A letter written by scientist Albert Einstein in 1954, a year before his death, offering insight into his thoughts on faith, religion and his own Jewish identity, will be offered for sale at Christie’s in New York on December 4.

The letter, which was addressed to philosopher Eric Gutkind, has an estimated sale value of between US$1 million and US$1.5 million.

Known as the “God letter”, Einstein, who died in the United States on April 18, 1955, aged 76, wrote it in response to Gutkind’s book, Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt, published in 1953.

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Written in German, the letter is a candid look into Einstein’s personal views on God and religion.

In the letter, Einstein wrote: “The word God is for me nothing but the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of venerable but still rather primitive legends.

The word God is for me nothing but the expression and product of human weaknesses
Albert Einstein, in a letter written in 1954

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“No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can [for me] change anything about this.”

Peter Klarnet, senior specialist of books and manuscripts at Christie’s, said the letter “concerns themes that have been central to human inquiry since the dawn of human consciousness, and it is one of the definitive statements in the Religion vs. Science debate”.

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