Saturday, January 16, 2010

Nietzsche, Hart and killjoy christians

no one familiar with late antiquity and the world in which the gospel was first preached can be unaware that a prevailing spirit of other worldliness had long been moving inexorably through the empire... One may agree with Nietzsche that this atmosphere of acosmic and incorporeal religiosity defames the world, and one may acknowledge that it infected every institution and spiritual aspiration of it's age, including those of the church, but one should recognise it as first and foremost a pagan phenomenon: a growing awareness...that the pagan cosmos was aregion of strife, in response to which one could adopt only the grammars of empire or spiritual retreat.. Christianity suffered from the contagion in some considerable measure, but was also able to resist it as paganism could not, because it had at it's disposal means for renarrating the cosmos from the ground was also in this crepuscular world of trancendental longings, of a pagan order grown weary of the burden of itself, that the Christian faith came as an evangel promising newness of life, and that in all abundance, preaching creation, divine incarnation, resurrection of the flesh, and the ultimate restoration of heavens and earth. A faith, moreover, whose symbols were not occult sigils, or bulls blood, or the brackish water and coarse fare of the ascetic sage, but the cardinal signs of fellowship, feasting and joy. Bread and wine...a rejoicing in the order of creation as a gift and blessing, an inability to grow too weary of the flesh, an abiding sense of the weightiness-kabod-of God's glory and the goodness of all that is, but it is a subversion that Nietsche does not grasp from the perspective of his rather adolescent adoration of pagan harshness..

DB Hart 'The Beauty of the Infinite' eerdmans 2003 pp106

1 comment:

byron smith said...

I agree. Though I think more needs to be said about why Nietzsche couldn't see it and why he reached for paganism. There is an adolescence to his thought, but this accusation needs more exploration.

I guess I need to keep going someday with BoTI. I started it and got up to about p.100 before other things took over.