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Marx's views on the social function of religion

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  • Essay length: 2412 words
  • Submitted: 30/05/2009
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University Degree Miscellaneous

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Week 1 Question 1

What does Marx think is the social function of religion? What function must a critique of religion ultimately serve?

Anna Lewis

Z3189819

Due: 2 April, 2009

Word Count: 1891

Marx never wrote from a theologian or religious theorist's point of view, he was a humanist with an ideology that explained the alienation of man. Marx evolved a philosophy, which fitted in with working class ideas and added to it a prophecy, which suited working class aspirations.1 Marx's philosophy on religion is neither complete nor comprehensive; however, this essay intends to provide a broad overview providing a synthesis of his key arguments and analysis of the strength and weaknesses of his viewpoint. This essay will firstly analyse the functions of religion as contemplated by Marx, specifically considering the proliferation and development of religion, the relief it offered, it use in maintaining the status quo, and ultimately with the development of communist society religion would 'wither away.' Further, the functions of a Marxist critique will be considered including feeing alienated man from the repression of religion, the fulfilment of Marx's prophecy, whether faith existed before alienation and finally the effect of restricting

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