With the arrogance of youth, I determined to do no less than to transform the world with Beauty. If I have succeeded in some small way, if only in one small corner of the world, amongst the men and women I love, then I shall count myself blessed, and blessed, and blessed, and the work goes on. -- William Morris

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Depoortere on the Death of God

Is the death of God still relevant for theology in our so-called post-secular age, in which even philosophers, once the great adversaries of religion, are now turning to it? I allege that it is. For, have we not all, to some degree, taken on this Protestant way of thinking? Probably, only few Westerners still share the “strong and pervasive sense of the presence of the sacred in the world” of medieval Catholics and it is not very likely that many in the West still experience the world as “one vast organic entity that [is] ultimately grounded in God as its origin and source.” Therefore, even after the so-called end of the end of religion, it remains meaningful to speak about the death of God, namely as a powerful and appealing metaphor for the fate which transcendence suffered under the impact of secularization in the West. When God is said to have died, it means that daily life in the West is most often no longer in touch with the Living One who is, according to the Biblical testimony, the origin and ground of our existence. This makes clear that the death of God is still an important challenge to Christianity. This challenge, moreover, is not merely a matter of an opposition between Christianity and secular modernity. Given the role of Protestantism in bringing about the death of God, the relation between both is much more complex than that...
Frederiek Depoortere, "'God Himself Is Dead': Luther, Hegel, and the Death of God," Philosophy and Theology 19, 1-2; p.192


  • At 1/06/2011 7:35 PM, Blogger Tony Hunt said…

    What's funny for me is that I often live in a "death of god" kind of world (despite deep running sympathies for RO!). But I believe this is a result of my long disillusionment with my pentecostal upbringing. The process of redivinizing my world is a slow, painful and humiliating process.

  • At 9/17/2012 5:55 PM, Blogger Jack Whelan said…

    Do you know of anyone who has explored the idea that the death of god is a culture wide Dark Night of the Senses/Soul/Spirit? That, in other words, it's a necessary passage to a deeper level of freedom.

    St. John of the Cross successfully negotiated that passage in his personal life; Nietzsche did not. Both had the courage, however, to embrace it. So the question I think is interesting is whether the death of god ought to be embraced as a kind of Abrahamic paradox regarding our collective spiritual future.


Post a Comment

<< Home