The Death of God and the Death of Persons

Religious Studies 16 (3):263 - 282 (1980)

‘God is dead’ can mean many things. It can mean that the way God has been thought of is no longer adequate, or that there is no God and never has been, or that human consciousness of God has receded. 1 Our concern in what follows begins with ‘the death of God’ in this last sense, in the specific sense of the death of an awareness of God or of an affective consciousness of God. Or rather, this is where half of our concern begins. The other half begins with a phenomenon which is the mirror image of the death of God:the death of persons. By ‘the death of persons’ I mean something analogous to the sense specified for ‘the death of God.’ I mean the death or at least the decline of a consciousness of the inherent worth of persons, of the worth persons have as persons. In Kantian terms the death of persons is the loss of a consciousness of persons as ends in themselves. The death of God and the death of persons are parallel, and, furthermore, they are connected. The connection is not difficult to see, particularly if we remind ourselves of what Nietzsche said about the death of God
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DOI 10.1017/S0034412500012300
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