“Karl Kautsky is
probably the first Marxist to interest himself both in the movement
and the enigmatic personality of the crucified prophet. His 1908 book
The Foundations of Christianity is a rather impressive attempt at a
Marxist analysis. The book is rather original, innovative and has
been translated into nine languages. Kaustky made his Foundations of
Christianity into one of the most popular Marxist theoretical works.
Its popular success is probably due to the interest of socialist
militants to see a vision of the origins of Christianity which
permits the modern workers' movement to appropriate to itself the
figure of Jesus as a prophet and martyr for the proletarian cause.
Kautsky wanted to interpret early Christianity as a precursor of the
contemporary working class socialist movement.”