Drews, Arthur

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


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.


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


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?