Together with Feuerbach's lectures on ""The Essence of Christianity,"" which preceded this volume, these lectures set forth the German philosopher's basic system. The ""essence"" of his thought can be summarized in his phrase, ""Theology is anthropology."" The object of religion--which we call God--expresses nothing other than the essence of men, and the history of religion is nothing other than the history of man. Pagan religion differs from Christianity, therefore, only as pagan man differs from Christian man. Throughout these thirty lectures--which retain much of their oral style and situational characteristics (""Herr Professor"" is speaking on almost every page)--Feuerbach's reaction against Hegelianism and its deification of the Prussian state is clearly in evidence. He draws heavily upon researches into primitive religions for support of his argument-- researches that have been largely displaced if not discredited by contemporary studies of primitive societies. The humanistic orientation evident from the opening lecture gathers momentum as the series proceeds until it ends in an avowed and almost cynical atheism. This republication of an important work by a thinker who anticipated in many ways crucial religious questions of our day will be welcomed by scholars and students, and may be of interest to the more studiously inclined lay reader.