Drews, Arthur


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Drews, Arthur

 

Born Nov. 1, 1865, in Utersen; died July 19, 1935, in Achern. German idealist philosopher and follower of E. Hartmann. Drews was a professor at the Polytechnical Institute in Karlsruhe beginning in 1898.

In Drews’ view, an irrational and impersonal divine element lies at the heart of existence and acquires self-consciousness in man’s religious and philosophical creative activity. Drews opposed Christianity from the standpoint of this “concrete,” or “dynamic,” pantheism, asserting his faith in an unconscious divine spirit. He gained fame as a prolific popularizer of the so-called mythological school of religious studies. His interpretation of the person of Christ and other New Testament figures as impersonal astral symbols was based on the hypotheses of J. Frazer, G. Robertson, and other historians of religion. At the end of his life, Drews developed a racially based “Germanic religion”—for example, in his book on R. Wagner and in his interpretation of the swastika—a conception which verged on Nazism.

WORKS

Nietzsches Philosophie. Heidelberg, 1904.
E. von Hartmanns philosophisches System in Grundriss, 2nd ed. Heidelberg, 1906.
Die Religion als Selbstbewusstsein Gottes. Jena, 1906.
Geschichte des Monismus in Altertum. Heidelberg, 1913.
In Russian translation:
Zhil li apostol Petr? Moscow, 1924.
Mif o deve Marii. Moscow, 1926.
Otritsanie istorichnosti lisusa v proshlom i nastoiashchem. Moscow, 1930.
Proiskhozhdenie khristianstva iz gnostitsizma. Moscow, 1930.

REFERENCE

Kublanov, M. Novyi zavet: Poiski i nakhodki. Moscow, 1968. Pages 202-10.

S. S. AVERINTSEV and D. N. LIALIKOV

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