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The Essence of Christianity

By: Ludwig Feuerbach

This book is the foundation of modern atheism. There is scarcely any argument used today by atheists against the existence of God that Feuerbach had not already discussed in this masterpiece, first published in 1841.

Taking issue with Hegel's sense that God, as Logos, is somehow central to all that is, Feuerbach explores his own notion that Christianity, as religion, grew quite naturally from ordinary human observation. Only upon deeper, systematic reflection did people postulate a divine source--God. Religious teaching which loses sight of its own essential rootedness in human experience runs the risk becoming overly abstract, disconnected even, from realities which shape humanity and which impart meaning and dignity to life. Fuerbach illustrates this not only on the example of the doctrine of God, but also with respect to creation, prayer, miracles, Trinitarianism, sacramentalism, and other dogmas at the core of Christianity.


God is an illusion; God is a delusion; God is a projection of mankind's best qualities unto a creator; God is a father-figure meant to protect us from an uncertain and dangerous world. God, in short, does not exist in a material sense. Why is it, then, that most atheists have never heard of Feuerbach, who has an audience of admirers restricted largely to philosophers and theologians?

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Ludwig Feuerbach

United Kingdom

Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach was a German anthropologist and philosopher, best known for his book The Essence of Christianity, which provided a critique of Christianity that strongly influenced genera...

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