A Marxist Who Speaks About God: Reflections on Max Adler’s Religiosity and Jewish Sensitivity

In: The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy

Abstract

This paper examines Max Adler’s philosophical thought, in order to elucidate how he was able to spot a religious meaning in the materialistic conception of history and to understand his connection to Judaism. The first part expounds on how the prominence of religious issues was perceived in the Marxist milieu; the second part analyzes Adler’s particular position, above all in harmony with Kantian philosophy; and the third part brings out the essential differences between Adler’s and Kant’s ideas on religion. Finally the paper shows how Adler’s hope in an ultramundane salvation of mankind separates his interpretation from Jewish messianism.

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