In this paper, I explore a possible a/theological response to what Nietzsche called the ‘death of God’—or Hölderlin’s and Heidegger’s ‘flight of the gods’—through a juxtaposition of the Christian-Pauline concept of kenōsis and the ancient Greek-Platonic notion of chōra, and by taking Nishida Kitarō’s appropriations of these concepts as a clue and starting point. Nishida refers to chōra in 1926 to initiate his philosophy of place and then makes reference to kenōsis in 1945 in his final work that culminates—without necessarily (...) completing—his oeuvre. What he had thereby accomplished is an inversion of Platonism resulting in the collapse of the transcendent/immanent—idea/genesis and by implication the Heaven/Earth—dichotomy. I then unpack the ethical implication of this kenotic chōra Nishida has left us with. It suggests from us a certain response to the desacralization or secularization of the world. I shall build upon this suggestion and unfold its implications by drawing from a variety of sources, starting with Nishida but including others, such as Meister Eckhart, Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, Gianni Vattimo, Reiner Schürmann, Mark Taylor, Jürgen Moltmann, and other philosophical and theological sources. (shrink)
We trace the genealogy and tensions of postmodern atheism through a series of encounters: Heidegger's reading of Nietzsche's “God is dead,” Foucault's critique of Sartre's humanism, Jean‐Luc Nancy's rejection of Alain Badiou's atheism, and the questions Derrida raises about Nancy's own position. We argue that there are plural postmodern atheisms, each of which defends its own claim to be following through on the consequences of the death of God more radically than the alternatives.
In Georges Bataille’s view, the Hegelian interpretation of kenotic sacrifice as passage from Spirit to the Speculative Idea effaces the necessarily representational character of sacrifice and the irreducible non-presence of death. But Hegel identifies these aspects of death in the fragments of the 1800 System. In sacrificial acts, subjectivity represents its disappearance via the sacrificed other, and hence is negated and conserved. Sacrifice thus provides the representational model of sublation pursued in the Phenomenology as a propaedeutic to Science. Bataille’s critique (...) clarifies the fragments of the 1800 System, contextualizing Hegel’s rehabilitation of kenotic sacrifice in the Phenomenology. Bataille’s poetics parodies Hegelian kenosis via repetition of material difference, enacting an ecstatic temporality which Hegel perhaps suppresses as the condition of his system. Finally—if Bataille is correct in his assessment—the system would be subjected to a reversal, with radical implications for the philosophy of religion. (shrink)
This paper traces the origins of the phrase “God is dead!” back to Hegel and Luther. It proceeds in the following four steps: Section I investigates the appearance of the theme of God’s death in Lutheran theology. Section II elaborates on Hegel’s adaptation of this theme in the context of his early work Faith & Knowledge. In section III, the paper continues on how the theme of the death of God developed from Luther to Nietzsche via Hegel, before concluding, in (...) section IV, by indicating the link between Protestantism and modern atheism. (shrink)