Marx and Engels quite often turned to the theme of religion and it is not at all accidental. They were convinced that criticism of society begins with criticism of religion, as the most vivid reflection of the essence of society itself. Already in the earliest works, they attacked venerable philosophers for their religious positions. First of all, it needs to draw attention to three essential things before analyzing their work. In previous works I paid much attention to prominent philosophers on three issues: the origin of Christ, in which some of them questioned its existence in principle, others prove the existence of God, others denied this being. Neither Marx nor Engels dealt with such questions in details. I suppose, for the following reasons.
By the middle of the 19th century, the theme of the "existence" of God has ceased to be relevant in the sense that after the century of the Enlightenment (the 18th century) few of the educated people believed in this legend. In regard to Jesus Christ as a historical personality, there arose a difference of opinion: some believed that there was no such person in the physical sense, but a generalized image, others – perhaps, but not as a god. These themes were detailed in the works of David Strauss, Ernest Renan and most convincingly in Bruno Bauer’s. For Marx and Engels, the historicity of Christ in itself did not have much significance, since they analyzed not the person, but Christianity itself, its origin and influence on the course of social development. From this point of view, in principle, it did not matter whether Christ existed or not.
Marx and Engels about religion