Christianity after Nietzsche.

by Narkissos 56 Replies latest jw friends

  • BurnTheShips
    And you are granted the right to define these core values ?

    Me, who am I?


  • Narkissos

    Thanks all.


    Interesting quote, very typical of the theology of the 70s onward -- and especially reminiscent of Moltmann.

    My problem with it can be summed up in the following dilemma: either "God" (understood not as a mere unknown "x" in the game of professional theology, but as what it stands for in common usage: the almighty, supreme being) vanishes in such a redefinition, or he survives it and makes the redefinition void.

    Which is also implied in Nietzsche's aphorism: deus, qualis Paulus creavit, dei negatio ("God as Paul made it is the negation of (a) god").

    Reversing the perspective, it can be argued (cf. BTS' remarks) that through this very negativity Christianity exceeds theism -- albeit in a paradoxical way. J√ľngel (God as the mystery of the world) is one of the best theological thinkers in this respect imo, although I don't think he really escapes the above dilemma.

    R. Crusoe,

    I do feel most of Tolle's impact rests on rediscovering the liberating power of negation which is central to most mystical traditions (Buddhist and Christian, for instance). Your experience is that it cannot be converted into positive form -- except by "cheating" at some point, which includes dialectics. This is not new either I guess.


    I personally understand "humanism" and "postmodernism" (although I dislike the word) as deeply antithetic. Strategy # 1 seeks to address the former; # 2, the latter, although, of necessity, in much less "comprehensive" way.

  • jwfacts

    I have just finished reading Nietzsche's The Antichrist, and he certainly does not hold back in his criticism of the Christian religion.

    I have contemplated your question from a more Watchtower centric viewpoint, as I regularly get emails from JW's criticising my articles on regarding the last days and earthquakes, where I attempt to prove that conditions are far better than at any time during the last 2000 years. My response to such criticism has been to the affect of - "For over 2000 years doomsday cults have been predicting the world will end in their own lifetime, and for 130 years the Watchtower has predicted it would occur at any time within the "next few years". Religion is far healthier when in stops revolving around fear of destruction, or earning some everlasting reward and concentrates on worshipping God out of love. Love and worship of God should not differ whether the "end of the world" is to occur this week or in several centuries time."

    I do not see that the Watchtower Society can continue for too many more decades by concentrating on an impending Armageddon. Rather, growth or even survival will depend on becoming relevant and exciting in everyday life.

    Christianity has come a long way since the oligopoly of Orthodox and Catholic and their hell-fire sermons. Religion needed people to be in fear in order to control them. Now people are educated they see through that, but many still seem to need religion to give them hope in an afterlife. Modern religion can still thrive by promoting a positive message and promising an everlasting reward.

  • R.Crusoe

    I think he has a notion that god is in all things and that is what I also feel at my core = so all my life Christianity has lied to me and greatly damaged my core self by wrapping me in reams of ego around dogma and values and roles which inhabit them!

    Tolle suggests consciousness of the past and future to be distractions from reality and the true formless self (due the knowledge of good and bad) whereas animals are far more rooted in the present and will not for example go off telling all the other ducks about the duck on the other side of the pond who just had its missus (lol)- it is past and void and now is the now not to be stressed over!

    So all our consciousness is over 90% useless to out present and rarely utilised to improve our NOW zone.

    Return harm for harm to no one, let truth set you free, be as a child, forgive past transgressions, spread good news, = all sayings we know which conceptualise what Tolle is saying about the NOW of each of our realities!

    Is god in all of us, pantheistically working the hidden will of the divine and bringing us all back to the one, at some future collective intellectual point in time?

  • DoomVoyager

    I've been meaning to read The Antichrist for years. Someday. When I'm free.

  • myelaine

    dear Narkissos...

    o.k...any philosopher might try to make "Christianity" more palatable to various "elements"...but that premise is convoluted!...the "Christ" IS to make humanity more "palatable" to God the Almighty!

    love Sarah

  • R.Crusoe

    Dismantling the ark and fencing a garden from it is no easy transition!

  • quietlyleaving

    2. Accepting and thinking afresh, in a more lucid way, the negative, anti-humanistic, anti-realistic aspects of Christian tradition, without converting them too hastily into "positive" virtues... considering that it may indeed play an essential, paradoxically liberating, part in human "economy" (both socially and psychologically, for instance), while acknowledging its dangers (especially where it is still in a position to dominate and repress life and creativity).

    I like this perspective particularly from a female standpoint. Traditional christianity has always silenced women. I suspect that women are more in touch with the cruelty oppressed aspect of life and would perhaps understand/relate more to "accepting and thinking afresh..."

  • DanTheMan

    betrays a hatred of this world and real life, of power and beauty, of the animal and the "body," a "slave morality" which essentially consists in "resentment" against everything real, powerful, beautiful, etc.

    In this world and in real life, a goodly amount of us are neither beautiful nor powerful.

    Take me for instance. I am not a big strong charismatic manly man. I'm kinda small and short; I have poor verbal defenses which has resulted in me being on the receiving end of no small amount of bullying and other such nastiness in my lifetime, I'm a bit awkward socially, and I'm not particularly popular with the ladies. So, essentially, I'm somebody who Nietzsche would feel absolute revulsion towards. So I don't see how I could ever embrace his philosophy. For those of us who in various ways have been on the receiving end of the "cruel" rather than the "beautiful" side of life, how can we be free from the resentment that Nietzsche so despised?

  • journey-on

    Everything is evolving, not just physically, but spiritually as well. Our understanding of Christianity is also evolving.

    To evolve means to undergo change or transformation. This is what is happening with Christianity. We are gradually

    (some anyway) awakening...opening up to a deeper meaning of the mystery of the Christ.

    A distinction is made between the Christ-bearer which was the person of Jesus, and the actual Christ-presence (annointed one)

    which became joined at the baptism and fully united at the resurrection. Christianity is not dying but evolving and gradually

    growing toward maturity. "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child:

    but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but

    then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I AM known." Too bad Nietzsche isn't around

    to witness this transformative evolution of Christianity.

Share this