Living the Death of God

A Theological Memoir

By Thomas J. J. Altizer
Foreword by Mark C. Taylor

Subjects: Autobiography, Biography And Memoir
Paperback : 9780791467589, 210 pages, May 2006
Hardcover : 9780791467572, 210 pages, May 2006

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents


Foreword: The Last Theologian
Mark C. Taylor

1. The Calling

2. New York

3. Epic Theology

4. Initiation

5. Holocaust

6. Art

7. Yes and No

8. Crucifixion

9. Ethics

10. Predestination

11. Prayer

12. Absolute Abyss

13. Apocalypse


The eminent death-of-God theologian traces his lifelong search for a theory that is contemporary yet biblical.


Theologian Thomas J. J. Altizer became both famous and infamous as the chief spokesman for death-of-God theology in the 1960s. In the years that followed, he has created a theological tradition that has influenced all succeeding generations of theologians. Living the Death of God is Altizer's theological memoir. Taking us from his transformation as a theological student to his present life of solitude, Altizer recapitulates the voyage to create a truly new theology. The memoir recounts each stage of this voyage, from being overwhelmed by Satan to a conversion to the death of God and an extensive and even ecstatic preaching of the death of God. However, this is the death of that God who is the wholly alienated God, a death realizing anew the crucified God or the apocalyptic Christ.

Written with Altizer's characteristic elegance, this book is fascinating on its own account, but can also serve the reader as a companion or introduction to Altizer's body of work.

Thomas J. J. Altizer is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is the author of a number of books, including Godhead and the Nothing; The Contemporary Jesus; and History as Apocalypse (all published by SUNY Press); The Genesis of God: A Theological Genealogy; Radical Theology and the Death of God (with William Hamilton); The Self-Embodiment of God; and The Descent Into Hell: A Study of the Radical Reversal of the Christian Consciousness.