Nietzsche and the Gods
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Examines Nietzsche's complex attitudes toward religion and his understanding of how particular religions and deities affect the intellectual, moral, and spiritual lives of their various proselytes and adherents.
"I have slain all gods—for the sake of morality!" — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Although often regarded as an atheist who did not take religion seriously, Nietzsche in fact thought deeply about the gods and how they functioned in the human psyche. The son of a Lutheran pastor who dropped theology in college after only one semester, Nietzsche was a profound religious thinker who devoted much of his writing to reevaluating the concept of god that prevailed in nineteenth-century Germany. As this volume demonstrates, Nietzsche sharply discerned between the positive and negative aspects of various gods, including the Christian God, the Jewish God (Yahweh), the Greek gods (especially Apollo and Dionysus), and the Buddha. The essays further touch upon Nietzsche's relationship to prominent religious thinkers of his time, as well as his influence on later religious thinkers, such as Martin Buber and Paul Tillich. Wide-ranging and diverse, Nietzsche and the Gods will be indispensable to our continuing understanding of Nietzsche's thought and to the broader study of philosophy and religion.
Weaver Santaniello is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Penn State Berks. She is the author of Nietzsche, God, and the Jews: His Critique of Judeo-Christianity in Relation to the Nazi Myth, and is the coeditor, with Jacob Golomb and Ronald Lehrer, of Nietzsche and Depth Psychology, both published by SUNY Press, and with Lallene J. Rector, of Psychological Perspectives and the Religious Quest: Essays in Honor of Orlo Strunk, Jr.
"This book offers an interesting variety of approaches to Nietzsche's relationships to various religious traditions. " — James Winchester, Spelman College
". ..replete with insights, demonstrating the richness, complexity, and continuing significance of Nietzsche's work. This volume is unique in gathering together analyses of the diverse ramifications of Nietzsche in regard to specific religious frameworks. " — Rochelle L. Millen, Wittenberg University