Christianity Exposed

Bruno Bauer


Table of Contents

Commendatory Preface i

Editor’s Introduction iii

Author’s Introduction 1

1.0. Hell 5

    1.1. The Fatalism of Religious Consciousness 5

    1.2. The Insecurity of Religious Consciousness 8

    1.3. The Fear and Constraint of Religious Consciousness 12

    1.4. The Violence of Revelation 15

    1.5. The Misfortune of Religious Consciousness 17

    1.6. The Game of Arbitrariness . 21

2.0. The Devil 25

3.0. Lovable Religion 31

4.0. Religious Impertinence 37

5.0. Wickedness of Theological Apologetics 41

6.0. Privileged Truth 49

7.0. The Last Judgment 53

8.0. Hatred Toward Science and Secularism 57

9.0. Indolence and Hypochondria 61

10.0. Christian Virginity 63

11.0. Self Love 67

12.0. Unnatural Contradictions of Religion 73

13.0. The Distorted World 77

14.0. The State 79

15.0. Impotence of Believers 83

16.0. Theological Style 87

    16.1. Declamation 87

    16.2. Theological Assertion 90

    16.3. Theological Irritation 92

    16.4. Theological Jesuitism and Drivel 95

    16.5. The Irnpeninence of Drivel 98

17.0. Self-Deification 101

18.0 Materialism 105

19.0. The Last Supports of Religion 113

20.0. Angry Gods 117

Appendix - Chronology Of Bruno Bauer 119

Bibliography 121

Index 123



Author’s Introduction

The atheistic Enlightenment of the eighteenth century is as memorable through the manner of its origin and influence on political transformation as through its fall and its recent revival. This revival will enable it to finally accomplish its task. Precisely this atheistic Enlightenment, not the Deistic, and the atheistic only in terms of its immortal parts, will form the content of the following work.

It rose from the unification of Spinozism with the humanized, Deistic Enlightenment of Englishmen—who had become more mobile, brave and universal through Voltaire. It appeared invincible. Every well-informed person vowed in advance that he would let the world go to pieces. At the same time there seemed to be no doubt that the atheistic Enlightenment would be able to create a new shape of the world.

Spinozism gave a new horizon to the limited Deistic Enlightenment. He liberated it from its religious bias and halted its erratic stumbling by declaring the Enlightenment a system. On the other hand, Voltaire’s Enlightenment gave more mobility to Spinoza’s simplistic view of the cosmos. He also gave it the means to break up the religious system into its single parts. The product of their association seemed inevitably invincible. Still it was overthrown by a simple Decree at the moment when its victory seemed assured. It seemed inevitable that it would become a common human good and still it was brought to oblivion through the Restoration.

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The English Deistic Enlightenment and the French atheistic Enlightenment differ as much as the English and the French Revolutions. In the English Revolution religious fanaticism was the tool of the movement. It searched for freedom in the past and looked in yellowed parchments for the protection of its rights. In the French Revolution liberty emancipated itself from religious Jesuitism and did not search for its rights in the night of the past, but in the eternal right. This right had not been known in the past and only independent science was able to discover it.

The historical progress from the hypocrisy and dreary partiality of the English Revolution to the French Revolution was the transition from night to day. English Deism wanted to remain religious and wanted to ascertain for us the pure religion of antiquity. Its finding that true and pure Christianity was as old as the world itself it regarded as its masterpiece and as the proof of its correctness.

The French atheistic Enlightenment proved that religion in general is the self-obscuring of the human mind. It taught the human mind to know itself, its truths and its former falsehoods. The French Rrevolution is the bright day that followed the foggy morning of Deism.

Even so, Robespierre was able to cloud the bright light of the day by a resolution that there was a highest Being. Even so, Napoleon was able to make an accord with the Pope. The Restoration was able to totally suppress the light for a certain time, but this was only because the people did not long for anything else, that is, in combination with their common fear of freedom. Not forever! The downtrodden mind arose with strengthened elasticity to complete what French atheism was not able to accomplish. It fought the final fight with anti-spiritual, anti-human, mindless and the whole past of man's inhumanity to man.

From where did the weakness of the French Enlightenment come? What is the origin of its fall and sinking during the time of the Restoration? We shall try to

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answer this question in a later work that will deal with a history of the beginning, progress, rise and fall of the complete Enlightenment of the eighteenth century. By the present work we hope to prove that this question is worthy of being raised and that its answer is meaningful, especially today. We hope to prove this by letting the atheism of the eighteenth century and modern criticism fight as allies the very Christian Restoration.

Of the eighteenth century German Enlightenment thinkers we were only able to take Edelmann as an ally. In a later historical work we will deal with his historical position. Is it now an honor for him or for his contemporaries that we can use only him? This question can be answered right now.

I don’t know if it will be possible for my work to reach light under the current circumstances that determined its completion in this very moment. Its fate under the inquiry: ‘will it really appear,’ is unpredictable. One thing is for sure, Truth can say like the Sybil: suppress, confiscate, burn as you like! The last page (and there will always remain one page) will cost as much as the whole rejected and suppressed literature: a new world! The price remains the same and history is going to pay for it.

Berlin, February 3, 1843

Bruno Bauer


SOURCE: Bauer, Bruno; edited by Paul Trejo. An English edition of Bruno Bauer's 1843 Christianity Exposed: a recollection of the eighteenth century and a contribution to the crisis of the nineteenth century. Lewiston, N.Y.: E. Mellen Press, May 2002. (Studies in German Thought and History; v. 23) German original: Das entdeckte Christentum (1843). Contents + Author’s Introduction (pp. 1-3).


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