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Age of Reason by Thomas Paine, Lyle Stuart; ISBN: 0806505494; 1989, $12.95 USD

This book ought to be essential reading for anyone wanting to understand modern theology, the decline of religion in the West, and modern thought generally. It is the key text in the history of modern religious thought and the development of the study of religion in secular universities.


The Essence of Christianity (Great Books in Philosophy) by Ludwig Feuerbach, George Eliot (Translator) Prometheus Books; ISBN: 0879755598; (October 1989), $10 US

After Paine the person to read is Feuerbach who in many ways is the father of both Marxism and Fascism

Marx on Religion by John Raines (Editor), Karl Marx, Temple Univ Press; ISBN: 1566399408; (April 2002) $18.95 US

I've not read this particular collection but it is the only one currently in print. Once again reading Marx is essential for an understanding of modern religious thought and the development of theories about the role of religion in society. Although wrong his influence is immense and often appears in writers who detest Marxism without them realizing the source of their ideas about religion.


Critique of Religion and Philosophy by Walter Kaufmann, Princeton Univ Pr; ISBN: 0691020019; (April 1, 1979), $24.95

This is a devastating attack on all sorts of religious arguments including liberal Christianity and some anti-religious philosophers. It's well worth reading.