertation, Stanford University.

Engels, Friedrich and Karl Marx. The German Ideology, including Theses on Feuerbach. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1998. 571 pp.

Fiorenza, Francis Schössler. “Feuerbach's Interpretation of Religion and Christianity.” The Philosophical Forum 11, 2 (1979): 161–181.

Harvey, Van A. Feuerbach and the Interpretation of Religion, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

–––.  “Feuerbach on Religion as Construction.” In Sheila Greeve Davaney, ed. Theology at the End of Modernity: Essays in Honor of Gordon D. Kaufman. Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1991, pp. 249–268.

–––. “Feuerbach on Luther's Doctrine of Revelation.” The Journal of Religion 78, 1 (1998): 3–17.

–––. “Ludwig Feuerbach and Karl Marx.” In Ninian Smart, Patrick Sherry and Steven T. Katz, eds.  Religious Thought in the West. Vol 1. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986, pp. 291–328.

Kamenka, Eugene. The Philosophy of Ludwig Feuerbach. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1970.

Wartofsky, Marx. Feuerbach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977.

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Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Philologist and philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche remains one of the more controversial figures in German philosophy. His persistent and radical questioning of the value and objectivity of truth is but one characteristic that makes him difficult to classify. Trained in philology, he became a professor at Basel in Classical Philology in 1868 at the University of Basel. He was forced to resign due to health a decade later (1879) and toward the end of the 1880s was diagnosed with a mental illness. During his rather brief career, he left behind some classic works that continue to attract broad readership.

Nietzsche’s most productive period was just beginning when he had to leave Basel, the year that Human, All Too Human appeared. Over the next decade, at least one book appeared annually, though some were not well received by any audience at the time of their initial release. The 1880s would be highlighted by the appearance of the first part of The Gay Science (1882) and Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1882-83), which appeared in four parts each with a smaller printing than the former), Beyond Good and Evil (1886-1887), On the Genealogy of Morals (1887), Twilight of the Idols (1888) and The Antichrist (1888).

Among the most provocative of Nietzsche’s insights was his observation that "God is dead," which occurred most notably in The Gay Science. According to Nietzsche, the secularization of the modern world has left no place for God. The Christian God, who supplied the foundation and meaning for Western culture, had simply faded away. This statement gained additional significance in light of the past situation. Prior to the sixteenth century, it had been relatively impossible for Westerners to conceive of a universe without God. Most of his contemporaries dismissed Nietzsche, but his writing would influence some and steadily gain respect through the twentieth century, as sociology grew and ascribed added meaning to the growing phenomenon of secularization. Nietzsche’s idea would, of course, give its name to the “Death of God” movement in Christian theology in the 1960s.

Nietzsche remains one of the most interesting figures in philosophy. Arguments remain over whether he was himself an atheist or merely a sophisticated social observer, whether his works constitute philosophy or mere cultural commentary, and whether his ideas have value given the negative twists placed on them by a variety of twentieth-century social movements. 

Bibliographically, see William H. Schaberg’s The Nietzsche Canon: a Publication History and Bibliography (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1996). An online bibliography posted by the Philosophy Department at Wright State University can be found at

Primary Sources

Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Antichrist. Trans. by Walter Kaufmann. In The Portable Nietzsche. Ed. by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Viking Press, 1968.

-----. Beyond Good and Evil. Trans. by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Random House, 1966.

-----.  The Birth of Tragedy and The Case of Wagner. Trans. by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Random House, 1967.

-----. The Gay Science, with a Prelude of Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs. Trans. by  Walter Kaufmann. New York: Random House, 1974.

-----. On the Genealogy of Morals and ecce Homo. Trans. by Walter Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale. New York: Random House, 1967.

-----. The Portable Nietzsche. Ed. By Walter Kaufmann. New York: Viking Press, 1968.

-----. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. trans. Walter Kaufmann, in The Portable Nietzsche. New York: Viking Press, 1968.

-----. The Will to Power. Trans. by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Random House, 1967.

Secondary Sources

Gillespie, Michael. Nihilism Before Nietzsche. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

Gilman, Sander L, ed. Conversations with Nietzsche: A Life in the Words of his Contemporaries. Trans. by David J. Parent. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.

Green, Michael. Nietzsche and the Transcendental Tradition. Champaign IL: University of Illinois Press, 2002.

Hatab, Lawrence J. Nietzsche's Life Sentence: Coming to Terms with Eternal Recurrence. London: Routledge, 2005.

Hayman, Ronald. Nietzsche, a Critical Life. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.

Higgins, Kathleen Marie. Comic Relief: Nietzsche's Gay Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

–––. Nietzsche's “Zarathustra” Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987.

Hollingdale, R. J. Nietzsche: The Man and His Philosophy. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1965.

 Kaufmann, Walter.  Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974.

Lampert, Laurence. Nietzsche's Teaching: An Interpretation of “Thus Spoke Zarathustra.” New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987.

–––. Nietzsche's Task: An Interpretation of “Beyond Good and Evil”. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001.

Leiter, Brian. Routledge Guidebook to Nietzsche on Morality. London: Routledge, 2002.

Löwith, Karl. From Hegal to Nietzsche: The Revolution in Nineteenth-Century Thought. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964.

Magnus, Bernd, and Kathleen M. Higgins (eds.), 1996, The Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Oliver, Kelly, and Marilyn Pearsall (eds.), 1998, Feminist Interpretations of Friedrich Nietzsche (Re-reading the Canon). University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998.

Ray, Matthew Alun. Subjectivity and Irreligion: Atheism and Agnosticism in Kant, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2003.

Richardson, John. Nietzsche's System. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.

–––. Nietzsche's New Darwinism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Rosen, Stanley. The Mask of Enlightenment: Nietzsche's Zarathustra. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Safranski, Ruediger. Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography. Trans. by Shelley Frisch. New York: W.W. Norton, 2002.

Salomé, Lou, 1894, Nietzsche. Ed. and trans. by Siegfried Mandel. Redding Ridge, CT: Black Swan Books, Ltd., 1994.

Scott, Jacqueline, and A. Todd Franklin, eds. Critical Affinities: Nietzsche and African American Thought. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007.

Stauffer, Jill, and Bettina Bergo, eds. Nietzsche and Levinas: After the Death of a Certain God. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008.

Stern, J. P. A Study of Nietzsche. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979.

Williams, Stephen. The Shadow of the Antichrist: Nietzsche's Critique of Christianity. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006. 320 pp.

Young, Julian. Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

–––. Nietzsche's Philosophy of Religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

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Karl Marx and Marxism

Karl Marx (21818-1883) grew up in a German Jewish home. As a college student in Berlin, he associated himself with the Young Hegelians. Unable to find a job at a university, he went into journalism. He moved to Paris in 1843 and began to combine the radical Hegelian philosophy with French socialism. He met Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) and they developed a life-long friendship and literary collaboration. The pair became the major theoreticians of an emerging Communist movement. In 1847, they produced the Communist Manifesto, which served to project Marx’s followers as a significant element in the anti-monarchical revolutions that appeared in several European countries in 1848.  Marx had returned to Germany to participate in the revolution there, but in 1849 was forced out of the country and would spend the rest of his life in exile in England. Engels partially supported him with money from his family’s business in Manchester.

In London, he completed the work for which he is largely remembers, the three volume study of the economic structure of society, Capital (1867). Meanwhile he worked on the building of the Communist International movement, founded in 1864. He died March 14, 1883, and was buried at London’s famous Highgate Cemetery. Shortly after Marx’s death, Engels published one of his more important book, The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State (1884) and then worked on editing the manuscripts of the second and third volumes of Capital and saw to their publication.

Though they saw the emergence of a large international following, neither Marx nor Engels lived to see their ideas put into actions. That would come with their twentieth century students, most notably Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924), Mao Zedong, (aka Mao Tse-tung, 1893-1976), and Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969). The pair did however, set in motion a current of atheist thought that became and remains the largest form of Western atheism, relative to the number of adherents.

Though he had a much more sophisticated view of religion, Marx is well-known for his statement that religion is the opiate of the people, something that puts them to sleep relative to their best interests in opposing autocracy. As Marx and Engels generally opposed state-aligned churches that used their position to support autocracy, so they praised those movements that aligned with the proletariat as they understood it and seemed to contribute to the upward rise of people who challenged the state’s arbitrary rule. Marxist governments have tended to lose that more sophisticated approach to religion and oppose all religion as counter-evolutionary.

For a more expansive bibliography than is possible here, see Cecil L. Eubanks. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: An Analytical Bibliography. (New York: Garland Publishing, 1984): 299 pp.

Primary Sources

Engels, Friedrich. The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State: in the light of the researches of Lewis H. Morgan. Moscow: International Publishers, 1972. 274 pp.

-----, and Karl Marx. The German Ideology, including Theses on Feuerbach. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1998. 571 pp.

Marx, Karl. Karl Marx: Selected Writings. Ed. by David McLellan. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

-----, Marx on Religion. Ed by John Raines. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2002. 242 pp.

-----. On Religion.  Ed. by Saul K. Padover. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1974. The Karl Marx Library5.

-----, and Friedrich Engels, Collected Works. New York and London: International Publishers. 1975.

-----, and Friedrich Engels. 1978. The Marx-Engels Reader. Ed. by R. C. Tucker. New York: Norton, 1978.

-----, and Friedrich Engels. On Religion. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1957. Rpt.: Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2008.

-----, and Friedrich Engels. Selected Works.  2 vols. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1962.

Secondary Sources

Aveling, Edward. “Charles Darwin and Karl Marx: a Comparison.” New Century Review 1 (1897): 232 ff.

Avineri, Shlomo. The Social and Political Thought of Karl Marx. Cambridge University Press, 1968.

Isaiah Berlin. Karl Marx: His Life and Environment. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963.

Bulgakov, Sergei Nikolaevich, and Virgil R. Lang. Karl Marx as a Religious Type: His Relation to the Religion of Anthropothesism of L. Feuerbach. Trans. by  Luba Barna. Belmont, MA: Notable & Academic Book, 1980. 116 pp.

Caplan, A. L., and B. Jennings, eds. Darwin, Marx, and Freud. Their Influence on Moral Theory. New York and London, 1984.

Carlton, Grace. Friedrich Engels: The Shadow Prophet. London: Pall Mall Press, 1965.

Carver, Terrell, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Marx. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

-----. Friedrich Engels: His Life and Thought. London: Macmillan, 1989.

Goldstein, Warren S. Marx, Critical Theory, and Religion: A Critique of Rational Choice. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2009.

Green, John. Engels: A Revolutionary Life. London: Artery Publications, 2008.

Henderson, W. O. The Life of Friedrich Engels. London : Cass, 1976.

Hook, Sidney. From Hegel to Marx. New York: Humanities Press, 1950.

Hunt, Tristram. The Frock-Coated Communist: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels. London: Allen Lane, 2009.

Kamenka, Eugene. The Ethical Foundations of Marxism London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962.

Kolakowski, Leszek. Main Currents of Marxism. 3 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978.

Lukes, Stephen. Marxism and Morality. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978.

Mckown, Delos. The Classical Marxist Critiques of Religion: Marx, Engels, Lenin, Kautsky. Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1975.

McLellan, David. Karl Marx: His Life and Thought. New York: Harper & Row, 1973.

Norris, Russel. God, Marx, and the Future: Dialogue with Roger Garaudy. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1974.

Tucker, Robert. Philosophy and Myth in Karl Marx. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967.

Wheen, Francis. Marx's Das Kapital. London: Atlantic Books, 2006.

Wise, Rick B. A. Religion & Marx. Austin, TX: American Atheist Press, 1988. 268 pp.

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Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924)

Revolutionary architect Vladimir Ilyich Lenin grounded Karl Marx’s abstract ideas and turned them into a successful program for seizing control of a country and turning it into a working model of a proletarian republic. Of noble Russian background, much of Lenin’s revision of Marx concerned the role that intellectuals have in educating the working class and in taking the lead in creating the revolution, the vanguard of the working class. The working class will not of themselves rise up and take control of the state and the means of production.

Lenin’s revisions to Marx and the subsequent rise of the Soviet Union opened the gate for a spectrum of variations on Marxist themes, many prompted by the need to solve real problems in running a country.

Lenin’s institution of anti-religious policies and his suppression of the Russian Orthodox Church have opened a debate over the relationship of atheism, the Soviet Union’s policies on religion, and the many deaths of religious people during the time that Lenin and his successors, especially Joseph Stalin (r.1922-1953) were in office. While atheists have attempted to attribute the brutalities of especially the Stalin years to other than atheist ideological commitments, the debate continues, with no signs of reaching an immediate resolution.

Primary Sources

Lenin, Vladimir Ilich. Collected Works. 47 vols. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1960-1980.

-----. Essential Works of Lenin: "What Is to Be Done?" and Other Writings. New York:  BN Publishing, 2009. 384 pp.

-----. The Lenin Anthology. Ed. by Robert C. Tucker. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1975.  768 pp.

-----. Selected Works. 3 vols. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1967.

Secondary Sources

Carrère d'Encausse, Hélène. Lenin. New York: Holmes & Meier, 2001.

-----. Lenin: Revolution and Power. London: Longman, 1982.

Claudin-Urondo, Carmen. Lenin and the Cultural Revolution. Sussex and Totowa, New Jersey: Harvester Press/Humanities Press, 1977.

Cliff, Tony. Lenin. London: Pluto Press, 1979.

Gabel, Paul. And God Created Lenin: Marxism vs. Religion in Russia, 1917-1929. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2005. 627 pp.

Harding, Neil. Lenin's Political Thought. 2 vols. London: Macmillan, 1981.

Harding, Neil.  Leninism. London: Macmillan, 1991.

Krupskaya, Nadezhda. Memories of Lenin. London: Panther, 1970.

Lewin, Moshe. Lenin's Last Struggle. New York: Random House, 1968.

Pipes, Richard. The Unknown Lenin. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1996.

Read, Christopher. Lenin: A Revolutionary Life. London: Routledge, 2003.

Service, Robert. Lenin: A Political Life. 3 vols. London: Macmillan, 1994.

Service, Robert. Lenin—A Biography. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000. Rpt. London: Pan books, 2010. 561 pp.

Shub, David. Lenin. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966.

Thrower, James, and Maxine Rodinson. Marxist-Leninist Scientific Atheism and the Study of Religion and Atheism in the USSR. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1983. 500 pp.

Ulam, Adam. Lenin and the Bolsheviks. London: Fontana/Collins, 1969.

Volkogonov, Dmitri. Lenin: A New Biography. New York: Free Press, 1994.

Volkogonov, Dmitril. Lenin: Life and Legacy, ed. Harold Shukman. London: Harper Collins, 1995.

Weber, Gerda, and Weber, Hermann. Lenin: Life and Work. London: Macmillan, 1980.

White, James. Lenin: The Practice and Theory of Revolution. London: Palgrave, 2000.

Williams, Beryl. Lenin. London: Harlow Longman, 2000.

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Developing Marxism—the Soviet Union and China

The success of the Bolshevik and then the Chinese Revolution set the stage for the spread of Marxist thought globally. Marxism in turn became the vehicle for the rapid spread of both non-theistic and anti-religious views, the later often emerging in a program of forceful suppression of religious belief and activity. In the west, Marxist perspective were almost always atheistic and dismissive of religion, but rarely accompanied by a program of active suppression of religious groups.

The citations below sample the literature on post-revolutionary Marxism especially in relation to issues of atheism and religion. The rise of the Soviet Union led to the establishment of atheism as a state-backed perspective, the suppression of religion through the growing territory under Soviet hegemony, and then the global rise of atheism among the admirers of the soviet experiment. The most notable extension came in China following the coming to power of the Maoist forces. Equally important for modern atheist history has been the reversal of fortunes suffered by the atheist cause with the fall of the Soviet Union and the subsequent revival of the Russian Orthodox Church and the steady growth of religion (including Islam) in post-Soviet lands.

The Chinese Revolution led to a period of massive suppression of all outward expression of religion in China during what was termed the Cultural Revolution. At the end of the 1970s, however, china ended its harshest measures against religion (except in Tibet), and the last generation has seen a remarkable recovery by Buddhism (the largest religious community in China), Islam (in the northwest), and Christianity (in the more populated eastern provinces along the Pacific Ocean from Shanghai to Hong Kong). While atheism remains the policy of the state, significant steps to accommodating religion have been made as China recovered from the near bankruptcy during the last years that Mao was in power.


Bercken, William van den. Ideology and Atheism in the Soviet Union. Berlin: Mouton, 1989.

Froese, Paul. “Forced Secularisation in Soviet Russia: Why an Atheistic Monopoly Failed.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 40, 1 (2004): 35-50.

Gabel, Paul. And God Created Lenin: Marxism vs. Religion in Russia, 1917-1929. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2005. 627 pp.

Hormel, Leontina M.. “Atheism and Secularity in the Former Soviet Union.” In Phil Zuckerman, ed. Atheism and Secularity. 2 vols. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2009, pp. 45-71. Includes an extensive bibliography.

Husband, William B. Godless Communists: Atheism and Society in Soviet Russia, 1917-1932. Rockford, IL:  Northern Illinois University Press, 2003.

Kline, George Louis, (1921). Religious and Anti-religious Thought in Russia.  Chicago, University of Chicago Press [1968]

MacInnis, Donald E.. Religion in China Today: Policy & Practices. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1989. 458 pp.

March, Christopher. Religion and the State in Russia and China: Suppression, Survival, and Revival. New York: Continuum (January 15, 2011. 288 pp.

Overmyer, Daneil L., ed. Religion in China Today. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 235 pp.

Peris, Daniel. Storming the Heavens: The Soviet League of the Militant Godless. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998. 238 pp.

Petrovic, Gajo. Karl Marx in the Mid-Twentieth Century. New York: Anchor Books, 1967.

Pospielovsky, Dimitry. A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Antireligious Policies. London: Macmillan, 1987.

Pospielovsky, Dimitry. Soviet Antireligious Campaigns and Persecutions. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan, 1988.

Qizheng, Zhao, and Luis Palau.  Riverside Talks a Friendly Dialogue Between and Atheist and a Christian. Beijing: New World Press, 2006. 140 pp.

Sher, Gerson, ed. Marxist Humanism and Praxis. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1980.

Stumme, Wayne. Christians and the Many Faces of Marxism. Minneapolis: Augsburg Press, 1984.

Thrower, James, and Maxine Rodinson. Marxist-Leninist Scientific Atheism and the Study of Religion and Atheism in the USSR. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1983. 500 pp.

Tong, Liang. “Atheism and Secularity in China.” In Phil Zuckerman, ed. Atheism and Secularity. 2 vols. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2009, pp. 197-221.

Yu, Anthony C. State and Religion in China: Historical and Textual Perspectives. Chicago: Open Court, 2005. 192 pp.

Yu, Harzhang, and Wang Yousan, ed. The History of Atheism in China. Beijing: China Social Sciences Press, 1992.

Zhuffeng, Luo, ed. Religion under Socialism in China. Trans. by Donald E. MacInnis and Zheng Xi’an. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1991. 254 pp.

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Marxist thought attracted numerous thinkers through the twentieth century. Almost all were non-theists of one form or the other, and atheism was assumed in their writings. At the same time, politics and economics were far more important that religious issues and a relatively small percent of their writings directly dealt with the subject of the existence of god and/or argued for or against a role for religion in the world. This list concentrates on Marxist comments relevant to the basic issues surrounding their atheism.


Bleich, Harold. Philosophy of Herbert Marcuse. Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1977.

Hook, Sidney. From Hegel to Marx: Studies in the Intellectual Development of Karl Marx. New York: John Day Co., 1936.

-----. ed. The Meaning of Marx. New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1934. 88 pp. A [Symposium with contributions by Bertrand Russell, John Dewey, Morris R. Cohen, Sherwood Eddy, and Sidney Hook.

-----. Toward the Understanding of Karl Marx: A Revolutionary Interpretation. New York: John Day Co., 1933.

Neilsen, Kai. Marxism And The Moral Point Of View: Morality, Ideology, And Historical Materialism. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1988. 302 pp.

Phelps, Christopher. Young Sidney Hook: Marxist and Pragmatist. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, 1997. 2nd ed.: Lansing, MI:  University of Michigan Press, 2005.

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Freud, Psychoanalysis, and Religion

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), a neurologist residing in Vienna, Austria, developed psychoanalysis as a means of treating patients through exploration of the unconscious using conversations between the psychologist and patient as the primary technique. Success came as the patient was able to balance the needs of the various elements of the psyche—the ego, id, and superego. In the process of developing psychoanalysis, Freud offered a map of the interior world of the individual that became widely though far from universally accepted.

Freud’s early exploration of the unconscious produced a purely mundane understanding of the forces shaping the individual and led to a severe critique of traditional understandings of the spiritual realm as presented in both Christianity and Freud’s own Jewish tradition. In its simplest form, religion was seen as an illusion and God as a projection of unresolved issues with a child’s father. He drew heavily on the nineteenth century explorations of “primitive” peoples still living in tribal cultures, which he then reinterpreted through the psychoanalytic lens. 

While Freud seemed to be revising his opinions of religion in his later life, the earlier works, which became available in English in the years between the two world wars, became the dominant literature in the burgeoning field of psychotherapy and dominated the field through the twentieth century. It would suffer in the late twentieth century from a lack of evidential base and the general critique of Freud from other weaknesses in his work, not the least being the male orientation of his overall analysis. This later reappraisal of Freud does not lessen the understanding of his influence on the understanding of religion and his role in supporting the spread of atheistic views of reality. As Marx had attacked the outward trapping of religion and its social impact, so Freud undermined the individual’s claim to inner spirituality.

All of Freud’s writings on religion are included in what is now the Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud published by Hogarth Press, but the major texts are also available in multiple reprint editions.

Primary Sources

Freud, Sigmund. “An autobiographical study.” Standard Edition, 20 (1925): 3-74.

-----. Civilization and Its Discontents. 1930. New York: Norton, 1961. 121 pp. Included in the Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. Trans. and ed. by James Strachey. Vol. 21. London: Hogarth Press, 1961.

-----. The Future of an Illusion. Trans. by W.D. Robson-Scott. New York: Liveright, 1928, 1953. 98 pp.  Included in the Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. Trans. and ed. by James Strachey. Vol. 21. London: Hogarth Press, 1961.

-----. Moses and Monotheism. London, The Hogarth Press and The Institute of Psychoanalysis, 1939. 223 pp. Trans. of Der Mann Moses und die Monotheistische Religion. 1939. Standard Edition, 23,

-----. "A Religious Experience.” 1928. Included in the Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. Trans. and ed. by James Strachey. Vol. 21. London: Hogarth Press, 1961.

-----. Totem and Taboo: Resemblances Between the Psychic Lives of Savages and Neurotics. New York, Dodd, [1928]. 268 pp. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1950. 172 pp. 

Secondary Sources

Bakan, David. Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition, Princeton, NJ: D. Van Nostrand Company, 1958.  Rpt.: New York, Schocken Books, 1965. 

Bergmann, M. S “Moses and the Evolution of Freud’s Jewish Identity.” In M. Ostow, ed. Judaism and psychoanalysis. New York: KTAV, 1982. (First published, 1976.)

Bettelheim, Bruno. Freud and Man’s Soul. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982.

Brock, Charles.. Freud and Religion. Farmington Papers. Philosophy of Religion 6. Oxford: Farmington Institute for Christian Studies, 2000.

Capps, Donald, ed. Freud and Freudians on Religion: A Reader. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001. 366 pp.

Clark, Ronald W. Freud: The Man and the Cause: A Biography. New York: Random House, Inc., 1980. 652 pp.

Crews, F. C. Unauthorized Freud: doubters confront a legend. New York, Viking 1998.

DiCenso, James. TheOtherFreud: Religion, Culture, andPsychoanalysis. New York: Routledge, 1999.

Drobin, F. A. Freud and Religion: A psycho-historical view. New York: New York University, M. A. thesis, 1978.

Dufresne, T. Killing Freud. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2003.

Eysenck, H. J. The Decline and Fall of the Freudian Empire, Washington D C: Scott-Townsend Publishers, 1990.

Fromm, Erich. Psychoanalysis and Religion. New haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1959. 128 pp.

Gay, Peter. Freud: A Life for Our Time. New York: Norton, 1988. 810 pp.

-----. A Godless Jew: Freud, Atheism, and the Making of Psychoanalysis. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1989. 182 pp.

Grollman, E. A. Judaism in Sigmund Freud’s World. New York: Block, 1965.

Irwin, J. E. G. "Pfister and Freud: The Rediscovery of a Dialogue." Journal of Religion and Health 12 (1973): 315–327.

Jaffe, Martin D. The Primal Instinct: How Biological Security Motivates Behavior, Promotes Morality, Determines Authority, and Explains Our Search for a God. Amherst, NY: Humanity Books2010. 100 pp.

Jones, Ernest. The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud. 3 vols. New York: Basic Books, 1953-57.

Kaplan, Gregory, and William B. Parsons, eds. Disciplining Freud on Religion: Perspectives from the Humanities and Sciences. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010. 248 pp.

Kung, Hans. Freud and the Problem of God. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990. Terry Lectures 41.

LaPiere, R. T. The Freudian Ethic: An Analysis of the Subversion of Western Character.  Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1974.

Meissner, W.W. Psychoanalysis and Religious Experience. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1984.

Meng, Heinrich, and Freud, Ernst L., eds. Psychoanalysis and Faith: The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Oskar Pfister, trans. Eric Mosbacher. New York: Basic Books, 1963.

Nicholi, Armand M., Jr. The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life. New York: Free Press, 2003. 304 pp.

Oehlschlegel, L. “Regarding Freud’s Book on ‘Moses’—a religio-psychoanalytic study.” Psychoanalytic Review 30 (1943): 67-76.

Ostow, M., ed. Judaism and psychoanalysis. New York: KTAV, 1982. 305 pp.

Palmer Michael. FreudandJungonReligion. New York: Routledge, 1997.

Pfister, Oskar. "Die Illusion einer Zukunft" ("The Illusion of the Future"). Imago 14 (1928): 149–184; English translation published in International Journal of Psychoanalysis 74 (1993): 557–579.

Rainey, R. M. Freud as a Student of Religion: Perspectives on the background and development of his thought. Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1975.

Ray, Darrell R. The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture. IPC Press, 2009. 241 pp.

Rieff, Philip. Freud: The Mind of the Moralist. 3d ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979.

Rizzuto, Ana-Maria. “Freud, God, the Devil and the Theory of Object Representation.” International Review of Psychoanalysis, 3 (1976):165-180.

-----. Why Did Freud Reject God?: A Psychodynamic Interpretation. New haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998. 320 pp.

Scharfenberg, Joachim, and O. C. Dean. Sigmund Freud and his Critique of Religion. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988.

Scharnberg, Max. The Non-authentic Nature of Freud's Observations. Stockholm, Sweden: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1993.

Stannard, D. E. Shrinking History: On Freud and the Failure of Psychohistory Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980.

Vitz, P. C. “Sigmund Freud's Attraction to Christianity: Biographical Evidence.” Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought, 6 (1983): 73-183.

-----. “The Psychology of Atheism.” Truth 1 (1985): 29-36.

-----, and J. Gartner. “Christianity and Psychoanalysis. Part 1: Jesus as the Anti-Oedipus.” Journal of Psychology and Theology 12 (1984): 4-14.

-----, and J. Gartner. “Christianity and Psychoanalysis, Part 2: Jesus as Transformer of the Super-ego.” Journal of Psychology and Theology, 12 (1984): 82-90.

Webster, Richard. Why Freud Was Wrong: Sin, Science, and Psychoanalysis Basic Books, 1995

Westphal, Merold. Suspicion and Faith: The Religious Uses of Modern Atheism. New York: Fordham University Press, 1999. 296 pp.

Wright, Jack, Jr. Freud's War with God: Psychoanalysis vs. Religion. Lafayette, LA: Huntington House, 1994. 128 pp.

Zilboorg, G. Psychoanalysis and Religion. New York: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, 1962.

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