The Perspectives of Marx and Engels Upon the Role of Religion Essay

The Perspectives of Marx and Engels Upon the Role of Religion Essay

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The concept of religion is a contentious terrain with the subject being viewed as divisive and accordant within Nations. Beckford and Luckmann (1989) discuss religion as a continuous challenge to scientists studying society. Since the industrial revolution there has been ambivalent dichotomy towards religion with some perceiving religious ideology continuing as normal, whilst others believed the concept would be discarded as the new social order developed. This work will consider the perspectives of Marx and Engels upon the role of Religion and will cover the following topics: Marx and his importance in the science of Sociology, Marx and Engels ideology and how they move away from the philosophy of Hegel and thirdly, Marx and Engels perspective on Religion by using the basis of the dogma as being a human phenomenon. This essay will also define the metaphor of base, superstructure, the theories of alienation and how these theories tie in with Marx and Engels religious premise. Finally this essay will discuss the relevance of their argument within contemporary society.
Karl Marx a macro-sociologist was revered as one of the founding fathers of sociological discipline along with Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and George Simmel. Karl Marx 1843 – 1883 was a dazzling philosopher, economist, journalist and political agitator. Frederick Engels 1820 -1895 was the son of a successful cotton manufacturer and sent by his father to manage one of his mills in Manchester. Engels was appalled by the impoverished condition of the workers thus provoking him to write about their plight. He then sent work to Marx for publication in his newspaper. From this, there lifelong friendship and collaboration developed. Engels supported Marx financially for the...


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CALHOUN, C.J., 2007. Classical sociological theory. 2 edn. Oxford: Blackwell Pub.
DAVIE, G., 2007. The sociology of religion. London: SAGE Publications.
HANDS, G., 2005. MARX, A Beginner's Guide. 6 edn. London: Hodder & Stoughton.
LAW, A., 2011. Key concepts in classical social theory. London: SAGE Publications.
MARSH, I., KEATING, M., PUNCH, S. and HARDEN, J., 2009. Sociology, Making sense of society. 4th edn. London: Pearson Education.
MARX, K., ENGELS, F. and JONES, G.S., 2002. Communist Manifesto with and introduction by by Gareth Stedamnd Jones. 29 edn. London: Penguin Books.
OLLMAN, B., 1976. Alienation: Marx's conception of man in capitalist society. 2 edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

WILDER-SMITH, A.E., 1975. Man's origin, man's destiny: a critical survey of the principles of evolution and Christianity. Bethany House.

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