Religion from Tolstoy to Camus

Religion from Tolstoy to Camus

by Dr. Walter Kaufmann

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First published in 1961, this volume brings together basic writings and religious truths and morals from a wide range of sources.

Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Plus II, Leo XIII, Nietzsche, James, Royce, Wilde, Freud, Niemöller, Barth, Maritain, Tillich, Schweitzer, Buber, Camus, and others, all have sought the religious truth about man, and have in the last three quarters of our century made great contributions to religious thought, critical often of the accepted and fashionable religion of their day, but greatly concerned to purify religion as they understood it.

Dr. Waller Kaufman, of Princeton University, who has already written extensively on philosophy and religion, supplies an editorial and critical note for each of his subject, thus providing valuable continuity and evaluation.

Such a book as this deserves a place in all libraries, public and private, so that it will be possible to quote these men from knowledge, rather than hearsay many times removed from the original.

“The point is not to win friends for religion, or enemies, but to provoke greater thoughtfulness. Here are texts that deserve to be pondered and discussed. Some of them I have criticized in other volumes; in such cases, the references are given. But in the present book nothing is included merely to be disparaged, nor is anything offered only to be praised. The hope is that those who read this book will gain a deeper understanding of religion.”—Walter Kaufmann, Preface

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781787207585
Publisher: Papamoa Press
Publication date: 07/31/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 519
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Walter Arnold Kaufmann (July 1, 1921 - September 4, 1980) was a German-American philosopher, translator, and poet. A prolific author, he wrote extensively on a broad range of subjects, such as authenticity and death, moral philosophy and existentialism, theism and atheism, Christianity and Judaism, as well as philosophy and literature. He served for over 30 years as a professor at Princeton University.

He is renowned as a scholar and translator of Friedrich Nietzsche. He also wrote a 1965 book on Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and published a translation of Goethe’s Faust.

Born in 1921 in Freiburg, Germany, Kaufmann was raised a Lutheran. At age 11, finding that he believed neither in the Trinity nor in the divinity of Jesus, he converted to Judaism. He subsequently discovered that his grandparents were all Jewish. He left Germany and emigrated to America in 1939 and began studying at Williams College, where he majored in philosophy and took many religion classes. Although he had the opportunity to move immediately into his graduate studies in philosophy, and despite advice not to do so by his professors, he ultimately joined the war effort against the Nazis by serving in U.S. intelligence.

During World War II, he fought on the European front for 15 months. After the war, he completed a PhD in the philosophy of religion at Harvard University in only two years. His dissertation was titled “Nietzsche’s Theory of Values” and eventually became a chapter in his Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist (1950).

Kaufmann spent his entire career thereafter, from 1947 to 1980, teaching philosophy at Princeton University, where his students included the Nietzsche scholars Frithjof Bergmann, Richard Schacht, Alexander Nehamas, and Ivan Soll.

Kaufmann became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America in 1960. He died in Princeton, New Jersey in 1980 at the age of 59.

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